Going to bed at 7:30 PM is bad for you if you’re going to just wake up again at 10:30 PM. Enjoy this dive into the mailbag (which was more full than usual; sorry if I didn’t answer you this time), while I try to find a way to pass out for a bit.
— Leafs Geeks Podcast (@LeafsGeeks) January 16, 2017
I’d probably say that Froese would come back up again in this scenario, unless you want to continue an experiment that Sheldon Keefe has been going with in playing Colin Greening at centre. Smith is an intriguing player, but doesn’t have an NHL contract at the moment.
— Totally Offside (@Totally_Offside) January 16, 2017
I’m going to tentatively go with Bozak here, though I think all three being gone isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Komarov seems like the safe bet to be the second 70/40 forward exposed to Las Vegas in the Expansion draft, and if they want a forward from the Leafs, he’d be a better choice than Matt Martin. Van Riemsdyk rumours, for better or worse, just won’t go away. Bozak would be a smart flip at the right return, but we’ll have to see if that actually happens.
— CV (@CV4U2NV) January 16, 2017
I think looking for something new would be overthinking it right now. Teams are still making hilariously bad picks and passes that look silly almost immediately, so why act like it’s time to find the next step?
Always grab the best player, regardless of position. Don’t be scared to pick up once passed over players who have put up better than expected Draft+X seasons that would’ve made you happy to get out of your 2nd or 3rd rounders. Zero in on players who are doing incredibly well in top pro leagues already. Don’t draft a billion Nathan Gerbes, but also put more stock into an averaged sized kid who is killing it over the 6’5 guy who looks like has an “NHL build” when playing against teenagers. Consult a model or two. Make sure that all the candidates that you pull out of this line of thinking are heavily scouted, because while there are likely dozens of undervalued players in the draft, you only have so many picks to take them with.
— Bo (@beauengs) January 16, 2017
TSN is in a weird position where so many different personalities are affiliated with them, and they’re in a spotlight that requires them to put out around the clock pot-stirs. According to them, Auston Matthews has been everywhere from face first with a wall to better than Connor McDavid.
My preseason (hell, pre-pick) prediction was that he’d be dominant right away. I spent some time talking on Twitter and in the World Cup of Hockey media room about how he could be the 2nd or 3rd best player on Earth by the end of the year, depending on how Crosby felt. I don’t think putting him above McDavid is realistic, and I’m not sure if he’s already #3, but he’s definitely an elite forward already. As far as long-term value, the only player on earth that I’d trade him for right now is McDavid. Even if more predictable than most pundits thought it was, it’s still unbelievable and stupidly entertaining to watch it all unfold.
— Not Ladd (@HardevLad) January 16, 2017
I don’t tink any team is prone to struggle. Streaks are unpredictable, and when you start to overthink them, you lose sight of the big picture. The big picture right now is that the Leafs are being rewarded for quality hockey. They could hit a puck luck wall next year, or they could go the opposite way and steamroll the league. Are they prone to either outcome, though? Probably not.
— Josh Craig (@_joshcraig) January 16, 2017
I don’t think Kapanen should have been the next guy to begin with, injury or not. He’s doing great, but building up his confidence and creativity was more important than having him play some depth minutes with the Leafs.
Brendan Leipsic is the guy. He’s having a hell of a year, has already spent some time with the Leafs, he scores everywhere he goes, and he’s an eager forechecker and creative neutral zone player that would fit in perfectly. I’d have him as a slam dunk to make the Leafs next year, and I don’t think you stall his development at all by pulling him away from the Marlies mid-season.