Monday Mailbag: The Great Mailbag Heist of 2015

This week I decided to give ol’ Jeffy boy a well deserved
break from the mailbag. You can only answer so many questions about which
Marlie will be the next call up. The result of said takeover was a number of
replies disappointed that Bobby Cappuccino or literally any other TLN writer
didn’t get the mailbag duty instead. For those people this post will be like
the Leafs season, full of disappointment. For the rest of you, enjoy the
handsome answers to questions by beautiful people.

From @PuckDontLie:
 When will Mark Hunter get fired for
passing on Barzal and Konecny?

I think there are a lot of people around the league who
should be fired ahead of Mark Hunter for that. While I would have strongly
considered Barzal at the time Marner was picked, I think I’m in the minority on
that, and since trades seemed to be in the hands of Kyle Dubas, it’s probably
on him for not making a deal with Edmonton, or trading down at the time when
Konecny could have been picked with the Leafs pick.

That being said, everyone gets a pass because Bracco is a
player who should have gone in the top twenty, and Travis Dermott appears to be
a diamond in the rough that the Leafs grabbed at a reasonable time as well.

What would I have done, I probably would have tried trading
down from the fourth pick and attempted to grab Barzal later while picking up
additional picks, and I’d probably put still put getting Konecny ahead of
having Bracco and Dermott, but compared to what we’ve seen in previous drafts
from the Leafs, this isn’t worth fussing about.

From @B1rky: who
had Steve Simmons in the pool for “First media moron to go after

Betting against Simmons on this never seems like a good
idea, but the competition is fierce in this category, and might be the most
competitive thing related to the Leafs. While Simmons, Feschuk, and about half
a dozen others could all have been the smart bet for this, when it comes to
blindly hating on the Leafs I can never bet against Ken Campbell.

 It seems to go beyond
just wanting to up his page views, and sell magazines, it seems like Campbell
has a personal vendetta against the Leafs. I’m sure when he gets around to it,
the take will be fire.

From @Matthew_Gooding:
Is EDM a spot Phaneuf could end up (Chiarelli wanted him last year)? Fayne,
Ference, Nikitin for Phaneuf?

This is an interesting idea to me, because right now Phaneuf
is significantly better than three defensemen mentioned. Fayne is probably the
only one who isn’t a complete time bomb, and could very well be a serviceable
fourth defenseman for the Leafs.

If the idea is that Phaneuf is an asset that teams will give
up an asset for, this deal doesn’t work. However, if the idea is that the clock
is ticking on Phaneuf, and this gets you  an expiring contract in Nikitin, one
additional year of Ference, and two additional years of Fayne, so you’re done
with these players long before you’d be done with Phaneuf’s cap hit, and looking
at long term cap flexibility as an asset, then this deal makes some sense.

The probably lies with the clauses on the contracts, Andrew
Ference has a complete no movement clause somehow, and it’s entirely possible
that Toronto isn’t a place he wants to go, on account of the Leafs being dead
last in the league at the moment.

There’s also the issue of Phaneuf having a list of 12 teams
that he’d accept a trade to. Despite the fact that Phaneuf is from Edmonton, and
has family in Edmonton that’s far from a guarantee that he’d accept a trade to
a likely non playoff team, in a cold Canadian small market that offers little
occupationally for his wife.

Of course, I don’t know Phaneuf or Ference’s priorities, but
if I’m guess at what the Leafs think, they are still holding out hope that they
can get more for Phaneuf than cleaning up Edmonton’s defensive mess.

From @Kid_Kawartha: Which Leaf has the highest intangible value? (show your work)

Well, my first instinct is to say that Leo Komarov who has been a provider of clutch goals and has the lead in hits must be the intangibles leader, but the fact that his play has often given him possession of the puck moved him into the being to tangible. 

Next I considered Tyler Bozak for his clutch shootout attempts, historically above average face-off win percentage, made me consider him. The fact that he frequently wears an ‘A’ on his jersey was a big factor too, but with injuries and a lesser role this season I feel his intangibles are suffering.

Stephane Robidas certainly gets some consideration, but it’s largely for the mentoring he did while on the injured reserve last season, this season he’s nowhere near the team so no one is benefited from his years of experience.

The fact of the matter is, none of these are truly intangible things, they are just difficult to measure qualitative outputs or less valuable plays, so when you think about it the answer of which Leaf has the most intangibles it’s pretty clear who it is.

Roman Polak clearly has the highest intangible value because despite falling the stats test, the eye test, and any other test you throw at him, he remains in the lineup and gets 15 minutes a night.


Since I also demanded
some Walking Dead questions…

From @MLHS_Mike:
what was the point of the whole “save Beth” plot line if they were
only going to kill her off in a stupid scene

From the second the Survivors group was forced from the
prison, and we had to suffer through the road to Terminus, and the road out of
Terminus half seasons it became hard to defend The Walking Dead. Luckily this
season is a significant improvement, and I encourage people to come back to
watch the show which still very much follows the same formula but in an
interesting way.

One of the biggest piss offs of that stretch is that they
had just made Beth an interesting character as she was on the first people to
open fire on the Governor after he beheaded her father. They invested time in
giving her character depth in the coming of age travel episodes with Daryl, and
showed that she could play the role of the hero when she was trapped in the

The Walking Dead writers did an excellent job of making me
care about her death, but in retrospect, it was a ridiculous amount of time
spent on a character that didn’t move the story forward at all.

The only payoff I can think of is that this is going to be a
significant part of Maggie’s story arc, which is an underrated part of The
Walking Dead. Over the course of this show, we’ve seen her lose her farm and
friends that were living there, we’ve seen her violated by the Governor, lose
her father, lose her sister, and now come to terms with some very intense
developments in the past three episodes (I’m not a complete monster, I won’t
spoil this season for anyone).

All of this could be turning Maggie into the strong leader she
became in the comics. It’s unfortunate that had come at the expense of Beth,
and several weeks of less than exciting TV, but my fingers remain crossed that
the payoff will be worth it.


  • Gary Empey

    Re-From @Matthew_Gooding: Is EDM a spot Phaneuf could end up (Chiarelli wanted him last year)? Fayne, Ference, Nikitin for Phaneuf?

    Just think of the value/demand at trade deadline for Phaneuf.

    I imagine a team looking to make some playoff noise would part with a #1 pick and a good prospect for him.

    A deep playoff run is where and when a lot of teams start making money. The value to the home team in the playoffs used to be million dollars per game.

    Example: Tampa Bay played apox. 14 home playoff games. That would of pulled in apox 14 million dollars extra for them. Teams will take this into consideration when trading for an expensive player.

    • CMpuck

      I would agree, I think that Dion still has a market that isn’t negative value for the Leafs.

      A first and prospect is a fair estimation on your part. I sure Phaneuf could land the Leafs the 24th and Leipsic – as a Franson reference.

      If ANA didn’t give Kesler such a ridiculous contract ($6.875M) that kicks in next season, I would say that would seem like a good landing spot.

      I’ll put on my creative hat – Phaneuf to CBJ for Johnson (because salary), Rychel, and 1st. Maybe another pick thrown in or better prospect like Bjorkstrand instead of Rychel.

      • Gary Empey

        Well let’s hope it is one of those years where a few unfortunate injuries forces some teams into a bidding war for our captain. Boy, we could use a lucky break after all these years of frustration.

        Imagine what Hunter and company, could do with three 1st rounders.

        • JB#1

          @Gary Empey & @Skill2Envy

          The huge elephant in the room for either of your scenarios where the Leafs land a 1st round pick for Phaneuf is his contract and the fact there are 5 more years of it after this season! Ouch.

          There’s an interesting post here:

          that talks about why the Leafs will most likely be utilizing the services of Phaneuf (and Bozak and Lupul) for the duration of their respective contracts.

          Unfortunately, I think the Leafs are going to regret not pulling the trigger on the Phaneuf deal at the trade deadline last year as getting a haul like what the Wings were supposedly offering would have been a fair return.

          Also, we need to remember that getting out from under Phaneuf’s cap hit also has to be considered a worthwhile goal in its’ own right, even if you haven’t drunk the Stamkos koolaid – ha ha ha.

          Realistically, if the Leafs could haul in a 2nd round pick, a former 1st round pick (think Kapenen), and another prospect (think Leipsic), the Leafs should pull the trigger on that deal in a heartbeat.

          • Gary Empey

            So whats the difference from your proposed scenerio and mine?
            2nd, Kapanen, and Leipsic


            mine even included a realistic salary dump coming back.
            1st, Salary dump (Johnson), and falling stock prospect (Rychel)

            I’d rather take your scenario because it has higher asset value. You’re highly mistaken though if you think yours is possible and mine is unrealistic!

          • Gary Empey

            I read the article. While it seems to be valid for Bozak and Lupul, I am not convinced about Phaneuf.

            A solid 6’3′ / 214 lb, veteran defenceman. Who has some offensive talent. Can play very physical. Plays anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes per game. Plays the power play. Leadership. Every playoff bound team is looking for one. For some teams this may be their last kick at the cat before they soon go into decline. For others it may be all they need for their first big run.

            Yes something creative would likely have to be done with the contract. We have seen Clarkson and Kessel deals so we know the Leafs are prepared to work something out. If you think about it Detroit likely would have beat Tampa last year if they had of traded for Phaneuf. They were that close.

  • CMpuck

    Was the woman telling the story of what happened to Terminus a flashback showing Negan (reaching to pick up Lucille)? And will Jesus be introduced to the show or is Morgan filling that role?

  • Gary Empey

    I think Gardiner is the only other guy that could possibly make his team (USA). I doubt Orpik and possibly Martin will make that team, as they did in Sochi.