This stretch of so few games is good for the sake of the team getting rest, but boring as heck for the sake of watching the most entertaining and actually good hockey team alive (TM). While we wait for Tuesday, I reached into the mailbag and grabbed some questions to respond to.
— Joel Hollinger (@joelhollinger) November 27, 2016
Term will almost definitely have to be multi-year, if only to buy as many UFA years as possible. The salary is a good question, and honestly, one that we don’t have a ton of comparables for. Players jumping across the pond at 24 aren’t exactly common, and ones who make immediate impacts even less so. Given Rielly and Gardiner’s deals in the same room, though, I can’t imagine you’re looking at more than $4-5 million unless he absolutely dominates down the stretch.
— Graeme Nishida (@graemenishida91) November 27, 2016
The thing about Matt Martin is that he isn’t actually terrible. In a no-cap league, he’d be pretty low on the list of concerns. I didn’t like that he was causing more trouble than he was defending earlier in the season, but beyond that, he’s a pretty par for the course depth forward who is relentless on the forecheck and can drop the mitts when needed.
The greater issue is that players can do similar, if not add greater impact, for less money and/or shorter term. But that’s not on him, and that doesn’t make him a bad hockey player. There are higher immediate priorities on the team as far as improvement than his 4LW spot; though obviously, should an opportunity arise, you go for it.
— Michigan should be 4 (@FanuteTheCoupe) November 27, 2016
It’s great to see Naz get the credit he’s deserved for a long time as a higher-end two-way forward. Everybody is yelling “surprise!”, but I’m not surprised; perception, opportunity, and description go a long way.
In regards to Kapanen, I’d say next year out of training camp is the earliest you see him join the roster regularly. He’s been lights out with the Marlies, one of the best players in the AHL, but having a year to dominate and really build up offensive confidence would do him a world of good, and arguably already has.
— Matthew Hedge (@Hedgery) November 27, 2016
I don’t think you even have to call anybody up from the Marlies in this scenario. Toronto is already at a “full 23 man roster”, aka 23 and a curiously hurt Josh Leivo. Putting Peter Holland into Smith’s spot and, as much as he’s struggled a bit this year, Marincin back in the 3LD spot is probably the best course of action; there isn’t a Marlies centre who I’m 100% more confident in to take the role yet and throwing a Valiev, Dermott, or Nielsen into the defensive fire seems like an unnecessary rush. Shift the scratches, don’t look below.
— dasilvar93 (@dasilvar93) November 27, 2016
Sign James van Riemsdyk. Not until the end of time, but a short-mid term extension that gives them a chance to move on once the younger core’s dollars pile up. Trade Bozak while his value is at its highest. Leo can ride off into the sunset while Brendan Leipsic shows up and does the same thing but with more points and fewer spoken languages.