Mailbag: Intermission Rambles


We’re forty minutes into a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game and the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team aren’t Toronto Maple Leafs hockey losing. This is pretty astonishing, and quite frankly, offensive to the tank. While we wait for the period, however, lets answer some questions. If you want your question to be in the next mailbag, either leave a comment, or tweet @tlndc or myself.

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@Hsing14 asked: Do you agree with the leafs calling up Granberg today, instead of giving T.J Brennan a shot?

It makes sense. People forget that TJ Brennan isn’t waiver eligible, and that the Leafs really want him to be a key component of the Marlies playoff run. I think they’ve learned from their past mistakes with him and will both re-sign him and give him an opportunity to crack the roster in training camp, but in the meantime, his job is to be their best AHL defenceman.

@AndrewHugsDogs asked: Is there anyone in the front office other than Nonis and Fletcher you’d like to see get axed?

Why would anybody want Cliff Fletcher to get axed? I doubt he has much say in 2015, so the Leafs are basically paying him a glorified pension while adding another person to bounce ideas off of. 

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I selfishly want noted girlfriend haver Cam Charron fired, so I can talk to him about things other than the weather and working out. I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon, though.

@captainboxmaker asked: Why do I cry when I sleep?

Because you know that this gets worse before it gets better, and that the latter isn’t guaranteed to even happen.

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@BlueJaysNinja asked: Any plans on bringing back the leaf jersey logos pre 1970?

Don’t expect anything next year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a big vintage push in the upcoming centennial season. You just know that MLSE wants to out-do what the Montreal Canadiens did in 2009, and branding is going to play a huge part in that.

@DawsonMac asked: How has Matt Finn faired with the Marlies? How is his development coming along? Future projection?

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At this point, Finn has been injured so frequently and healthy scratched too many times to even count this season as a thing to talk about. His stock has definitely dropped, which is a shame, but I’m not prepared to have a long-lasting opinion on him until the end of next season’s training camp. 

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  • CMpuck

    I have a question, why would it be smart for the Leafs to take Marner but it was dumb for Edmonton to take RNH or Yakupov?

    Why can we make fun of the Oilers while being actively as short sighted?

      • CMpuck

        So 20/20 are you suggesting passing on blueliners has helped them? Further that Hall should have been taken over Seguin (scout at that draft were saying Seguin would likely be a better player in the long term).

        Are there not obvious lessons from Edmonton or Tampa taking Drouin? Skilled small wingers perhaps don’t make good corner stones (especially when guys like Vanek, Gaborik, Kessel…. become tradebait even when becoming among the leagues best in the prime of their careers).

        • CMpuck

          This post, like most of your comments, is full of holes and quite frankly represents low quality trolling.

          Using your logic, the Oilers should have drafted Gudbranson over Hall and Larsson over RNH. One of the best LWs in the game, and a #1 centre (albeit, one with holes still in his game) for a 2nd/3rd pairing tweener and a defenseman who has broken out this year, but whose team had been actively shopping him for a year. Do you think Hall or RNH have been actively shopped, let alone been made available in the first place?

          Numerous studies have found that forwards are easier to project, and thus are less likely to bust than defenseman and goalies. Because they take longer to develop, teams are often quicker to give up on them, and thus more likely to shop them early in their career. Teams have also in the past been poor at evaluating a defenseman’s worth, underrating puck moving skills and overrating toughness. A smart team would stock up on forwards early in the draft, and trade for defenseman/goaltenders when their value is at its lowest.

          The Oilers’ problem isn’t that they didn’t draft defensemen early. It’s that they are are for the most part completely incompetent at evaluating talent. They did a great job stocking up on picks during their rebuild years, but frequently went off the board to make bizarre picks (Mitch Moroz at 32 in the 2012 draft for example). If they simply drafted the highest rated player on TSN’s rankings in their rebuild years instead, they would have consistently drafted steals like Toffoli, Pulkkinen and Saad. With greater forward prospect depth, they would be in a better position to bid on top defenseman such as Leddy and Larsson.

          tldr: Draft forwards early and often, and exploit the market’s general inability to properly evaluate young defensemen

          PS: Drouin has 26 points in 56 games at the age of 19 while predominantly playing on the 4th line. In what world is that disappointing, as you seem to imply?

          • CMpuck

            Holes? Ok… at least can offer a response, I’ll puts you ahead of most.

            Gudbrason, wow, you’re way off, take liberties much? Oilers in the Hall’s draft should have taken the center in Seguin (as I had mention in the original post you responding to). 1st building block of a rebuild is a 1C, scouts going into that draft were saying Hall would have more immediate impact and Seguin would likely be better in the long run.

            If that wasn’t enough Boston wanted to trade up for Hall, Hall better fit the Bruins, Seguin better fit the Oilers but the Oilers brass didn’t have the stones to make the tough call. If that wasn’t enough the Oilers could have traded Hall again for Seguin when Boston shipped him to Dallas, I get Seguin was cold and Hall was hot but MacT can’t flip a script to save his franchise.

            It’s not rocket science 1C>1D=PMD>PF=Goaltending>Pure Skill foward

            RNH is forgivable given what a weak draft it was, not much better options but a twink C is best suited as a 2C, I probably would have traded down for Larsson or Strome, all draft picks have risk, I’d rather take the gamble on a talent that matters in the long run. RNH right call I suppose, he doesn’t really bring much in terms of making the Oilers better though. So right call but no real bang for the buck.

            Funny you don’t mention Yakupov (shows how honest you are), sticking to what I’ve proposed the Oil trade down and take Murray a huge homerun compared to Yakupov. So look at that, Larson or Strome, Murray, Seguin with +++ from trading down not a bad young D along with Schultz and Nurse and Maricin on the way up. My logic is sooooo flawed.

            I’m not implying, I’m saying Drouin over Nurse is laughable (noticed I don’t take issues with MacKinnon or Barkov over Jones).

            Gamble on a 1C or 1D over a small skill player put on the wing. Leafs are full of skill wingers, doesn’t really amount to a whole lot.

            I invite anyone to expose what I’ve routinely suggest. Not a flawless system but there is no flawless draft system take the gamble on talent that if they turn out they actually matter.

        • CMpuck

          Truly elite wingers don’t often come up as trade bate.. especially in their prime. How many trade rumours have you heard involving Kane, Perry, Ovi, Pacioretty etc… The only reason any of the players above have been or are rumoured to be traded are because their teams knew that they would not be competitive while these players are at their peak and therefore are better off trading them to maximize the value of the asset.

  • CMpuck

    Hey Jeff,
    I’ve got a couple questions for you.
    1. What have the marries lines generally been like the last couple months? How is the top6 F’s and top 4D put together?
    2. Do you think its likely that Andreas Johnson plays in North America next year? Also do you think he gets a few games in at the end of the year if his SHL season ends and the Marlies are (hopefully) still in the playoffs?