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Jonday Mailbag

The Leafs fan base seems to be imploding after last week and the questions we’re getting seem to stem from that feeling. We’ll try and cool down the anger and send you off in a much more relaxed state of mind.

Woof. There’s an old proverb that states. “The best coach not in the NHL is the head coach of the Toronto Marlies.”

Okay, maybe we haven’t really gone nutty for a Marlies coach since Dallas Eakins, and to be fair you could make the case for Paul Maurice as one of the best coaches, but there really isn’t anything about Sheldon Keefe that should have us forcing Mike Babcock out in order to give him the Leafs head coaching job. Keefe might be a guy that gets a couple of interviews around the league this year based on his Calder Cup win last year, and a pretty impressive history with the Soo Greyhounds, but he’s far from a surefire hire this summer.

Keefe did very well last year with a stacked deck. He’s managed to keep the Marlies afloat this year with a roster that we’d expect of an AHL team. Perhaps the next step for Keefe is to join the Leafs coaching staff as an assistant, and work with NHL regulars in that limited capacity to round out his experience.

If he has success in that role he could very well be the best candidate for the Leafs head coaching job somewhere down the line, and if you see Babcock as returning next season (which besides internet griping, there’s been no reason to doubt he won’t be back), Keefe would have the opportunity to develop to become his successor.

There is also the question of if Keefe is the right guy for this roster and if at a time when the Leafs are becoming more competitive if a rookie head coach is the right decision.

Right now, I’m not sure Keefe should get much consideration from the Leafs.

Not really a question, but I’m glad you provided us with the update.

Well, everyone seems a bit excessive. Call me crazy, but I think the Leafs should probably hang on to Auston Matthews and John Tavares. Maybe even a couple of the other guys.

Kidding aside, I think the Leafs should trade a lot of players for a couple of reasons.

  1. Trades are entertaining to those of us who are undergoing the process of being uprooted from our homes and possibly moving our families to another country. If you can dehumanize the process, more trades in the NHL should be something we all want.
  2. If the roster you have isn’t winning, it seems foolish to sit idly by and hope that the same group yields better results next year.

Heading into next season the Leafs front office needs to look at who is absolutely vital to their success, who has the greatest potential to be a difference maker, who can be dealt to address the areas that the team needs to be addressed, and who are other teams overvaluing. Mix that and a lot of other stuff like salary cap and contract considerations and work those phones at a John Chayka pace.

If we’re talking per capita, I wouldn’t doubt that some fan bases could give the Leafs a run for their money, but when you are talking volume the Leafs can’t be matched. The Leafs fan base is large enough that every single aspect of the Leafs receives a large scale debate and I doubt any other fan base needs to suffer through the indignity of the sheer number of AHL takes that Leafs fandom has to.I’d also say no other fan base has the number of lunatics we do that are hellbent on running William Nylander out of town.

In saying all of this, I don’t want to live in a world where we don’t get to discuss and/or laugh at each other’s shitty takes. I just want to live in a world where we don’t take each other’s shitty takes so seriously.

Sports are a hobby/entertainment/distraction/etc. We are watching adults get paid millions of dollars to play a kids game and we often react to dissenting opinions on that hobby/entertainment/distraction in the most hostile way. I’ve stopped looking at twitter during games and it’s made Leafs fandom better. I think this year I’ll sit out free agency and the draft as well.

All that being said, I think Canucks fans deserve special recognition for how shitty they are.