Monday Mailbag: Best For Last

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After a rough start in the rookie tournament, the Leafs managed to end things on a high note. Their star prospects proved their salt, some smaller names had their moments, and now the surviving group will make its way to Halifax to have training camp with the big boys. We’ll see who makes the cut and how they decide it – personally, I think they should cut anyone who can’t run up the Danger Wave on the first try.

@mapleleafs_75 asked: What do you think of Bernier’s new mask? Does it make him the favorite for the Vezina?

I don’t like it. Maybe it’s because I’m a 90s kid, and that was the best era of mask design, but this just feels uninspired.

Bernier-Mask

“Okay, I always use a lion and if I get rid of it, people will think I hate Africa even more so than after the Mandela incident. Crap, I still have 85% of my mask left… slap a couple Leafs on it”.

Also, I read somewhere that white cages are the best for vision, so I wonder if a dark blue is going to confuse him at all. Then again, I’m not a top-100 goaltender on the planet, so what do I know?

@matthew_gooding asked: Have any of the invited rookies or players on AHL contracts impressed enough yet to get consideration for a(n NHL) contract?

I don’t think that any of the guys with AHL contracts have done anything outstanding enough to earn an NHL contract just yet, but Nikolas Brouillard may have done enough to grab himself an AHL/ECHL two-way. He showed good offensive instincts and didn’t look like a catastrophe in his own zone either.

Michael Joly could get a similar contract, though I imagine “good camp” matters less than “plays with Frederik Gauthier” in that regard.

CMPuck asked: Is it prudent to have a nearly completely disposable roster on ‘show me’ contracts for a rebuild? How do you get excited for a team of contractors?

If there’s any team that has to worry about winning more than they have to worry about fan morale, it’s the Leafs. Fan morale will bounce back the second this team is consistently good again. Guys on “show-me” deals make your team a bit better, can be flipped for assets, and prevent you from rushing prospects simply because they’re “warm bodies”.

@toppolzer asked: Where does Curtis Glencross play if/when he makes the team?

Here’s the thing; now that James van Riemsdyk no longer has Phil Kessel, and Joffrey Lupul has proven completely unable to stay healthy, a motivated Glencross could very well be the best left winger on the Toronto Maple Leafs. With that said, you know those two are getting the top six minutes, which realistically means that Glencross would compete with Daniel Winnik for the third line role. 

This is, of course, if they find a way to ship out some bodies, or figure that signing him brings enough value to risk losing a Casey Bailey or Taylor Beck to waivers. I don’t think the team has much to see with this PTO; they probably know that they want Glencross already, but need to find a way to make the room for him in the meantime.

@TheFlopFish asked: Who wins a 7 game series between the Canucks and Leafs?

The KHL. Because it would take a sudden mass exodus of talent from this league for the Leafs to make the playoffs, let alone win three playoff rounds.