Ranking The Free Agent Goalies On Everything BUT On-Ice Performance

Friends, if you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I have a bit of a goalie thing. I love goalies. (almost) All goalies. They’re weird, and intense, and flexible, and fun.
This off-season is showing us an unprecedented number of free-agent goalies. Each time a new name enters the mix, my heart rate picks up a bit.

The NHL doing it’s best to make my dream of an almost entirely goalie Leafs roster a reality. https://t.co/JSz5mQGrtp
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 8, 2020

I was told I had to rank my “is for me?” goalie list:

we’re gonna need an “Is for me?” goaltender rankings from you.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 8, 2020

So here we go. My ranking of the free agent goalie list, going off of available information right now, and totally based on my personal opinion of these goalies and nothing analytic at all.
I’m using this list:

The available goalie market right now is pretty insane.
• Henrik Lundqvist• Braden Holtby• Corey Crawford• Anton Khudobin• Jacob Markstrom• Thomas Greiss• Cam Talbot• Jimmy Howard
Certainly isn’t making the Golden Knights job of shopping Fleury any easier. https://t.co/lPtgpv2N5f
— Jesse Granger (@ …

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Author: MerOutLoud / 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

Chris Cuthbert to Sportsnet: Is Maple Leafs fans’ long national nightmare over?

Bob Cole trended on Twitter earlier today which, during COVID-19 times, may have lead many to initially think the worst about his health. Luckily the legendary broadcaster is fine, and people were just debating their favourite NHL broadcasters in the light of this bombshell announcement:

Award-winning sports broadcaster Chris Cuthbert joins the #NHLonSN team and will feature as play-by-play announcer upon the league’s return to play.https://t.co/ARVeW5v2vF
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 5, 2020

That’s right. Widely considered the top of his class among NHL play-by-play callers, Chris Cuthbert has jumped ship to join Sportsnet’s broadcasting team, leaving TSN after 15 years calling games for Sportsnet’s main rival network.

After 15 years at TSN I’m moving on. Just want to send out love, respect and gratitude to the amazing men and women I’ve had the privilege to work with since 2005. You were all star teammates and made me better at my job. You will all be missed.
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCpxpSN) June 5, 2020

This is a huge get for Sportsnet, whose on-air talent decisions have come under fire often over the last number of years. Crying afoul about Sportsnet& …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

What happened to Randal Grichuk in 2019?

I saw this thread on Twitter last week about Randal Grichuk and how good he was in 2018.

I forgot how good Grichuk was in 2018 after returning from injury. Man, if he could just get back to being that guy…
— bk (@_bkuhn_) February 5, 2020

It’s easy to forget in that lost 2018 season just how good Grichuk was. He was one of the lone bright spots, tying for the team lead in WAR with Luke Maile. So what did Grichuk do in 2018 after he came back from injury on June 1st, which gave him success and what changed in 2019? When comparing his batted ball profile and plate discipline nothing major jumps out.
Year
LD%
GB%
FB%
O-Swing%
Z-Swing%
Contact%
SwStr%
2018 (June 1st-)
20.7%
34.9%
44.4%
36.3%
72.6%
70.9%
14.9%
2019
18.8%
39.1%
42.1%
36.4%
70.6%
74.3%
12.9%
Stats courtesy of Fangraphs
There are some minor changes, a few more line drives and flies and fewer grounders in 2018, some more contact in 2019, but overall similar. There is nothing that really explains the .061 drop in wOBA he saw between the two seasons. His strikeout and walk rates are very similar, as is his hard hit rate. His launch angle dropped just two degrees and his exit velocity was virtually unchanged. One small difference was where he …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Brad Marchand got really mad online

The first rule of Twitter is the most important one of all — never tweet. Seldom does anything good come from wading into the internet’s garbage bin and engaging with its inhabitants.

If you must break that rule, you really ought to follow the second most important rule of Twitter, which is don’t get mad online. You might be mad, but, since you’re hiding behind a screen, nobody has to know that you’re mad. As soon as you get mad online, you’ve lost. There’s no coming back from that.
Brad Marchand broke both of these rules on Tuesday night. It wasn’t pretty.
If you haven’t been paying attention the past few days, Marchand handed the Philadelphia Flyers a win in front of their notoriously aggressive fans by just skating over the puck in the shootout. Here it is if you missed it. Enjoy watching it, like, one hundred times.

Marchand became the pit of everyone’s joke the next day, with GIFs and screenshots of his gaffe showing up everywhere. In an attempt to show just how unphased …

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Author: h0ckeyfan / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have “new threads coming soon”

Twitter was sent into a frenzy today as the Blue Jays mailed out packages to Toronto media members containing a baseball that read “New threads coming soon #NewBlue.” This clearly means the Jays are adding a new uniform to their collection.

Based on the package that just came in my mail, all you #BlueJays fans should keep your eyes peeled for some new #NewBlue threads. #comingsoon pic.twitter.com/YsUS8m2g0U
— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) January 13, 2020

We’ll apparently see these new uniforms unveiled on Jan. 18 at the team’s annual Winter Fest at the Rogers Centre.
Given the fact the font on the baseball is powder blue, I’m going to go ahead and guess this is going to end up being a revamped version of the old school powder blue jerseys we haven’t seen in a few years. I mean, the aesthetic of the package is dark and edgy looking, so it could be a completely different thing, but, given the font colour, the hashtag, and the general love most of the fanbase has for the old powder blues, it makes sense.
I doubt we see the Jays scrap …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

I’m sitting here thinking about a David Price and Blue Jays reunion for some reason

Yesterday I was bantering back and forth on Twitter and joked that if Mark Shapiro and Dave Dombrowski switched places (which would be absolutely fucking hilarious) that the two could link up for a Derek Fisher for David Price deal. Hahaaaa! Good one, buddy!

But since making the joke, I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
I’ve been living in Ireland for a month-and-a-half now and the Guinness gets poured like water here, so maybe I’m very rapidly losing my mind. I don’t know what the issue is, but here I am, sitting here, having an absolutely normal one, talking myself into how a David Price reunion with the Toronto Blue Jays makes sense.
Anyways, since it’s the Dead Zone for content in between the end of The Regular Season and the start of Transaction Season, we might as well talk about it.
David Price had a very successful run in Toronto after being acquired by the Blue Jays in 2015. He played a key role in Toronto’s incredible finish and their subsequent playoff berth, going 9-1 in 11 starts while posting a sparking 2.30 ERA. I remember Jose Bautista talking about how adding Price calmed everybody in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Will (Should?) the Leafs Bring Back Marleau

I will save all of you on Twitter and Facebook the trouble and say no for you right now.
I get it, the declining numbers and performance don’t make much of a case for him. The good in the room/veteran presence argument doesn’t hold much water, and frankly I’m a maroon for even suggesting it, but after all the dirt has been kicked and jokes made the expense of Marleau, this idea, and me, I hope you consider a few reasons why I have a hard time letting go of the idea of bringing Marleau back on a Jason Spezza type deal.
Well, of all forwards who played at least 400 minutes last season his points per 60 was 1.16, which puts him (*checks notes*) 309th in the league, just behind Luke Glendenning, Cal Clutterbuck, and Josh Leivo. Okay, we’re not off to a great start here, but it could come down to linemates…
Yeah, linemates, if you’re spending all your time playing with Connor Brown and Par Lindholm, how are you supposed to score. Just who exactly did Marleau play with the most out of forwards last year…
Linemate
TOI
GF
Kasperi Kapanen
618.5
39
Nazem Kadri
537.5
21
Auston …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation