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

Page 6ix Wednesday, October 21st: The Calm Before the Gossip Storm?

Hello gossipiers! It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our weekly write up of what’s making waves around the hockey world. While this week was certainly quieter than last, there’s still plenty to chat about. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Leafs Lads (and sometimes Ladies)
Let’s start with the cutest news in Leafsland – Mitch Marner’s dog Zeus is ready to get back to hockey.

Zeus is ready for hockey season @MapleLeafs
— Mitchell Marner (@Marner93) October 16, 2020

Same, Zeus.
Elsewhere, Rasmus Sandin hung out with his brother and proud papa:

Kvalitetstid med @Rasmussandin och @Robbanhagg #leafs #flyers #almtuna
— Patric Sandin (@psan1969) October 21, 2020

And Travis Dermott took some time to amplify BIPOC owned small businesses:

Atta boy Dermott
— Spooky Arjun (@_marlanderthews) October 21, 2020

But of course the biggest news around Leafs world this past week was the signing of Joe Thornton! JUMBO IS A LEAF! Most fans seem excited at the news, but some hockey media (and fans of other teams) are questioning it:

What does it say about John Tavares as Captain of the Leafs that the team feels they need …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Marlies News and Notes: Sabourin signs, Bracco departs

You know it’s a slow news day when we’re putting together Marlies roundups, but here we are. This is life a week after free agency, and hopefully this isn’t how we roll for the foreseeable future. I guess beggars can’t be choosers and Marlies news is better than nothing, so here we go.
First up…

News: We’ve signed forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
Details >>
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 16, 2020

Does that name sound familiar? Here’s why…

Yes, the Marlies brought in the guy that Auston Matthews mocked at the beginning of last season. That should make for an interesting training camp meetup, but it’s doubtful they’ll cross paths too often as Sabourin is on an AHL deal and will be on the Marlies rink as soon as it opens up.
Sabourin gives the Marlies a little toughness as well, which is interesting that added it, after bringing back Rich Clune yesterday.
Toronto Marlies re-sign Rich Clune to one-year AHL contract

Sabourin is also coming off a season with a rather serious injury from a poorly placed hit.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Joe Thornton to the Leafs?

It’s been eight months since this site really committed some time to the notion of Joe Thornton being a Leaf. We were pretty sure it was going to happen at the trade deadline, and when it didn’t I don’t think any of us assumed it would be gone forever.

Joe Thornton and the Maple Leafs reportedly have “some mutual interest” in free agency
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 13, 2020

Fact of the matter is, now might be the best time to revisit it. It’s painfully clear the Sharks aren’t going to be good next year. It’s painfully clear that Joe Thornton can’t exactly ask for much, and would have to fall into the Spezza to Simmonds range of salary, and it’s painfully clear that both sides have been interested in making this happen. So now it’s time to explore if this is a Good Idea or a Bad Idea.

Well, unless there is something seriously wrong with you, there’s a good chance that you are somewhat of a fan of Joe Thornton. Or a fan of what Joe Thornton …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs sign Travis Boyd to a 1 year deal

Okay, so maybe it’s not the big splash of T.J. Brodie, or even the ripple in the pool of Wayne Simmonds, but Travis Boyd is definitely in or around the water in some way.

We’ve signed Travis Boyd to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 10, 2020

From the press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Travis Boyd to a one-year contract valued at $700,000.

Boyd, 27, split his 2019-20 season between the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears (AHL). In 24 games with the Capitals, Boyd recorded three goals and seven assists before adding a goal in four Stanley Cup playoff games. The Edina, Minn., native has registered 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 85 NHL regular season games and has appeared in six career Stanley Cup playoff games, recording a goal. He has skated in 221 career AHL regular season games, all with Hershey, and registered 172 points (57 goals, 115 assists). He has three goals and 14 assists in 33 career Calder Cup playoff games.
Boyd was originally selected by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
At $700k, it’s easy …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Noelle Needham hired by the Chicago Steel as Assistant GM

It’s nice to see that the Leafs have such talented people that they grow in the industry, but unfortunately that leaves Toronto down a scout in the Midwestern United States…

— Chicago Steel (@ChicagoSteel) October 8, 2020

From the press release:
The Chicago Steel announced Thursday two additions to the club’s hockey operations department. Noëlle Needham was hired as Assistant General Manager and Adam Nicholas will serve as Player Development and Hockey Research Consultant.
Needham has been an amateur scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs since the 2018-2019 season in addition to coaching the Sioux Falls Power 16U AAA team. The Elkton, S.D., native co-founded Legend Hockey in 2009 following her collegiate career as a forward with the University of Minnesota State-Mankato.
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to join the Steel organization,” said Needham. “I’m excited to join an organization that has an unmatched commitment to excellence and a passion for player development. I want to thank the Steel ownership, Ryan Hardy, and the staff for …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Nation Guide to Draft Day

It’s finally here. A day filled with expectations that anything is possible, but given the NHL’s recent track record, a day much more likely to be formulaic, with each team making a somewhat predictable selection and our big moments will consist of teams moving up or down a couple of picks in exchange for a second or third round pick. It still will have some excitement. It will still be a chance to have numerous new trade rumours dumped on us. It will still set the table for free agency. It’s fun, but maybe our expectations need to be lower.
In advance of this day we’ve put together a ton of draft related content on TLN since the Leafs return to play was cut short. And if you are looking for something to pass the time until the draft or feel the need to be brought up to speed, this is the post for you. Enjoy the link dump.
First of all, here are the picks the Leafs own:
Toronto Maple Leafs picks set for 2020 NHL Draft

Our own Mark Norman put in work to build a Consensus Ranking out of all the draft rankings. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs send Rubins to Denmark to water Andersen’s plants/play hockey

It’s still player loan SZN, and if there is a league out there that can take on some AHL players it seems NHL teams are scrambling to find them. Today the Leafs found a home for Kristians Rubins.

Loan: Kristians Rubins (D) | Toronto Maple Leafs -> Frederikshavn White Hawks | #Denmark
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) October 4, 2020

So it’s hard to take any kind of issue with this move, other than it not being a blockbuster trade of consequence, but as far as Rubins related news it seems good.
Rubins has been hustling to move up from the ECHL to the AHL, and earning his entry level deal, losing that momentum wouldn’t have been ideal.
Rubins joins other Leafs players such as Egor Korshkov, Mikko Lehtonen, and Filip Karl to land gigs overseas. Previously Jesper Lindgren had been loaned on behalf of the Leafs before his trade to the Penguins. Filip Hallinder, the return in the Kapanen deal, is also playing in Europe.
You can get a full breakdown of their performances here:
Prospect Roundup: Lehtonen on fire, Leafs earn letters

Rubins will be eligible to return to the Leafs/Marlies when …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Find out who Toronto picks in The Leafs Nation 2020 Mock Draft

It’s mock draft SZN. We’re sorry. Still we’ve decided to add to the noise of the mock draft season with our own mock draft. We did so knowing that most of you will immediately go to pick 15, see who the Leafs picked, check to see where the player you wanted the Leafs to pick was picked, and be done with this after briefly calling us idiots on the way out. Far enough. Mock drafts are pretty self indulgent, but for a lot of us their pretty fun too, and if there’s any takeaway from it, when you get a few different people picking with either similar players or differing views, you sometimes get a more accurate list than you’d get with a straight forward draft ranking, so here you go…
1. (NYR) Alexis Lafreniere W
Mark Norman:
What else is there to be said? Obvious pick is obvious.
2. (LA) Quinton Byfield C
Nick Richard:
Byfield has all the tools to be a premier center in the NHL. He’s a big kid who skates very well, has outstanding vision to go with excellent puck handling skills, and the smarts to be a force at both ends …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The idea that the Leafs could revive Brandon Montour’s career and why we’re obsessing over reclamation projects

It’s a bit of a running joke in our twitter mentions at this point. Every aged, underperforming free agent that comes available there seems to be a TLN article asking if the Leafs should be in on them. I get it, you’ve seen that story before. It’s also less than a week to free agency and we’ve had a month of nothing to do but think about how the Leafs need to improve. The reality is that even as a very talented team, the Leafs have proved time and time again that talent isn’t going to carry them as far as we want them to go. Roster changes are needed.
The truth behind roster changes being needed brings us to the truth that leads to us exploring the lesser players that are available. The Leafs aren’t exactly sitting on a ton of cap space at the moment. In fact their cap space disappears very quickly once you potentially sign Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev. It’s at best around $5M the Leafs have to work with unless they are making some other changes we don’t know about. That’s why we shop the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation