Mailbag: Justin Eats An Ice Cream Cone


Friend of the site (read: active writer on the website) Justin Fisher always gets on my case about the mailbag and it’s Canada Post Truck header image. Today, not much happened in Leafs land, and I’ve been distracted with the Five Hole For Food tour (I’m writing this from a small bed in Saint John, New Brunswick). As such, the mailbag is in! Just for Justin, I’ve got a throwback photo.

If the leafs did not get another d-man, who would be the ideal partner for phaneuf? Rielly, Robidas, Gardiner?

I feel like Robidas can handle it and will be looked to handle it if he’s healthy. He’s got a history of playing big minutes in his past and has that mythical right handed shot that the Leafs seem to have been chasing. At the same time though, I’d like to see that pairing’s minutes get decreased to allow for Gardiner and whoever to get more opportunity.

Is Brandon Kozun ever going to be an NHL-level player, even if that level is in a third or fourth line scoring/energy role? Or is he more of an AHL top six guy at best?

He’s a top six or bust guy. It’s not even his size that does it, it’s that combined with the fact that his game is almost entirely offensively driven. I think he gets looked at to help out the Marlies in an offensive role next year, but nothing more.

What piece from this free agency that the leafs can still get/need, either from a trade or signing. thx

Probably a backup goaltender, and that likely requires the trade market, seeing as everyone not named Tomas Vokoun is bad in the present day. I don’t think James Reimer wants to stick around at this point, and while I suppose they can just keep going with him, I don’t know if that’s in their plans either.

Thoughts on the leafs letting go of jay McClement? I feel like the leafs could have used him in penalty killing roles a they did last year

The reality of hockey is that you’re trying to put yourself in a short handed situation as rarely as possible, and you spend the bulk of the game at even strength and/or on the powerplay. In both of these regards, McClement is a liability. He may be good for two and a half minutes a game, but that’s still less than a fifth of his ice time on a given night.

I think it makes more sense to have good even strength players who are passable penalty killers than an elite penalty killer who is bad at even strength.

Don’t you hate when a player has a NTC, demands a trade, and then can still decide where he goes? Do you think their NTC should be void?

I think that no-trade clauses should only be allowed in specific personal situations. Paul Ranger made sense. J-S Giguere made sense. A few others across the league make sense. But just the “I want to control my destiny” type that are in abundance are silly. You’re nuking a potential bidding war and getting a second chance at free agency, which seems bad to me.

Then again, I also think that the max contract length should be five years. So maybe I’m just crazy.