What would it take to feel confident in the Leafs goaltending?

Goalies, amirite? Okay then. Enough said.
Yes, goaltenders are voodoo, unpredictable weirdos who are seeming stellar one minute and the scapegoat the next. A lucky few teams find their Dominik Hasek or Patrick Roy, on to put it this year’s terms, find their Connor Hellebucyk. The Leafs haven’t been particularly fortunate in net this century, and probably the case and point on that is that Frederik Andersen has been the Leafs best goaltender of at least the last 15 seasons, and we are presently seeing a large portion of the fanbase attempt to run him out of town (honestly a strong case can be made for this, so I’m not passing judgement.)
This week I decided to ask the TLN contributors the important question, “what needs to happen for you to feel confident about the Leafs goaltending situation?”
Here are their responses…
Ryan Hobart:
A Stanley Cup or four might do the trick. The goaltending this team got in my early days of fandom should qualify as childhood trauma. Following that up with the Bernier/Reimer experiment, and now a long run of Frederik Andersen being so hot and cold, I don’t think there’s anything but …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Trying to understand why Jimmy Vesey plays every night

Okay, so I went into looking at Jimmy Vesey’s stats fully expecting that there would be a huge difference between the eye test on him and the numbers. My eyes when it comes to Vesey are strained. Generally it’s hard to tell that he’s even in the lineup, but at some point he’ll find himself in the right position and he’ll create an opportunity, and then it serves to remind you about how you haven’t noticed him the rest of the time he was playing, which has been around 12 minutes a night.
Injuries to Simmonds, Thornton, Hyman, etc. have certainly made it easier to see why Vesey is the lineup right now, but the 12 minutes part still remains a bit perplexing, because, well, he hasn’t been good. And with Nic Petan showing that he can work well with Travis Boyd, and Jason Spezza, Alex Barabanov might be beginning to find his footing in the NHL as well, Alex Galchenyuk waiting to make his Leafs debut, and of course Nick Robertson and Joey Anderson sitting on the Marlies waiting for their next opportunity, it’s starting to hurt my brain trying to establish why …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, December 23rd: Holiday Edition!

Okay let’s just get the big news out of the way from the get go, eh? WE HAVE A SEASON! (It would appear.) On December 20th the NHL announced the official start date (January 13th, 2021) and the official divisions of the upcoming season. All the details can be found in the Twitter thread below:

The @NHLPA and @NHL have announced an agreement to play a 2020-21 regular-season schedule of 56 games beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. https://t.co/2on0oStnMd pic.twitter.com/aggYeVMjfj
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 20, 2020

Now, it seems the Canadian provinces and the league are still in discussions about how this works with Canada’s lockdowns and such, so there is some ambiguity there. But according to the NHL, the season begins on January 13th, Canadian teams and all! We are very excited to have hockey (safely) back!
Other than the big news, there is lots to touch on this week, so let’s dive in.
Leafs Lads
We begin, as always with our Leafs boys. Where to start….? How about with a birthday?

Wishing @Travis_Dermott a happy birthday! pic.twitter.com/2xSACu7nuu
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 22, 2020

Happy birthday, Travis Dermott! We …

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Author: Mer / 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
Details: https://t.co/0ymvrLxhBB pic.twitter.com/EoqpU2wvRE
— 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

Two Leafs make their way onto the TSN Trade Bait Board

Welcome to Speculatember. All speculation, all the time. Okay, that will be a little much and get old quick, but in reality there is going to be a lot of noise around the Leafs over the next month, given that the Kapanen trade has already happened.
To kick things off, TSN has unveiled their Trade Bait Board, and of the 20 names on it, two are Leafs.
17. Andreas Johnsson
This really does come as much of a surprise, as the Leafs have capable wingers willing to work for cheap in the form of Robertson, Barabanov, and Korshkov. Replacing Johnsson and Kapanen with cheap entry level deal players that at the very least will be able to cover off the underwhelming 2019-20 seasons of Kapanen and Johnsson and at best match their 2018-19 career best years, seems like a no brainer.
Johnsson probably isn’t going to land the Leafs a mid-1st round pick, but there’s a good chance that he could be part of a worthwhile package for an area of need for the Leafs.
19. Frederik Andersen
I really feels like we’re past the point of no return with Andersen returning to the Leafs. There …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Clarkson Contract was Actually Good in Hindsight

Okay, let me get this out of the way right now: no, I do not actually think the David Clarkson contract was good. It’s not only one of the worst contracts the Leafs have ever signed, it’s arguable one of the worst contracts ever signed, especially in the cap era, and it was pretty obvious that it was going to be, if you were smart enough.
Well, I was not one of those smart people. Let me put you in the mindset of 16 year-old Scott. I was sitting on the couch watching TSN’s Free Agent Frenzy program, excited to see what big names the Leafs would get in free agency fresh off their playoff appearance, and almost beating the Boston Bruins in the first round. They had just lost Grabovski and MacArthur, but also traded for Dave Bolland, who just scored the Stanley Cup winning goal.
The dream, of course, was David Clarkson. Clarkson seemed to be the ideal Toronto Maple Leaf: tough, gritty, and coming off of seasons of 30 goals and 15 in the lockout shortened season (which was a 25 goal pace). Oh, he was also from Toronto, and a born and raised Leafs …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs prospect changes KHL teams

Okay, so it’s not exactly big news, but it’s something that happened to a Leafs prospect, so here it is if you are interested…

Confirmed: Semyon Kizimov (F) | Lada Togliatti -> Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod | https://t.co/okirlmzAhx #KHL
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) June 29, 2020
Official Announcement translated via google:
Hockey club “Lada” made an exchange with the Nizhny Novgorod “Torpedo”. Tolyatti club received monetary compensation for the rights to Semyon Kizimov .
For two seasons in the “Lada” Kizimov played in 103 matches, gaining 27 (9 + 18) points.
So, yeah, that happened.
There wasn’t any danger of Semyon Kizimov being brought over to the Leafs or Marlies anytime soon, and perhaps this will get the 20 year old winger playing in the KHL sooner rather than later, as he has spent the past two seasons in the second tier VHL in Russia.
Kizimov has always been a bit of a long shot prospect for the Leafs, but given their ability to find Russian talent of late it’s hard to completely discard the idea that long shots like Kizimov and Kara might someday be players that we …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Thirty and Twenty? What would that look like?

So… I’m bored, okay? I could write the consensus prospect column I never got to when things were shuttered but let’s save that content until such time as it might be relevant, eh?
Since then basically, nothing has intrigued me enough to write it up. To be honest, most of it has been more along the lines of “I’m following this sport why again?” If you were going to speculate what Manfred could have done the last couple of years if he were trying to kill the sport are you sure you’d have proposed anything different? But I don’t want to detail all the ways he’s pissing people off. I have many dark thoughts about the insane five-round draft proposal but…*sigh*…moving on.
Anyway, the one thing that seemed maybe worth a little speculation (beyond the first-round pick in the draft which everyone is already all over – I want Lacy, assume we won’t get him – it’s that provision in the owner’s proposal about each team working with a 30 man roster and a 20 man “ …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

The NHL is allowing players to return home

Okay, so this seems like something that falls into the least a league can do, but it’s probably more of a sign that sports won’t be returning any time soon.

The NHL has issued new directives to players: They are permitted to go home, to any country, and must stay in self-quarantine until the end of March once they get there.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 16, 2020
So that’s great for the impacted players. The last place I’d want to be is in this situation isolated from my family, but it speaks to the fact that we are not going to see sports again for a significant amount of time, though honestly that should be the least of worries.
With schools closing for months it seems like we can probably expect the same from sports leagues, and that’s a bit disheartening that this season is likely toast.
On the other hand the decision to keep leagues closed is probably saving lives, so we’ll call it a net positive.
Hopefully everyone is staying safe, and healthy, and we’ll do our best to keep some Leafs content in your …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TRADE!!! Jordan Schmaltz is off to Long Island

Okay, so this isn’t the deal anyone hoped for, but it’s a trade nonetheless…

Minor-league transaction: NYI trades Matt Lorito to TOR for Jordan Schmaltz.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 24, 2020
I’m sorry very tired and don’t want to break this down. They’re AHLers, the impact is minimal, but I at least went through the trouble of looking up some information on Matt Lorito for you, so you don’t have to.
He’s a 29 year old winger from Oakville. He’s 5’9, and has 23 points in 50 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this year. He had 2 games with the Red Wings back in 2016-17, when he picked up 1 assist. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation