TLN Monday Mailbag: January 4th


New year, new Leafs! Actually, I’m pretty sure Mike Babcock and Co. would be okay with sticking iwth the present Leafs; outside of the first month of the season, the team is on a 103 point pace. The fact that they’re still near the bottom of the standings shows you the danger of digging an early hole, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re okay with the play of the present.

While we wait to see if that continues, though, let’s tackle some of your hot-topic questions from the past few days.

@cad_yellow asked: What are we going to do for easy puns now that Dick Panik is gone?

You Rielly have to be a Morin if you’re Paniking about a lack of puns. I’ve had Phaneuf of people suggesting that there’s not enough Boyes on the roster with creative names. You need to be in it to WInnik; that’s a turn of Froese, for those counting. Even if you don’t have a Clune what I’m talking about, just know that my mental Sparks are flying. Grabner yourself a coffee (but don’t Bernier yourself when pouring it), because I’m going to exploit every Lupul until they pay me enough Corrado to stop talking.

Hey, why are you asking me to Leivo? You should be Madoreing my work right now. This is the best wordplay anybody has come up with since Led Zeppelin put out Holl Lotta Loov. My grasp of the English language is Leipsic. But I’m gonna switch it up; if I had a beat I’d be a rapper, but instead, I’ll move on to being a Reimer.

@ChewieD23 asked: Should we be worried that the Orlando Solar Bears are last in their division?

The following members of the Solar Bears are have played at least 8 games and are Leafs property:

Yeah, nobody. Ryan Rupert has played seven games, and he’s back with the Marlies. The organization has a significant footprint on the roster, but ultimately, everybody that is signed to an NHL SPC is playing up top or in the AHL, Europe, or basically anywhere but the Solar Bears. That’s not to say that the three-tier plan has failed; there are a lot of players who have connections to the organization at the AHL/ECHL level on that team, but as far as worrying about prospects not being very good, there would need to be some legitimate prospects on this team before you could get to that point.

@ahurst11 asked: Should the Leafs look for a reclamation goalie for the AHL? If one of Reimer or Bernier is moved, goaltender depth is shallow.

One could say that Ray Emery might be that guy; he’s currently on a Professional Tryout, but it doesn’t look like the Marlies are rushing to end it at the moment. The fact that they were so quick to send Rob Madore back down when the situation was available to them this weekend, despite Madore putting in two good performances, shows they want to give Emery that opportunity.

It makes a lot of sense. Emery and Leafs assistant GM / Marlies GM Kyle Dubas have a lot of history together, and at 33, Emery is about the age to be that last kick at the can type of project. He’s had good years before, so perhaps they feel that he could go on a decent run with the right technical and personal guidance. 

@AshOnIce asked: You can only get one of (not both) Stamkos or Drouin via trade. Which one do you go with, and why?

This one’s obvious; you definitely trade for Drouin. Why would you give up a bunch of assets for Stamkos when he’s going to sign in Toironto for free in six months?

With that said, Drouin won’t come cheap to the Leafs. Even if you don’t think that Tampa management doesn’t already have that fear of the inevitable in the back of their mind, Toronto is an in-division opponent who, in this day in age, doesn’t appear to make a move without a reason. There will be an element of sketpicism coming from Tampa’s front office in any deal, unless they could convince the Leafs to take on a bunch of salary in the process.

@PuckDontLIe asked: Why did The Leafs Nation get so much better over the past two weeks?

As we all know, TLN has added a new face to its regular rotation over the past few weeks, and it’s done wonders for the content of the site. That face, of course, is Dmytro Timashov; we all knew the name, and we all know what he was capable of, but the World Juniors have certainly put him in a huge spotlight. I can’t wait to see what he does moving forward.

That’s what you’re referring to, right?

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  • Gary Empey

    That was some awesome wordplay! I’m giving you a standing ovation!!

    As for Drouin, the leafs and Tampa may be rivals in the same division, but they’re not rivals in the same timeframe. Tampa’s window is now, the Leafs are still a ways off. Throw Tampa some good assets now that the leafs don’t need for the future JVR), take back all the salary you can now when you don’t need the cap space, so long as the contracts expire before the cap becomes an issue. Get Drouin! Just leave enough to Sign Stamkos on July 1!