Mailbag: Questions about Vegas edition

In a cruel twist of fate, the Vegas Golden Knights, who didn’t even exist 12 months ago, now are off to their first ever Stanley Cup Final.

So we naturally got a bunch of questions about them, but we’ll lead with something else.

Similar in usage, play style, and projected ceiling, Kappy and Andreas both saw limited action in Toronto this season, each becoming regulars by playoff time. There’s still a few questions left unanswered about the Leafs’ roster makeup, but it’s likely these two slot into the opening day roster come October.

The boring, but more likely correct answer for who will have a better season? Probably Kapanen. He’s had more of an opportunity to impress Mike Babcock, more NHL experience, and came into the system as a more highly-touted prospect than Johnsson. Not going to toss out predictions for stats right now, but if there’s a tie between the two, Kapanen probably gets the benefit of the doubt.

Keep it internal and re-sign… Tyler Bozak? Why not?

What if all the hype of Bozak being an addition to any team doesn’t quite pan out, and he’s searching for a cheaper contract this offseason? He may not be wildly effective, but he worked well enough on one of the league’s better third lines this year.

If you must want to think of someone outside of the organization, why not take a look at a guy like Paul Stastny?

The Avalanche-turned-Blue-turned-Jet forward put up 53 points this year, and likely won’t be raking in the 7 million he made in each of the past four seasons. At age 32, the Leafs wouldn’t have to necessarily spend tons to lock him up for a few seasons, and he’d slot in nicely as depth scoring behind Kadri and Matthews.

Can anything really explain it better than Marc-Andre Fleury?

I mean, have you checked out his Goals Saved Above Average? Ludicrous.

Which nickname is worse? Both of them.

Which player cracks the Leafs’ roster next season? We’ll lean Lindholm, solely because the NHLe model (which converts points from various leagues and converts them to the NHL level) told us to.

For those curious, Aaltonen comes out with an NHLe of… 25.7.

What’s wild is that you could have asked the same question a year ago, but in relation to picking up cheap depth options from the expansion draft. We’re not 100% sure if that’s the direction this is heading, but we’d like if McPhee could gift us the league’s next surprising breakout star. Reid Duke, anyone?