Monday Mailbag – You’re Cut


Well, I hate to do this to you, but this is really the only time that I’m going to see you again in a face-to-face setting. Well, technically, we’re words on each other’s keyboards, but roll with me.

You might be asking why this is the last time we’ll “see” each other. There’s always next game, right? Well, unfortunately, you just didn’t give it 110% out there in scrimmages. You aren’t getting pucks in deep during the games. You can’t even blame others; if you were getting any more of the bounces, we’d send you to the Raptors.

You have been cut. Do not pass go. Do not head to the Marlies. Do not ask me why Mark Fraser is sitll here.

@__Pete__33 asked: If the Leafs do trade Nazem Kadri or James Van Riemsdyk for Travis Zajac, do you think it would be in a package for New Jersey’s 2016 first round pick, Damon Severson, or Pavel Zacha?

Let me ask you something.

Lou Lamoriello has a reputation for not letting anything leak. Even in the Toronto era, his arrival came up out of nowhere, and none of the stories that have come since have been scooped more than a few minutes before a press release, if at all.

So when a report comes out that Lamoriello is proactively trying to acquire his biggest mistake in his last stretch of time in New Jersey, why do we believe it? It doesn’t seem like a move that the Leafs would like to make, and the idea of the story leaking out doesn’t seem like something that would happen to the team under the current guard.

If I had to make an educated guess, the Devils are using Lamoriello’s name to create an artificial market for Zajac. Lou may or may not be a part of it; he could be doing a favour by feigning interest, or this entire scenario could be in Shero’s mind and Lou just hasn’t come out and denied it. But I don’t think there’s real smoke here.

I could be entirely wrong. I’d certainly hope I’m not. But I don’t buy into it.

@F_Grlsanzio asked: Why is Tyler Bozak still a Leaf? What do they see in him that we don’t?

To trade a player, one of the other twenty-nine General Managers has to accept your proposal, or you have to accept one of theirs.

It’s likely that the Leafs have yet to receive an offer that is more valuable than continuing to give him ice time and hoping for the best. This could backfire if he ends up being dreadful without Kessel, but as it stands, they’re probably just being patient with an asset.

@SeanTierneyTSS asked: Who makes up the Leafs first line in 2020?

Alex Ovechkin on the left wing. Auston Matthews on the right wing. PK Subban and Aaron Ekblad on the point. John Gibson, who is now a back-to-back Vezina winner, in net. 

All centred by team captain and first-time 50 point scorer Tyler Bozak.

@matthew_gooding asked: Is there any possibility that Stephane Robidas doesn’t get waived? Is there anything which would justify him making the team?

The Leafs will have a lot of dead cap space this season. They’re not expected to hit the ceiling, so they’ll be eating at least some of Nathan Horton’s salary, if not all of it. Tim Gleason’s buyout still counts against the books. They’re also retaining chunks of Carl Gunnarsson and Phil Kessel’s contracts.

With all of this considered, it’s tough to ask a team to retain $2.075 million in salary to place a player on the Marlies. They might, but it’s more likely that Robidas will end up the 7th defenceman in Toronto, acting as a mentor to the players who make the roster.

@Accept_Crime_ asked: Why didn’t either of the Ruperts get invited to main camp?

Matt had zero chance of making the team, and given the current environment, it’s a stretch to believe that Ryan could have either. There’s just too many players in their current caliber range to consider them at the moment, and the team knows what they’re getting out of the two. They can be “leaders” of sorts at the start of Marlies camp (which begins today!) and get a head start on establishing a roster spot there.

@ShawnReis asked: Who is your favourite member of the TLN team, and why is it PengellyInk?

Because nobody else has the power to draw me in incriminating situations if I get snippy with them.