Mailbag: Brain Cleanout


Today was locker room cleanout day for the Toronto Marlies. The process basically involves everybody getting up super early in the morning, and being told what they’re expected to do next season, before grabbing everything they need, addressing the media, and heading wherever it is they need to be. For the media, it’s the same start, but instead of being lectured, you’re the ones trying to think of the last questions you can ask to get quotes out of these guys for a while. It’s an interesting experience, and hopefully I can integrate the stuff I got today into some neat articles for you all. 

With that said, we won’t jump straight into that. Today, it’s a mailbag. Probably not the last one of the week either; there were a ton of questions today and I don’t like these posts to go on forever.

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

Who was the best dressed marlies player/coach/media member?

Today? Obviously me. You can’t beat a pair of beat up Adidas shoes with a speck of blood on the sole, some slightly ripped Levis 508’s, and a hoodie I got on clearance at H&M a couple years ago. How would you?


Lets say Drew MacIntyre for today. His non-suit, non-workout clothes always look like something out of a Queen and Ossington lookbook made for someone a couple years younger than him, and by that I mean I’m infinitely jealous.

No more fashion questions though.

Any chance more Canadian teams are in the AHL one day?

The issue is with this is that the league likes to encourage minimal travel, but you need to find viable markets. Small town New York (six teams!) and Pennsylvania (three) thrive for this reason, as has Texas to an extent. 

Not to say that Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec couldn’t pull this off, but the major issue is that practically every viable candidate city has a junior team in the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL. Toronto and Hamilton don’t, so it works. Abbotsford hasn’t done well from a business perspective, and both itself and St. John’s are a concerning distance away.

It’s a cool idea, but I think the AHL fills the non-NHL void for fans in the US that Canada fills with junior hockey, and it’ll probably stay that way for the most part.

Will Sparks or Gibson get a crack at being a starter for the Marlies next season?

I think so. MacIntyre looked decent in his brief NHL moment, very good in the regular season, and flat out dominant in the playoffs. Whether it’s here or elsewhere, I have to imagine he gets an NHL shot, leaving the two kids to 1A/1B in the AHL while Antoine Bibeau gets time with the Solar Bears.

Who was the most disappointing Marlie this season?

I’m going to not answer this the way you want me to. My biggest disappointments were in the fact that Stefan Legein wasn’t able to claw his way onto the team full time early in the year, and that Jesse Blacker found himself out of the rotation very quickly into the year. Legein seemed to have a cool personality and career story, which had me rooting for him from a personal perspective, and I thought Blacker was due for a breakout.

In the end, the Marlies had better options on the wing, and Blacker as a piece of the trade to bring in Peter Holland, which has looked pretty solid for the organization so far. The moral of the story being that my hopes and expectations don’t accurately reflect the best case scenario.

Who will play in the NHL first Stuart Percy or Matt Finn?

Percy seems like the obvious answer, no? He looked very good at a professional level this year and has more experience under his belt than Finn, who I imagine needs at least a full year with the Marlies. I never expect a ton out of guys who have dominant junior years after being drafted; its implied that they do that. 

When is Sparks opening up his own Chipotle franchise?

In typical “get Sparks to reply to irrelevant and random question about Sparks” fashion…

“Hahahaha whenever I can.”

If I had to guess, these things cost a lot of money and some sort of Kickstarter may need to be arranged before the dream comes true.