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TLN Plays of the Week: July 9th

Another week is behind is in Leafs Nation, with all sorts of fun news and notes. For those of you who may have missed the action, let’s take a look back at some of the most popular posts on TLN over the past seven days!

Why the Patrick Marleau signing makes sense for the Maple Leafs

He also has a lot to teach on the ice. He’s been a noted hard worker throughout his career, has a deadly release, and to this day, still has top end speed and knows how to use it. I see him as an unbelievably great resource for a player like Mitch Marner, particularly in getting him to shoot more, and in being more disciplined without the puck. He also has a sense of defensive responsibility (usually hidden by unfavourable zone starts, reasonably tough minutes), that would be nice to see rub off on some of the other guys. He’s a Babcockian pro hidden in a legitimate player; pretty much a best case scenario. [Read More]

10 players left expendable by the current Leafs depth chart

Something will have to give at some point; there are simply too many players on the bubble to keep everybody happy; not to mention, keep the roster compliant by size or by cap hit. So, with that said, here’s a look at some players who might be in a bit of a bind moving forward. Note that, despite all the speculation involving moving 2018 UFAs James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak, I’m running with the idea that the Leafs might want to have a stacked Top 9 (and boy, is it ever stacked right now) and have left them off this list. [Read More]

Leafs UFA Review: An Inefficiently Efficient Week

On the Leafs’ end of things, their goal is to win hockey games, not win the best bang-for-buck award. While I’m probably one of the bigger proponents of “just get the best 20 players on the ice” you’ll find, an environment like that also has its fair share of diminishing returns; particularly when you have to change your system and play style to fit four lines and three pairs that are nothing alike. [Read More]

The Leafs became a “place to win” destination this summer

So, what does this mean for the Leafs future? Well, this probably helps their pedigree with signing big name players. And by this, I mean legitimate big name players, not David Clarkson. Players like that haven’t signed here in a long time, and with good reason. The team sucked, and their management was idiotic. Why would any player have signed with them if they wanted a cup? [Read More]

Paying the small price for utility

Going back to Hyman…well, he definitely does fit the style they want to play. It’s why Babcock gave him those even-strength minutes alongside Matthews and Nylander. Yes, we know he lacks a scoring touch, but it isn’t like the coaching staff is blind to that. Hyman’s ice time is mostly limited evens and penalty killing. Further to that, it isn’t like management is fooled and views him as something he’s not either. They didn’t pay him like a big-time scorer, they paid him TWO-POINT-TWO-FIVE MILLION A YEAR through his 25-to-28-year-old seasons, typically prime years. [Read More]

Thanks as always for reading, and we’ll be right back at it with new thoughts tomorrow morning!