TLN Monday Mailbag: June 20th

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So, uhh… another lazy Monday? I can’t believe the Leafs didn’t make any moves at all. There is absolutely nothing to talk about today. Oh well. We’ll just have to settle for what’s in this mailbag over here.

*cough*

@__Pete__33 asked: If the Leafs don’t sign Steven Stamkos, what’s your second option? John Tavares in 2018 doesn’t count.

The thing with Stamkos is that he’s attractive to the Leafs because of his age and superstar status. 26-year-old Elite Forwards don’t hit the market ever year, or, well… ever. Outside of that, though, the Leafs don’t really need to come out swinging during free agency. Toronto’s benefit is that they have the cap flexibility to make serious power moves when the opportunity arises, and outside of Stamkos, there isn’t a power move to be made right now that won’t cost serious assets.

At that point, you either keep William Nylander at centre and lock up a low-cost right winger, or you make the transition anyway and hold onto Tyler Bozak for another year. The Leafs shouldn’t just go out and overpay for a second-tier talent just because they lost out on the cream of the crop. That’s how you get yourself in trouble in the long run.

@ReasonableOnion asked: Which Leafs prospect, fringe or otherwise, is most likely to be traded this season?

I’d expect Stuart Percy to be in some sort of trade package by the start of the fall. I had high hopes for him, but it seems that his progression as a player has stalled in the past two years, and his head injuries certainly haven’t helped him. He’s expansion draft eligible soon to be waiver eligible as well, meaning that the Leafs could lose him for nothing if the team doesn’t make a move in the next few months. 

@ChewieD23 asked: Do you think the Leafs have any Left Wingers in their system who can be effective on the first line when the team is competitive?

Big lines don’t need three star forwards. They need three guys who can hold the game above water, but not every team is the 2007 Ottawa Senators and the Leafs don’t need to have a Dany Heatley. Assuming Toronto throws Nylander and Marner over to the right side and has Matthews and… a great centre in the middle, then having a useful but not star tier left winger could make sense. In that case, somebody like Andreas Johnson, Connor Brown or Dmytro Timashov could fit the billing.

Of course, if there’s a magic fountain of cheap, elite left wingers, adding one would be awesome too. 

@cameron_rennie asked: Who would you prefer for the Leafs? Tyson Barrie, Hampus Lindholm, or Seth Jones?

I’m pretty okay with the Leafs not going after a defenseman this offseason (we’ll go into more detail in the answer below), but if they were, Barrie would likely come at the lowest cost. Lindholm is the best of the two speculated defencemen, that Anaheim has in their pocket and they one they most want to keep, so his cost won’t come cheap. Jones’ relatively recent debut in Columbus will mean that it would take a significant trade haul or a big offer sheet to pull him away. I’m not convinced that the Avalanche have it in them to play hardball right now, especially with the gossip that the team wants to “go for it” as soon as possible. If the Leafs can pitch them assets that they feel help them now, that would probably be the best way of maximizing value while still acquiring a player in their class.

@HockeyMadness19: Who would you give up for Frederik Andersen and Cam Fowler?

Similar goes for Fowler. I thought the world of him in his draft year, but believe it or not, it’s already been six years. Today, the jury is still wondering if he’s more than a middling possession player, and while he’s a safe bet for 30 points a year, it’s been a few years since he’s chased 40. Is that worth giving up big assets for, especially since it would effectively lock in Toronto’s three protected defencemen for the Expansion draft? I’m not sold.

If you think you can shuffle around some of the mid-tier roster players and B prospects that look closer to longshots to make it happen, sure. But Anaheim will likely get better offers and that’s okay. The Leafs in a position where they don’t have to settle for “good enough” right now.

As for Andersen, probably the 30th overall pick and a second rounder in 2017. I’d also give him a 5-year extension at about $5 million per.

  • FlareKnight

    That is a surprisingly specific answer for an Andersen trade. I sure hope the Leafs make a trade for him so we can compare how that turns out…

    Good responses as usual. Kind of agree that Percy seems like a guy who will get moved. Just doesn’t seem like he’s going to make that jump and would be good to free up some contract spots.

    • Gary Empey

      Certainly a question that is on some peoples minds. Lamoriello does not seem to mess around, dragging out trade deals or contracts. He offers what he feels is a fair deal for the team and the players. So far players and their agents seem to agree with him that the offer is fair.

      • Hi Team,
        I agree with your assessment of Lou and the price of a 30th overall pick, but as a fanboy, the deal seems over confident and very aggressive. If we follow the “goalies are voodoo” narrative proliferated on the nation sites, then why aren’t the Leafs leveraging their RFA position to “wait and see” when the team will be average/bad for a few seasons. If we feel he’s stealing games during the rebuild, and our 25 million boy who has been in the 1A/B role on a good team, is still a difference maker well… If he’s good, then “the team”, our Leafs, might also be good, then let’s talk contract Freddie! My personal, (and unresearched), opinion is that average/good goalies are always available during the summer because they aren’t rare. Question? When was the last sellers goalie market? The market has changed recently to reflect the surplus of league average goaltending, if Anderson is the real deal then 5 million is below elite salary, but if he’s average then we are overpaying.. My hope, is that Lou is riding an inside lane and the Schneider scenario is happening. That is 100% hope and a jinx.

        • Gary Empey

          My thinking was along the same lines of yours. I assumed the Leafs would have a very hard time acquiring a young promising goalie. Even if one became available the price would be crippling to the rebuild.

          Re- contract

          Andersen was a restricted free agent this year. Leafs could of went the arbitration route. I would liken that to telling a woman on a first date that “you really like her” and proposing to have sex with her for 6 months and then if she passes the test, at that point you would be prepared to have her sign a Prenuptial Agreement.

          Frederik Andersen could have become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but was willing to give up four UFA years as part of this deal.

          Leafs say they have done their research and homework on this guy. They have been watching him for months. All his tapes from Team Denmark and Sweden. Including what he does off ice when not playing hockey. Lamoriello even snuck into the ACC one morning when the Ducks were in town, to watch his morning skate routine. The whole management team was on board with this signing. Lamoriello says he loves the fact he elevates his games in playoffd. Most of us have forgotten what playoff really are.
          ——————-

          TSN’s Bob McKenzie offered some thoughts on the price of the trade as well:

          For those saying TOR price on Andersen was extremely high, no one would have batted an eye if Leafs used 30th pick to take 18 yr old G…

          So the question becomes, would you pay an extra 2nd-rd pick to get a 26-yr-old with 125 NHL reg season games instead of the 18 yr old?

          —————
          I will probably re-post this in a new spot.

  • Gary Empey

    Attention!! No one is losing any player for nothing in the expansion draft.

    All teams will be selling a decent player for 15 million, cold, hard American greenbacks/