Mailbag: Thoughtful Thursday


We’re still waiting for the conference finals to end, there hasn’t been a huge amount to talk about in Leafs land, and there’s a gap between Marlies games today. Naturally, it’s time to pull out some questions!

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

How can I convince my Leafs fan friends that the Marlies are worth watching live? I’ve already shown them their record and all the free stuff I get at games.

Hey anon’s friends! Nice to meet you, my name is Jeff, but most people call me Jeffler as they tell me to shut up. I would like you to take a quick glance at the Leafs roster from this season.

On it, you will find thirty six players. Fifteen players of those players played for the Toronto Marlies this season. Twenty five of them have played for the Toronto Marlies at some point in the past couple of years. The only player on this team who has never played in the American Hockey League is Dion Phaneuf. 

The Marlies are the 4th youngest team in the AHL, yet are also physically the biggest, and more importantly, were near the top of the league and are blasting through the playoffs. Almost every player that regularly dresses has a shot of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs full-time at some point. Their first line is an NHL-calibre line, and their number one defenceman, TJ Brennan is a freak of offensive nature. Whether they win games or not, they’re always competitive.

Catching a Marlies game gives you a look into the future. In ways that the TV can’t show you; you can focus on specific guys, whether they have the puck or not. You can take in the atmosphere. Yet it doesn’t break the bank! The most expensive seat in the house is cheaper than standing room at the ACC.

Failing that, you can always walk up to the top of section 102, walk into the press box, and punch me straight in the face for wasting your money. I’m willing to bet that’s not how you’re going to feel once you get there, though.

Am I stupid for thinking that we could trade the rights to franson for a draft pick and just have someone like TJ Brennan replace him?

I don’t think that’s a stupid assertion. I like Cody Franson, and I’ve got a gut feeling that a lot of his “flat-footed” play this year will be discovered to originate from an injury, but the Leafs are ultimately going to have to juggle with the Salary Cap a bit next year.

 If the first priority is to shore up the first pair, then taking the risk on downgrading your third pair powerplay specialist isn’t the worst thing in the world. It could be an easy way to save about 1.5 million dollars, and who knows what results they could get from Brennan or a similar replacement?

Do you think Reimer still has a value for the leafs to seek a decent return?

I don’t think he has “bidding war” value, but he won’t exactly be traded for a 7th rounder. He’s not kicking and screaming his way out, he’s a restricted free agent, and he’s got a history of being solid when healthy. There’s going to be a team that will need a goaltender at some point, and isn’t going to balk just because they have to pay “at or slightly below market” value instead of “clearance bin”.

Is there anyone on the Marlies roster who’s being scratched right now who deserves to be playing? Whose spot would they take?

I think they’ve been largely making the right decisions. There’s a lot of depth on this team right now, and it’s hard to squeak guys into the lineup. The only alteration I may make to yesterday’s lineup, for example, would be switching out Dylan Yeo for Kevin Marshall, but it’s not a big enough difference to call out in a normal situation. Odds are the reason for the swap was “rotational” anyway, so I can’t judge too much without knowing the context.

What’s you’re take on shanahan’s interviews that he had with the media newspapers yesterday?

I actually haven’t read through all of them yet, but I’ve heard some things. Things like using the analytics budget, high risk draft picks, and getting Phaneuf some support have me interested. Let me read through everything and hopefully I’ll have a more detailed post in a few days.

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