While the first round of the playoffs were highly entertaining, they have left us with limited Leafs content. To help give us delicious little nuggets to tide us over to the draft, we rely on Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts. So let us give thanks to Uncle Elliotte as he has given us the gift of player, GM, and prospect speculation.
Dubas on Drafting Smaller Players…
The biggest piece on the Leafs comes in at number 30, and includes a quote from noted Leafs Saviour, Kyle Dubas:
Will also have more about Toronto next time, but wanted to add this quote from assistant GM Kyle Dubas.
Asked if the Maple Leafs would consider passing up on Mitch Marner in the draft because they already have smallish forwards like William Nylander and Connor Brown, Dubas disagreed.
“Here’s the way I look at it,” he said. “Right now, we aren’t good enough to be picky about smaller players. We need as many elite players as we can. If we get into playoffs and are too small, or overwhelmed, it’s easier to trade small for size than draft for size and trade for skill.”
Putting aside the fact that Mitch Marner hasn’t stopped growing and isn’t ridiculously short, this is extremely encouraging to see that the Leafs are chasing high end talent. It’s also interesting to see that Friedman is now comfortable lumping Connor Brown into the higher end prospects, which maybe shouldn’t be surprising after this season, but it’s the first time I’ve seen him do it. Of course, I encourage you to check out the case for drafting Mitch Marner so you can see why this is quote is a positive.
Bringing Back Cody Franson…
This seemed to be picking up so steam on twitter recently and it’s interesting to see Friedman address it. The case I’ve seen for it is that Franson’s value is likely hurt from his time in Nashville and can be had for less. Also he’s familiar with the Leafs players and Toronto needs right handed defencemen.
Things did not work out for Cody Franson in Nashville. He was a good fit in Toronto, both on and off the ice. Could a reunion be in the works?
I confess I was not as big a fan of Franson as I probably should’ve been, but if it’s something where Franson wants to come back at a reasonable price because he liked Toronto, I’d take him back open arms. I do wonder if he’s one of the rare players who benefitted from Carlyle’s (lack of) systems and whether a competent Leafs coach would have the same issues that Nashville did. Franson is one of those players I’d definitely want a lot of input from the coach on before adding him to my team.
Sean Burke Update…
This thought was more focused around the Oilers, but since it mentions the Leafs active pursuit of Sean Burke, it’s worth updating.
One final note on the Oilers: while Sean Burke is considered a serious candidate for the Maple Leafs’ opening, a couple of sources warn not to forget about the relationship between him and Bob Nicholson. There’s a Hockey Canada link. At this time of year, you never discount any connection.
I admit I’ve been less than thrilled about the idea of the Leafs adding Sean Burke to the organization, so I consider this somewhat encouraging. Putting aside his personal issues, Burke has far more limited experience than almost any other rumoured candidate seeking the position. While it seems obvious that it won’t be a long tenured GM reporting to Brendan Shanahan, other options like Mike Futa, Paul Fenton, etc. seem far more appealing.
LOL @ Boston…
Okay, this one doesn’t really have anything to do with the current Leafs, but it sure made me laugh.
Following up on a list of Bruins GM candidates…
Wouldn’t be a shock if John Ferguson Jr., currently the club’s executive director of player personnel, also gets consideration here.
I can’t wait for him to trade Rask again.
Give the whole piece a read if you want to chuckle at San Jose being a potential landing spot for Rob Zettler or Randy Carlyle too.