Bonus Mailbag: The Spillover


I have a lot of remaining questions that I haven’t used yet, so we’re going to have a mailbag for the second day in a row after going several weeks without one. How about that?

To submit a question, send me a tweetemail meask me, or leave a comment.

Can Kadri become a true no.1 center in this league? Yes or no?

I think that the idea of a “true number one centre” has become a little crowded and conflicting. To me, your top line centre is an offensively driven player, so he needs to be one of the most potent offensive centres in the NHL. On top of that, you don’t want him to be a liability defensively, but as long as he’s a net gain he doesn’t have to be perfect.

Even in his down year, playing with inconsistent linemates, Nazem Kadri is 29th in ES pts/60 amongst Centres with 60 games played and an average of 17 minutes a night (aka, top 6). That’s pretty solid, if I do say so myself. He’s inflated by some centres being hurt, but deflated by his linemates. That’s already on the cusp of a top line guy. He also has been the best possession centre on the Leafs this year, being on for a higher percentage of attempted shots than any other Toronto pivot. His production last year was even better, but very luck driven.

That’s not to call him elite or anything, but he’s well on his way to being a top line guy, if not already at the lower end of one.

How in the world is a guy who is over point per game with the Marlies not given a chance with the Leafs? I’m talking about Abbott. Isn’t because he is less than 6ft and Carlyle is all about the fckn truculence and size? Shame.

The reality with Abbott is that as talented as he is, he plays a style that essentially requires him to play on the top six. As well, he isn’t waiver exempt, so he could only realistically come up as an emergency recall if they didn’t want to risk losing the Marlies’ best forward for the playoffs.

In any event, it doesn’t matter much now. Abbott suffered a shoulder injury and is out for a few weeks.

What’s up with people still hating on Phaneuf? It’s old news that you have talked about months ago with the Phaneuf extention article, but iit still hasn’t changed my friends opinions on him. Do you think he’s one of the players where fans either love him or hate him?

Phaneuf has a propensity to make “loud” plays, both good and bad. He’s at his best when you don’t notice him, but he’ll often make a dumb move that singles him out, or score a goal or deliver a hit that makes you remember him positively. When you’re only paying attention to his loud plays, the bad will outweigh the good, and make him into a negative asset in the eyes of the fanbase. The best way to improve his reputation would be to take fewer risks, but I don’t know if that makes him better or worse.

You’re not a leafs fans and you know it

You’re correct in understand that I’m not multiple people, yes.

At what point in the year did you think Carlyle needed to go? I jumped on the fire Carlyle bandwagon early December.

Maybe not necessarily “Carlyle needs to go right now”, but I had a lot of skepticism as far back as the beginning of last season. Good hockey teams don’t win with puck luck and goaltender bailouts, they win by outplaying other teams night in and night out. The Leafs haven’t done that in a while, and Caryle’s deployments of players seemed counter-intuitive to playing the best players at controlling the pace. Still does, and that’s a problem.

Darren Dreger said Carolina will make everyone available at the draft…What do you think are the Leafs’ chances of landing one of the Staals?

I’d avoid it. Jordan is a good player, but the Leafs seem to be looking for a top-end offensive talent if they make the plunge offensively. As for Eric, he’s just paid way too much to consider. 8.25M puts him in an elite class that he isn’t quite at.

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