New year, same old mailbag. We wanted questions, and you gave us some to answer, a lot of them talking about trading, but usually for different people.
Can the Leafs find a sucker to take Zaitsev's contract in the offseason?
— Daniel Tiller (@tiller_daniel) January 7, 2019
Yes, his name rhymes with Jeter Cirelli.
In all seriousness, it’s probably not all that likely to happen. His contract has gone from not good at the time of signing to straight up awful, and with five years after this season left, it would take an idiot to take on that contract.
What is the meaning of life?
— The Leafs IMO (@TheLeafsIMO) January 7, 2019
who, if any of the players having career years Mitch, Auston, Rielly, JT, Kappy, Johnsson will have as good or better seasons next year?
— joe shedler (@JoeShedler) January 7, 2019
It will obviously depend on how they finish their seasons, but I’ll operate under the assumption that their current scoring paces will continue.
Marner, Rielly, and Tavares will probably be a bit worse next year just because they’re all having career years. Tavares and Rielly are both in their prime, which means totals like these are likely going to be their peak. Marner could be a different case, considering he’s only 21, but I’d have a hard time betting that anyone not named Connor McDavid tops 110 points as their career highs.
Auston probably gets better mainly because we haven’t had a full season from him for two seasons, so we haven’t truly seen what he can do over the course of 82 games.
Kapanen’s 28 goal, 50 point pace is the kind of production many saw as close to his ceiling, so it’s likely that he might be having his career year, but at 22, there might be more in him.
Johnsson’s starting to enter his prime at 24, so it’s likely that the production we’re seeing from him this year is what we can expect for the next few seasons. He’s like Zach Hyman, if Zach Hyman had any finishing ability in him.
Moore has 3 pts in 5 games on the 4th line. The 4th line….let that sink in. What do you think about switching him and Johnsson for a couple of games? See how Moore does with Matthews. He has earned a small look and Johnsson who has 3 pts in last 5 games but playing on top line!
— Maple Leaf Fan (@Maple_Leaf_Fan) January 7, 2019
As great as Moore’s been, Johnsson has been excellent in the top nine, no matter where he’s played. If any player should swap out of the top nine, it’s the guy who’s on the fourth line in a healthy lineup in Connor Brown. Brown’s only had 3 goals this season, so he could probably be replaced a bit easier in the top nine.
Zaitsev+Johnsson for Pesce or Faulk +Ferland?
— Robbin’Hood (@StCloudyCoffee) January 7, 2019
First off, wrong right handed defenseman from Carolina. If the Leafs should be going for anyone, it should be Dougie Hamilton.
Second off, that is not enough for Pesce or Faulk alone, never mind with Ferland. That’s not gonna happen in our wildest dreams.
How does this effect the Matthews and Marner extensions?
— Big Oilers Guy (@oilerfansince97) January 7, 2019
What exactly is “this” referring to in this scenario?
Did John Tavares ever meet up with the Montreal Canadiens this summer ?
How many seasons until McDavid leaves the oilers , 1 or 2 ?
— Carson Rotar (@codogggg) January 7, 2019
My sources tell me that Tavares did not want an interview with the Montreal Canadiens.
I’d imagine McDavid lasts longer than two more seasons. The Oilers would be idiotic to trade McDavid without firing Chiarelli, although if there’s anyone dumber than Chiarelli, it’s the guys above him. But, they’d just hire someone just as incompetent, and the same problem would exist. So, I’ll say he requests to be left unprotected in the expansion draft, and becomes the cornerstone piece for the Seattle Kraken.