Mailbag: The Re-Return

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
January 27 2014 09:03PM

Hey! We tried this thing during the offseason, where I answered people's questions about the Leafs and Marlies once per week. It lasted two consecutive weeks. I tried to revive it a month or so later, which lasted one week. Moral of the story? Jeffler sucks. Don't do a hockey mailbag when people aren't playing hockey. Also, Jeffler Sucks. Let's go for three weeks and beyond this time! Mondays are the goal, though it could slip into another day if gamedays or major stories get in the way.

From this point forward, if you'd like to submit a question, email me at jeffler@gmail.com, or tweet your question with the hashtag #TLNMailbag. Tagging @Jeffler would be a fun courtesy, but unneccessary, especially if you're closing in on character limits. You can also leave your question in the comments of this post. Without further ado... 

Q: Can we all say with reasonable certainty that Tyler Biggs is a bust? -@conin79

This was brought up after Biggs was scratched in yesterday's Marlies game against Lake Erie. With just five points in 34 games this year, many Leafs fans are disappointed in what seems to be the latest in a stretch of underwhelming production from the 2011 22nd overall pick. But is he a "bust"? Yes and no.

I think that to expect Biggs to be the offensive, top six contributor with a mean streak and solid defensive game that many originally hoped would be extremely optimistic at this point. It was optimistic before he played a professional game; not hitting a point per game in the OHL as a 19 year old, even as a transitioning rookie, should have been all of the warning enough that this project wasn't going to hit the fairytale conclusion one would expect.

But with that said, we're stil talking about a 20 year old with a good sense of defensive responsibility and a solid athletic frame to work with. Steve Spott has been sure to use him in on the penalty kill and in key shutdown situations, and he appears to be rather good at that for his age.

Is that the type of guy you take again at 22nd overall? Probably not, but hindsight is 20/20. But Biggs can still become a useful bottom six player at the NHL level. 

Q: Hypothetical 1 for 1 Sens-Leafs swap you think would benefit both clubs? -@BonksMullet

The thing about a 1-for-1 trade is that it would need to solve an abundance and a need for both teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs have an abundance in players in every position, but lack top end talent in key positions (#1 Centre, #2 Defenceman). The Senators appear to need a winger. The Senators will not trade the Leafs either of Kyle Turris or Jason Spezza, especially in a 1-for-1 deal. The Senators wouldn't trade Erik Karlsson to the Leafs for the entire roster and six first round picks, so that's out too. The Senators would prefer to not take on salary, and the Leafs have little in terms of cap space... this could be a bad fit!

Unless! This is where my dual-league interests kick in. The Marlies are playing above expectations, leading the North Division and 7th overall in what many thought would be a down year. They do, however, lack scoring, with their 120 being good for 14th in the league. Hell, TJ Brennan, a defenceman, has 15% of those goals. Senators affiliate Binghamton is 5th in the league and 2nd in goals for, while allowing significantly more goals than any playoff team in their conference.

"So you're suggesting an AHL trade?" Sort of. Playoff runs are good for development, as the Senators can attest to, with several Calder Cup winning Binghamton players making their way onto the team after 2011 and thrusting the big club from rags to playoffs. The 2011/12 Finalist Marlies roster had fifteen players that have played in the NHL this season. Yes, "teams with good players go far" is probably as heavy if not heavier as "teams that go far breed good players", but there's benefit. So my proposal?

Kevin Marshall for Stephane Da Costa. Ottawa/Binghamton gets a  24-25 year old stay at home defenceman, with some (albeit little) NHL experience. Toronto/Toronto gets a winger who has proven that he's very capable of scoring at the AHL level to play on a line with Spencer Abbott and whoever the daily first line centre is, while not expecting all that much at the NHL ranks. I would have left Korbinian Holzer as an option, but I think that his guaranteed NHL salary comes as a detriment to Ottawa in this move.

Q: What's Viktor Loov's ceiling? Also, can you and @Steve_Dangle please record you guys reading LuvUDangler ? -@alsonlee91

To be honest, I don't know much about Loov. Pretty much any North American based blogger is lying to you if they say that they're a resource. The guys at Hockey's Future have his ceiling as an NHL 4-5th defenceman, with a floor of a decent minor leaguer. We didn't have him in our top twenty prospects, and he was a 7th round pick. I'm going to just nod my head and agree with that.

As for the second question, I'm pretty sure that Adam and Chris own the rights to recorded readings of Dangler, while Tina owns the rights to live dramatic readings.

Q: Most tradable forward? -@Augs93

I feel like Carter Ashton is a name that should be brought up here. I like the game he brings when he plays in the AHL, and feel like he could do the same at the next level. However, the Leafs don't have the room for him to display an offensive contribution, nor will they in the forseeable future. If he produces again next time he goes down for a stint, I'd be shopping him to teams looking for a project. They may sell him for lower than his value if he succeeds elsewhere, but if he wasn't going to reach that potential here, it will still be a win-win.

Q: Shut up Jeffler? -@ThatsLobstertainment

Okay, sweet. Sounds like a plan. The first two answers went on for a while anyway. More next week!

7cb905bdffc4d09e93770ff4a1889462
I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 leafer2013
January 28 2014, 09:31AM
Trash it!
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Nonis talks about the need for a salary for salary hockey trade given the cap salary limitations. That said, what players are most likely to be offered and workable salary wise in an in season trade.

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