In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Trade Deadline SZN, and in our attempt to milk every last drop of potential content out of this event, we did a mailbag! So let’s dive in to answering your questions and reviewing your trade proposals.
Mark: Yes, the Wild are for real. Adding a gamebreaking talent like Kaprizov has completely altered the Wild’s look and they are getting excellent goaltending from Talbot and Kahkkonen.
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Hall, hands-down. There’s a couple of lazy narratives going around about Hall: one is that he has only 2 goals this season and the other is that “his teams don’t win”. Allow me to bust those. Firstly, Hall is shooting at one-fourth of his career shooting average so this is bound for a regression. Secondly, an individual does not make a team. EDM to NJD to ARI to BUF is a murderer’s row of bad teams to play for, and having a winger single-handedly propel a bad team to success is a rare thing. Hall has a huge disparity between his actual goal share (37.6 GF%) and expected goal share (51.5 xGF%) which speaks to some rotten luck. On a new team, with the forwards that the Leafs have, Hall could explode offensively.
Michael: Considering how much the Islanders overpaid for Palmieri, I’d go with Hall. You also need to consider that the latter would likely see his production increase with better line mates and on a contender.
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Palmieri may do the same, but I think Hall would be the better rental in the long run.
Earl: Minnesota is for real, I said before the season Kaprizov’s closest comparable is Panarin, and it has changed the complexion of the whole team. Too many names to mention but I’m a fan of Greenway, Soucy, Kahkonen.
I guess with Palms traded I’d rather Hall, I think it should cost less.
Nick B: I’m struggling to say find answers to say no. With the way Kirill Kaprizov is playing this season, plus the two netminders, it seems like they could be real. And in terms of Taylor Hall or Kyle Palmieri, i’d take Taylor (H)all day. Although he’s struggling to put up points, he’s shooting at 2.3% while his career shooting percentage is 10%. He’s a player who’s on a struggling team and if you place him in the Leafs’ top-six, it becomes even more deadly.
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Jon: I refuse to believe that the Wild are for real. Kaprizov is definitely proving himself to be an elite offensive player, and Kahkkonen is a promising goaltender and that has jumped this team past their expectations for the year, but overall they remain a collection of question marks that are having things go their way. Also Spurgeon is very good, so even if they aren’t real, they are looking like a team to worry about for the foreseeable future.
Also, I’m going to throw some cold water on Hall in your second question, and say that Dubas isn’t going this route. Hall is definitely better and will require a higher price than Palmieri, but I don’t think Dubas is in any rush to deal with Darren Ferris again.
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Michael: He seems to be the most obvious pick to be moved out in a trade because of his cap space being in the middle ground spot of not being an anchor on the roster but not at league minimum. If a team is able to give a player who has a similar cap hit, you need to move someone to make it fair and that’s why Kerfoot is the only player that fits the bill.
Mark: Piggybacking off of what Michael said, Kerfoot is the most highly-paid member of our bottom six. If the Leafs need to move salary, he’s the most likely choice. I like the player and feel he gets unfairly criticized a lot, but at the end of the day I think the Leafs could survive without him.
Earl: It’s possible for sure, but I don’t think the Leafs are looking to move Kerfoot. With the core locked up it’s easy to forget just how many forwards the Leafs have approaching UFA. Kerfoot is proving he’s worth the contract, Toronto will have no trouble protecting him in expansion, it seems like their deadline plans don’t involve moving anyone out at the deadline
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Nick B: At points, I do. But I don’t believe he’ll be moved. The Leafs currently have 1.78M in cap space as they near the deadline and since Toronto has Brandon Pridham, it really seems like anything can happen
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Jon: The reality is that if the Leafs are looking to add, someone is going to need to come out of the lineup, and arguably there isn’t a whole lot that Kerfoot is providing the Leafs with that isn’t already being provided by Engvall, Mikheyev, and could be provided by Joe Thornton if they transitioned him towards more of a depth defensive type role. Kerfoot’s salary also frees the Leafs up to do a lot more at the deadline if he is moved, but I don’t think the Leafs are looking to subtract anywhere, and would rather have his depth. The thing about Kerfoot sticking around is that, if they need to waive someone out of the lineup to make room for any new players, because of Kerfoot’s salary, he’s the one most likely to clear. There’s also the fact that he’s expansion draft fodder as well, and that’s important. I don’t think Kerfoot is completely off the table, but I don’t think he’s being shopped. If he is being shopped, he needs to be treated as an asset though, and not a salary dump because he is a reasonably priced player that can help teams.
Mark: I feel the Leafs should be taking bigger swings than this.
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Michael: Wouldn’t mind Scissons, but this trade doesn’t excite me that much. Might be worth looking at in the off-season though.
Earl: I don’t think the Preds are considering selling any more. Sissons doesn’t move the needle a whole lot, and he’s got 6 years on his deal. Not a deadline move imo.
Nick B: Taylor Hall or nothing at (h)all.
Jon: The idea of the Preds eating half of his salary for the next six years would be interesting, and he’d become a very reasonably priced, usable bottom six player, but I’d have to believe that a 2nd round pick can be better spent, not that Sissons should cost that much.
Michael: If Kyle Dubas agreed to that deal, he should be fired. I’ll pass.
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Mark: I can’t tell if this is overrating Ullmark, treating Andersen like a cap dump, or all of the above. Huge overpayment by the Leafs.
Earl: I would rather just make no trades this deadline, Taylor Hall isn’t 2018 Hall.
Nick B: Giving up two first-round picks, Alexander Kerfoot and Frederik Andersen (UFA) up for two UFA’s really isn’t worth it for the Leafs. Kerfoot’s value is still pretty high and I wouldn’t want Toronto giving him up for really, just one playoff run. I still think Frederik Andersen, when healthy, in either a tandem or the backup spot is a lot better than this trade. They should get Hall though. Please and thank you.
Jon: If you want to make me cry real tears you make a trade using the 2022 1st round pick. I’m also confused why Kerfoot is in there, if you’ve already moved Andersen’s salary. There’s also the matter of the cost of rentals this year being established as a much lower price than that. In short, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
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Michael: That’s gonna be a no for me.
Mark: Is Montour an upgrade on any of our top-6 D?
Earl: depends on if Montour is a rental or not. I’ve seen mixed reviews on him, playing in Buffalo makes it really tough to look like a good defenceman. If you’re convinced Montour is a top 4 D, then you’re going to lose a quality D in the expansion draft anyways. If you’re looking at him as a rental, how big of an improvement on Bogosian is he? It’s tough to work out a deal with Buffalo because they have so few quality players to pick from
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Nick B: This one’s interesting. If they could get Montour locked up, then yes. But really, with Kyle Dubas saying he’s bringing Rasmus Sandin and Nick Robertson up for when the Leafs enter the playoffs, I don’t see them going for a defenceman. I think Taylor Hall is the way to go, but if not him, there are still a few other players Toronto can get.
Jon: I think it’s just that I’ve accepted the reality that Taylor Hall isn’t going to be a Leaf, that if I see a trade with his name in it, my eyes just glaze over and I instinctively want to say no. I’m also skeptical about adding defense at the deadline. It’s not a position that lends itself particularly well to rentals, and Montour hasn’t been inspiring confidence lately. He is a player I’d look at if the Leafs were to lose someone like Dermott or Holl in the expansion draft though, but that’s a thought for the summer.
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All and all the value seems balanced out, and acknowledges the current state of the trade market, so I don’t think it’s a bad proposal, I just don’t see it happening.
Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions, and trade proposals. I can appreciate that it’s not always easy to put trade proposals out into the world because it’s essentially an exercise in getting flamed. Let us know your answers to the questions in the comments below and we look forward to doing another mailbag post deadline to see how everyone is feeling about the new look Leafs.