The Caps have won the Cup, the Marlies are up 3-2 in the AHL, and we still have a couple weeks before the draft comes in and all of that offseason transaction hype begins. So, rumours are still floating around, so it’s time to dig into some offseason questions.
Why do people hate William Nylander all of a sudden?
— Ian Tulloch (@regressIan) June 11, 2018
So much talk about him being the odd man out, trading him to upgrade at D in the next couple years, whether or not he's worth the big extension…
The way I see it, him & Marner are basically the same player. https://t.co/PQBh9lEZ73
— Ian Tulloch (@regressIan) June 11, 2018
A lot of it probably has to do with the media looking at the team’s need for defense, and because they have to support their media friends in Edmonton, assuming that every defenseman needs to be traded for a Taylor Hall. The Leafs have three of those: Auston Matthews, who you don’t trade unless Babcock doesn’t like him; Mitch Marner, who’s Canadian and #clutch because he performed down the stretch; and William Nylander, who’s Swedish, didn’t put up as many points as Marner, and DOESN’T TRY HARD!
Much like Ian says here, I agree that Marner and Nylander are pretty similar players. While Marner put up eight more points than Nylander this year, Nylander actually had seven more even strength points than Marner. With two of the five players on Marner’s powerplay unit (most likely) leaving, it’d be interesting to see if Marner can repeat that kind of production on the power play.
Marner was phenomenal down the stretch this season and in the playoffs, but in 2016-17, Nylander did the same. Now, Marner is a whole year younger than Nylander, so he definitely has more upside in that regard.
Basically, it seems like people give Nylander the short end of the stick because he’s the European of the big three, and the old school media likes their Canadian players, especially on Canadian teams. However, I think Dubas knows better than to trade either of them, so in the end, it probably doesn’t even matter.
will Nylander get traded
— David Nestico (@davidnestico200) June 11, 2018
Continuing from the last question, I have a hot take: IF the Leafs had to trade one of Marner or Nylander, I’d trade Marner. Marner’s perceived value is much higher than Nylander’s, despite them being pretty similar players, and I think Nylander has a bit more value with the potential to be a center down the road.
Of course, that’s if I was the GM, and I had a gun to my head and they told me they’d shoot me if I didn’t trade one of them. It’d be a terrible idea to trade either of them, even if it’s to improve our defense, and I’d imagine neither of them are at risk of getting traded, because I don’t think management is that stupid.
in your opinion, which players from the Marlies will be promoted to the Leafs next year
— Luca Andreetta (@Luca_Andree19) June 11, 2018
Well, the Leafs are currently looking at five holes in their roster going into next season, with JVR, Bozak, Komarov, Plekanec, and Polak leaving. I have a feeling the Leafs are going to add one center this offseason through trade or free agency, so that leaves four holes.
In terms of forwards, Andreas Johnsson is a shoe-in, but that doesn’t really count because he’s already made the team anyways, and he also acts as Leo Komarov’s replacement. I could see two of Trevor Moore, Carl Grundstrom, and Miro Aaltonen also join the team to fill the other spots, but I could also see Josh Leivo or Par Lindholm take those spots too.
On defense, if the Leafs don’t address the hole externally, I could see Justin Holl, or even Timothy Liljegren coming up and filling in that spot. Depending on what happens to their defense, and if more holes are created, we could also see Rosen, Marincin, or Borgman fill in on the bottom pair as well. Oh, also Travis Dermott.
Even though there are no holes in goaltending, the performance of both Sparks and Pickard in the minors could mean that we might see McElhinney surpassed for the backup spot, so either of those players could potentially join the Leafs as well.
There are certainly a lot of options on the Marlies that could join the Leafs, part of the reason why the Marlies are doing so well this season.
cause it was two tired pic.twitter.com/2Ji0570WsH
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) June 11, 2018
This is a mailbag Chris, not a “give me your best joke” bag.
Which, if that’s it, that’s pretty sad.
Mitch Marner isn't getting anywhere near $10 million is he? I sure hope Dreger is wrong lol
— Daniel Tiller (@tiller_daniel) June 11, 2018
Yeah, he most likely isn’t. The fact that we’ve only been hearing this from Dreger should tell the whole story. Dregs hasn’t reported anything about the Leafs correctly since his cousin Dave Nonis was fired. Need we forget that he reported that the Leafs would be extending Lou Lamoriello, only for them to announce he would be promoted to senior advisor?
Maybe Marner will ask for $10 million, but I’m going to wait until I hear it from an insider that is #actuallygood at his job until I believe it.