Pick One

Pick One

1128

I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to care about the playoffs. As talented as the remaining teams are, I’m not interested in the hearing the winner of the Stanley Cup become dubbed the next great NHL dynasty. The fact that Boston could claim that honour makes it sting a little worse, as I’m sure another reason I have completely tuned out of the playoffs is the absence of the Leafs after believing it was a real possibility they would be in it for at least four more games.

So, truthfully, I haven’t been watching too much hockey and don’t have much to say today. Rather than weigh you down with my thoughts on the Leafs when admittedly I haven’t been paying too close attention, I’ll turn it over to the comments section and the spiffy new Livefyre comment system to find out the more popular outcome of a few different scenarios:

Scenario 1: Clarkson vs. FilppulaA
Assume that Tyler Bozak will not be re-signed (already this is a great scenario), and also that Clarke MacArthur is hitting the free agent market (this is much more disappointing). If the Leafs are willing to commit to one of these two free agents, are they better off with the physical winger who could pot a few goals by positioning himself in front of goaltenders, or are they better off with grabbing one of the few top six centres available who plays a solid two-way game?

Scenario 2: Move up in the draft or Move down in the draft
In this scenario, assume the Leafs know they will not be able to get the player they want at 21 and that the player will be taken in the 12-18 range. They now must decide if they want to move up and grab the player or if they want to move down knowing that it’s a deep draft and they’ll be able to get a decent prospect while acquiring an additional asset. If the Leafs are giving up Percy to move up and potentially acquiring a second to move down, which seems better?

Scenario 3: Buyout Liles and Komisarek or Make a move to acquire Rick DiPietro to buy him out but only be able to buyout Liles or Komisarek (neither going to the Islanders in a trade)
With credit to the Islanders, they might actually be able to start a bidding war over who gets the privilege of buying out the horrible DiPietro deal by including a worthwhile prospect (Strome, Nelson or Neiderreiter), but as more teams get in on this the quality of the prospect and the amount of garbage the Isles are willing to take back will probably decrease. Is this worth pursuing or should the Leafs go the safe route and dump over $8,000,000 of mediocre defense?

Scenario 4: Let Dallas Eakins go or Make him an Associate Coach on the Leafs
It seems likely that Eakins will be getting an offer from at least one NHL this summer, but the most interesting position he interviewed for was the Associate Coach job with the Edmonton Oilers. Essentially Ralph Kruger would be sharing the bench with the man most likely to replace him. It sounds pretty terrible for Kruger, but it was interesting enough to Eakins that he went for the interview. With the deep pockets of MLSE, is it worth giving Eakins a similar opportunity with the Leafs and have him step into the number two role waiting in the wings behind Carlyle?

Scenario 5: Scrivens or the Mystery Box
It might be lazy, but I feel the Leafs always need a goaltending question. At this point I’d hope that there aren’t any Leafs fans left who don’t want Reimer in as the number one goaltender next season. That being said, he’s rarely exceeded the 50-game mark in a season (twice dating back to junior) and he may require some strong support. Is it better to commit to the affordable and so far decent goaltending of Ben Scrivens, or should the Leafs take advantage of what could potentially be a wide open goaltending market this summer?

Scenario 6: Top Pairing Defenseman or Veteran Shutdown Defenseman
I’d hope we are at the point where it’s obvious to everyone that the Leafs need at least one solid defenseman added to the roster. The debate I have seen is whether it is worth trading assets and aggressively pursuing a top pairing defender to ease the burden on Dion Phaneuf, or whether it’s better to look for a cheaper, defensively-reliable veteran who can be paired with Rielly or Gardiner and provide a safety net while they join rushes and pinch in the offensive zone.

I look forward to reading your responses, and hope this makes for some interesting Monday conversation.

Monday Morning Links…

Fiction (Hope in the Big Smoke)
Especially after Game One it seems like the Toronto Star’s praise for Pittsburgh may be misplaced.

The Dave Nonis Five Point Off-Season Plan (Vintage Leaf Memories)
About Point #4, I’m never in favour of holding spots open for players in training camp. Fill the roster with guys and then be surprised when a prospect steals a job.

NHL Draft Tracker: Hunter Shinkaruk (Buzz the Net)
Odds are he won’t be available when the Leafs pick, but he could be worth trading up for.

Kadri’s Value and Carl Gunnarsson’s Comments (The Leafs Nation)
Some interesting and frank thoughts from Gunnarsson.

Compliance Buyout Candidates: Western Conference (NHL Numbers)
I’d quick the tires on a more reasonably priced David Jones. I also don’t think the BJs let Umberger or Wisniewski go.

A look at Team Level QoC (Pension Plan Puppets)
I’m not sure that I’m surprised by the correlation between low Fenwick Close and Team QoC, but a worthwhile read if you want ripe mind grapes early in the week.

Updates from the NHL Combine (TSN)
If you’re like me and forgot to pay attention to this, here’s a good place to catch up.

Maple Leafs Hold Their Own Combine (Toronto Sun)
Certainly can’t hurt to do this,  but I’m curious about what is being prioritized

Kings Good Role Models for the Leafs (Toronto Star)
I liked this article better when I wrote it in the Leafs Annual last summer.

Should the Leafs trade down in the first round (Editor in Leaf)
As someone who really likes players like J.T. Compher, who is rated low in the first round, I’m not entirely opposed to this.

SIMILAR ARTICLES

1026 comments
Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

Scenario 1 - Clarkson. Filppula isn't the kind of centerman the Leafs need. 

Scenario 2 - Move up. The "bottom" and "middle" of the Leafs roster is fine (maybe as good as anyone in the league) and their system is full of prospects to booster those areas for a long time. They lack talent at the top, with NO proven elite player, never mind the 2 or 3 the top teams in the league have. One of (probably THE) the best ways to find those kinds of players is by drafting early. 

Scenario 3 - Neither. Buy out Komisarek and Grabovski. Liles isn't that bad and moving one of the few real veteran players when this team needs to add more doesn't make a lot of sense. Komisarek and Grabovski are the two players with the worst contracts on the team. The Islanders won't give the Leafs enough to warrent keeping those salaries on the books. 

Scenario 4 - Again neither. He is a great coach with the AHL, just putting him in another job were he'll have less impact doesn't make a lot of sense. They should do everything they can to keep him with the Marlies but ultimately if he wants to leave, unless Nonis is willing to fire Carlyle and give him that that job, they have to let him leave. 

Scenario 5 - If the Leafs can turn Scrivens into something (like, say, an early pick in the draft or a center like Stastny) they should move him and find a more experienced back up for Reimer. If not, it doesn't make sense to just cut a talent goal tender loose for no reason. 

Scenario 6  - Top pairing. Again, its the "top" of the roster were the Leafs are lacking. 

Loric76
Loric76

Bill Watters ‏@RealBillWatters

9m

PIT is playing like a team that is tactically misguided.Would you not review TOR/BOS RD 1film?Bylsma could be coaching his last series w/PIT


Eakins to Pens, book it

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

Idiot pittsburgh pens fans over at Hockeybuzz getting what they deserve. Hope pens get swept now.

phaneufoundlander
phaneufoundlander

Guys, can you add a pic on here?

I got a beauty of Chara and Crosby

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

So further to my aside from yesterday.  The kid I caddied for was at Sectionals for US OPEN.  Had to play 36 holes (in one day) against 33 other guys fro two spots.  Managed to get into a tie for 2nd with four holes to play.    Sadly he made bogey on 17th hole to miss the US FUCKIN OPEN by ONE SHOT.  Absolutely crushing.  He is however on the alternate list and could still represent the country in the tourney.   I am still gassed by it.

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

I see the Brad Richards to the Leafs talk has already started in the MSM.  Nice work boys....about a week after we discussed it here.


Cutting edge I tell ya.

DJGLENN22
DJGLENN22

@Greg Fenton So you saying Kessel is not elite...........top 10 in scoring 2 years in a row.....you do not see other non elite players in the top 10 in this league..........Kessel is elite in my books and if we can find him that number 1 center look out.......40 -50 goals not out of the question

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@phaneufoundlander Oh cool - is it the one where Chara bends down to talk to him like he's his 10 yr old son and he's asking him if he wants a lolly?

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@TheCanucksnaphook pffff.  After he gets bought out.  On a one year contract.  For 2 million.  And he has to show Leafsnation any and all pictures he still has of Olivia Munn.  Then, maybe.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@DJGLENN22 @Greg Fenton Kessel isn't a proven, elite player. He is a very good player who has played at an elite level for 2 periods of time (the start of last year, the end of this year and the playoffs) but he has yet to maintain that level of play for an entire season, never mind year after year. 

James Neal was 7th in scoring last year, I wouldn't call him elite. Kunitz was 7th this year (one spot higher then Kessel) I wouldn't call him elite. Elias was 10th last year Idon't think he is an elite talent. Giroux was 3rd last year, I don't htink he has proven himself an elite talent yet. So....yes, we do see non-elite players in the top 10 scoring in this league. 

Generally speaking, elite players don't need other players to make them better like you say/think/believe Kessel does. 

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

@mcloki @Mind Bomb Morning MC, Wonder how the Pitsburg fans are feeling this morning, Is that worry ? embarrasment ? 

Hahaha

phaneufoundlander
phaneufoundlander

fantastic man....still hurtin from the playoffs, but I try to stay positive through it all..at least they made the playoffs and didnt get swept

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@mcloki @Mind Bomb They're bandwagon fans in Pittsburgh anyway.  Team nearly folded during that apparently agonizing period they had to wait between one generational star (LeMieux) to the next (Crosby).  I predict once Crosby leaves or retires, that team lasts 5 years.  Unless they win another GD lottery or manage to pick the next great one.

mcloki
mcloki

@Mind Bomb @mcloki Shock. Did you see them leaving in droves mid way through the third. Our fans stand in the rain.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Burtonboy @Cameron19 @TheCanucksnaphook He was sat by a moronic coach though.  Franson and Kadri were improperly sat, too. Doesn't make it right. Tortorella's shot-block-only system doesn't work for his star players - it's that simple. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@TheCanucksnaphook @Cameron19 I would be excited about it if we got him.  A definite upgrade on Bozak. And as you said, with something to prove. 

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Will probably return to Dallas though, or maybe back to Tampa,,,

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@Cameron19 @Burtonboy @TheCanucksnaphook Sorry Cam not a chance in hell I agree with you on this. He was sat for a reason and its all about poor play. There are no excuses for that and Richards is totally to blame himself. 

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

@Cameron19  I think BRich would be fine here in Toronto.  I also believe he will have somethign to prove for a season or two.  IF you can get him on a short term (see Timmy Connolly) contract then it would be worth the risk.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Burtonboy @TheCanucksnaphook I don't think he really wilted under the pressure.  I don't think he'd come to Toronto, but I don't think he wilted.  I think there has been some gross exaggerations on how bad Richards was this year.  He still had 34 points - a 61 point pace.  That terrible pace would have been better than any center we've had since Sundin.

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I think you can look to the shortened season, and Tortorella's system as the two biggest reasons Richards struggled this year...