I really hope the Predators take the momentum from Game 3 and carry it through the rest of the series. Nothing personal against the Penguins, but Nashville running the tables the rest of the way and winning on home ice would be fun to see. So, so fun.
While we await tonight’s game, though, I’ve reached into the mailbag to answer some of your questions, as we do every Monday at a completely random time. Let’s begin!
what are the chances the leafs actually land kovalchuk? What would we have to give up to get him?
— nick chapman (@leafs1523) June 4, 2017
I wouldn’t go betting money on it, but I think it’s higher than unrealistic. The Lamoriello connection is there, Toronto is a big enough city to pull him in from that perspective, they have the money to sign him short term, and the team is good enough for him to want to hop on board.
I can’t see the Leafs being inherently against adding him; his history within the NHL is a lot more positive than people given him credit for and making the team better at a minimal cost is always welcomed.
Cost is key here; if Kovalchuk gives a long list of teams he’ll go to and they’re all interested, it probably won’t be worth it, but if he finds Toronto to be his clear destination, it forces New Jersey’s hand and likely limits them to getting back a support player, B-prospect, or mid-round pick back. It can go a lot of ways still; I wouldn’t rule anything out.
how can we speed up time so I can figure out what D the Leafs will pick up this summer?
— Jon Gowing (@Gowing81) June 4, 2017
The weather’s been really nice lately. I’d suggest logging off and seeing the world for a bit; three and half weeks will fly by before you know it.
Should we be concerned about Hyman's next contract?
— Stephen Swales (@StephenSwales17) June 4, 2017
Probably not. The Leafs have a lot of leverage on him (his lack of NHL games for his age, his linemates, and the fact he didn’t score significantly given his usage) that will allow them to keep the AAV down. The term may be an issue, but I can’t see them going the distance on another displacement player, no matter how much they like him.
On July 1, should the Leafs invest $2M into a good backup or into depth down the middle?
— Matthew Gooding (@matthew_gooding) June 4, 2017
If it comes down to getting a centre that could mostly be described as depth or getting a reliable backup, I’d probably go for the latter. It’s easy to shelter the fourth line if you lose a centre for a couple of games; it’s hard to shelter a goaltender if Andersen drops out. I’m not sure that they have to make a move for another goaltender this summer (if Garret Sparks can stay healthy, he should be ready to take that role), but given the two options, I’m going for the option that can make a bigger difference in an emergency situation.
Who deserves to be the highest rated Leaf in NHL 18?
— Lucas (@DontBeSaad20) June 4, 2017
I think we’re due for another year where they give players overalls based on their roles. Remember when Colton Orr was a low 80s because he was considered a top enforcer that finished checks sometimes?
I look forward to 97 overall Matt Martin with that in mind.
Or in seriousness, probably Matthews or Andersen, with Matthews once again ending up with the best ultimate team card when all is said and done.