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This page last updated: 15:22:33

18 Oct 2021 02:29:11
Looks like signing Dmen might get expensive

Blake pronged both got just over 9 million per on a 3 yr term.
Lindstrom 10 million 2 yrs

Then years past by and in a 10 year span only 1 player exceeded 9 plus million per in Subban who hit 9/8yrs in 2014-15. Only 3 forwards made more at this time

Then up to 2018-19 season 6 more forwards joined that list through the years while no Dmen joined. Of the 6, 5cracked 10 million Lead by mcdavid.

Then 2019-20 season both doughty and karlsson crack the 9 million list in fact they grab 11 and 11.5 each making them 4th and tied for 5th in league. However, 8 more forwards joined the 9+ million club with 3 grabbing more than 10 million lead by panarin and Matthews 11.64

Then 2020-21 only josi gets just over 9 million after a Norris trophy. Only 1 forward joins club in backstroke but he doesn't crack 10. that's 4 dmen 17 forwards and 2 goalies now in 9+ million club.

Then this offseason hits
Hamilton 9/7yrs ufa signing
MacAvoy 9.5/8yrs extension next year
Jones 9.6/8yrs extension next year
Makar 9/6yrs after ELC
Nurse 9.25/8yrs extension next year
Werenski 9.5/6yrs extension next year

So 2 Dmen join the club this year and just 1 forward joined the club in kaprizov

Then next year 4 more Dmen will join the club with 2 forwards joining in barkov and point.

So starting next year with Subban leaving the club 9 Dmen will be on this list and with Malkin leaving 19 forwards. 2 goalies

Fox will add to the D list I'm sure while Laine,tkachuk, Hughes and boeser all have a chance to do same, all 5 are rfa

That leaves Rielly ristolainen and klingberg as the ufa Dmen available and gaudreau,bergeron,Malkin who could try to get over 9 but I doubt any do.

My guess is Rielly Toronto tries to sign him to a Pulock type deal aldo using Kruger and Faulk as good comparable but due to the fact he will be the best D in the UFA class he may try Jones or nurse as his comparable being around their age and importance to team.

Point here is Dmen are slowly creeping up to the forwards for 9 plus million a year contracts and Dmen comin out of their ELC deals are getting insane money.

The great quality of ufa players available i'd shrinking huge as teams are lock-in up their pkayers long term much more now.

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18 Oct 2021 13:17:19
It's a bit scary isn't it. Even if we don't re-sign Rielly, what are we signing and how much is it going to cost.

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18 Oct 2021 01:08:12
Here's a question for everyone, what do you do with Soup? Should Dubas start negotiating asap or wait?

3 games in and he's looking like a Vezina quality goaltender after looking just as good the back half of last season and the playoffs.

What's his number and contract look like? The plan surely can't be to have Mrazek as the starter. He only played 12 games last season and opened the season by getting injured.

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18 Oct 2021 02:33:09
If he keeps it up
Markstrom, lehner, Murray, binnington and saris type money

Leafs will lie ball him though offer mrazak money thus lose him unless he loves it here enough to take it.

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18 Oct 2021 13:22:15
@LL. Right when they signed Mrazek, I said that this is the last year for Soup here and they must think Mrasek is a number 1 goalie. You don't give a backup 3X$3.8 with a modified NTC. As I said before, if Campbell falters, they won't want him back. If he does well, we can't afford him. I still can't understand why they didn't find a cheaper backup for Campbell who was looking at at 1-2 year deal. The Hurricanes got Raanta for 2X$2M. That is the kind of deal I though Leafs would do.

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17 Oct 2021 21:50:28
We all seem to be in agreement about finding cap relief. Perhaps we need to pursue a different strategy.

Who feels we are getting value from either Brodie or Muzzin?

As you know we have $10.6m tied up in these two players who are both on the downside of their career.

Is either or both a possible route to get better and get cap space.

Can Liligren make up for one? Kristin Rubins is big and is a good skater.

Can either or both provide similar defence as Brodie? He has been absent on offence.

Or do we make a trade with Anaheim for Josh Manson. We’d have to add a prospect.

OR is there another place for either of these two?

BTW Anaheim also sent 24yo LD Jacob Larsson down to SAN Diego. What about Larsson and Sam Steele?

Does a trade like this make sense?

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17 Oct 2021 23:53:23
I believe both are integral parts of the D corps right now.

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18 Oct 2021 02:12:22
That’s fair. just trying a different angle from the Kerfoot dilemma.

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18 Oct 2021 13:24:24
I think many thought it had to be Rielly going as Leafs shouldn't let him walk for nothing. Should have moved him for an ELC d-man that was not a real high profile guy. We made many suggestions on here, but Dubas seems to want another kick at the can with his full core.

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18 Oct 2021 13:59:36
Just to add another thought on Brodie and Muzzin. Yes they are important pieces but costly.

How about trading one of them for a 32yo LD who is mean mean, can fight, skate and scored 7g and 11a in 2019/ 20. He makes $2m.

His name is Mark Borowiecki.

Just a thought.

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17 Oct 2021 00:33:54
Far too many Leaf Dmen watching the puck.
Didn’t we learn not to in Peewee hockey.

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17 Oct 2021 00:09:16
So I have to admit that my opinion is slowly changing on Rasmus Sandin.

He’s still slow but has a strong hockey IQ and an offensive flair. Has been good with Dermott so far.

If Marner and Tavares can break out soon the Leafs will outscore most teams every night.

Bunting has energy again and looks engaged, Kampf is quietly effective, Engvall has his moments but still doesn’t punish the other teams enough when he has the chance, Kase handles the puck well but needs some luck, Ritchie does what he does well taking the body and goes to the net.

Loving Spezza’s play and Campbell sees the play as it develops and is solid positional.

Kerfoot scores but he almost put in Forsberg’s midsection.

Need much more from Rielly, Brodie and Muzzin.

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17 Oct 2021 01:55:51
Sandin just reminds me of Barrie through and through.

Offensively talented without much at all on the defensive end.

Kampf will be lucky to put up 20 points but that isn't his job. He's been a solid addition.

Would rather see Bunting play with Marner and JT.

Much better game out of Marner tonight, sees to have his game again.

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17 Oct 2021 05:30:33
I’m getting you guys on my level with bunting on the top line lol.

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17 Oct 2021 07:13:46
@Randy it's mostly because I'm not sure who else lol.

Ritchie hasn't looked great and neither has Kerfoot. Who else do you put there?

Radical idea though, why not swap Nylander to LW since he has said before he likes to play left side.

Nylander-Mathews-Marner.

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17 Oct 2021 14:55:47
@LL. I take it when you say a radical idea, that it is sarcasm.
I just showed that exact same line below and you said you are not for it. lol.

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17 Oct 2021 15:50:09
I think kase has made a case for the top six and idk if anyone has been paying attention but ho sang has been playing really well with the marlies but if guys like Ritchie kerfoot and or engvall don’t start doing more I don’t see them anything more than 4 th liners.

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17 Oct 2021 16:44:26
Ho Sang was minus 3 in the first game but did score twice in game 2. Let’s give him more time in AHL and gain more confidence.

I’m not unhappy with Ritchie. If he scores next game that’s plays out to 20+ in the season. He’s such a physical beast I think we need him on a line with M&M.

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17 Oct 2021 17:11:27
Is he a physcal beast? I think I’ve seen him throw one big hit, and he seems to get out muscles in front of the net a lot. I am very much not a fan of his lol, maybe time will change that.

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17 Oct 2021 17:46:40
@RLF it is lol. It's been thrown around so many times over the years on this site I can't believe we haven't even seen it tried in camp.

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17 Oct 2021 18:29:59
I don't think they expected any more than 15-20 goals from Ritchie when they signed him. If he is meant to play with Matthews and Marner, he hasn't even suited up with his intended linemates yet. If he is in front screening the goalie, Matthews should score 50. Let's see how it looks after 5-10 games with his real linemates. As long as they keep winning, we have time to sort lines out and see what we have. 3 games is nothing for any of these guys to see who really belongs where.

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18 Oct 2021 02:36:45
Just superline Matthews Tavares Marner as Matthews shouldn’t take faceoffs for a bit

Bunting kerfoot nylander
Ritchie kampf Kase
Engvall spezza simmonds

Get er done Keefe.

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18 Oct 2021 13:28:14
I am all for the super line. Originally I kept saying MMJT. I have leaned more MMN. Reason being is Nylander has upped his compete and JT is a much better 2C than Kerfoot. Put JT with Ritchie and Kerfoot on the RW. Bunting/ Kampf/ Kase. (Engvall/ Simmonds) / Amadio/ Spezza. You can always go more balanced when ever things aren't working.

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15 Oct 2021 13:19:07
Here is what I would do with the lineup after seeing these guys for a couple of NHL games now. I am not panicking as I still think they are more built for playoff hockey. I would also still move Kerfoot if possible.

Nylander Kampf Marner
Ritchie Tavares Bunting
Engvall Kerfoot Kase
Amadio Spezza Simmonds

We don't have any extra forwards up with the team and they would send Liljegren down in order to bring someone else up. So this is the group until Matthews and eventually Mikheyev come back.

The reason I have Kampf up there is because he is defensively solid and a big body that can skate. He can keep up with Nylander and Marner. Tavares works well with grinders like himself. A very speedy 3rd line and a veteran 4th line.

When Matthews is back, I would do this.

Nylander Matthews Marner
Ritchie Tavares Kerfoot
Bunting Kampf Kase
Amadio Spezza Engvall/Simmonds

I really believe with this years lineup that a super line is the way to go. With Willy's new found compete level, reunite the "kids" and let them dominate. I think Tavares and Ritchie could work well together and Kerfoot is better on the wing and brings speed to the line. The third line should be solid defensively and bring good intensity and forecheck. Make Engvall and Simmonds compete for a job. See who wants to up their game more.

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15 Oct 2021 15:34:23
So two game two poor starts but this time it looks like a full period of disinterest and lacklustre effort. and some bounces the wrong way.

Its a question of being ready (both the coach and the players responsibility) and not letting an opponent outwork you.

Yes Holl looks and is slow, yes Simmonds mishandles the puck and runs around accomplishing little, yes Kerfoot is overpaid and skates fast but creates nothing and yes Ritchie has been quiet.

Engvall’s giveaway lead to a goal but shouldn’t Holl make a better effort to accept the pass? Shouldn’t someone be boxing out Tierney? Take some pride in your effort, this is my learning and message to the team.

It’s the second game, let’s not allow these poor efforts to continue. The talent is there so let’s elevate the accountability and build the mindset that the puck is ours, you can't have it!

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16 Oct 2021 00:12:34
@RLF it's worth a shot but I would personally rather see will play 2C in this situation and have Tavares with the super line.

Not a big fan of a super line right now anyway though but it all depends on how everyone looks when Mathews comes back.

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16 Oct 2021 17:03:49
@LL. I am not for Willy as a C. He is just not the guy I want down low and having to play mostly on the defensive side of the puck as I think it takes away from some of his attributes that make him effective.
I just feel we have a lot of 3rd line players. Almost 2 lines worth (Bunting, Kampf, Kase, Kerfoot, Engvall) . 2 possible 2nd line guys in Ritchie and Mikheyev. 4 first line players (MMNT) and some 4th line guys.
Why not have 3 of the 4 first line guys play first line and give them 19-20 mins a night? JT is like a skilled grinder, let's put a grinder and some speed with him. We still have a solid 3rd line and an even better one when Matthews is back. I can understand why some wouldn't like the "superline", just my opinion on the best way to go.

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17 Oct 2021 01:57:16
I agree with your assessment of the 3rd liners. Ritchie I don't even see as a top 6 winger and Mikheyev I don't mind but we have seen what he has in the top 6 before.

Really just need some LW depth on the team. That's the one area not looking great.

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17 Oct 2021 15:08:18
@LL. As much as Leafs fans can be about the newest shiny thing, they can also judge new players too quickly. imo.
We are 3 games in and Ritchie is being written off. Mikheyev was quite good his first season until he got hurt, now he is not worthy of a top 6 spot when he has barely played.
Like I said, we have 4 1st line players that are paid huge, so it is not likely we will have many or any true 2nd line players that stand out as great 2nd liners. It is about who can compliment well in the top 6.
Bunting? Maybe. Engvall? Maybe. Kase? Maybe.
Right now with what we have, I see Ritchie and Mikheyev as the best options. Kerfoot could if he is on the top of his game, but he is too inconsistent that way.
Let's give Ritchie time to adjust and if it doesn't work, try Bunting.

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15 Oct 2021 01:47:57
Man do they miss matthews and Hyman right now,

Ritchie looks like he's destined for the fourth line,

simmonds is no longer an nhl player.

Bet you brooks doesn't throw that feathered pass right on the tape to the sens player.

Amadio hasn't done anything really in his first couple games.

Spezza still looks great, probably the second or third best leaf out there tonight.

Bunting the jury is still out for me, I at least notice him banging at pucks in front.

I didn't really care for holls game again tonight but sandin looked really good and dermott looked alright for the bottom pair.

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15 Oct 2021 02:22:12
I would say the lineup is the issue for me kerfoot can not play center and if nylander and Tavares will be playing together next week it makes no sense to play them on separate lines engvall just keeps proving everyone right by playing inconsistent hockey next game should be this

Bunting Tavares nylander
Ritchie Spezza marner
Kerfoot kampf kase
Engvall amadio simmonds.

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15 Oct 2021 06:12:09
And now we all see a Hyman-less Marner don't we? No one going to mention it? Has he looked like an 11 million dollar player in either game? Not even close.

He is an extremely talented player that needs someone to do the work for him.

Mathews will come back, score 50 goals and everyone will say "that's because Marner set him up". Mathews does that with Kapanen and Johnson.

When your blaming Nick Ritchie, Justin Holl and Wayne Simmonds instead of the guy that makes 11 million and had done nothing, we will always disagree.

Trade Marner before his value drops. Get what you can.

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15 Oct 2021 13:01:03
@Randy. We do miss Matthews and Hyman. What team wouldn't?
We still disagree on Ritchie.
Simmonds needs to do something other than occupy space, but I still think he can play in the NHL.
You're right, Brooks would not have. The problem with Brooks is that he doesn't usually negatively impact the game, but he doesn't really do anything that is a major positive impact either. Engvall can have a larger positive impact, but he needs to focus for 60+ mins.
I've actually like Amadio.
Agreed that Spezza has been very good.
I thought you were huge on Bunting? Still looks like a third liner at the moment to me.
Holl has been slow to read and react for sure both games. Sandin and Dermott were fine as you said last night.

@L1994. Not what I would o at the moment, but I can see why someone might want to.

@LL. Has Marner ever looked like an $11M player? I think you are overly hard on the guy, but I respect your opinion. I thought he has been good, but it's a different team without Matthews for sure.

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15 Oct 2021 15:50:29
I like the work ethic of bunting, Ritchie reminds me a little of a Antropov but with the ability to drop the gloves, I hated him as well, and never thought he deserved to play with sundin. Marner has looked fine to me, dances through but needs a shooter to set up, Tavares is a garbage goal kind of player with a beauty goal every 10-20 games, Ritchie is a pylon, they should be playing a heavy top line of Mitch Willy and Tavares. It looks dominant when it’s on the ice.

And that pass from engvall was to holl looking the wrong way, not sure why he wasn’t looking at the puck but that’s never the right play. The pass was also still at holls ankles even if he was looking.

You guys keep saying brooks doesn’t positively or negatively effect the game, he’s like .8 points per game playing third and fourth line minutes. Maybe I’m one of the few that see what I see in brooks. But I stand behind I’d rather have him over engvall, and I’d rather have engvall over kerfoot ( mainly cap related) but I’d also rather have all 3 of them over simmonds, if he’s not going to start chipping in offensively, he has to start “punching peoples heads off”.

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15 Oct 2021 16:42:11
@Randy-Bunting has a good work ethic no doubt. He may end up a good complimentary top 6 guy if playing with two really talented players, but I still see a good third liner in him. I don't think he is quick enough, but I like him. Ritchie is likely more effective in the playoffs than regular season and he isn't really getting the PP time he did last year in Boston. He had 9 of his 26 points on the PP. So far Bunting is getting more icetime and his only point is on the PP. He really hasn't produced anything yet either. I want to give each new guy a bit more time before I start drawing too many conclusions.
Agreed on Jt and I would also like to see a super line of sorts.

Holl was checking behind him to see where any pressure is coming from so he could become an outlet for Muzzin if Engvall gave Muzzin the puck. I have no issues with Holl not expecting that pass as he was the worst option for Engvall to choose.

Brooks has 8 pts in 18 games, which is close to .4 per game than .8. He also had a 40% sh% last year which is unheard of and unsustainable. I think I am the only one that has said he didn't negatively or positively affect the game, but I am not just referring to points. Brooks makes mostly safe plays which makes him reliable. He doesn't carry it through the neutral zone, he doesn't take a lot of shots, he isn't great at cycling it, he doesn't bring a lot of energy - he plays it safe. Positionally he is very good, so is Anderson. Personally, I think if he wants to be in the NHL, he needs to be better than just safe.

Simmonds I totally agree. His start to the season has been mostly awful.

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15 Oct 2021 01:26:39
This is the powerplay I have been wanting for a long time now. Throw Mathews on there and have a second option.

The Marner to Mathews is so predictable a scarecrow could stop it at this point.

Big shout out to Nylander. Looking better in everyway than ever before.

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15 Oct 2021 01:50:08
Nylander has looked downright dominant.

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15 Oct 2021 06:15:32
@Randy I was always a Nylander fan. I will not deny I lost faith in him for awhile because I viewed him as lazy but;

He is Marner. He has the same skillsets except a better shot and a better zone entry.

If it wasn't for his lazy attitude at times we could be talking about him in the conversation of best RW in the NHL.

Been saying for a long time. Let Nylander do what Nylander does. He doesn't need a start centre, he needs the luck on his stick.

Put Nylander on the 1st PP with Mathews so we have two dangerous shots instead of one. Keefe, Babs, everyone always assumed Marner was better. He isn't. It's different skillsets and I would take Willy 💯 of the time over Mitchy. Trade Marner now.

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15 Oct 2021 13:05:48
The only issue I have ever had with Nylander is lack of compete. I am not and was not talking big hits or fighting etc. It was battling for pucks, using your body to protect it, not shying away from contact etc. It was only there about 5-10% of the time. He has been competing hard since the start of the playoffs and this is how good Nylander CAN be. Maybe he has finally realized that that part of the game is what will make him even better. If he keeps the compete level up, he will be an absolute bargain at $7M and could be close to untouchable. imo.

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15 Oct 2021 15:53:27
I was on the fence about nylander because of how soft he played, the talents there but he takes nights off. I agree trade marner, they should send him to Columbus for Laine+ Columbus was willing to pay him 12.5 he just wouldn’t sign 8 years.

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