Monday Mailbag: UFA Interview Week Edition

The draft is over. We’ve talked about it an awful lot around here, built up our expectations to insane levels, and brought ourselves back down to earth and realized it went pretty well. Now it’s time to do that with free agency. Our team Slack is filled with writers tracking down of of John Tavares third cousins, wedding guests, and co-workers of his parents to establish insights into whether the Leafs will finally land their local boy marquee free agent. Right now all signs point to perhaps.

Now your questions…

Korostelev has moved on to the KHL. Dzierkals is trying to find his footing in the AHL, but looks like the AHL might be his long term landing spot, so he might as well be treated as good as gone too.

Korshkov is under contract for one more season in the KHL and I’m willing to bet that if he isn’t interested in coming over at that time, it’s time get our eggs out of that basket too. The difference between Korshkov and the the other two forwards you listed is that he seems like he might have some value as a sizable winger in the bottom nine forward group for the Leafs in the near future. Giving up on him would hurt, especially when you consider the players still available to the Leafs when they selected him.

I confess to not knowing a ton about Greenway, beyond the fact that he’s stepped away from a strong NCAA program for personal reasons and will be playing in the USHL next season. That doesn’t look good, but I’m not ready to write him off yet.

Joseph Woll is still a very promising goaltending prospect, that I am very excited about. He is a goaltender however, so I could be very wrong about him, but the excitement about him remains. I probably should have started with him because he’s the bright spot of that list.

I guess I’d be willing to swap out Nielsen and give them Bracco instead.

Kidding aside, let’s get weird with this.

Carolina is overhauling everything, and seemingly willing to acquire everything, but the one thing they certainly need is goaltending and one contract they’d love to unload is Scott Darlings.

So let’s start with the deal being Faulk and Darling to the Leafs and drive down that asking price a little.

Here’s what the Scott Darling buyout would look like according to NHLNumbers:

That’s a hefty plenty, but the worst year of it seems like it has the potential to be lost to a locked out season (so, YAY?). Taking that kind of penalty should make Faulk affordable, and that’s where a Brown, Leivo, Sparks package seems fair-ish.

I’m sure I’m still underselling Faulk, but I thought I’d at least go a slightly different route than Bobby Cappucino.

I really don’t think Tavares is signing a 1 year deal, but if he does my answer is…

It’s better to get Tavares at what he’s going to really cost and start those seven years now, so I’m going to ignore the 1 year deal aspect of the question and look at where the $11M-ish of cap space will come from…

  1. Marleau will be dealt after this year. Likely back to San Jose so he can retire there. The Sharks will take him because it’s only $1.25M of salary after his signing bonus has been paid. And if the Sharks don’t want that, someone else will.
  2. Martin will be gone as well, if he’s not gone this summer. After his signing bonus is paid, he’s on $750k of salary, and someone will take that too.
  3. Wishful thinking about the rising salary cap. It’s not going to be $4.5M like this year, but a couple of million still helps.

We’re basically at the $10-11M range just off of that, so unless Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and Gardiner really take the Leafs to the cleaners, adding in one more big name seems possible. If not you still have Zaitsev to try and ship out.

I’m pretty great.

Part of me wants to be very dismissive of this, and a bigger part of me really wants to believe in this. So I’m going to answer this for real. We get Parayko when we’re willing to give up Nylander as part of that deal.

I am not saying 1 for 1. I’m not speculating at what the bigger deal would look like, but I think Parayko is one of those rare players that would check all the boxes for Dubas and Babcock, and they’d work hard to make it happen.

[Narrator]: It didn’t happen.

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