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Holiday Mailbag Special: A Family Gathering with PPP

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The gang rallies to answer your questions.

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Toronto Maple Leafs v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images

For our end-of-year special, the staff answered mailbag questions as a panel. Which meant less work for Fulemin!

You can re-acquire one currently active former Leaf for the current team. Who is it, and what do you think the cost of bringing them back is?—jmsmorris

seldo: I bring Byron Froese back from the Canadiens. It’s a cheap centre deal because I offer them Frederik Gauthier, and they’ll toss in a 2nd round pick for the ‘appease the french media’ angle.

Brigstew: Do draft picks traded away count? If so, Dougie Hamilton. If not, Phil Kessel. In both cases, it would cost a lot to bring them back.

Kevin: Phil Kessel, with the chance to be a back-to-back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion. The cost is his good friend Tyler Bozak, Josh Leivo, and a first round pick.

Fulemin: Anton Stralman! I don’t believe there’s a better active defenceman who’s played for the Leafs, and he shoots right. Tampa wouldn’t trade him except for a whack of assets though.

Which of these Leaf-related gifts would you want most for Christmas?

1. Matthews signed at 5mill for 8 years?

2. Leafs trade Polak for PK Subban with 50% of salary kept?

3. Stanley Cup appearance NEXT year?Cluste

4. None of the above, I hate good things.—BlindEyeTy

Arvind: 100% I take the Stanley Cup appearance. That’s a ~50% shot at winning a championship right there. As good as they’d be with Subban or Matthews taking a deal like that, it’s not even close to 50% for any individual year.

Hardev: I mean, the Leafs are already going to make the finals this year so picking a gift that is inevitable to happen is a waste of resources. I’ll take one Pernell Karl please!

Brigstew: Well as we all know, we at the PPP masthead hate all the Leafs and are biased against them. So I will be the one honest person and pick #4.

seldo: Stanley Cup appearance would be nice but that sounds like a monkey paw trick where the cup appears at the ACC at the HHOF game or something. I'm going Matthews 5x8. It's the safest option, and gives flexibility to go for multiple cups.

Kevin: PK Subban, for sure. He is one of my favourite players to watch in all of hockey. Matthews might pay the Leafs $5 million to get the chance to play with Subban.

If the Leafs traded for and then picked #1 this year, and we got another rising young superstar, and you had to create an entirely new number for them, what would it be?—not norm ullman

Arvind: exp(i * pi)

Brigstew: 420/24/7

seldo: We'd go to emojis and the new player would be a banana to go with Auston’s eggplant

Katya: åtta

Using ONLY your powers of tele-diagnosis, tell us what the fudge is wrong with Auston?—not norm ullman

Brigstew: He likes mint chocolate fudge, and mint + chocolate is the most unholy of all flavour combinations.

seldo: He reads the comments and he's sick of everyone's shit.

Arvind: Even he was sick of playing with Zach Hyman and Connor Brown.

Species: He can’t find a decent bowl of chicken tortilla soup around these parts and that is what powers his supreme hockey abilities.

What is the best Christmas sweet? Some examples include but are not limited to Turtles, Lindor chocolates, Chickenbones, Quality Street.—Mike Brown’s Moustache

Brigstew: the correct answer is whiskey. [Sees the question specifies ‘sweet’]. Sweet whiskey.

seldo: Presidents Choice Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge ice cream. Any other answer is wrong.

Arvind: Turtles are great. Let’s go with those.

Species: TURTLES? Arvind, your chocolate bonbon choices are terrible. Give me the Ferrero Rocher.

If you could make the jockstrap of one NHL player be permanently laced with TigerBalm, who would it be?—I Am Rad Boss

seldo: I don't know what TigerBalm is but I assume it's bad and would make a player play badly, so I pick Jack Eichel.

Brigstew: Brad Marchand. No questions.

Arvind: I considered Marchand, but outside of being an asshole on the ice, he seems like a decent person. I’d probably give it to Kris Russell, because that means the entire Edmonton media gets it in their mouths.

Fulemin: Matthew Tkachuk.

Species: Jake Dotchin.

What food do you normally like but stop eating around the holidays because it’s not really a "holiday" food (or drink)?—I Am Rad Boss

Arvind: Only insane people do this.... you’re an adult! Eat food you like.

Brigstew: Can’t talk. Too busy eating stuffing.

seldo: I am against the fascist separating of foods into categories.

Which number in the "Maple Leafs by the Numbers" series was the most troublesome when it came to picking the best player?—I Am Rad Boss

Brigstew: I assume whatever number was made up of mostly ex-London Knights.

seldo: Obviously number 9 and 10 because I ignore evidence ahead of me. Putting aside my idiocy, for me it was #1, Bower or Broda.

Obviously with the Seattle Xbox Amazon Coffee Grinders set to join the league in the near future there could be some scheduling qualms to sort out since 82 games does not happen cleanly playing against every team … how should the schedule be built (how many times you see each team) and should the playoff format go back to the old school 80s where you played out of your division?

Playoffs

I favor going back to four in each division, and having to play your way out of the division and then conference to get to the cup.

Regular Season

I thought about it … and I like the idea of an 84 game schedule because of every team playing every other team an even number of times.

Outside the Conference (16 teams)

One home and one away against each team – 32 games

Outside the Division (8 teams)

One home and One away, and a third game alternating annually – 24 games

Within the Division (7 teams)

Two home, two away – 28 Games

Or screw divisions … two giant conferences?Dan Of The North

Katya: No, think really big. No conferences at all, no divisions. It’s a random draw.

  • You take the teams in order of how they finished the prior season
  • Team one gets its 82 opponents drawn, then team two, etc.
  • If a team reaches 82 games as the opponent before their turn to draw comes up, they are taken out of draw order
  • If you get to the point where a team can’t draw because no one else is left who isn’t them, they get to swap in as the opponent of the top team in order of their draws, meaning that the punishment for coming near the bottom is to have a higher probability of playing the first place team, and vice versa
  • Any team might play another team dozens of times or not at all
  • Travel time might be horrible or easy
  • The guy who does NBC’s rivalry night quits in anger
  • People finally learn how randomness and probabilities work

Brigstew: The best schedule would be just a tour of the Toronto Maple Leafs accepting the teams from inferior cities and allowing them to test their peons’ ability against the true Gods of the sport. They are not allowed to play at any other point, as they are unworthy of it. Winnipeg and Edmonton, as straw-hut savages, are not allowed to participate at all.

seldo: I need less games, not more. I'd be happy with play each team home and away, then your division teams an extra two games, so a 70ish game season. I'm 100% for divisional playoffs, playoffs and history build rivalries. Plus, the only truly fair way to do playoffs would be to seed 1-16 and that won't happen because of TV.

Imagine there is a boat made of 100 different parts, and every year one these parts is replaced. It is always a different part that is replaced. After 100 years the ship is still sailing strong. Then some person comes along and buys the shipyard where the replaced parts are stored and builds a ship of his own.

Now which one is the original ship?—Exit Steve Left

Hardev: If a part of the ship is replaced, then it is no longer a part of the ship because the replacement part takes that title. The ship that was made with the used parts is now just a replica with original parts, it is not the current ship. Hah!

Brigstew: Boy that’s a tough one, they’re so common it’s hard to distinguish between the relationships.

Arvind: It depends on how you define original.

seldo: The rebuilt ship is a new ship made of old parts. It's like if every player on the Leafs graduated from the Marlies, eventually we should just rename the Leafs, right?

What fish best represents each maple leaf? You can use all species, freshwater and saltwater.—Fishingfreak99

seldo: They're all angel fish when they win and clown fish when they lose.

Brigstew: Challenge accepted!

  • Auston Matthews - Mexican golden trout
  • William Nylander - Moorish idol (look at that flow slicked back and tell me that’s not Willy’s hair)
  • Zach Hyman - Pufferfish (plays bigger than he is)
  • Nazem Kadri - Thornfish
  • Leo Komarov - Prickly sculpin
  • Patrick Marleau - A card shark teaching Marner a lesson in Euchre
  • JVR - Blowfish [eyebrows.gif]
  • Mitch Marner - Whatever the fish species was in Finding Nemo
  • Tyler Bozak - Peacock flounder
  • Matt Martin - Siamese Fighting Fish
  • Dominic Moore - Moorish idol
  • Connor Brown - Brown trout
  • Morgan Rielly - Skate
  • Ron Hainsey - Soldierfish
  • Jake Gardiner - Smooth dogfish
  • Nikita Zaitsev - Russian sturgeon
  • Andreas Borgman - Plownose chimaera
  • Roman Polak - Red Herring
  • Frederik Andersen - Red snapper
  • Curtis McElhinney - I dunno some sub-par fish that restaurants serve when they run out of the good fish (Haddock - seldo)

You’re starting a new hockey league to rival/complement (whatever you feel is better) the NHL (a la WHA, USFL, etc.).

You are to award 10-15 franchises to cities, but they MUST be cities where there is no current NHL team (or if you must you can add a team to a market that has one but could possibly support a 2nd). What cities now make up your league?

If you want you can also assign them team names. But if any of them don’t end with an ‘s’ you’re dead to me.—Exit Steve Left

Katya: So, my new league is called the World Hockey Association, and it’s logo is a globe with the north pole centred, so you see all the northern hemisphere around it.

The WHA has two conferences, the Pacifica and the Atlantica.

The Pacifica has three teams in the West America Division: San Diego/Tijuana, San Francisco, and Seattle. In the East Eurasia Division: Sapporo, Pyeongchang, and Shanghai.

The Atlantica has three teams in the East America Division: Havana, Baltimore, and Halifax. In the West Eurasia Division: Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam.

You guys can name these teams, I’m no good at that. But Halifax has to be the Privateers. (London, England has to be the Knights - Hardev. Dale and Mark Hunter say just try it - Katya.)

Hardev: The obvious ones: the Hartford Whalers, the Seattle Starbucks, the Houston Ten Gallon Hats, and the Quebec Northerners.

Then the Kansas City Neckbeards (shoutout the 2015 Jays run). The Saskatchewan Roughriders (already branded in the area). Buffalo finally deserves an NHL team after all these years. The Halifax Schooners would be cool to see. Cleveland would be a nice spot if they could get Lebron to buy part of the team. And last but not least, the Indianapolis Racetracks!

Brigstew: Markham, Vaughan, Oshawa, Newmarket, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Georgetown, Ajax, Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Hamilton, and Whitby.

Scut Farkus – bully or just misunderstood?—Spoonie

seldo: What's a Scut Far- you know what, this is some kind of BOFA trick isn't it?

Brigstew: That’s a bad movie and you should feel bad for bringing it up.

What is the mailbag made of, cotton? Mithril? The tears of Habs fans?—Bruceki

seldo: It's an old A&P grocery bag.

Brigstew: Something like this.

How does Species manage to drive JvR to all the road games? Does he have a magic van?—Species 1967

seldo: Leave me out of this.

Arvind: Species is actually Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus.

Brigstew: We all know about the van you keep JVR in the back, Species.

Are PPP Mailbag letters admissible in a court of law?—Jersey Leaf

seldo: Since Fuleman is an ex - lawyer I assume it's attorney/client privilege

Brigstew: Uh... on an unrelated matter, I... need to go. [distant sounds of paper shredders]

Fulemin: Yes. Beware.

Hello Mr. Fule,

I hope this day finds you well in body, mind, and soul.

Earlier in the season, I went on vacation for a week and didn’t really pay attention to the Leafs while gone. I had a great time but when I got back the Leafs had signed Roman (works so hard to go so slow) Polak and actually put him in their lineup. This was some shitty news to come home too. Not too bad in the big scheme of things but enough to dampen the good feelings from vacation.

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened in your life to quickly bring you back to reality after some time away?

Hmm, this is actually kind of a depressing question, sorry. Here is another question to hopefully have you not come away from this experience in a bad mood:

What’s cuter, kittens or puppies? Please provide gifs in support of your answer.—Not A Real One

seldo: Is this an mailbag or a novel competition?

Arvind: I agreed to do this mailbag after my exams. Also, puppies.

Brigstew: I have two cats and a dog. I was going to post some gifs but you said not a real one, so here’s a jpg:

Fulemin: If I take three days off I come back to a triple-digit number of emails despite me having put on the damn out-of-office Outlook option that warns people I’m not here. Really wrecks the vacation.

As expected:

A genie comes out of your toilet and tells you that from now until the end of the season, every time you commit a crime, the Leafs will win. The caveat is that each time you commit a crime, it must be worse than the last crime. He does not grant you immunity from the consequences of your actions. You get caught, you go down hard (though you can still shank people in prison to keep the streak alive, don’t forget). Do you steal, murder and – heaven forbid – GRAFFITI your way to the cup?—Fat Fartin

So, same question as Fartin’s, except I’m (attempting to) close the loophole that you decided to use in your answer. The definition of "worse than the last crime" is that it must carry a higher minimum fine/sentence (for crimes with no minimum, go by maximum) than the last crime committed. So theft under $5,000 is one crime. You can steal something worth 5 cents for that one, but the next crime has to be a more severe crime as per its definition in the laws of the jurisdiction where it was committed.

Bonus Second Question: What is your favourite holiday tradition? It can either be a stereotypical one or one specific to you/your family. It can be as simple as sitting down for a meal with friends/family or something completely random like having Arby’s beef and cheddar sandwiches for lunch on Boxing Day.—Shield

Katya: Okay, Mr Loophole Closer. Yes I’m going to crime my way to a cup. Here’s how. Step one: forge American birth certificate. Step two: join the Republican party. Step three: become leader of the party (I assume there’s a lot of crimes going on here, that’s just a nice side benefit.) Step four: become President of the United States. Step five: Pick just the right VP. Cue the evil laugh of evil as I can now be pardoned for anything by my stooge the future president. (The sad denouement comes when the Leafs won’t come to my White House because I am such a tyrant.)

Hardev: Yes, because it’s the Cup, baby! I’d even wear a Habs jersey doing it all if I had to.

To answer your second question, eat a crap ton of Christmas food, play poker and watch Harry Potter with my extended family. Just because it came to my mind, my least favourite is cleaning my room after a semester of school. And no, I’m not answering these questions so i don’t have to clean my room, you are.

seldo: I've been advised by my attorney that the mailbag is actually not privileged so I pass on the first question.

Every Christmas Eve I stay up all night. I've actually ways done this, I'm just too excited to sleep. And for three years in a row in the 90s the Buffalo Fox affiliate, WUTV played Tremors at 4AM on Christmas day. It is now my tradition to watch that alone at 4AM.

Arvind: Honestly, I let the Leafs get to the playoffs on their own, and maybe even the first round. After that, I’ll use my easy crimes to get them out of the second. They need to pay me for the rest.

Brigstew: For a Leafs’ Cup victory? I will murder the shit out of Canada in an escalating rampage of blood and gore as a sacrifice to the hockey gods.

Fulemin: So with the loophole closed, my answer has basically two prongs: I’m only committing a crime to win the Leafs a playoff game in which they are at risk of being eliminated. Everything else, they’re on their own. The amount of crimin’ will be thereby minimized.

The Criminal Code has a number of offences with no defined penalty beyond their status as a summary or indictable conviction, and so I would have a lawyerly argument about how the only fair way to evaluate those is by average conviction severity. I’ll tell you now, I’m going to find a way to get “fraudulent fortune telling” in there. I feel confident I could get quite a few wins for the Leafs while barely doing anything.

But brass tacks, the question is really “how far would you go?” I wouldn’t do anything that caused permanent damage to anything, nor any personal injury to anybody, and any harm would have to be a) trivial and b) rectifiable once the Cup is won (so I’ll fix that window I tossed a rock through.) Matthews can win us a Cup before we go full amorality, I believe.

What Christmas movie character is every Leaf? Show your work.—Nirbo

seldo: Dear lord. pass.

William Nylander: Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Freddy Andersen: Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis in all the Die Hard movies

Brigstew: Every Leaf is one of the characters in Home Alone.

Fulemin: Mitch Marner is Kevin McCallister in Home Alone; Nylander is Hermey, as above; Matthews is Bruce Willis, and Polak is Tim Allen from the Santa Clause. He isn’t fully qualified for this job and he might have accidentally killed a dude now and then, but he’s going to do his best.

Auston Matthews has been struck by a smooth criminal and he is not ok. The department of player safety didn’t do anything about it, so now it is up to you to orchestrate some sort of vigilante justice either on or off the ice. What would you like to see happen?

P.S. Duck Fake Jotchin—Leafs Fan 709

seldo: I would like to see the team that this player is on fold, their arena burn down and that one player be cursed with four ingrown toenails. So get ready for that Lightning fans.

Brigstew: I would throw them into a pile of cacti covered in salt, ghost pepper sauce, and glass shards.

Fulemin: I am revising my answer to the crime question to include one violent crime.

How do I explain to my relatives over the holidays that, despite recent adversity and fuckups, these really aren’t the same old Leafs?—Ghost of Bohonos

Hardev: Show them this

seldo: If they make tired jokes like 1967 and say Laffs they are hopeless and only speak of the weather. Otherwise just tell them to think about it.

Brigstew: How about the fact that the Leafs have won like 5 or 6 games in a row against the Bruins?

Fulemin: Matthews is probably going to be the best forward, relative to the league, that the Leafs have had since Darryl Sittler. At least.

Alternate question for everyone else to discuss, which I might write a fanpost about: what Overwatch character would every Leaf main?—Ghost of Bohonos

seldo: I don’t have a job and I don’t have time for these questions.

Arvind: I heard there was a parody song called “Fuck McCree”, so I guess he’s Kadri? Other than that, no idea.

Brigsew: Diva. Totes Diva.

Fulemin: I am not competent to answer the question, your honour. Marner is Tracer, that’s my best shot.

Christmas is now cancelled in favour of Halloween 2: Halloweener (named in the convention of the forgotten holiday’s greatest movie’s sequel… And also because they let teenagers name it). Because there has to be a twist on the traditions of the original, as well as the usual drinking, partying, and candy eating, the costumes for Halloweener are to be representative of the holidays each person’s personality can be summed up best as. What do each of the Leafs go as?

TL;DR version: compare the Leafs to holidays.And Christmas is cancelled in favour of second Halloween.—SlickWill

seldo: [Chugs whiskey as I storm out of the PPP office flipping this question off]

Brigstew: Jesus what is it with you people and wanting an answer for each player... whatever, challenge accepted!

  • Auston Matthews - A sunburst
  • William Nylander - A prettier but less bright sunburst
  • Zach Hyman - A groundhog
  • Nazem Kadri - An elf
  • Leo Komarov - Krampus
  • Patrick Marleau - Santa Claus
  • JVR - Sinterklaas
  • Mitch Marner - baby Jesus
  • Tyler Bozak - god just not something with blackface, Bozak, is that not too much to ask?
  • Matt Martin - whatever costume exemplifies May 24th
  • Dominic Moore - Something forgotten after you see it
  • Connor Brown - Gingerbread man
  • Morgan Rielly - Hotness
  • Ron Hainsey - Something about April fools because he is very surprising
  • Jake Gardiner - A live hand grenade
  • Nikita Zaitsev - Some Russian holiday... Google tells me there’s a “Russia Day” so he’ll go as a Russian guy.
  • Andreas Borgman - a Swedish meatball
  • Roman Polak - whatever costume exemplifies Labour Day
  • Frederik Andersen - A Danish gingerbread man
  • Curtis McElhinney - I dunno some sub-par holiday like family day or something

***

Thank you to everyone who contributed questions, and thanks as well to everyone who contributed answers.