Our fearless leader is trapped in Buffalo with the Wi-Fi and quality of life you’d expect out of Buffalo so he was unable to post today’s roundtable. He did however manage to hand us down an interesting question to wrestle with our minds…
if you could bring back one leafs player cult hero/ fan favourite for the rest of the season (in their prime), who would it be and why?
(No mats/ Darryl/ borje/ Dougie etc. Minimum second liner)
So with Kessel, Gilmour, Sittler, Bower, Salming, Keon, etc. off the table, we started out on our hypothetical journeys to name that player. Since we’re all a bunch of filthy millennials here, most of the players are from the very recent Leafs history, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fill up our comment sections with tales of Jaime Macoun, Bobby Baun, and Slappy Flannigan (I can’t confirm that is a real player, but I’ll assume someone named Slappy Flannigan played for the Leafs at some point between the 20s-50s).
Scottie 2 Hottie
Even though he hasn’t been gone for very long, I’d bring back James Reimer. He was always my favourite Leaf in the Carlyle era, and it was a shame that he had to leave right before the Leafs became #actuallygood. Even if he was just a backup, I’d take him back in a heartbeat.
I would bring back Pavel Kubina. If the Leafs can’t pry Kris Letang out of Pittsburgh or Erik Karlsson out of Houston, they’ll need to find help on the blue line somehow. While it didn’t work out the way they’d intended it, I’d like to see Kubina don the Blue and White again, this time while the Leafs are actually good and he can maybe stabilize the back end a little. The only downside would be having to deal with him being a healthy scratch more often than not while Roman Polak lugs himself up and down the ice.
Joey Joe Joe
I was going to say James Reimer since I loved that guy even those teams were pretty terrible. But, I’m gonna change it up because that’ll be a popular one. Give me 2010-11 Clarke MacArthur (getting to the specific year, too). He was second in team scoring with 62 points, two behind Phil Kessel. He deserved a better team then that one. That team had like Kris Versteeg centering Kessel and Lupul. He doesn’t deserve that. Put Mac in Komarov’s spot next to Kadri and now we’re talking. Also, this is me giving a stick tap to a guy whose career was crushed by concussions. Always liked him so that’s my choice.
With all due respect to Dmitri Yushkevich who I gave heavy consideration to for this, I’ve chosen to go with Daniil Markov. Clearly the Leafs want to have someone with an edge on the blueline and Markov in his prime is an upgrade over whatever the hell Roman Polak is supposed to be (Markov not his prime.) Markov hits like a truck, agitates the hell out of his opponents (maybe he can be an excuse for benching Komarov too) and plays a no nonsense defensive game that is like comfort food to a coach. The game has certainly changed since when Markov played but I wouldn’t consider him strictly a stay at home guy. He can skate, he can make the first pass. You’re probably not using him on the power play, but his head for the game rarely sees him out of position. Plus he’s fun. I like fun.