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14 Oct 2021 13:47:59
My thoughts on last nights game.

Leafs were aggressive. They played a more grinding type of game. More patient on when to open it up, but when they did, they created some good chances.
Nylander has seemed to find a more physical aspect to his game he has carried over from the playoffs.
Kampf, Kase, Engvall was a really good line with size, speed and played aggressive.
Campbell looked really good.
The lack of size and strength of the D-core still concerns me.
The physicality of Ritchie and Bunting are a nice addition.
Spezza and Amadio were solid on the 4th line but Simmonds miss handled the puck a lot and didn't really do much of anything.
Top line was good.
2nd line was mostly Willy. Bunting was a nice compliment like Ritchie was on the top line, but I barely noticed Kerfoot except for a nice backcheck.
They went after Gallagher with more aggression than they would have in the past after giving Campbell a little shot. Considering Engvall and Rielly were front and centre, is a good sign.

All in all, that was more the style of play needed for the playoffs. They don't look like they are as intimidated or as much like pushovers as they have in the past. It is only game one, but I thought it was a good sign.

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14 Oct 2021 14:39:14
So despite Engvall’s shortcomings (untimely brain farts) he is a definite keeper.

Too good a skater, too good a shot, good on the PK and a big body. If he could use that big body just a bit more at times causing opponents to make errant passes he will be a player that can make a difference.

His reach is a big asset as well and seems to use it every game to break up a pass and get an offensive opportunity.

He’s a very good option on the 3rd line as a LW or C if needed.

14 Oct 2021 15:02:06
Agreed on Engvall. I had predicted in the past he is our future 3C, but inconsistent effort and those brain farts never improved (Which is why I believe Kampf was signed) . If he can put it together, he becomes a pretty cheap and effective 3rd line player. If Kase stays healthy and Engvall can be more consistent, Kampf/ Kase/ Engvall looks like it could be effective.

14 Oct 2021 16:05:05
I still say drop simmonds for Gabriel, simmonds looks like rubbish ever since he messed up his hand last year, he looks like he came to camp out of shape this year.

14 Oct 2021 20:06:42
@Randy. He definitely needs to make his presence more known. If he is in the lineup tonight and Batherson goes running around again, Simmonds needs to step up.

14 Oct 2021 21:38:18
@RLF I have never been against Engvall he just seems like he gets hot for a bit then cools off again.

He signed his deal after what? 10 games? Now I'm reading articles that he's 3C and they should trade Kerfoot.

Everyone jumps on the shiniest thing every time in Leafsland I guess.

15 Oct 2021 01:51:31
I like engvall, but I liked brooks more, I have never been a fan of kerfoot, that deal still seems awful to me, but we probably don’t land brodie if we didn’t trade kadri, just sucks that we added the pick in that deal.

15 Oct 2021 02:00:12
@LL. I like Engvall before he even made the Leafs. He just can't seem to bring it on a regular basis.

15 Oct 2021 06:16:20
@RLF hockey IQ is a big thing for any hockey fan. I think he has every tool to be a 20-40 guy except that one.

15 Oct 2021 06:16:52
@RLF also, no disrespect to you about Engvall. You weren't on this site before Engvall made his debut as far as I remember.

15 Oct 2021 11:48:55
@LL. No I wasn't on the site before Engvall made his debut. Have you ever known me to jump all over the new shiniest thing though? Am I not usually finding players that most think are not as good as they are?

15 Oct 2021 11:50:35
@LL. I agree on Engvall's hockey IQ. It is looking like the thing that holds him back. Although I am not sure if it is that or a lack of focus.

15 Oct 2021 12:42:29
@RLF no you haven't lol. It's more just the first time it ever came up with you around here so I assumed. That's my mistake.

Hockey IQ has always been how I see it but you could be right, maybe it is simply his focus. He's big, skilled fast, good on the PK, hardworking, he has every tool to be an NHL player. He just makes those mistakes where you left wondering what he was thinking, or he takes a horrible penalty.

I have always thought he had all the tools just that he's getting to an age where he may never put them together.

15 Oct 2021 13:32:10
@LL. Engvall is one of the most frustrating players. He is everything you said on both sides of it. He can play a great game and then make that play like he did last night that looks like something you do in practice when you are running a drill with no competition. That may be one of the laziest, stupidest passes I have ever seen. Holl would have had to knock it out of the air to even try to accept it. It was so bad, even Holl thought - there is no way this is for me. If it was a one time thing, you would right it off, but it isn't.
It is why I am not sure if it is hockey IQ or a lack of focus. He seems to know where to be, he can play most of a game or whole games without making a mistake really, so he seems to understand. But then he does stuff like that or just has a game where he looks uninterested. I am leaning to it being a lack of focus and I am not sure how you fix that anymore than if it is a lack of hockey IQ. He should easily be a third liner, but he still makes peewee mistakes at his age and like you said, is he what he is due to his age.

13 Oct 2021 14:04:26
So many of us are unhappy about losing a smallish 25 year old C/ LW for nothing. Brooks was and is a fringe player.

We are also frustrated re our cap position. No room to do anything.

Kerfoot MUST go. He’s too expensive @$3.5m.

There are two 4th line young NHL centres that can, IMO, add much to our lineup.

We’ve talked about Michael McLeod often! He makes $.975m and has many qualities I like. What about Sam Steele, almost a carbon copy of Adam Brooks and has one year left on a$.874m contract.

Or Vitali Kravtsov as I earlier mentioned.

Another player mentioned previously is Zemgus Girgenson @ $2.2m.

Nico Sturm @$.725m, Nick Bjugstad @$.9m.

The point is there are many valuable pieces that can answer our needs.

Let’s get one done!

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13 Oct 2021 14:45:12
Rsears. Do we really need to add a roster player even? A cheap one wouldn't hurt, but I am not sure it is even necessary. If a team offered a 3rd and 5th for Kerfoot for instance, should we take it?
Personally, I would. I think Kerfoot is a better player than that, but the cap is only likely going up slightly next season and he is UFA after that. As you said, he is the obvious choice to move out.

13 Oct 2021 17:14:40
A very good question to debate and review from different perspectives.

Of the core 4, Tavares is the only one to have reached peak performance and perhaps is declining. Add Rielly who also may have peaked.

So one question is should we get something back to help us now?

Do we have sufficient depth to be happy with future draft choices?

Will we be a weaker team without Rielly and a slower Tavares or will Matthews, Marner and Nylander make up for these losses.

Planning for the future is always right but you’re giving up the present. We don’t have time for that and there are no guaranties.

My vote is to get something back now and I want McLeod!

But your point is extremely valid. This is but one man’s viewpoint.

13 Oct 2021 18:40:26
You are preaching to the choir on McLeod. I don't think we are getting McLeod for Kerfoot. At one time maybe. Now, I doubt it. McLeod had 3pts in 3 pre-season games. He is primed for a breakout season after how he finished last season.
Another prospect out of NJ to watch that I have mentioned before is Okhotyuk. I have had him in proposals for well over a year. If Leafs could get Okhotyuk and a pick for Kerfoot, I would take it in a second. You don't always need the return in the trade for Kerfoot if you get cap space. You can use the new cap space to improve now in another move. Make the above trade, and then make another one with the new cap space.

13 Oct 2021 22:12:42
I will take a look at Okhotyuk and do some checking.

14 Oct 2021 00:06:04
I don’t think he would be my first or second choice but he does have some strong positive attributes, most importantly decent size, strong skater and a very reliable defender.

No offensive upside to speak of but that’s not the end of the world. As long as he can make a smart and strong breakout pass he could be 5 or 6th defender.

14 Oct 2021 00:55:09
You probably aren't getting your first or second choice for Kerfoot. I could have put a higher profile guy, but why bother.

14 Oct 2021 12:33:06
Probably true.
I wonder how hard Dubas is searching for a Kerfoot trade partner and if he’s had any bites or offers?
Maybe add Joey Anderson to Kerfoot in a trade for any of McLeod, Okhotyuk or another top NJD prospect.

14 Oct 2021 13:20:13
I honestly don't think he is trying to find a partner at all for Kerfoot. I think Dubas wants to keep him.
I don't think giving them back Kerfoot and Anderson does it to get McLeod. He is a former 12th overall pick, only 23, blinding speed, plays hard and a centre with over 50% faceoff %. Add to that signed for $.975 for another season. He is starting to get it at the NHL level. He has more upside then both Kerfoot and Anderson and is about $2.5M cheaper than Kerfoot. I don't think NJ is even thinking of moving him. They just protected him in the expansion draft as well. If we had him under the same circumstances, we would all be mad if he got traded for a guy like Kerfoot.

I said Okhotyuk because they have Smith, Walsh, Bahl, Vukojevic, Mukhamadullin developing plus Hamilton, Graves, Severson and Siegenthaler already with the big club.

Could Foote be available? Would they consider moving Stillman with all their other talent? Would Greer be worth it as a cheap reclamation project? Kerfoot and Kivihlame (to balance out number of contracts exchanged) for Okhotyuk, Greer and a 4th?

14 Oct 2021 22:33:30
Dubas won't trade Kerfoot unless absolutely necessary. From his POV, that Kadri trade was pure genius. all of a sudden, the narrative started to crumble. We all wondered how this is all he got for Kadri.

Trading Kerfoot for a 5th now means his return on Kadri ends up being a 5th (all I think you get for him) .

How do you sell the above and keep your job?

15 Oct 2021 02:01:30
Dubas is a good recruiter, but he shouldn't be in charge of contracts.

11 Oct 2021 23:22:59
Bye Brooks. Another guy I liked lost for nothing. Would have much rather just had Engvall moved for anything or even buried.

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12 Oct 2021 10:36:30
Dump marner, offer sheet Suzuki next year and Canfield the year after.

12 Oct 2021 12:51:21
I know this may sound odd as he is a solid player, but would it have been better to waive Kerfoot? Especially if he is slated for a bottom 6 role. Only a few teams have the cap space to bring him on, although money owed compared to cap hit would be enticing for teams. If someone claimed him, the Leafs all of a sudden have $3.5M in cap space. It also opens up a bottom 6 spot and would have allowed them to carry a full roster and not have to waive anyone else.
I would rather get a return for Kerfoot and get the cap space that way, but if no other teams are interested in trading asset (s) for him, this would have been a way.

At what point does it make more sense to waive Kerfoot over continuing to lose multiple players a year for free?

12 Oct 2021 16:16:03
The brooks loss hurts, he’s pretty equal to engvall now with a higher ceiling, I wouldn’t be surprised if we look at this like losing brown for nothing to Ottawa in a few years.
I thought brooks looked better with marner than Ritchie did.

13 Oct 2021 03:16:39
@RLF I'm right there with you. Trade Kerfoot for almost anything instead of losing some decent players for nothing.

13 Oct 2021 07:05:35
That's my thinking as well Randy. roughly the same age, skillset, and he's cheaper. In what world does that make sense?

13 Oct 2021 12:47:57
I think Engvall is the better overall player with better potential and has the size and reach advantage. Brooks reminds me a lot of what I have seen from Anderson so far. They are both solid, but do nothing that stands out. Losing either player though sucks.

The bigger issue to me is that we sign all this depth at the start of the season and it seems great. But then due to cap constrictions, we can't keep a full squad and have to send people down and lose them to waivers or have to keep them there until playoffs for fear of losing them. TDL, we are using assets to get depth in trades.

We need more cap flexibility. The cap isn't going up much next season likely, so as mentioned, moving Kerfoot to get cap space makes the most sense to me. I know if Matthews or Tavares go down, it is nice to have Kerfoot. Someone else will have to step up. Sometimes that is when you find out that a player moves up the lineup and is more than what you thought they were.

14 Oct 2021 15:31:11
If Ritchie stays on the first line I predict he will score 20+ for the first time.
His net front presence is huge and with the change to cross-checking he will draw penalties.
While he’s not the greatest skater he can often get to the puck first and will offer enough fear to give M&M room to do their thing.
He offers MUCH more than Brooks.
I like the addition!

11 Oct 2021 10:04:22
Do the Leafs play a swarm defense?

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10 Oct 2021 14:20:24
Here is a question for everyone that I have been thinking about. Taking everything into consideration, Kerfoot or Engvall?

My take. Engvall can do pretty much 75% of what Kerfoot can do for $2.25M less against the cap. Engvall can play centre if needed. He can PK. He has speed. Is actually quite good at weaving his way through the neutral zone. I give the intensity and physicality to Kerfoot along with top end speed. Engvall has the better shot, and reach. Kerfoot has better trade value.

The Leafs made a lot of cheap additions. Cap space is an issue to try and keep a full roster. With the additions of Ritchie, Bunting, Kampf and Kase, how valuable are Kerfoot and Engvall now?

Just my opinion, but I think the best move for the Leafs is to try and move Kerfoot to create some cap space so that they don't have to waive a guy like Engvall. To me, losing Kerfoot, but being able to keep more players up with the club and not risk losing them to waivers is more important. This year's additions allow the Leafs to move Kerfoot and get some much needed cap space. I would also rather have Engvall at $1.25 then Kerfoot at $3.5M with this edition of the Leafs.

Where are you guys on this?

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10 Oct 2021 14:44:11
100% prefer Engvall.

Both have pluses and minuses; perhaps more with Kerfoot.
I see upside with Engvall that simply does NOT exist with Kerfoot.

Both have speed and PK abilities. Yes more energy with Kerfoot but I like the bigger body and more ability to score. When Kerfoot gets close to the net he’s as bad as Mikheyev, except I feel slightly more bullish on Mikheyev.

As a 4th centerman i'd just as soon have Spezza. He’s got energy, IQ, drive, experience and enough speed IMO. Maybe not as fast as he was or Kerfoot speed but is not the Goat.

Let’s get some cap space.

10 Oct 2021 21:09:06
Man, that's tough. Neither one has a tonne of trade value. At least not what we hope for when we propose trades.

I would prefer to keep Kerfoot but that's less about him and more about Engvall.

11 Oct 2021 00:13:39
I’d rather engvall.

12 Oct 2021 13:41:19
To me, Kerfoot makes the most sense. Not because of quality of player, but because if he is not in the top 6, we can't afford a $3.5M bottom 6 player.

09 Oct 2021 23:49:16
What a shame Dubas traded Connor Brown!

I know it was about dumping Zaitsev’s contract but what a gem he has become in Ottawa.

PP, PK and 5-on-5 he has become a very solid and smart player.

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10 Oct 2021 08:34:48
He's a third liner here though. Where does he slot in exactly? That's the issue.

10 Oct 2021 12:09:03
Yes LL he does get more ice time in Ottawa which allows more opportunity to showcase his skill set.

But I’d put him on RW with Tavares and flip Nylander to the left side. Drop Bunting down in the lineup.

Right now Brown does everything right. He’d easily be a top6 forward.

10 Oct 2021 12:35:03
His chemistry with Matthews was insane

I’ve always hated brown leaving but him leaving turned him into so much more than if he stayed in Toronto.

Now is the time to grab him but leafs would need to package kerfoot elsewhere to make brown and his cap to fit in this team.

12 Oct 2021 13:38:13
Obviously just me, but all things considered, would we really be a lot better with Brown in the top 6 over Kerfoot? Cap his about the same. Term is the same, so no real cap advantage. On the ice, Brown is a more balanced player, but I give the edge in physicality and obviously speed to Kerfoot. Neither is a big produce on the PP. Both can kill penalties, but Brown is the better overall defensive player. I think you end up with the same problem we do with Kerfoot, if he isn't in the top 6, we can't afford him. Are we sure Leafs will put him in the top 6?

09 Oct 2021 14:31:22
It's too bad leafs couldn't bury retained cap hit in the minors

Then Kessel retain only cost .075 on leafs cap hit

It can't happen but would be funny if leafs magically found a loop hole to let this happen

Just a good for thought

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10 Oct 2021 08:35:06
I agree lol. But at least one year left, right?

08 Oct 2021 11:42:35
I feel like we need to get Gabriel in the line up some nights. he's a good energy guy. Plus he makes our team tougher.

Ritchie matthews marner
Mikheyev Tavares Nylander
Kerfoot kampf simmonds
Gabriel spezza Kase


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08 Oct 2021 17:28:34
What happened to Bunting? Problem is that we do not have the cap space to carry anymore than 13 forwards, that is if we are only carrying 6 D. You would have to waive one of Engvall, Bunting, Kase, Spezza, Simmonds to keep Gabriel with the big club.

08 Oct 2021 21:28:09
Everytime i try to get him in the line up i miss some one. damn. they should trade engvall. lol.

09 Oct 2021 14:08:17
It's tough when you have about 10 bottom 6 players, 6 spots and no cap room. Lol.

09 Oct 2021 14:15:26
Engvall is the solution but not trading him just waiving him

So to bury a contract in 2021-22 the calculation starts
Min salary + $375,000 so

Now subtract this number from any player who has a cap hit over this number and the new cap value for that player while buried is the minors is this new number

If player has cap hit under this buried formula the players new cap hit while buried is 0

Last year the minimum salary was 700k so the buried formula was based on 1.075 and that’s why Engvall had a cap hit of .175 while buried in minors last year.

Now with the equation being 1.125 Engvall has a cap hit of .125 if he gets waived clears waivers and goes to minors.

So with him leafs have 13F 6D 2G and .08 in cap space
Engvall in minors now 12F 6D 2G and 1.205 in space
They add Gabriel now they have .405 in space with 13F

So the question is does gabriel on team and Engvall off team worth the .325 they gain in space?

Also if Engvall is lost for nothing on waivers and Gabriel is added now leafs have .53 in space.

I say either way this will be leafs move just like last year to gain valuable accumulate cap.

So in closing Engvall out gabriel it any minimal salary in and leafs carry 1 extra skater all year long.

10 Oct 2021 14:53:29
For the record I’m totally against waiving or trading Engvall.

He WON’T pass waivers!

I do like Gabriel and expect he will see time on the Leaf roster. I think he might replace Simmonds some time in future.

Trade Kerfoot. He’s has million $ legs and a 2 cent head in the offensive zone. Other than speed and PK he’s way overpaid and simply not needed.

11 Oct 2021 01:37:42
For the record this isn’t my choice either.

Just giving you all a quick look at how buried contracts work and how players, if they clear waivers, close to the buried number or under are the choice for management to be used to bury.

Kerfoot is whom I want traded but unless it’s a 2nd rounder or more it ain’t going to happen so logic tells me Engvall will be used if they decide to bury him due to his contract.

Or nothing will happen to either at all.

11 Oct 2021 07:14:31
Engvall may be claimed and he may not be. If Dubas was offered a 6th right now he pro ably takes it. That make some believe, he hasn't been offered much yet.

11 Oct 2021 14:34:42
NHL data shows that 31% of 6th round picks play at least 1 NHL game.
Engvall has played in 71% of Leafs games (90) in the last 2 years.
If I’m in Vegas I know where my money would be.
But I’m not and still picking Engvall based on a “bird in the hand” principle.


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