TLN Monday Mailbag: August 8th


It’s good to know that, whatever awful mistakes I make in my life, I’ll still end up being less of a scumbag than the dude who tried to sucker punch an entire KHL team today. Seriously, if he’s ever allowed to play hockey again, it’s hands down the wrong decision.

Oh, also, we have a new edition of the TLN Mailbag. Let’s see what you were all curious about this week!

@shutupisaac_ asked: What’s the equivalent of Pogba leaving Juve on the Leafs?

Probably the Mike Babcock situation? But that would make the Leafs Manchester United, not Juventus. They’d be flexing their uncapped financial muscles to grab an elite talent for a historically large fee, throwing off fans of the other team who delusionally believed they were going to keep him. Some Juve fans think that the team will be better without him, and like the Red Wings fans with Babcock, they will be proven very wrong.

Anyway, this is the most soul-crushing sports transaction of the summer. Today, my Pogba sweater flies at half mast.

@Totally_Offside asked: What is the Leafs’ next best option for Jared Cowen if you they can’t buy him out?

Nothing they can do, really. If he’s too hurt to use a buyout on, he’s too hurt to waive. They can place him on regular IR and get his roster spot back, but that’s it.

@RicherKevin asked: How do you think the Atlantic Division will shake out this season?

I’ll go into more detail on this on a later date, but the way I see it, it’s the Panthers’ division to lose with the Lightning trailing slightly behind them. Both teams are stacked with skilled, play driving talent that still isn’t the type to get pushed around, and are supported by arguably two of the three best goaltending duos in the sport.

After that, it’s honestly a crapshoot. I’m pretty sure the Red Wings are going to still be bad and if Carey Price isn’t fully healthy, the Habs will likely join them. But from the 3 seed on, I genuinely feel like it’s anyone’s race.

@ahurst11 asked: If you move a team in NHL 17, what colour do you make the new jerseys?

Gotta go with green. The NHL needs more of it; the Stars’ home jerseys, for example, are gorgeous. I always used to remake the London Knights in create-a-team and would go with a jersey similar to their current thirds. The league has enough red, blue, and black.

@RyanNPike asked: Who do you feel is the most unheralded Leafs prospect?

Personally? You’ll find out on Wednesday.

  • Gary Empey

    Re- “How do you think the Atlantic Division will shake out this season?”

    Florida made a lot of changes that look good on paper, but we still need to see if they have chemistry on the ice. Goaltending will be an issue there.

    I don’t believe everything in Tampa is as settled as most people think.

    I see the Leafs somewhere in the top three.


    To all those who are trashing my analysis of this years Leafs I say:

    You are all suffering from premature, “Missing the Playoffs Syndrome.”

    You must remember not to consume caffeine on the second Tuesday in any month, except in a leap year, of course…

    • Tommy Cat

      That’s a pretty bold statement you make.

      Florida’s goaltending is much more stable than the Leafs currently. Behind Andersen is still only minor leaguers. Our bottom 6 upfront looks better but they have the edge overall as a team.

      Tampa made the final 4 two years in a row and Stanley Cup final in one of those years. Hard to say anyone in the Atlantic is a shoe-in to finish ahead of them.

      Leafs will have hard hurdles in Florida, Tampa and yes even Montreal and Buffalo.

      Foolish to overlook Boston and Detroit although they are on “the back 9” of their cycles.

  • Gary Empey

    Roberto Luongo, hit 37 years of age in April underwent off-season hip surgery. Not expected back until November. Florida expects to start the season with Reto Berra, and James Reimer.

    At mid-season last year Tampa was sitting out of the playoffs.

    I think the leafs are vastly improved from last years starting lineup. More goal scoring with Nylander, Matthews, Marner, and JVR back. Better defense with allstar Nikita Zaitsev and Carrick. Better goalie in Andersen.

    They will be one of the fastest teams in the NHL. 23 games lost last year by one goal. Some really good depth to cover injuries, from the Marlies. Now unless Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal and Boston have really improved as well, I see no reason we won’t finish third in the Atlantic Division or higher if Tampa or Florida stumble.

    I believe Toronto purposely dressed a weaker team after the trade deadline. Even then they had to send some guys back to the Marlies because they were winning too many games. This year I see Babcock icing a young, never say die, winning team.

  • Gary Empey

    PS Edit

    The biggest problem I see at the present is what to do with Brooks Laich, Milan Michalek, Joffrey Lupul. These guys are all decent NHL veterans that can still play an NHL game.

    Somehow the Leafs need to find room for Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Nikita Soshnikov who are ready to play in the NHL.