Monday Mailbag: Nylander Watch Week Begins

Closure. It’s coming this week. Closure is good. We get all move on with our lives, unless we don’t. Who knows. Let’s answer questions…

I’d say it’s 50/50. He’s either going to or he isn’t. Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of signing Nylander.

Pro: William Nylander is amazing and will play hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Con: We won’t get to speculate about contracts any more and the eliminates all content from this site

Pro: Between Marner, Nylander, and Kapanen, it appears that each of Tavares, Matthews, and Kadri will have a competent RW.

Con: Nylander coming back wouldn’t bump Ron Hainsey or Nikita Zaitsev out of the lineup

Pro: A signed Nylander is leverage for negotiating with Marner

Con: A signed Nylander means less money for others

Pro: He’s an exciting player to watch

Con: Trades are exciting and fun to talk about

Prediction: Nylander will sign a deal that no one is really excited about on December 1st, and we’ll all move on to talking about how it’s crazy that Mike Babcock is giving Connor Brown more icetime than Nylander.

Absolutely no in Toronto should say no to this, largely because of the fact that we’ve got years of evidence that Nikita Zaitsev is not a very good NHL defenseman.

Wait, I should rephrase that. We know that Nikita Zaitsev is not a top four defenseman on good NHL team, but he’d be a perfectly fine bottom pairing guy, albeit an expensive one. For a team like the Oilers, Zaitsev would be able to handle that 4th spot as capably as he has in Toronto, but it’s safe to say that as much as we don’t like Zaitsev, he’d be an upgrade over Kris Russell.

It also should be a no-brainer for the Leafs to want Puljujarvi, a sizable winger who has been misused and victimized by Edmonton’s piss-poor prospect development.

That said, the person who says no is Peter Chiarelli. There aren’t a whole lot of Russian players in Chiarelli’s past, and it’s safe to say that he’s not comfortable with them. Leafs might have better luck trying to pull off Ron Hainsey for Jesse Puljujarvi. Maybe thrown in Connor Brown to sweeten the pot.





I’m going to start with the necessary disclaimer that I in no way wish to see any player injured long term, and I know that disclaimer also applies to Kid K. since he’s definitely a better person than I am.

That said, we are very much living in the world where something drastic needs to be done to rid the Leafs of Nikita Zaitsev in the near future. Quite simply he’s not good enough to used the way he’s being used. He isn’t a brilliant defensive zone player. He’s by no means a competent puck mover, and there is no way anyone should be comfortable with Zaitsev making $4.25M a year until the end of time.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where Mike Babcock will play Zaitsev 20 minutes a night, every night, until 10 years after he’s dead. Looking at the post Lidstrom Red Wings, Babcock turned Kronwall into a 24 minute a night defenseman, and gave Jonathan Ericsson 21 minutes a night. He was certainly limited on options there too, but the blueliners that Babcock gravitates towards should scare the shit out of us.

The only way we’re going to stop seeing Zaitsev every night is by Dubas stepping up and trading Nikita. The only way that Mike Babcock is going to be happy with that is Zaitsev’s replacement is a similar type of comfort food. That’s probably why Leafs fans have overly invested in trading for a Canes defenseman.

League parity ruins a lot of the fun of early speculation since it’s difficult to guess who is going to be out of the playoff picture a few months from now. That said, I love guessing blindly and think the Leafs are in a situation where rentals make a ton of sense for them, especially since they have a ton of cap space this season, but their cap reality is very different next year.

The name that immediately comes to mind is Jason Spezza, since he’s optimal forward depth that should be available for a reasonable price.

It also seems reasonable that the Blues won’t be doing anything this year, and Jay Bouwmeester is a rental defenseman that has the potential to make Mike Babcock very happy.

If we’re going for a more exciting option, I’ll throw Wayne Simmonds into the mix, as there shouldn’t be a single person on the planet who objects to the idea of acquiring Wayne Simmonds.

Alex Petrovic is an affordable right handed defenseman that the Leafs should be sniffing around a little, although I’d make the case that he’s someone they should look at sooner rather than later.

And lastly, just because I really like him, I’ll add Brian Boyle to mix.


On the 69th day of the year at 4:20.

This is a very important question, and one that we should spend some real time on.

First things first, The Beatles aren’t a boy band. Stop. We get it, you’re a millennial and you want to attack what Baby Boomers hold most dear, but with this take you’ll only make yourself look stupid.

For basic arguments sake, I’m saying that a boy band is a group that doesn’t rely on instrument ability from their membership, and that their songs involve the group harmonizing.

So for me that makes my short list of the best boy bands of all time, ‘N Sync, New Edition, New Kids on the Block, and Bell Biv Devoe. Let’s break them down one by one.

Bell Biv Devoe is not my favourite boy band, but they deserve heavy consideration because Poison is a straight up banger. Just typing Bell Biv Devoe meant I had to put on Poison and listen to it again because it’s that great. Favourite boy band song, sure, but not my favourite boy band.

‘N Sync is largely on this list because I’d have to be mad to at least not consider them. Their popularity did not coincide with a time that I could appreciate any boy band type music, so they never belonged to me. That said, Timberlake is incredibly gifted and carried the rest of the group well. Timberlake’s best stuff is still ‘N Sync stuff.

New Edition makes this list entirely for Candy Girl. Candy Girl is the shit.

The first concert I ever went to was a New Kids on the Block concert and for that reason they will always hold a special place in my heart. The main reason the concert was a positive experience though was because we went to Fuddruckers before, and then to Chi-Chi’s after for fried ice cream. The NKOTB barely factored into the night.

That being said, with the exception of Poison, Cover Girl might be my next favourite boy band song. Combine a great song with a feeling of nostalgia, and NKOTB is the winner. Now I just need to make peace with my distaste for the Wahlbergs.

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