The Leafs certainly didnâ€™t give us much to talk about over the weekend, nor did any team for that matter, so I have very little to offer you in the way of structured commentary today. Instead, Iâ€™ve got ten questions to start you talking hockey on a Monday morning.
- Which Leafs roster player would be the hardest replace if they are traded?
My answer: Carl Gunnarsson, finding a 22 minute a night reliable defender for less than $1.5 million isnâ€™t worth losing.
- Would you take the chance on signing Alexander Semin?
My thought: Yes, though I think the true Alex Semin isnâ€™t the darling advanced stats make him out to be, nor do I think heâ€™s the coach killer the media has portrayed him as. Semin, Grabovski, Kessel, van Riemsdyk, and either MacArthur or Lupul gives you 5 out of 6 of your top six roster spots filled in a very meaningful way.
- If Burke is working on a trade for goaltender other than Luongo, who do you think it is?
My thought: Jonas Hiller would be the obvious choice as Carlyle, Burke, and Allaire all have familiarity with him, but if I was trying to go off the radar Iâ€™d Mike Smith.
- Is it better to keep Kulemin with Grabovski or move him into a checking line role?
My thought: Keep him with Grabbo, and try and push some secondary scoring onto the third line.
- Out of Holzer, Dâ€™Amigo, or Colborne, which has the best chance of cracking the Leafs opening day roster?
My thought: Holzer seems pretty obvious, but I continually hope for Colborne to push for a job.
- There was talk of James van Riemsdyk moving to center, if you could try any player on the Leafs at a new position who would it be?
My thought: Iâ€™d love to see Mike Komisarek on the wing on the fourth line (third if he starts to excel). Heâ€™s got the size, defensive mindset, aggressiveness, and can be somewhat of an enforcer. The downside – a $4.5 million fourth liner seems worse than a $4.5 million third pairing defenseman.
- Taking salary dumps like Connolly, Liles, Komisarek, and Lombardi out of the picture, who on the Leafs would you like to see gone?
My thought: Frankly, I donâ€™t care as long as I think the Leafs are improving because of the deal, but honestly Iâ€™d like to see Bozak get moved and get a chance to play in a proper 3rd line role.
- What HFBoard type deal runs through your head more often than it probably should?
My thought: Cody Franson and Bozak to Edmonton for Sam Gagner. Iâ€™m sure Edmonton overvalues Gagner and this deal doesnâ€™t work, but it addresses their defensive need while giving Toronto a more offensive minded option at first line center. Of course Gagner does nothing to help size, so there are no shortages of flaws in this idea.
- If it is a Reimer/Scrivens tandem this year, does Reimer stay the number one or does Scrivens step up and take the job?
My thought: It has to be Reimer doing the bulk of the work. I personally canâ€™t fathom Scrivens as anything more than a reliable backup option.
- Based on the two major(-ish) moves so far, are the Leafs good enough for 8th in the East.
My thought: Surprise, surprise, my answer is no. I donâ€™t even know if these moves make the Leafs noticeably better. While I am still optimistic about the long term outlook of the team, there hasnâ€™t been anything yet to make me believe that there will be hockey in May.
And now a few links…
Vintage Leafs Memories asks the question, would anyone care about this Leafs team if they were in Carolina or Columbus? Short answer, no, longer answer is they would likely be seen more for what they are, a young team that shows a lot of future promise once a goaltender is in place.
Hope in the Big Smoke suggests looking at Colorado as a trade partner. I am still not convinced that Burke sees as much value in Paul Stastny as Leafs fans do.
Andrey Osadchenko interviewed Leo Komarov and has some insight into his decision making process regarding playing on the Marlies or returning to the KHL. While Iâ€™m not sure heâ€™ll be an everyday player on the Leafs to start, Iâ€™m sure at the very least Komarov can be the thirteenth forward and see enough playing time to keep him in North America.
James Mirtle takes a shot at fixing the Leafs, and prioritizes a top four defender as the most have the Leafs to improve. Whatâ€™s also interesting is that he suggests that Mike Kostka could challenge for the seventh defense spot on the Leafs.
The National Post has a story on the Leafs skating coach, Barbara Underhill. One of the items noted in this article is that the Leafs are trying to get Colton Orr up to NHL calibre and allow him to continue to his career. The fact that Orr isnâ€™t completely written off yet kind of confuses me.
Adam Proteau has the true â€˜Goonâ€™ story. Itâ€™s nice to read a Proteau article about a fighter that isnâ€™t filled with judgement.
For the first time in a while Vintage Leafs has some new photo-y goodness for us.
Based on the fact that Alex Semin hasnâ€™t taken the KHL money and run there is a good chance he wants to stay in North America. I wouldnâ€™t mind the Leafs making a play for him, but accept the fact that it isnâ€™t happening.