Mailbag: End of Spring Cleaning


I stopped taking in mailbag questions for a while. One, because I’ve neglected my AskFM inbox and I want to get to all the personal questions on there before asking for more. Two, and on a similar vein, because there were a bunch of old questions I had passed over. But today is the day where the inbox finally gets to zero! 

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

Thoughts on the Leafs giving away 2-7th round picks like Oprah? (i.e Holland trade, Bernier trade, O’Byrne trade, Bolland trade)

Context is important with every move. While keeping draft picks and stockpiling young players is obviously beneficial, lower picks have a lower percentage of success, and if you can move them for a piece that you feel has a steady long term benefit or a major short term one, it’s a good thing.

You use two trades here that are good examples of positive and negative execution. The trade to acquire Ryan O’Bryne was a bad one; he wasn’t anything close to an impact player, and he wasn’t going to make Leafs more of an impact team. If anything, you can argue that he was responsible for Boston’s OT winner in Game 4 (which is often misblamed on Dion Phaneuf). On the other hand, Peter Holland looks to be a young piece that could spend several years in the organization at the NHL level, and the draft pick that supplemented a hoping-to-leave Jesse Blacker, while annoying to not have immediately, likely will pan out to the same net impact.

With the Leafs signing Bibeau, it seems like they have a lot of goalies below the NHL level, do you think they trade one of them this offseason?

I don’t think there’s a gigantic rush. I fully expect the Marlies to go with Christopher Gibson and Garret Sparks as their tandem next year. What this means for Drew MacIntyre is uncertain; he may replace James Reimer if they can make a move, or he could also pursue his NHL aspirations elsewhere. I’m not certain his time as an AHL starter is done, but after the season he’s had and the fact he now has (albeit just one start) limited NHL experience, I would think he seeks a role that involves the league above his current one.

But even if I’m wrong and the Leafs hold on to Reimer and MacIntyre is content with being the Marlies starter again, having three goalies competing for three AHL and ECHL starts, while hectic, couldn’t hurt. It just leaves even less room for complacency and failure, which can be a benefit.

Which current Marlie has the best chance at playing for the Leafs next season

I think that given his performance in his call up last year, and the fact that Toronto seems to be parting ways with Nikolai Kulemin, that we’ll see Jerry D’Amigo on the Leafs roster for more or less the entire season. Obviously in a bottom six role.

I know fake trade proposals are stupid and a waste of time but what do you think of this one for Yakupov: Gunnarsson, Leivo, 1st and a 3rd for Yakupov?

I don’t think this makes sense for anybody involved. Gunnarsson may give Edmonton some defensive depth and shed some room for the Leafs to separately acquire a new #2, making that part sensible, but at the end of the day, you’re asking the Leafs to not draft at all for the first three rounds of a draft and give up a prospect that’s starting to creep up on people’s radars.

On other hand, they’d get a young player with one of the highest potential upsides on the planet. But why would the Oilers sell him when his value is at an absolute low? People will point to “attitude”, but it seems to be more of the “kid hasn’t yet adjusted to system” type of problem than “man actively destroying fabric of an organization”.

Basically, you’re asking the Leafs to essentially give up on an entire draft class while asking the Oilers to sell low on a potential superstar. Trade proposals are a waste of time, but this one is pretty bad in particular.

Why does a large part of r/leafs think Bozak is a hero?

Probably because large communities of people who follow an entertainment product with plenty of room for debate will have groups on both sides of every coin. I don’t know, ask them. They probably value “defensive awareness” and “chemistry”, and “faceoff skill”, three things that don’t really hold up when you put research into them, but ultimately I can’t speak for why certain people hold differing opinions.

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  • Jeff, I usually take your side, but you’re better to just not answer questions than provide answers like the last two here. I agree with your analysis on both counts but it just came off reading as rude with no upside. Keep the columns coming buddy. This site is terrific for a Leafs die hard that’s living over in Australia. 🙂