Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 23, 2018

by | Dec 23, 2018 | Rumors | 36 comments

More offer-sheet speculation, latest on the Flyers’ search for a goaltender and an update on Duncan Keith in today’s NHL rumor roundup.

RFAs “INTRIGUED” BY OFFER SHEETS?

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports many of next summer’s restricted free agents are “certainly intrigued” by offer sheets. While general managers, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kyle Dubas, believe that’s “white noise”, Kypreos believes behind the scenes there’s a number of teams talking to agents saying they’re willing to offer sheet their player. He adds that there’s a big difference between saying that at Christmas time and being brave enough to do so in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kypreos was referring to Dubas after colleague Chris Johnston talked about the Leafs GM’s ongoing meetings with the agent for Mitch Marner. Johnston said Marner might prefer waiting until the offseason to talk contract, as well as wait and see what happens with fellow RFA Austin Matthews.

In recent weeks, Marner and Matthews have become the subject of growing media conjecture suggesting one or both could be offer-sheeted if still unsigned come July. While it’s certainly possible, it’s also far too early to start speculating about it. We don’t know what Dubas has in store for both guys but we do know he’s unconcerned about an offer-sheet scenario, pointing to how his salary-cap structure is set up to defend against that threat. He also has sufficient cap space to re-sign both before July 1, rendering all of this chatter meaningless. 

It’s also worth remembering offer sheets are increasingly rare, with the last one signed in 2013 (Ryan O’Reilly) and the last successful signing (Dustin Penner) taking place in 2007. As Kypreos suggests, all of this offer-sheet talk now could come to nothing by next summer. 

Are the Philadelphia Flyers interested in acquiring Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick? (Photo via NHL Images)

FLYERS GOALIE SEARCH

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports it’s no secret the Philadelphia Flyers are shopping around for a veteran goaltender. He said there’s “some link” between the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick. He doesn’t believe they’re in contract talks but thinks there’s been “a conversation”. He adds he wouldn’t be surprised if those links heat up in the new year.

NBC SPORTS: Tom Dougherty took note of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky’s performance during a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Saturday. He cited recent rumors claiming the Flyers could pursue Bobrovsky next summer if he tests the unrestricted free agent market. While bringing the former Flyer back to Philadelphia would be expensive, Dougherty believes Bobrovsky would be a worthwhile bridge to Carter Hart, taking the pressure off the youngster while allowing him time to develop his game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick, who turns 33 next month, is signed through 2022-23 with a $5.8-million annual average value and lacking no-trade protection, so I’m not sure what Kypreos was referring to regarding “contract talks”. Maybe he’s talking about the Kings picking up part of Quick’s annual cap hit? 

Quick would be cheaper than Bobrovsky but he’s also older and has a long history of lower-body injuries. While I understand the Flyers’ need for an experienced starter to allow Hart more time to develop his game, Quick could become yet another in a long line of risky quick-fix options.

Bobrovsky, 30, is healthier than Quick but could be much more expensive to acquire. He will certainly seek top dollar next summer as the league’s only active multiple Vezina Trophy winner. His playoff record, however, leaves something to be desired. 

KEITH DISILLUSIONED IN CHICAGO?

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports a source close to Duncan Keith claims the long-time Blackhawks defenseman is “disillusioned” in Chicago. Simmons wonders if the 34-year-old would be a perfect fit on the Maple Leafs blueline. “He’s got lots left,” the source said. Would you try to get him if you were the Leafs, I asked. “In a second,” was the answer.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word of Keith’s supposed disillusionment in the Blackhawks has surfaced in the Chicago media this season. He’d have to waive his no-movement clause for any club to acquire him via trade. 

 







36 Comments

  1. “Nick Kypreos reports many of next summer’s restricted free agents are “certainly intrigued” by offer sheets.”

    “Kypreos believes behind the scenes there’s a number of teams talking to agents saying they’re willing to offer sheet their player.”

    Thanks for bringing TMZ and obvious made up bs to the game Kipper…it is a rare event that I care about anything he says.

    • Save it Gary, I bet there is talk about offer sheets! I love guys that come on here and state bs when they have absolutely no idea what’s going on

      • Kypreos is my least favorite because he has that “let me force feed you” attitude – the attitude that his opinion is correct and the only one allowed. He surely is NOT allowed to show that with the REAL hockey experts at intermission on cbc broadcasts.
        He has his positions only because he was a player. If he wasn’t a player, the best job he could obtain today in the hockey world is janitor at tsn and Hockey Central at Noon.

      • Good job kettle.

  2. ““He’s got lots left,” the source said. Would you try to get him if you were the Leafs, I asked. “In a second,” was the answer.”

    Forgot about Simmons, the absolute worst of them all, in Toronto at least.

    Just outright lies attributed to a ‘source’

    Now would I mind Keith on the Leaf blue line, np at all with that.

    • Andy and Opie heading to the ol’ fish’n hole

    • Simmons is an insult to all sports writers & I personally don’t either read his article or believe anything he says.

  3. I find it amazing that Simmonds one day talks about what a mistake Marleau at 40 is then the next say Keith is a good idea… something else Keith has lots left of is term on his contract that is close to a 6 mill cap hit till he is 40…not sure they even read or remember their own article at this point

    • Mistake signing one for nothing but money but if they trade younger assets for a longer version of pretty much the same contract makes sense?

  4. Would hart for quick be something fletcher considers? Mnnnn…

    • No way on Philly’s part…that’s why they are in this goaltending mess. Getting Quick is fine but not at the expense of giving up their goaltender of future, just not smart.

      • I agree but you have a new gm with a more win now mandate from above. I didn’t say it was a good idea but that it is in the realm of possibility

      • I don’t think he was serious…
        Not sure anyone could say that with a straight face.

    • that should get him fired immediately….Hart for broken down Has Been Quick….brutal.

      Holmgren would be fool enuff to do it, lets pray Fletcher isnt.

  5. First of all

    Wishing Lyle and his family; and to all here and their families; a Very Merry Christmas.

    To Shticky, I humbly apologize for not responding on your queries to me wrt offer sheet; Arz ownership etc. from the other day.

    Been so wrapped up in our own acquisition project that I just have not had as much time as I’d liked to, or have had in the past , to read and respond here.

    I’m still sticking with my belief that an offer sheet on AM is absolutely mandatory from Arz if AM has not signed with Leafs by 1/7.

    Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Your arguments re increasing investment in a losing cause (if there is an expectation for a negative return) being inprudent are quite valid. No argument there at all.

    Decreasing value of an asset potentially up for sale by investing a substantial amount ($100 M over 7 years) in a piece that lowers the overall value and/or does not have the expectation of reasonable return…. also valid and your points are quite solid.

    As well if the expectation is for continued considerably lower (than other markets) ticket prices and/or continued decline or even static attendance …. this investment wouldn’t be prudent.

    No one wants to invest in a losing cause.

    Your points are all cogent and logical on those assumptions and absolutely no argument from me whatsoever.

    Parsing out the probability of the outcome and pairing it with economic analysis will strongly dictate the possible return on investment.

    Although this is exactly what I do for a living and the companies acquired; merged and divested are much much smaller in magnitude ; the overarching strategies are the same.

    I will freely admit that I have very little (call it basically none) actual personal knowledge of NHL franchise acquisitions and financial investments.

    That aside, I truly believe that an acquisition of AM by any team already struggling for viewership, attendance and over-all revenue and already with a young core and assets , by only giving up non roster spots ( albeit 1st rounders) is an economically sound move.

    Now … the only way that happens is with an offer sheet reasonably structured and incentivized enough to actually get an AM signature on it AND at a level that Leafs can’t financially/logically match.

    To further my point; I’m sure there would be no argument from anybody if Arz offered and was successful at 7* $7M. This won’t happen but I’m using it to strengthen my argument.

    Assuming an $83M cap… then by rule I believe they could offer him 7 @ $16.6. This is a no brainer…. no team would offer that.

    So there is a figure in between those two extremes that would have (1) reasonable expectation that AM would sign and (2) Leafs could not or would not match and most importantly (3) would have a positive return in revenue AND in value of franchise.

    From just the simplest economic terms; adding any top line centre of any ilk let alone of AM’s capabilities; w/o giving up a single roster spot; increases the probability of wins … increasing probability of revenues

    Increase that now substantially as he is a premiere centre in the league with unbelievable abilities and great size and speed… prob of more wins still and even more Revs.

    Increase that again because he is the face of hockey for the whole state ….. well you get my point

    I truly believe that every single cent paid to AM if in Arz OVER what the reasonable market rate for him in most markets ( call it even $12.5M) would at least recoup 3 fold.

    Threat of old boys (GMs) scorn etc should not be of great concern at all as they are fully expected to do an offer sheet

    … so what is the magic number that may get AM in the desert…. I believe it’s the magic $100 M contract (7 years just over $14M per)

    Can Leafs match …. money is absolutely no issue for the richest team in hockey …. they could pay him $20M a year and still make a profit…. cap hit is the crimper

    In Toronto if AM gets $14M… then MM must get $11M…. i’ve already listed the other day the many ramifications of this scenario (one of which being a team made up of only 18 on the roster; another with basically a major decline in D next year and a team laden with many players at league minimum)

    This is all conjecture and guessing by an arm-chair GM whose expertise lies only with aqisitions, mergers, and dissolution of small and medium sized Canadian (and mostly southern Ontario ) companies.

    Setting aside my limited expertise in this venue … just on the most basic front … my point is that Leafs should not all allow themselves to be vulnerable to the threat of offer sheets especially on AM. Publicly stating it is one thing; completely disregarding the threat and implications is another.

    GMKD… please put full energies ino extending AM and MM.

    Your side job should be with smooth talking Marleau re next year ( amicably trading him after SB is paid).

    I know that many here will not see this as I’ve laid out above.

    I’ve been wrong many times before and I’m sure there will be many in the future… I’m just hoping that GMKD has AM and MM on roster next year and NOT tons of cap space and tons of future pics

    Will be out rest of day doing my last minute Christmas items and may not get a chance to post again for a couple of days….

    Merry Christmas one and all

    • Sorry Pengy Im not going through your laundry and to do list of a post Merry Christmas

  6. Toronto has $23m available next season with 11 players signed, if the cap goes by $4m that will give them $27m to sign 12 players.

    Lots of money to sign M&M? If team A offer sheets Matthews $14m, Toronto matches and team B offer sheets Marner $10m Toronto matches, there goes $24m, now have available $3m to sign 10 players.

    Lots of cap space but not really. Auston Matthews is definitely worth an offer sheet, I wouldn’t be concerned about revenge offers because he is a generational talent. I believe Toronto should and will match any offer sheet but even if they sign him after January it is still going to be Connor McDavid type of Money. Toronto has some hard decisions to make.

    • …so teams are going to skip players like Laine and Point 2 players who are likely every bit as good as Matthews or Marner and have a higher chance of success with the cap position that the Lightning and Jets find themselves in to send not 1 but 2 offer sheets to the team that’s in the best situation to match? Seeing tho how often an offer sheet actually happens and works what do you think the chances of it happening twice to the same team and passing players who may be better and easier to do it too? Seems like a real long shot to me. Who knows maybe all of a sudden 4 or 5 guys get offer sheets in the same year but I cant see where all these teams are with the picks an cap space to go pillaging others RFA are when there are so many teams in the same boat trying to sign their own good young player to affordable deals, does anyone thinking that owners love the idea of making restricted free agency in to bidding wars like UFAs remember the last lock out?

      • Shticky I only think one guy is worth the offer Sheet and that’s Matthews.
        Matthews is worth every penny of an offer sheet. He got size, skill, speed and he is a center.
        IMO there isn’t much difference between Matthews and McDavid. A team would be happy to give up 4 1st for Matthews.
        I don’t view any of the other players that you mentioned in Matthews class. This isn’t to say there not very good players; just that Matthews is that much better.
        He will get McDavid type money, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t.
        My previous post was to make it point that although there is lots of cap space, it will be used quickly by resign M&M with the threat of an offer sheet driving up the cost.

      • Shticky, Matthews is worth the 4 first round picks. He is a cut above all the other you mentioned plus he’s a center.

      • Matthews is well above the others. Teams signing him to offer sheet Matthews only do it for 4 years making him a UFA in 2023 if Toronto matches. On a match you can’t change any of the term.

        Kapanen is the more vulnerable pkayer where a cap strapped team would have trouble matching a $4M offer sheet that carries only a 2nd compensatory pick.

      • I believe it’s more of a wishful thinking type scenario.
        The Leafs could, and most likely would match offer sheets for both Matthews and Mitch.
        By doing that the Leafs are no longer in a fortunate position with regards to Cap space.
        Tough decisions would have to be made going forward.
        Same goes for the rest of the eligible players, but no one really has a hard on for any of those teams.
        It’s a Leaf thing. Plain and simple.

      • Point Rantanen could also be on that list

      • Laine and Point as good as Matthews? Nope, not even close.

  7. Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley Cup this year or any other years in future with current roster. Even though the Leafs are currently 2nd in the entire NHL it is a false indication of what this team will be in the playoffs. They may win a round or two in the playoffs, but they will not make it to the end. I don’t blame defense as the culprit, but simply to a lack of toughness individually and as a team. Come playoffs, the ice will be more congested, there will be less time and space, and hitting will be all time high. Babcock’s comment about their PP being their toughness is just him defending his team or GM Dubas for not providing him with gritty tough no nonsense type players. The truth is, in the playoffs the REFS won’t call penalties for being tough and dirty because in their minds its playoff hockey. This allows teams like Washington, Boston, Tampa Bay to thrive and excel in the playoffs. Unfortunately, for the Leafs, they would have to go through all these three teams to get to the finals and by chance they do make it, they still probably have to go through either Nashville or Winnipeg another heavy tough grinding teams. The Leafs core roster players are mostly kids, come playoffs their inexperience combined with rigorous playoff grind will make them less effective as games get tighter and extremely physical. The Leafs are loaded with high flying creative offensive players, but almost zero hard nosed tight checking physical players. The success to anything in life is BALANCE. You can’t have only high octane offence, you must balance that offence with tough defense. After careful evaluation of the current Leafs roster players, I come to a conclusion what STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS roster the Leafs must formulate. Read the next post on proposed trades to make Toronto Maple Leafs the favorite to win the Lord Stanley come June 2019.

    • Mike, you need to stop driving using the rear-view mirror.

  8. Road to Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Finals. This is what Kyle Dubas must do in the next couple of months for the Leafs to have chance at the cup this year and years to come as their window of opportunity is right now. Keep in mind the following trade proposals are with the big PRIZE in mind.

    Trade Proposal 1:
    Toronto send Kasperi Kapanen & Nikita Zaitsev to Philadelphia for Wayne Simmonds, Radko Gudas and 2019 1st round pick. In this trade the best player is clearly Kapanen with enormous upside and definite top six roster player as he have proven in Toronto. Thus, Philadelphia must send 2019 first round pick. Simmonds is possibly a rental for this year, it depends on his play in the playoffs. He is 100% definite upgrade in physical department. Gudas is what TO needs right shot hard nosed bruising defense man to be paired with Rielly. Zaitsev needs a change of scenery to revive his play that he displayed with the Leafs when he came over from Russia. Philadelphia wins on this trade as they are really only losing a 1st rounder as Simmonds is set to be a UFA 2019, Gudas and Zaitsev is almost at par number wise. Philadelphia getting a sure thing in Kapanen who can be their future top six player for years to come, and his potential has not even scratch the surface.

    TRADE PROPOSAL #2
    Toronto send William Nylander to St.Louis Blues for Colton Payayko and 2019 2nd round draft pick. This is a win win scenario for both the Blues and the Leafs. The Blues right away improve offensively in Nylander who can play both Centre or Right Wing position. He can be paired with Tarasenko as their Number 1 line. Colton Parayko will provide the Leafs with instant shutdown defense the Leafs desperately need. Parayko can be paired with either Rielly or Dermott as number 1 or number 2 pairing. Again, in this deal Nylander is the best player with most upside, thus Blues must send 2nd rounder to make the deal fair. The reality of this trade is to make CAP situation in Toronto make sense. Toronto is getting a real solid defense man who will be around for few more years with decent cap hit and the defensive help they desperately need. Nylander has out priced himself with the salary demands, Toronto cant afford to have him around if they want to win the Cup in the next few years. They need to focus on toughness and defense, they have enough offense.

    TRADE PROPOSAL #3
    Toronto send Connor Brown and 3rd rounder to Vegas Golden Knights for Ryan Reaves. This make a lot of sense, as Reaves will provide instant toughness for the Leafs as they desperately lacking right now. Both Marner and Matthews will play taller and freely with Reaves patrolling the ice. Now they have answer to Capitals Tom Wilson, Boston’s physicality, and Tampa’s toughness, and Winnipeg’s heaviness. Vegas gets a hard working PK specialist in Brown and bonus 3rd rounder. Vegas still have william carrier to patrol the ice for them.

    TRADE PROPOSAL #4
    Toronto send Patrick Marleau to New York Islanders for Matt Martin. Marleau will be only owed 1.5 mill in 2019-20 season which is a bargain for Islanders for getting a quality person who can still contribute but mentor Islanders young core as he did for the Leafs. Lou probably know this best more than anyone else. Martin will play with Kadri and Reaves as rough and tough 3rd line to go up against Tampa’s Kucherov line, Boston’s Bergeron line, Washington’s Kuznetsov line and Winnipeg’s Scheifele line.

    TRADE PROPOSAL #4
    Toronto send Jake Gardiner and 1st rounder to LA Kings for Jake Muzzin. This deal will complete Toronto’s defense going forward. Toronto should not keep Gardiner as he is not a fit with current Toronto’s system. Gardiner will thrive in LA as their system is more heavy and slow, and Gardiner can provide some creativity and spark to their slow offense. Also he provide relief for Doughty. LA can sign him to a long term 5 year 6mill contract which is 2 more mill than Muzzin, but they will also get a 1st rounder.

    MUST DO LIST for DUBAS before trade dealine:
    1. Sign Matthews to a 8 year $12.5 mill/per $100 million dollars contract and Captaincy.
    2. Sign Marner to a 8 year $10 mill/per $80 million dollars contract.
    3. Trade Hainsey for a draft pick at the deadline or retain his services and run out his contract this year and let him walk. He might be an asset during Stanley Cup run this year as a 7th defense man.

    The above scenarios are thought out after countless video reviews of the players involved and their stat numbers accumulated over the past three seasons. All these needs trades and do list must play out for Toronto to have a REALISTIC chance of run at the Lord Stanley not just this year but next few years.

    • Nice job and agree with most of it but truly believe adding Gudas, Simmonds and Colton would be enough and losing Willy AND Kappy is hard but for a couple cups its well worth it.

      No way I see Marleau going anywhere this year mostly because of why he was brought in and to say nothing of the relationship he has with Auston and Marner.

      • I agree that Marleau has a special bond with both Marner and Matthews. But, for the sake of 51 years of suffering Leafs faithfuls, Marner and Matthews must become man. NHL is limited to a small window, for a TEAM to have a chance at Lord Stanley. If we miss this window, we might have to wait another 50 years, surely most of us will be long dead by then. Marleau has served his purpose for the Leafs by mentoring young buds what professionalism and work ethic is all about. Now they need MEN who can provide protection as our young stars do their magic on ice. I don’t need Marchand chirping at Marner or Matthews, I don’t need Wilson pasting our young superstars into the boards. Because BELIEVE me, come playoffs that is their STRATEGY – be physical, be brute, be merciless against Marner, Matthews and Tavares. Who’s gonna show up to defend our stars….Marleau? hell no! And, I don’t expect him to. It’s not who he is. What we need is a bruising line of MATT MARTIN KADRI RYAN REAVES… now that is a line to be reckoned with. Turn the table on BOSTON WASHINGTON and TAMPA. Now we have a legit chance at the CUP. After all, isn’t this what is all about. I am 46, I came to CANADA in ’83 INSTANTLY fell in love with the LEAFS. 33 years of suffering… please let it end. We got robbed in the ’93 season, but believe me we have something special right now. Marner is upgrade version of Gilmour minus toughness. Matthews is something I have never seen in my 33 years of watching hockey. He is in the class of his own. Tavares is your typical CANADIAN superstar like Yzerman, Sakic, Karyia, Crosby, Stamkos and so on…
        Lets protect these three superstars from the animals roaming rampant on the ice.

    • These are some pretty ridiculous trade proposals here – and overvalue the Leaf players included in trades. Trad# 1 – Zaitsev is a useless asset – a 3rd pair “D”man at best. Toronto will need to throw in assets to get rid of him and his cap hit. No way do they get Gudas, Simmonds, and a #1. Trade # 2. No way does St. Louis add a #2 to Parayko for a soft player who is way overpaid. Toronto would need to be the team adding a draft pick to get Parayko. Trade #3 – Why in the world would the Islanders want Marleau ? He is at the end of the line, and will be long retired before the Islanders will contend again. Trade #4 – the Kings need goal scoring – that is what Toronto would need to offer up – someone like Nylander or Kapanen, not Gardiner.

  9. Flyers are not making a deal involving them giving up a first this year. That sits currently 7th overall . The defencman Broberg from Sweden should be available . Who knows it could be higher

    • Flyers 1st rounder is still a prospect. Not proven commodity. Where as, Kapanen is showing the world right now at the highest level, he is a bonified top six forward. The speed, the finish, and improving set of hands, and improving IQ on the ice is only going to get better moving forward. Remember Kapanen has served his dues with the Marlies, as a fourth liner with Leafs, and finally thanks to his good buddy Nylander he got a big break playing meaningful minutes with high caliber player like Matthews. And most importantly he is PRODUCING. Excellent PK specialist, always a break away threat, and given chance I think he would be an asset on #1 PP. Flyers need high end offence now, with Giroux and others still in their prime. They can’t wait and gamble for a PROSPECT to mount to something. This trade will be a definite winner for the Flyers.

    • Thank you for the refreshing breath of SaNiTy.

  10. The following is a comparison of current LEAFS roster to a Stanley Cup Caliber roster I proposed:

    G Freddie Anderson (5m)
    G Garret Sparks (675K)

    LD Morgan Rielly (5m)
    RD Ron Hainsey (3m)
    LD Nikita Zaitsev (4.5m)
    RD Jake Gardiner (4.05m)
    LD Travis Dermott (863.33K)
    RD Igor Oshiganov (925K)

    Line 1:
    A.Johnsson787.5K A.Matthews925K K.Kapanen863.33K
    Line 2:
    Z.Hyman2.25m J.Tavares11m M.Marner894.167k
    Line 3:
    P.Marleau6.25m N.Kadri4.5m W.Nylander6.962m
    Line 4:
    T.Ennis650K P.Lindholm925K C.Brown2.1m

    RESERVES:
    F.Gauthier675K M.Marancin800K J.Holl 675K

    23 man roster at $64.27 million dollars.

    STANLEY CUP CHAMPION ROSTER:

    G F.Anderson5m G G.Sparks675K

    LD M.Rielly5m RD R.Gudas3.35m
    LD J.Muzzin4m RD C.Parayko5.5m
    LD T.Dermott863K RD J.Holl675K / R.Hainsey3m

    Line 1-4
    LW Hyman2.25m C Matthews925K RW Simmonds5m
    LW Johnsson788K C Tavres11m RW Marner894.2K
    LW Martin2.5m C Kadri4.5m RW Reaves2.775m
    LW ENNIS650K C Lindholm925K RW Gauthier675K

    RESERVES:
    Hainsey3m, Moore925K, Marincin800K

    23 STANLEY CUP CHAMPION roster at $62.67m

    Toronto’s top hitter in current roster is Hyman with 57 hits. Washington has 3 players with more than 57 hits would be 4 if Wilson played full season. Ovechikin leads with 105 hits. Boston has 5 players with 57 or more hits with Wagner leading the way with 107 hits. Tampa has 5 players with 57 or more hits with Paquette leading the way 123 hits. Winnipeg has 3 players with 57 or more and with Byfuglien not far behind while Tanev leading the way 103 hits. Those teams all had success in the playoffs in the last few years. They all had advanced to Conference Finals in the last 3 years. The reasoning is because in the playoffs its the will and the grit that prevails for 4 gruesome rounds of hatred hockey. Unlike any other sport, hockey is the most physically demanding playoff sport in the world. Toronto’s current team is not made for playoffs. Not for 4 rounds. Those teams i’ve mentioned above will focus on Marner, Tavares and Matthews physically, and target them and eventually injure them. Once one of them or two gets injured, Toronto will become non factor in the playoffs. They will become toothless Tiger in the jungle full or Lions, Crocs, Eagles, and Bears. Tiger can’t fight without its teeth, and they already don’t even have claws. At this point they are nothing more than a domesticated pet cat who intrigues us and delights us with little playful cuteness. But that is not what starving faithful leafs nation want. We don’t want cuteness, we want a CONTENDER, we want WARRIORS who can take of BUSINESS, we want 2019 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS. Toronto has way too many soft bystanders. Now look at my proposed Stanley Cup roster. We instantly have 5 more players with 57 or more hits. Reaves leading the way with 136 hits. Now we have great BALANCE down the lineup. Protection is there for our superstars Marner/Matthews/Tavres to do their things without worrying about stretchers. Same time, the new additions will bring fear into guys like Kucherov, Kusnetov, Marchand and Sheifele. No longer, Kadri has to stand in the middle of the ice feeling lonely against pack of wolves. Now we are wolves those teams have to fear. Scoring is still there. Offence run through Matthews, Marner and Tavares. Simmonds, Kadri, and Johnsson will provide secondary offence while the 4th line will provide spark, and the Kadris line with Martin and Reaves will patrol the ice. I can live with that. I can’t live with past futile effort to go against wild animals like the Bruins the Capitals and the Lightnings. Our defense is upgraded as well. With addition of Gudas whos is a bit like Polak in the past but with more grit and brains. Gudas is smart player who know when to engage physically but also very good with positioning. He is definitely a calming presence for Rielly as a partner but for goalie Anderson as well knowing there is a shut down defense who will not abandon his goalie and allow Rielly to be more creative and more assertive offensively.
    Then you have the additions of Muzzin and Parayko, big physical presence on the ice. They can play against any top lines in the league. And our third pairing of Dermott and Holl who just last year took Troronto’s farm team Marlies to a Memorial Cup Champions. Those two were the main stay as far as defense is concerned. I don’t need slow often liable defense man like Hainsey. Dermot and Holl has great chemistry together, time to rekindle their magic together.

    • You have BIG imagination skills. Your posts are highly entertaining. Kudos.

      While in Playoffs, I’d say, as a GM, you influence on the outcome is much less than 50% really. It’s not about that one gritty player trade, most of it is player performance (much of it is goaltending) and puck luck. You can go through every team that has won over the last years. Every one of them was at one time in dire straits and had tremendous luck to get them out of their pickle. A LOT of it is chance really. But I respect that you want to optimize the part that can be controlled.

    • How much have you seen Holl play? This is not an NHL D man