MAILBAG: Who replaces Andersen, Does Marner Deserve an A, and more…

It’s been a while since we’ve done a mailbag, so in this the beginning of the dark of void of no transactions and no hockey being played, we thought we’d reach out to you, our beautiful readers to see what’s on your mind, and what we can answer for you. Our writers were eager to answer, and I’m pretty sure everything we’ve said is 100% correct, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff.

If Freddie wants a big raise next offseason, who’s a tendy Dubas should look at as a replacement in free agency or a trade?
— Lyle (@InsiderLyle) October 20, 2020

Michael Mazzei: I don’t think the Leafs should be quick to search for a new goalie via trade or free agency. They have two serviceable netminders in Jack Campbell and Aaron Dell on the roster and there is a real chance that they could be the tandem heading into 2021-22. Kyle Dubas made the move to acquire Campbell in part because of his potential and also his track record of progression. We saw briefly how much his presences helped stabilized the backup position and raise questions as to whether he should be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs to add Eric Joyce as Director of Hockey Strategy

While the Leafs might be done with the on ice moves for a while, they are apparently not done overhauling the hockey operations department…

Hearing former #FlaPanthers asst GM Eric Joyce is joining the #Leafs in a role expected to be Director of Hockey Strategy.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 22, 2020

So a couple of questions come from this, and we’ll deal with them both.
First, who is Eric Joyce?
Well, good news, he’s got a LinkedIn page!
Eric has been an Assistant to the GM or Assistant GM with the Panthers organization for the past six years and 11 months (shame to leave right before celebrating his work anniversary on LinkedIn.) He’s been the GM of their Springfield AHL team for the past four years, and prior to that the Panther’s AHL teams in San Antonio and Portland.
Prior to Eric’s time with the Panthers, he’s spent a lot of time with in the military and security related fields, as an Army Captain and West Point graduate would. He’s also a graduate of Harvard, in case you were worried that the elitism ended with Vesey and Kerfoot.
In any sense, he seems qualified. And …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Shopping for a third string goaltender

A lot of the heavily lifting has been done. Tweaking remains, and it might be heavy tweaking, but there really only seems to be one must do left on the Leafs to do list and that is track down a third string goaltender.

Toronto.. Thank YouThese last 4 years have been filled with amazing moments like Fox’s birth, my NHL debut with @MapleLeafs, and playoff runs with @TorontoMarlies. We are grateful for all the teammates and friends we’ve met along the way.– Kaskisuo Family pic.twitter.com/5EZOMZazEr
— Kasimir Kaskisuo (@Kaskisuo) October 12, 2020

Kaskisuo leaving creates a hole in the Leafs depth chart, and it’s one that we can comfortably fill with Joseph Woll or Ian Scott, although that tandem might be how things end up playing out. Instead the Leafs could be looking to upgrade at the position, which no offense to Kaskisuo, who is great person by all accounts, he was not a goaltender you’d feel comfortable sliding into the backup role if one of the two NHL goaltenders was injured. The Leafs needed to move on, and that is especially true in a year that is going to feature more back to backs than ever, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What ex-Toronto Raptors Role Player would help the team the most in Orlando

Usually, these types of articles are done with stars and not role players, but in this case for the Toronto Raptors, we will be looking at which role player from the past would best help the team now. No, this isn’t what former Raptors star would best fit this team now, this is what former […]
What ex-Toronto Raptors Role Player would help the team the most in Orlando – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Absolutely, The Leafs Madness: The Darkest Timeline Region

Welcome to day two of voting. The play-ins are done, you can find the results below, and we’re now onto our first region, that fun time known as the Ballard era. For our purposes, we’ll just call it The Darkest Timeline Region. There are some truly great Leafs in this region, and a lot of years of their prime wasted.
#1 Darryl Sittler vs. #16 Vincent Damphousse
Let’s start by saying that Damphousse had a great career, and started it off with some solid years with the Leafs. If he wasn’t dealt to kick start the Fletcher era we’d probably think a lot more fondly of him rather than struggling to think of him at all.
Darryl Sittler on the other hand was the beacon of hope during the 70s, and made it seem like winning in the Ballard era was possible. His long held title as the all-time scoring Leaf, and his unbreakable 10 point in a game record probably put him in consideration for being in the Final Four.

The Darkest Timeline
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 18, 2020
 
#8 Ian Turnbull vs. #9 Ron Ellis
Turnbull had a shorter career than he …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays sign Ruben Tejada to minor-league deal

I told you they weren’t done! I also told you not to expect anything interesting! So here you go: the Blue jays gave inked infielder Ruben Tejada to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

Ruben Tejada has minors deal with Blue Jays. Includes MLB spring camp invite.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 17, 2020

Tejada is a name you might recognize from his time with the New York Mets in the first half of the 2010s. Known mostly for his glove rather than his bat, Tejada played 580 games with the Mets between 2010 and 2015, slashing a .255/.330/.323 line while playing shortstop, second, and third base.
The Jays don’t really have a true backup shortstop on the roster right now, so Tejada could be that guy. Santiago Espinal is probably the best true backup shortstop they have on the 40-man, but he only has 28 games of experience at Triple-A. The other two options are Brandon Drury and Breyvic Valera, neither of whom are, well, ideal.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Yankees crush Blue Jays in team’s final road series

For now, and only for now, the Blue Jays are done visiting Yankee Stadium. In the team’s final away series of the season, they were rocked, roughed up, and rammed by the mammoth New York Yankees. Though they did show some signs of life at various points, the series was disappointing overall.
Here’s a look at the good, the bad, and the weird from the final road series of the 2019 season:
The Good
Cavan Biggio (3-for-11, R, 2B), Jonathan Davis (2-for-4, RBI), Randal Grichuk (3-for-11, R, 2B), and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3-for-8, 2B, RBI) contributed nicely, while Teoscar Hernandez (3-for-7, R, 2 2B, 3B, RBI, BB) showed some pop, despite striking out three times in the set. Billy McKinney (2-for-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI) exploded in the finale as well, providing all of the team’s offence Sunday.
Relievers Jason Adam (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 3 SO, W), Buddy Boshers (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, SO), Sam Gaviglio (0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, SO), and Ken Giles (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 SO, SV) were all solid, with Elvis Luciano (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, BB, 2 SO) turned in a great frame.
The Bad
Anthony Alford (0-for-5, 0 TB, 4 SO), Brandon Drury (1-for-7, 2 R, 2B, 2 SO), …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

How Mitch Marner’s Extension Changes the Leafs Roster

It’s done. It’s finally done.
They could and they did.
The Leafs finished off signing ‘The Big Three’ on Friday. It’s been a long, uncertain year, but in the last 12 months, the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to extend William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner to deals that will secure the trio for at least the next five seasons.
At a combined cost of $29,489,366, the Leafs are assuredly banking on their first-round picks from 2014, 2015, and 2016 to produce a ton of offence.
The Come Up
Briefly, let’s rewind to June 24, 2016.
The day the Leafs draft Auston Matthews signalled the end of a decade-long era of pain where the Leafs appeared in the playoffs just once. ‘The Big Three’ took very little time demonstrating that the page in Leaf history had been turned in their first game, combining for six points.
A new logo, jersey, and team triumphantly clinched a playoff spot that season in an unforgettable game against the Penguins. After a thrilling series against Washington, the Leafs entered the offseason with a taste of the playoffs. They must have liked it, because Toronto went out and signed FA Patrick Marleau to push for a longer playoff …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Good insider, Chris Johnston is reporting that Marner contract is a little closer

With the usual caveat that nothing is done until it’s done, it sounds like there’s been some progress in contract talks between the #leafs and RFA Mitch Marner.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 13, 2019
Folks, we’ll take what we can get around these parts and any progress is a good sign.

We are now sitting at a guarded risk of a Marner contract, and that’s worth celebrating depending on if you love 90 point wingers or if you love cap flexibility.
The fact that this movement is coming on the heels of various public negotiating tactics on both sides is probably no surprise. They’ve trying their cases for free in the court of public opinion and the verdict seems to be that an inflated year three in a Marner contract is insane. It’s insane that Marner continues to compare himself to Auston Matthews, and the only people who seem to still not be convinced on that are Paul Marner and those who believe holding an Ontario birth certificate is vital to future success.
On the Leafs side there seems to be pressure to avoid what was regarded as a failed negotiation with William Nylander, and to demonstrate …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Monday Mailbag: How good is the Leafs core, Trading Willie, Deviant Art, and More…

It’s been a while since we’ve done a mailbag. Or maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve done a mailbag. I don’t really read the site, I get to read all the best content while I write it. Anyway, I thought, “hey, I bet there might be some Leafs questions kicking around”, especially following the Marlies getting bounced, but those seem to be few and far between. Promises were made however to do a mailbag, and I will comply.

A question about the Leafs core and long term forecasting: What’s your optimism level for the Leafs chances in the next 5 seasons? Can they advance past the first round against like a 38 year old Bergeron?
— Mike Stephens (@bymikestephens) May 27, 2019
I would say that I have a very high level of optimism for years 2-5 of this, but not so much for next season, and I think it might be best for the Leafs to take a purposeful step back for a year before gearing up for next few years.
The Leafs are in a bit of a pickle from a cap standpoint and there will be a struggle to just get the Leafs to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation