Bruins would have taken Pogge instead of Rask from Maple Leafs for Raycroft

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask pauses during a break in play against the Penguins during Game 4 of...

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask pauses during a break in play against the Penguins during Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference final at TD Garden in Boston, June 7, 2013. (JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 PM ET

TORONTO - The trade that sent Tuukka Rask to the Boston Bruins could have been made without the emerging superstar involved.

According to those close to the deal, the Bruins would have happily accepted young goaltender Justin Pogge in exchange for Andrew Raycroft.

The problem at the time was, Leafs general manager John Ferguson was uneasy about moving Pogge, wasnt convinced Rask was better and wouldnt agree to move Pogge because he had won the gold medal playing for Team Canada at the world junior championships that year.

Ferguson told his senior staff that wed get killed for trading the gold medal goalie, so he agreed to make the deal with Boston, which was questionable at the time and looks horrendous in retrospect.

Rask has emerged as one of the top goalies of this generation while Pogge, who played this season in Italy, managed just seven NHL games.

The worst part of the Raycroft deal wasnt how he played for the Leafs. The worst part was finding out later the Bruins would have released him had they not traded him, making him available to the Leafs without any compensation at all.

Rask, by the way, is the best first-round pick the Leafs have made since Vincent Damphousse 27 years ago.


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