|It's doubtful Justin Pogge will see much playing time in Toronto this coming season. (Sun Media/Craig Robertson)
Justin Pogge apparently hasn't checked his answering machine in a while.
If he did, he would have learned that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has promised to find him a new home.
"I left him a message and told him (that)," Burke said yesterday.
"He's a good kid and if it's not going to work out for him here -- and obviously he got pushed down the depth chart with the acquisition of (Jonas) Gustavsson -- then I would try to find him a place to play, and I'm going to do that.
"But I don't intend to give away a good, young goaltender either."
With the acquisition of free agent Gustavsson -- widely considered the best goaltender outside of the NHL last season -- from the Swedish Elite League, and the improving play of James Reimer with the Toronto Marlies -- it's doubtful Pogge will see much playing time in Toronto this coming season.
The Fort McMurray, Alta., native played seven games for the Leafs last season, posting a goals against average of 4.35.It's clear the club now looks at the 24-year-old Gustavsson as their goaltender of the future -- a mantle once worn by Pogge, who struggled at both the AHL and NHL levels last season.
As he did with defenceman Staffan Kronwall, Burke said he will bend over backwards to help a quality individual within his organization find another place to play if his time has run out with the Leafs.
"If the guy's a bad kid, or a dirt bag, then he can gut it out (and stay put)," Burke said.
"But if he's a good kid like Justin Pogge, then you want to find him a place to play."
Pogge, drafted 90th overall by the Leafs in 2004, signed a qualifying offer with Toronto this summer.
It was a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $605,000 at the NHL level.