Monday Mailbag: Escapism


Good-Stick scout Steve Simmons mentioned today that Dallas Eakins’ job in Edmonton could have been saved by the Oilers’ three game win streak. There are other unrelated thoughts racing through my mind, but here’s my question for you – how long of a losing streak does it take to end the Randy Carlyle era here in Toronto? Respond. Or, alternatively, throw us a question for next week.

To submit your Leafs or Marlies questions, tweet myself (@Jeffler) or the site (@TLNdc).

@TheOohwayy asked: What are your thoughts on Stuart Percy being sent down to the Marlies?

I’m okay with it, actually. Not that Percy has been bad – I think he’s done well for a twenty one year old, but with six healthy defencemen available, the Leafs were in a tough situation. Toronto’s options were to scratch Percy, which stunts his development by giving him less ice time, or cause a firestorm by scratching anybody else (Jake Gardiner comes to mind). 

Playing him on the Marlies’ first pair against the toughest competition seems like the way to go for him. It gives Percy an opportunity to grow as a player, Saves the Leafs a smidgeon of Cap Space, forces Randy Carlyle to run four forward lines, and gives Petter Granberg a familiar linemate. Everybody wins! Besides, with his waiver exemption, you can bounce the two around.

@joeymwilson asked: If you were Brendan Shanahan, how would you fix this complete and utter shitshow? 

Shanny can’t really do much except for fire and hire at this point, right? I think if the team spirals further down the abyss, his “Fire Carlyle” trump card will have to be slammed down, but beyond that, I don’t know what more he can do individually during the regular season. Maybe call his Player Safety friends and tell them to suspend every one of Toronto’s opponents? 

@cwena asked: If you could replace one member of the Maple Leafs with a Pokemon, who would it be, and with which Pokemon?

I’d replace James Reimer with Snorlax. The “Sumo Goalie” theory has been tested before and it doesn’t really work. But remember, that’s a human being. Snorlax’s suggested height according to the Pokedex is 6’11, 1041lbs while sitting, and he’s about as wide as he is tall. The anime and Super Smash Brothers suggest that Snorlax can grow even bigger than that! Snorlax should actually be able to cover the entire 6’x4′ net, making him the perfect goaltender.

@MattPsenicka asked: What do you think the Leafs are going to do with Matt Frattin and Carter Ashton?

I’d assume they’re playing the waiting game with Ashton – either for a team to look to trade for him, or for teams to look at his inability to get into the lineup and declare him worthless. This way, they either get an asset, or he clears waivers.

Frattin? The jury is out. He hasn’t looked very good this year – I’d honestly consider just waiving him and not worrying about the consequence.

@mchevrier88 asked: How do you see Connor Brown’s future playing out?

Better than I did a couple of months ago. I thought that his success in the OHL was 75% age, 25% McDavid. If the start of the Marlies season is any indicator, however, he might actually be able to play a mean game of hockey against men and without generational linemates. By mean, of course, I mean super skilled – he won’t be beating you up any time soon.

Rushing him up to the Leafs is probably a bad decision, but I could see him becoming a fixture on the team in two years or so, and eventually seeing some NHL top-six time, whether it’s here or elsewhere. He’s very creative and can make plays out of thin air.

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    Huh, nice to hear some optimism about Connor Brown.

    I think I was, along with a fair amount of other people, very skeptical of what his play would look like in a mens league, but it’s good to hear we have some decent forward prospects coming down the line.

  • CMpuck

    Snorlax would also be perfect for the Toronto media. He’s very thick skinned. And if he grew a little scruff, he could be used as a body double for Philbert, sneaking out the back door to draw the media hordes away.

  • BubbaLou

    What does Shanahan do?? He simply opens up the leaf season blue print created in 1968. Page 120 part 2 clause C item 3 indicates that you simply get into November. You start to mix the lines up call up a player or two and keep your media lap poodles on your side.

    You feed the media all the positivity b.s. from Corsi and Fenwick, such as Jake Gardiner had a wonderful possession game against Boston even though he was the worst leaf on the ice.

    You explain to the media about mid november in a state of the union address that the cupboard was bare when you came in. That drastic changes have to be made. You point out that it took Detroit a number of years to get their act together.

    Once you get into December, you start playing the holiday card. That like Burke you don’t move a guy or coach near Christmas.

    Now you are into the new year and you keep bringing up guys make a couple of minor deals, sending your compost to a team for their compost.

    Now you are moving towards the all-star game and the speculation game begins of should the leafs trade up or trade down. It keeps the media busy and the fans dreaming of Malkin coming to the leafs for Kadri, Gardiner and a 5th round pick if the leafs have any draft picks left.

    Once you hit March it is all down hill as your club has a solid chance of landing a pretty good draft prospect. Shanahan points out how wonderful all the leaf farm hands have played in North America and Sweden.

    Before you know it is April and golf tee times have to be arranged. Shanny simply closes that trusty blue print book closing in on 50 years not to be opened till the following October.

    • BubbaLou

      WTF was that? Man, you’re like the Glenn Healy of leafsnation. Half inflammatory statements designed to get a rise out of people, half total nonsense. All negativity all the time.