Welcome to the Leafs Nation mailbag! Your good friend h0ckeyfan is here answering your questions about the Buds! Let’s GO!
How long until the Leafs actually get a good RHD. This year's D is no better then last season's & the leafs need to capitalize on ELC'S imo— Daniel Tiller (@tiller_daniel) October 16, 2017
It’s hard to say. The Leafs are pressed right up against the cap right now and don’t have much room to make an addition. Over the summer, there weren’t very many good free agent defencemen on the market, as you can see with guys like Dmitry Kulikov signing multi-year deals.
I would love to see the Leafs pull the trigger and acquire a top, right-handed defenceman like Drew Doughty because it would really stabilize their blueline, but the price to do so would be massive. The cost to acquire good defensive talent is high, as we saw when the Oilers had to give up Taylor Hall to acquire Adam Larsson.
The Penguins won the Stanley Cup last season with a ragtag group of good-not-great defencemen, so there’s no reason to believe the Leafs can’t be successful with what they have.
JVR Bozak Komarov who stays and why?— Andrew Brewer (@do_ramey) October 16, 2017
I would bet JVR is gone. He turns 29 years old in May and is going to command a massive contract. The Capitals signed a similar player in T.J. Oshie to an eight-year deal last summer that isn’t going to look good in a few years. The Leafs need to be careful about their cap picture because in a few years Matthews, Nylander, and Marner are going to be expensive.
Bozak I also can’t really see sticking around simply because some other team will give him $4 million to be their second line centre. He’s been a good player for the Leafs, but is turning 32 years old this spring.
The one I could see sticking around, oddly enough, is Komarov. He doesn’t produce offence at a high level but plays that gritty, old school game the front office seems to like. It wouldn’t cost as much to keep him around, either.
How worried should we be about the play of Marner— Jamie Nicholson (@13Nicholson13) October 16, 2017
Not at all. Development isn’t linear and some players progress at different paces than others.
What is the plan with Jeremy Bracco? Is the plan to win now with Marlies, over development? It seems that there are too many older fwds.— insuremetoday.ca (@Insuremetodayca) October 16, 2017
Like I mentioned earlier, the Leafs are going to be expensive pretty soon. Matthews and Nylander will cost them similar to what McDavid and Draisaitl are paid in Edmonton, so around $21 million annually. Then there’s also Mitch Marner and Jake Gardiner who will also need new deals.
With an expensive core, you need to constantly be shuffling in new, cheap talent. Bracco, if all goes well, can ideally fill the role of somebody like JVR when they leave the team to sign a mega deal in free agency. The Leafs seem to be into rolling with four lines that can score, and as a result, there will always be room for players who are good enough to contribute.
Why can't the Leafs defend?— Kevin Carreiro (@Tenkay23) October 16, 2017
The best defence is a good offence. Welcome to the world of tomorrow.
How many cups will Leafs win with Matthews? 5 rings, one for each finger.— Andrew (@FerenClaw) October 16, 2017
You’re aiming way too low. Think two hands.
What's Auston Matthews daily calorie intake?— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) October 16, 2017
I have no idea but I’m pretty sure he has more goals than everyone on the Oilers combined. Don’t fact check this.
Has anyone ever mailed in their question?— Andrew Carter (@WahtswithAndy) October 16, 2017
No, this is more of a Tweet bag.
If you had to cheer for another team in the league.. and it's can't be the Vegas Golden Knights, or Florida Panthers.. who would it be?— Thee Nation Dan - In shorts #Sacrificefor500 (@TheNationDan) October 16, 2017
The Buds are the only team worth cheering for.