Hey! Today, we have answers to some of your questions in this fine mailbag post, but it’s not your only opportunity to get in the conversation with the TLN Staff! In about two hours, I’ll be joining a handful of smarter writers on /r/Leafs to participate in their AMA series, which we helped spawn. We hope you bring the heat; we’ll literally answer any question you have about anything. In the mean time, here’s a sampler to get you warmed up:
@SethAmeroFisher asked: What design for the Leafs new Logo/Jerseys would you go with? What are you expecting?
Throwback to the last time a potential Leafs rebrand was in the news. Ended up with 1800 signatures and new jerseys pic.twitter.com/aduPUfn7VP
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 14, 2015
I’m a big fan of going back to the logo the Leafs used from 1939 to 1967, and specifically, the jerseys they wore from 1958 to the end of the 1967 regular season. Beyond the bulk of the team’s positive history being accomplished with that crest front and centre, the 35-point-Leaf is the nicest of all of the designs the Leafs have worn to date. Not to mention, it finally puts the Ballard era behind us.
Do I expect that to be the end result? Probably not. I could see the Leafs taking inspiration from the success of the Marlies’ 3rd jersey, which pays homage to the Marlboros of old, and combining the current Leafs crest with the T from the Toronto Arenas. It would look great on merch, though I don’t know if I’m a personal fan.
Of course, that’s just speculation, given the success of other MLSE rebrandings of late. The reality is that none of us really know at the moment.
@DaveyClarkman71 asked: Do you think this year’s Marlies can be one of the best AHL team ever?
It’s not out of the question. I haven’t done a deep dive to see what the goal differential record is in the AHL, but their pace of about +120 will certainly be up there. The teams that come up in this conversation the most are the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers (57-13-10, 392 GF, +146 GD) and the 2009-10 Hershey Bears (60-17-0-3, 342GF, +144 GD).
What’s unique about the Marlies, however, is that they’re being carried by youth. Binghamton’s top 11 scorers started the season at 23 or older, as were Hershey’s top five. Meanwhile, the oldest regular Marlies player is Rich Clune at 28 years old, their top scorers are 19 and 22, and on the whole, they’re the AHL’s youngest team. They may not be the best team in AHL history, but they’re well on their way to being the best development-driven roster assembled in this league.
@thejustinfisher asked: Is Steven Stamkos too old?
Absolutely. I’ll go a step further; every Unrestricted Free Agent is too old. There’s a reason that nobody places restrictions on these players; teams who let them go understand that they’re too old, asking for too much money, and impossible to put on any sort of extended prospect rankings.
If the Leafs want to do this rebuild correctly, every drafted player will see their contract slide for two seasons, before signing a deal that brings them to their last RFA year. From there, they should be walked away from.
I see no reason to go through with this rebuild if the Leafs aren’t first on War-On-Ice and last on NHL Numbers.
@YakovMironov asked: If you could change one rule in the NHL to improve the game, what would it be?
I don’t know how much it would directly improve the game, but I’m all for removing the trapezoid. It’s addition was designed to speed up the pace of the game, presumably because it would allow for more success for teams that dump the puck.
Now that zone entry research has shown that carry-ins are vastly more effective, fewer good and entertaining teams are dumping as a strategy. Combine that with the fact that goaltenders have put less of an emphasis on puck playing skills over the past decade, and I’d imagine their ability isn’t quite where it was in the era of Brodeur, Turco, DiPietro, and the like. We might see some hilarious mistakes as a result.
You can bet on the NHL at Sports Interaction by following these 3 easy steps:
- Open a Sports Interaction account
- Deposit $20 or more and get an instant 100% Cash Bonus up to $200!
- Place a moneyline bet on any NHL game and if you don’t win, Sports Interaction will refund your bet up to $20!