Mailbag: Responses From The 6


I’m going to partake in the biggest tourist-trap weekend of the year in Toronto. Specifically, I’m headed down to Molson Ampitheatre for two days of OVO Fest. Drake puts on an awesome main event night, and I’m excited to see what the Outkast hype is all about today (I was too young for their early material and in my ‘lol le wrong generation give me old rock’ stage’ in the end of the first part of their career). With that said, I’ll be gone for most of the day today and tomorrow, so I’m going to cop out and, well..

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Do you think the Del Zotto will have a contract before training camp? Should the Leafs pick him up?

You have to think some team takes a chance on him. He hasn’t been a great relative possession player in the past couple of years, but he hasn’t been flat out awful either. He’s good for 30 points over a full season, and has a lot of the physical talents that teams like to take chances on (good skating, vision, etc).

Combine that with his previous high profile and the fact that he’s still only 24, and there has to be a match somewhere. I imagine that he’s trying to avoid the “prove it” contract right now, seeing as whoever signs him to a 1 year deal would gain his RFA rights and control his destiny, but he’ll likely have to take one if nobody comes knocking in a couple of weeks. 

What do you think of Spencer Abbot’s chances with the big club next season? #ShutUpJeffler 

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Very doubtful. He’s a skilled player, but unless he plays the best hockey of his life in training camp and leaves them no choice but to put him on the 2nd line at Right Wing, I don’t see space for him to succeed. Odds are, they’ll want him to play the role of AHL superstar once again, which might be a factor in his lack of contract at the moment.

If Frattin was really acquired for a 4th line role, do you think that he’ll be any more effective than D’Amigo would have been?

Personally, I don’t see it. My personal speculation? Frattin was acquired because it was a low-cost move in case they weren’t able to sign half of the bottom six world in free agency. They did, and now he’s kind of “just there”. We’ll see what happens with him in camp, but I wouldn’t lose sleep if he hit waivers.

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D’Amigo is much better suited to a bottom six specialist’s role, and it’s a shame to lose him, but ultimately his actual ability is pretty interchangeable in this league. 

With Drew Mac leaving is Sparks ready and capable of becoming the starter for the Marlies next season?

While I think Sparks gets the edge in starts between the two, I don’t think he’ll be playing a significant amount more than Christopher Gibson. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a 40-36 split of games played, meaning this will be one of those super fun 1A-1B situations. He won’t be required to carry the load in the way that MacIntyre did.

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Now, as for whether they’re capable of that; I’m not expecting either goaltender to play as well as MacIntyre last year. The Marlies are going to have to get better at winning games with their skaters if they want to repeat the same success that they’ve had in previous years. But both Gibson and Sparks had strong stretches with the team last year, and seem to be developing a bit better than expected. Between the two of them, I’m sure one of them can at least be AHL decent and keep the team afloat.

Dream time: if the leafs added stamkos and subban…would they have to detonate the roster or would the salary cap increase enough to allow such a hilarious rosterbate?

Subban is obviously off the market now, but if he wasn’t, it would definitely require a cap clearance to make this happen. The Salary Cap is typically hard pressed to go up more than about 8-9%, and in some years hasn’t seen much of an increase at all. Even if everything went exactly right and the Cap went up by 10% in each of the next two years, we’re looking at a 14.5M increase.

Subban earned 9M as an RFA. As a UFA, he’d probably be looking at over 10, and the same could be said about Stamkos (probably more so). Assume they both take discounts in this scenario and sign for a Toews/Kane-like 10.5M, that’s 21 million. The Leafs still need to free up 6.5 million. In those two years, the only contract above 3 million to come off the books is Cody Franson, who would have to be replaced. Both goalies would need new deals, Nazem Kadri is an RFA next season, and Morgan RIelly would need a new deal at the same time as these guys.

The Leafs would absolutely have to clean house. Just Stamkos, though? That’s doable. Assuming he wants to come, and the Leafs keep their cool in terms of spending money for a while.

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  • nazemkadri43

    I’m actually here to read >.> Not feebly comment.

    I think there is going to be a big trade by the end of the summer for the leafs. Looks like they are setting up for one.

  • Objective

    I know the last question was not «Will the Leafs sign Stamkos?», but in your analysis you forgot to mention something very significant.

    The Lightning have pretty much their roster set for the next 3 years.

    Hedman is still signed for 3 years, Palat and Johnson also, Filppula is long term, Boyle, Garrison, Callahan, Drouin, Bishop…

    That means with the cap increasing so much, they will have the money to give him 10-11-12 M$. Actually they will have the money to give him a blank sheet of paper and tell him «Mark your numbers».

    Add the fact that Florida has the lowest tax level of all North America.

    And, let’s be honest, if Stamkos ever wonders which team the Leafs and the Lightning he has to choose between (assuming there are no other team offering him the big $, which is unlikely), he will wonder «Which one of these two teams I have the most chances to win the Stanley Cup with?»

    Do I really need to write about it? I mean, they have Drouin, Kucherov, Palat and Johnson as young offensive prospects, the Leafs have Kadri and Holland. Case closed.

    I think in Leaf Land, the fans have to stop relying their hopes on just «He will sign because he is a hometown boy» or some favored insignificant tweet. There are far more important criteria that come before, come on folks we all know it.

    If Shanahan changes the face of this team within the next two years, I might change my mind.

    The Leafs have a good base of players they can build upon. If he makes this team a real contender, if he makes this team a winning team, then Stamkos will definitely wonder «I might be the last piece of the puzzle to make this team a force in the League».

    But if the Leafs still disappoint their fans like they have for the last 10 years, missing the playoffs so many times, losing game 7 after leading 4-1, late season collapse and stuff, don’t count on Stamkos saving this hockey club.