Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
April 27 2014 09:12PM
I need to use the "save draft" button more. I wrote a really long mailbag. Answered a lot of questions. Deleted them as I answered them. It was actually one of my better ones yet, and upwards of 2000 words long. I clicked publish. Suddenly, -ZAP-. It's gone.
It could be worse. I could've been in an elevator and got stuck. Wait! That happened earlier this week. For half an hour. I'm this close to going Amish. Anyway, here's my second attempt at a mailbag tonight:
With the several expiring winger contracts does a Marlie get a full call up next season? Who do you think fills that role best? Ashton and D'Amigo both had ice time on the Leafs already or maybe Leivo?
I think that Jerry D'Amigo is probably the most deserving player on the Marlies that has a realistic shot at making the team. The potential top sixers don't stand out enough with the exception of Spencer Abbott, who I don't think they're too high on. D'Amigo brings energy and utility to the fourth line, and there's no reason to not have him there. David Broll could get a serious look too if the Leafs part with one or both of McLaren and Orr. Everybody else is likely due for another year.
What could the leafs get for Carl Gunnarsson?
I don't think there's a very strong market for him, and really, why would you want to get rid of him? The issue with him isn't so much that he's bad, so much as it is that he's not suited to playing against the level of competition the Leafs first pairing demands (which, apparently, is the highest in the league). Is it worth getting a 2nd-3rd round pick or decent bottom six forward for one of your only steady defensive players? I'm not huge on the idea.
Forgive me if this question seems a bit out there but with the CHL and AHL being training grounds for the players do you believe it should be the same for up and coming media members?
I think you're on to the correct idea but not the correct execution. People shouldn't jump into the biggest beat with their first gig, but this rarely happens in a major media market anyway. A lot of people will end up doing school sports or lower leagues / sports before climbing up to what they want.
Doing it in a similar path to players probably won't work, though. Not all NHL markets have minor and junior teams nearby, so that progression requires too much moving for somebody who isn't going to be making boatloads of money to make it worth it.
Should the Leafs target Tom Gilbert as a UFA?
Might be worth a look for certain teams. He was one of Florida's better posession players this year, and he has the capacity to chip in offensively. I don't think he's as cheap as the $900,000 that the Panthers got him for this year, but I don't see teams lining up for him.
That said, the Leafs have a lot of potential guys for the second and third pairings, a lot of them being offensively skilled. The goal should be to find a strong guy for the two slot first and foremost.
do you think Kozun could make it as a leaf, or is it just too small for the higher ups to take him seriously?
I don't think that he's too small to be taken seriously, but the reality is, he's a top six style of player. This sounds like a good thing, but I don't know if he's good enough to crack the Leafs in this regard. With JVR, Kessel, and Lupul being there, you have your second line RW spot as the only one open. Clarkson is the de facto there financially, but in actual execution, they may put a cheaper guy there for that reason.
If you went by internal choices, Spencer Abbott or Josh Leivo are the best bets, but I wouldn't be shocked if they went external. Or hey, maybe whoever they pick in the draft this year is a right winger and can jump in immediately? Who knows.
He's been a phenomenal addition to the Marlies this year, however. Trading Andrew Crescenzi for him was a massive boost to the scoring depth of the team, and playing massive dividends with Abbott and Carter Ashton out of the lineup.