TLN Monday Mailbag: December 5th

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Matt Hunwick isn’t at practice today. Matt Martin isn’t at practice today. Peter Holland isn’t at practice today. IS IT A BLOCKBUSTER TRADE?! Nah, probably not. Probably just maintenance for the former two and Holland doing his best to not get hurt before being moved. But it’s fun to speculate in the meantime, no?

Anyway, it’s Monday, so I’ve reached into the mailbag and grabbed a few of your questions to answer.


The situation isn’t quite as dire as it looks as. As you allude to, Nylander is better suited to playing centre, and players like Brown, Soshnikov, Kapanen, Korshkov, and Johnsson are all capable of playing on the left side.

At some point, a few of these players will end up being moved, or moved on from, depending on where they are in their development. It’s just the reality of the situation. That should be seen as a good though, though; it gives Toronto the potential to fill areas of weakness using an abundance of assets, and also allows for them to run a chain of cost-controlled talent as the rest of the young core beings to receive new contracts.


I doubt that’s the direction they’re looking at. The reality of the matter is that those running the team are talking about this team as one that should be winning games, and that they have a goal of winning a lot of games. If they were intentionally playing players they thought weren’t as good solely for the sake of creating value, that would go against that.

There probably isn’t a Corrado sheltering plan. They likely just don’t believe he’s good (but also believe him to be better than the waiver wire). If a vet gets moved, it’s likely because someone swooped in with an offer that exceeds his worth, not because they’re planning for such a scenario.


Dermott was injured in a game against the Albany Devils on October 29th. There isn’t a public timeline for his return yet and William Wrenn has been playing in his place. You obviously don’t want any of your prospects getting injured, but as far as worrying goes, I’d wait until he returns to the lineup to start getting a feel for whether it’s caused a setback beyond time.


According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the arbitrator’s decision is due by Wednesday. I’d assume we’ll hear something this week, as a result.


Always the best player available, my friend. As mentioned in the Right Wing question, you can always trade from positions of strength to fill positions of weakness. Getting 11 defencemen doesn’t matter if you’re picking solely for position and end up with eight ECHLers and a couple of career Marlies; the goal is to turn your picks into as much combined NHL impact as possible and best player available is the easiest way to do that.

The defence will get better. They’re one pair away. Don’t let your mind get too far astray.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    I think the Leafs will be drafting the best defencemen and the best centers available this year. If the best available player happens to be a winger then it would exacerbate the growing problem of having too many wingers ready to continue their development at the NHL level. It will be hard to get full value when trading these wingers as they haven’t yet proven themselves in the NHL. There is a risk of inadvertently trading away a future NHL allstar. If it ends up in a situation where there is really a huge difference between the best player being a winger than the next rated player then I expected the Leafs would attempt to move down in the draft. I don’t believe that ” always take the best player available” should be written in stone. There are far too many cases where the so called best player available turned out not to be the best player at all. Particularly when it comes to drafting D-men. Folks get mesmerized at goals and assists of the top junior forwards. This is where one’s scouting staff must be top notch. I think ours is. Projecting the development of a junior defenceman is much harder than projecting a forward. So using the other logic draft as many D-men as you can hoping a couple will work out can also make some sense. Most of the top four D-men seem to have been picked long after the top scoring forwards.

    Re- “you can always trade from positions of strength to fill positions of weakness.”. That only goes so far. If you are looking for a top pairing or even a top four defenceman you will not likely acquire one with a good prospect.. The Leafs would have to part with a Nylander, Marner, or Matthews, plus likely include a decent prospect to close the deal. Seth Jones went for Ryan Johansen a #1 center. Adam Larsson,went for Taylor Hall a top ten scorer.

    Caveat…. The upcoming expansion draft may force teams to lower their asking price for a top four and prospects automatic exclusion from that draft should increase their value. Because of the required exposure rules some teams who would really like to acquire a top four D-man will not be able to cut a deal without exposing one themselves. The Leafs have made sure they can take advantage of this unusual situation.