Here is a mailbag. In it are questions, and also answers.
What does the NHL have to do to get back to respectability as a marketer of hockey? What initiatives with PUBLIC engagement, not internally, would you want to see— jake (@jakebeleafs) December 12, 2019
The first thing is to stop tripping over themselves. The league routinely makes what look like unforced errors—for example, the outdoor game in Saskatchewan that seemingly no one knew about until it happened. Part of that is their own fault from going to the well way too often on outdoor games, but still.
After that, the league does have a tough job—hockey is still played less than other major sports throughout most of the U.S., in some places a lot less. I actually think the league has done a few things right recently (3v3 overtime, the Vegas Golden Knights expansion) and they’re correct to make changes to keep increasing pace of play. Hockey’s best selling point is that it’s faster than any other major sport in North America; bogging down with unnecessary whistles and tedious reviews hampers that strength. I would be interested to see a move away from video review, pretty much entirely, and to look at finding solutions to try and lessen offsides.
I’d love for the league to market a bit more on team personality than player personality. Most NHLers are still publicly anodyne cliche machines and that seems hard to fix in the short term; the only people who really seem excited about individuals in the NHL are the Twitter thirst community that likes players with faces like rodents. So maybe a better way to go about it is to lean into the “team identity” thing that’s so often talked about. I don’t think the differences between teams are actually that pronounced in most cases, and a lot of them are running fairly similar systems (sorry), but helping give people an idea of what they’ll see from a given team would be useful.
Also, just go to the fucking Olympics, you clowns.
Follow up if $2M x 3 or 4 is in Holl’s wheelhouse. Why not offer $1.25M x 8? Fully buriable by 3rd or 4th year (no escrow for player)& given his age/experience he’s not likely getting another 3 year contract after this one. $10M guaranteed to a guy with career earnings of $1.7M— TC (@WineMixers) December 12, 2019
This is really hard to say.
As my colleague Arvind likes to point out, basically two things get you paid as a defenceman: time on ice and points. Travis Dermott has neither in much quantity at the moment. As an RFA, it should be possible to get him quite cheaply on a two-or-three year, or there can be a one-year “show me” deal if that’s the player’s preference. (It’s probably not ours, but Dermott can always pick up his qualifying offer, as Andreas Johnsson did.) If you could get Dermott in the low $2M range on a three-year, I would take that, otherwise I am content to wait and see.
Mikheyev is tough to guess. I think his point production is going to keep cooling off a bit to the point where by the end of the year it’s quite reasonable to keep him under $3M for a couple of years. Right now he might cost a bit more so he’s another case to wait and see—remember he’s an RFA too, albeit one with an obvious KHL option in his back pocket. Until teams start issuing mid-level offer sheets (which, in my opinion, they should), it’s not too hard to get value on these.
Justin Holl is the wild one. His points are still pretty moderate but his ice time is creeping up, and unlike Cody Ceci (bad) and Tyson Barrie (about to be super overpaid) he seems plausible enough for the Leafs to keep. He’s also about to be unrestricted.
The most comparable recent player to Holl that I can remember, a top-four minutes but low-scoring RHD who only became an everyday player at age 27, is Greg Pateryn. (Holl will get more points than Pateryn did with Dallas, so it’s not perfect, but bear with me.) Pateryn signed for three years at $2.25M with Minnesota in July 2018. You might also compare Nick Jensen, who fits a similar mold and took four years at $2.5M with Washington immediately after a trade in February. I figure we’re talking in the mid-twos on a three-year for Holl right now.
An eight-year deal for Holl at that $1.25M is a interesting in theory—the Leafs would presumably load up bonuses for him to the extent possible—and as you note the risk at the back end is primarily to MLSE’s ample funds and the loss of an SPC slot. I don’t like the odds of Holl being an NHL contributor in the back half of that deal at all, and there are some potential accumulated consequences if we do this kind of thing repeatedly. But right now it’s just Justin we’re discussing, so okay.
I think, though, Holl doesn’t really need to take it. If he gets the Jensen deal it’s the same overall amount of money, sooner, and most players believe they’ll still be players for a long time, so I doubt Holl would expect it to be his last deal. They also tend not to bet against themselves, which this would be doing—almost the only time I’ve seen players take those kind of cheap-but-long deals when they could have gotten more is with a couple of Nashville’s depth forwards who were RFAs at the time. If Holl turns out to be the team’s best RHD next year, which is pathetic but not impossible, he’s gonna feel kind of silly having committed the entire rest of his earning career at $1.25M per. Maybe he’s the type to take it. But I doubt it.
Are Tampa's and the Leafs' struggles this year rooted in the same issues?— Swedish Defenceman (@Swedish_Dman) December 12, 2019
I can think of two issues both teams have in common:
- Team save percentage (ours is cratered by our backup, theirs is a mildly disappointing Vasilevskiy and a fairly disappointing Curtis McElhinney)
- A sense born from postseason disappointment that the regular season doesn’t really matter as much
I have no idea how much #2 matters, if at all, but #1 is a lot for teams that rely on good goaltending. Tampa doesn’t have Toronto’s issue of being a scoring team that got bad at scoring for a while, though, and they’re better overall.
Is Johnsson overpaid?— Steven (@sforys92) December 12, 2019
I don’t think so. If you think pretty much anyone with a pulse could play well with Matthews and Nylander maybe you rate him lower, but he’s been effective and productive on a successful first line, and he’s also on a deal that bought UFA years. Understandably he’s talked about a lot as a potential trade chip because we’re so deep at wing but by no means do I want to unload him just for the sake of not paying him.
what changes to the team do you think will take place, if any— Assistant Captain B34st (@Leafy_B34st) December 12, 2019
If the team falls out of competitiveness, you have a sale of rentals and possibly someone like Johnsson/Kapanen for short-term future wins. If they hang around I honestly don’t think Dubas will do more than maybe pick up a backup goalie as cheaply as he can manage.
Buds are when?— Bandwagon Leafs Fan (@hockeyphreak) December 12, 2019
The Buds are intermittent. I hope they will be all day again soon.
How have you been?— Josh (@SuperMaurice) December 12, 2019
I’m good, thank you. I hate Christmas carols, though.
If I left you a rock, some rope, a hammer, and some sweetgrass, do you think you could fashion a weapon capable of slaying the fabled Minotaur, protector of the labyrinth?— (@FatsSundin) December 12, 2019
[shot of me having somehow died trying to slingshot the rock before the Minotaur arrives]
Why doesnt the NHL recognize/ do anything about CTE when people are blatantly getting it— fredward anderdank (@FaithMajka) December 12, 2019
Beyond gestures like the concussion spotters? They don’t want to expose themselves to liability, they don’t think the game can actually significantly reduce CTE without changes that will ruin the product, and they don’t want to scare people off. There are a lot of reasons why traditional boxing has declined in the United States, but one was that people thought an awful lot about what happened to all those boxers. (The same is going to happen to UFC fighters over time.)
When leaves turn from Green to red, it marks the change of the seasons. Where do blue leaves fall in that spectrum— Bryan Bastin (@projpatsummitt) December 12, 2019
The fall of the blue leaves is precisely correlated with my transition from hockey season to ignoring baseball season.
In baseball, Tampa ownership and Montreal investors continue to posture about a potential team-share between the cities. Seeing as the collective brains of Blue Jay management are perfectly smooth, would it be acceptable for fans to jump ship if the Montreal R-ehs come to pass?— Dan (@265Kilometres) December 12, 2019
I think you’re always justified in turning on bad management even if you don’t have a ludicrous double-city franchise waiting for you. Fans refusing to go along is one of the pressures on management to not half-ass things, you might as well exert it to make the Blue Jay Brains somewhat spikier.
With tomorrow being Friday the 13th, please rank the movies from that franchise in order from best to worst. Do not include the 2009 remake.— Replacement Level Analyst (@loserpoints) December 12, 2019
Did you know there are twelve of these fucking movies? Jesus. I have seen none of them and I refuse to do so. But I am nonetheless committed to answering these questions, so here we go, based on random crap I found while scanning Wikipedia:
1. Jason X — they went full sci fi on it and I respect that. He goes to space and they just named him “Uber Jason”, because why not?
2. Friday the 13th Part III — this is a hell of a sequence:
Back at Higgins Haven, Shelly scares Vera with a hockey mask and then wanders into the barn, where Jason slashes his throat. Taking his mask to conceal his face, Jason proceeds to murder the rest of the group. Vera retrieves Shelly’s wallet from under the dock and is shot in the eye with a speargun. Jason enters the house and bisects a hand-standing Andy with a machete. Debbie finishes her shower and rests on a hammock, where Jason thrusts a knife through her chest from beneath, killing her. When the power goes out in the house, Chuck goes downstairs to the basement only for Jason to hurl him into the fuse box, electrocuting him. Chili finds that everyone else is dead and is then impaled with a hot fire poker.
3. Friday the 13th Part II — someone “runs away in a burlap sack”
4. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning — I am deeply amused that pretty much everyone involved in this one agrees it was absolute garbage:
Actor Dick Wieand stated that “It wasn’t until I saw Part V that I realized what a piece of trash it was. I mean, I knew the series’ reputation, but you’re always hoping that yours is going to come out better”, and director Danny Steinmann stated that he “shot a fucking porno in the woods there. You wouldn’t believe the nudity they cut out.”
5. Friday the 13th (1980) — It’s the first one so it’s probably better than the rest of them? Don’t tell me if I’m wrong.
6. Friday the 13th (2009) — It’s the late 2000s so now we have to do an origin story. Why wouldn’t we? What if someone loses touch with the narrative base of this endless franchise about a guy who murders camp counsellors?
7. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday — Fulemin Goes To Hell: Making This List
8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan — if you call it this and you don’t put First We Take Manhattan by Leonard Cohen on the soundtrack, you immediately get bumped down. Bonus points for the setting change though.
9. Freddy vs. Jason — get out of here with this shared universe shit. I’m tired of it. No more cinematic universes for ten years until we figure out what’s going on.
10. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood — at this point there is simply no excuse for anyone to be going to this lake
11. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives — they resurrect him with a thunderbolt. Are you guys even fucking trying?
12. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter — when you call something “The Final Chapter” and then make eight more movies you should go to jail
At the end of the season, will more coaches be fired for abuse/racism than for bad performance?— TurnipCannon (@TurnipCannon) December 12, 2019
It’ll still be bad performance. Remember, that’s what got Babcock canned, all the other stuff only became public afterwards and the team was aware of the Marner stuff before. Hynes (New Jersey) and DeBoer (San Jose) were apparently fine enough guys who were just failing at their jobs, and while no one will quite tell us what got Jim Montgomery booted from Dallas, the general drift of the reporter hints is seemingly in another direction. At least at the NHL level, Bill Peters in Calgary and possibly Marc Crawford as an AC in Chicago (investigation pending) are the only ones in the abuse/racism category.
What should the Leafs do to address the backup goaltending situation, and what should they have done differently in the past to avoid the position they're in now?— Travis Dermott Appreciation Society (@BraydenMoore1) December 12, 2019
It’s hard to know! I’d love to get Alexander Georgiev but I don’t think NYR has any need to deal him, despite having a nice AHL prospect waiting. Beyond that it’s a complete wasteland. I would trade Ceci for Ryan Miller and might slightly sweeten the pot to do it, but I don’t think Anaheim would and the salary thing is a mess on it anyway. After that it’s fringe guys. Being capped out to the absolute hilt really has a way of wrecking your goalie plans. So: my honest guess is that if the Leafs are still contending in a month or two Dubas will spend a fifth on a decent AHL goalie.
With hindsight they should have kept Curtis McElhinney and not Garret Sparks, that seems clear. I still think that was a credible move at the time, though. More recently they needed another insurance policy behind Hutchinson and Michal Neuvirth, who after all has been injured a lot. I liked the idea of trying him but we ate a lot of risk there; our Plan A was flimsy, our B was flimsy, and there wasn’t a Plan C.
We have one (1) defenseman under contract for 2020-21 and one RFA in Dermott. Freddie is also UFA in 2021. How would you go about these issues in the next two offseasons?— Festive Mike (@LeBronMaclean) December 12, 2019
Re the defence: try to go cheap on Dermott and Holl if you can now, if you can’t, oh well. Realistically I probably re-sign Jake Muzzin if I can do it without totally eating dirt on the back half of the deal; alternatively, I’d be looking at trades (see my answer to THII later on.) Barrie I neither want at his likely price nor can keep. Sandin and Liljegren are supposed to be your third pair, but depth guys should be in the mix for the sixth spot. Oh, and look hard at Alex Pietrangelo in the offseason, but that’s a bit of a pipe dream.
As mentioned above, Georgiev would be neat. But barring us getting a mint prospect I don’t think the Leafs have much choice but to gulp and re-sign Freddie. There are simply not enough good starting goalies in the NHL who are as consistent as him and we can’t waste time on Tavares and our other stars. Deals for goalies into their 30s are scary, but so are wasted primes with no real starter at all.
who do you think is the biggest surprise in terms of ice time distribution under keefe? also, do you think they’ve excelled or stumbled with the new minutes? pic.twitter.com/fkNnzebMtU— karl the snowman ☃️ (@karlandtheleafs) December 12, 2019
Jake Muzzin, for sure. He seems to be dropping back away in favour of Tyson Barrie and Morgan Rielly—they were ahead of him before, but not by much, and Muzzin is dropping. I am wondering if he’s injured, or if to some extent the adjustment to the system is hard for him, because he’s our best defensive defenceman. My eyes have wondered if he’s got a nagging injury a couple of times. He seems to be doing well enough in the minutes he’s still getting, though—his number under Keefe are terrific.
don't you hate pants?— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) December 12, 2019
Depends who isn’t wearing them.
can you mailbag from the afterlife?— Harrison Lee (@HLLivingLoco) December 12, 2019
Is this a Sixth Sense thing? Am I dead? Was it someone mad about Josh Leivo who got me?
If the Leafs were to trade Johnsson at some point, what do you think would be a good deal?— happy hyman on a boat (@DJJbuchanan) December 12, 2019
Trade speculation is a mug’s game at the best of times just because it’s such a specific market with limited supply and a few specific personalities. Speaking generally if you can get a defenceman who is or would soon be plausible at RD on a second pairing, you probably give that a look. Or a star goalie prospect.
I've seen some fans comparing aspects of the Leafs recent play to the "Randy Carlyle" system. Do you think there's any validity to that at all?— Katya Knappe (@KatyaKnappe) December 12, 2019
The Leafs’ d-zone focus on keeping shots to the outside is a little reminiscent of what the idea with Carlyle was, although the Leafs of that era also were even worse defensively than this gang of glass cannons. I do think these Leafs recover from opposing shots against better than the Carlyle ones did, which helps cut back on those long cycles against. But Toronto has given up a lot of shots since forever it feels like. What changes is at the offensive end...
...and that’s where I see a difference. Randy Carlyle’s teams cheated high for rush chances and that was basically the extent of the strategy. Sustaining possession would have seemed to Carlyle strange and maybe sacrilegious. Keefe’s teams have a different front end on them. I am hoping the back end works better than it did under RC.
I'm right handed but my left bicep is bigger, same for my left pec/tit.— Fear and Arrogance (@F_T_Smasher) December 12, 2019
WTF is going on? Am I dying?
There is a joke here about which hand you use for the computer mouse, but I’m too classy to make it. Am I? Ah, shit, I did.
Anyway, probably not? Unless your left arm has gone in the direction of Popeye the Sailor Man. Then get that checked.
Sometimes your record doesn’t define you but at the same time you are what you are. Acknowledging the coaching change, this is still a .500 team with as many goals against as for. Is it ok to believe that’s not us or should it be a humbling realization?— True Blue Leafs (@TrueBlueLeafs) December 12, 2019
I think almost everyone’s perception of how good this team is has lowered at least a bit in the last three months. The team simply played worse than we would have expected, and even if you blame Babcock for a lot of that, those were two of the worst months of his tenure. Something went wrong for this team.
Can we still believe they’re better than their record? I think so. I do. Under Keefe they still seem like a better team to me. If they get back to at least outscoring their problems sometimes they’ll look more like we expected and we won’t seem to have been so far off.
Do you think Kaskisuo deserves another look?— Leafs Observer (@LeafsObserver) December 12, 2019
To be honest, no. He seems like a nice guy but I don’t buy that he’s very good. Whether he deserves it more than Hutchinson is I guess debatable but neither of them ought to be starting an NHL game in the macro sense.
Who is the first hockey player you remember coveting, and wishing he would come to the Leafs? Was it an obvious superstar like Gretzky or Lemieux, or someone fewer people would expect?— The Wet Bandits (@tronnoadam) December 12, 2019
It’s odd, because there have to have been more—I was watching the Leafs practically from the time I could walk and I was more than old enough to get foolishly invested in free agents—but the earliest one I remember clearly was Brooks Laich as he approached free agency, of all people, and I was in my twenties by that point (2011). I just generally accepted throughout my youth that we signed very old free agents and then traded for deadline rentals, and that was that.
1. Optimum leafs post deadline roster. Include trades/promotions you think are realistic.— Sweetwater (@sweetwater_1981) December 12, 2019
2. Thoughts on leafs prospects at the world juniors (I want to know what to look for while I’m watching live in Czech!)?
I hate to duck but the optimum Leafs post-TDL roster is composed of players that are already here plus a backup goalie. Assuming we got that for a draft pick, my lines would be something like:
Johnsson - Matthews - Nylander
Hyman - Tavares - Marner
Mikheyev - Kerfoot - Kapanen
Engvall - Spezza - Moore
Rielly - Barrie
Muzzin - Holl
Middling Backup X
Simply, put, it’s hard for the Leafs to make legit acquisitions with their cap situation. Maybe Cody Ceci has a lot of value around the league still, but I really doubt it. I did speculate on one trade idea later on but I don’t think it’s especially likely. At the same time, I’m not sure there’s actually much use in bringing up Rasmus Sandin and throwing him into the fire on the third pair right now.
Speaking of the World Juniors, obviously if the Leafs let Sandin play for Sweden, he’s the big name to watch. Nick Robertson should make Team USA, I would think. After that it’s just a question of whether Mikko Kokkonen makes Finland. The Leafs don’t have anyone else there.
Not sure how much you follow the Marlies/Growlers, but which prospect has you most excited?— EhhhhhhGaviria (@readysteadydave) December 12, 2019
I follow them primarily through our other writers on this site, but amongst the Marlies and the Growlers, I’m going to have to go for the obvious choice. I think Rasmus Sandin is a lock to be a full-time NHLer and I think Timothy Liljegren is more likely than not to be, and that’s basically what there is to be excited about. Yegor Korshkov, Mason Marchment and Adam Brooks might be Fun Depth Guys in a year if they can stay healthy, and Joseph Woll might be good one day, but our pro tiers are pretty thin right now. If you haven’t heard of a guy on the AHL squad now, it’s probably for good reason.
Also, I hate to be a cynic and I know Kyle Dubas is trying to change the system, but there are extremely few significant NHL skaters who played any extended time in the ECHL. The now-retired Alex Burrows is the only recent one I can think of off the top of my head.
Do you see the blueline staying the same throughout the season? Who are the most likely changes? Additions?— Kevin Horn (@RaiderFBcoach) December 12, 2019
Somewhat boringly, yeah, I see it staying the same. My basic reasons for thinking so are: Cody Ceci is hard to move for any return, and I don’t think the Leafs are desperate enough for cap to move him for nothing and open a moderate hole on the defence. After that, who are you moving? Holl has been a competent RHD, Rielly/Muzzin/Barrie are all locked in unless we’re tanking, and we’re trying to see what we have in Dermott.
In the event of one of the top six being injured long-term you might see Rasmus Sandin, but I don’t think that’s actually the most likely, since it burns an ELC year for him and he’s still very young.
How does Santa afford the resources needed to make toys for every child? Who paid for the facility? Do the Elves get paid? Do they have a union? Would you be willing to lead them in a collective bargaining negotiation? Why do our cookies and milk go towards supporting a tyrant?— Hardev Lad (@HardevLad) December 12, 2019
- Santa can do magic;
- Santa paid for it with magic;
- The elves are enslaved by magic;
- Ownership has used obstructive workplace policies and punitive dismissal to prevent the elf labour force from collectively organizing for their own benefit, and also magic;
- I would not be willing to lead them as I would probably die from magic;
- Our milk and cookies support a tyrant because he has a spell over us,
- From magic.
If this year's Leafs were a videogame, what game would it be?— shatnershaman (@shatnershaman) December 12, 2019
You know that Time Crisis game that’s at every arcade-ish place where you move between set locations desperately trying to hang on while the game drains every single token you’ve got in your pocket?
That or Lemmings. I hope it’s not the lemmings.
I have a torts exam tomorrow. I spent the whole semester looking at cat videos and am not completely sure what a tort is. I know it comes from Latin and that it has something to do with Mrs. Palsgraf. Any advice?—Mr Smithy
Basically everything is negligence. Everyone has a duty of care to everyone else. (Except, in most civil contexts, the police.) Just describe everyone as arguably liable and call it a day.
Why do carolers demand so much figgy pudding and why is it so coveted? If I were a Christmas caroler (which I never have been and never will, its figgin creepy to sing outside someone’s house) I’d ask for like hot chocolate or a piece of Toblerone or something.—Mike Brown’s Moustache
According to Wikipedia, “figgy” pudding was slang for raisin or plum pudding. Now, you might say, wait, those puddings also don’t sound very good. But you have to remember this carol dates from the mid-1800s and the children singing it were Dickensian street urchins warbling for the calories they needed to survive another day chimney sweeping.
Actually, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” can be read as an evolving class consciousness on the part of the impoverished carolers. In the early verses they are subservient to capital and making social niceties as they hope for some pay for their labour. By the last one they’re saying they “won’t go until we get some”, which is clearly a nascent sit-down strike. Viva la revolucion. Christmas carols suck.
What’s your favourite/most fucked up Pokemon concept and/or Pokedex entry? This question is inspired after I was replaying through Black recently and noticed this delightful entry for Yamask:
Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.
The entry for Haunter in Pokemon Silver was: “Its tongue is made of gas. If licked, its victim starts shaking constantly until death eventually comes.”
That sounds awful, man!
As the star of the Back to Excited podcast, what will Fulecat be getting for Christmas?—LeafsFan709
Actual answer: we get him these little foam soccer balls. He ignores most toys but he goes absolutely bananas hunting these things. One of these days he’ll start doing it mid-pod and it’ll sound like I have a raging leopard in the house.
How much ground could a ground hog hug if a ground hog could hug ground?—JaredFromLondon
I’m trying to put together some kind of libertarian reference joke here about Atlas Hugged and I’m just getting nowhere. We’re 3700 words in here! I’m only human.
Tell us about cat fight club and cat hunger games… I know about your catsseroles. You target the ones with the best insurance policies. I want full details.
I want a written explanation and cat gifs.—Bobq27
I don’t know what this means but we’re clearly pro cat on this website. The evidence is all around.
If Mike Wazowski grew hair below his mouth, would you call it a goatee or pubes?—crazyliver
I would call the police! Jesus, man, there is some knowledge humans are not meant to have.
Starting lineup of the most unlikable Leafs you’ve ever seen play for the team. Not the worst necessarily, but the ones you hated seeing on the ice the most.—TomK421
Matt Martin - Ben Smith - David Clarkson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci
Most of these players were just bad or not worth their salaries, which isn’t so much their fault. Some even waived NMCs to leave, for which I am grateful. Raycroft is really annoying though.
Who is a trade target that you’d like to see the Leafs go after this season and is under the radar?—thehumourisironic
I don’t know that this quite counts as under the radar, but I have long coveted a couple of Minnesota’s defencemen, and they have over $21M a year until 2023 committed to Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter, and Matt Dumba. Jonas Brodin might be the odd man out there, with one year after this one at $4.167M. He’s a physical, good defensive defenceman who shoots left but often plays right (granted, everyone in Minnesota looks good defensively, but hey.) If Toronto is tracking for the playoffs and Minnesota falls back away from the pack (they’ve been surging lately), maybe there’s a deal to be made around Brodin as a rental plus one or at a lower price in the summer.
If you were re-casting the movie Roadhouse, which Leafs or Leafs-adjacent figures would play which role?—I Am Rad Boss
I have never seen this film and I am thus not able to answer this question; I’m not even sure I could do the Wikipedia thing I did earlier. I apologize. As a consolation, here is a semi-relevant good tweet:
"no rapping tonight"— myrrhman5 (@murrman5) January 14, 2015
"you rap about patrick swayze everytime, it's embarrassing"
[after one beer]
uh oh y'all it's gettin kinda hazy
uh oh y’all
You are an insanely rich megalomaniac. You’ve just shown off your stupid-looking N64-ass truck with no side mirrors, and now you have to design your perfect megalomaniac mansion/lair. What does your perfect custom mansion/lair look like?
Where would you locate this lair? (a volcanic island in the South Pacific, a downtown penthouse at the top of your corporation headquarters, a chalet/bunker built into a Rocky Mountain, etc.)
What special megalomaniac features does your mansion/lair have?
Can I come visit (and voluntarily leave at the end, rather than being held prisoner)?—Exit Steve Left
Ooo, I like it. I like the downtown penthouse, to be honest, I’m a city villain. Private helipad up top, hot tub below, all that jazz. Also I want a satellite jammer where I get to put static in hockey broadcasts any time Burke or Poulin start talking. I really don’t need much, to be honest, I just want peace and quiet and a decent-sized TV. I’m a mellow megalomaniac.
You can come visit. But only in approved hours. If everyone’s just coming and going all the time it’s not really a lair.
Who are we fooling?—The Gardiner Expressway
Ourselves and ideally other people.
You’ve been made President of a new NHL expansion team and must hire a new front office. The twist is, each position must be filled by a character from a different current (as of 2019) TV show, and you can’t draw from the same show more than once.
GM: Chrisjen Avasarala (The Expanse)
Head Coach: Laurie Blake (Watchmen)
Assistant Coach (PP): Barry Berkman (Barry)
Assistant Coach (PK): Raymond Holt (Brooklyn 9-9)
Head of Media Relations: Tahani Al-Jamil (The Good Place)
Head of Skills Development: 13th Doctor (Doctor Who)
Head of Scouting: Elliot Anderson (Mr. Robot)
Equipment Manager: The Mandalorian (The Mandalorian)
Medical Director: Paul Stamets (Star Trek Discovery)
Video Analyst: Eve Polastri (Killing Eve)
Team Psychologist: Hot Priest (Fleabag)
Director, Business Relations: Appa Kim (Kim’s Convenience)
Head of Player Development: Ruth Wilder (GLOW)
What would your management team look like?—Zone Entry
For one, this is a solid list from what I know of it, and for two, I don’t watch enough TV besides the Leafs. From all the shows you listed here, I have seen any episode of two (2) of them. I’m sorry, y’all, my dedication to the blog comes first. Perhaps worse, most of the shows I do watch have a cast of fuckups. Whether that includes the hockey team is up to you.
Off the top of my head, though, I want Raymond Holt as coach. Holden Ford from Mindhunter as the team psych. From Shameless, put Lip Gallagher in an assistant coach role, he seems smart and motivational in his way. Our GM is Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders, which should be self-explanatory. Michael from The Good Place can literally go anywhere anytime, that seems natural for a scout.
That’s actually pretty much all I’ve seen that’s on lately. I unwillingly saw a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy once but from what I understand all of the doctors I knew from that time period had sex with each other and then died.
Is it OK if I use money fundraised for the political party I work for to pay for my children’s personal education expenses?—Species
It is, but only if you win.
What month is it?—I Am Rad Boss
Third-worst of the year, in my opinion.
Which do you think is more likely to happen:
1) We somehow acquire an RHD who can make a top pairing with Rielly
2) We trade Rielly (+?) for an LHD who can make a top pairing with Barrie
3) We make Sandin/Liljegren our top pairing by this time next season—Zone Entry
The first one. I don’t think Barrie is staying on the team after this summer, and much as I love Sandy and Lily, top pair in their first full NHL season would be one hell of a lift.
How good a top pairing, is the other question. Rielly-Hainsey was functionally a top pairing and while I wouldn’t say it was a roaring success they also didn’t die. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got to that point again. Getting past that point is the trick.
If you could have one podcast guest on Back to Excitable, not from the masthead or any current Leafs player or MLSE employee, but it could be anyone from history (kitten ranch is generously lending you their time machine), who would it be?—cagedmercury
Assuming I’m obligated to use the time machine for a Leafs purpose, and assuming I can actually get the person to answer questions, I’d love to have Mark Hunter on. I would be really curious as to how he approached the different drafts, what his advice was, and who said what in discussions. I’d also probably ask some things about Babcock.
If it’s just for any purpose, I want to interview Jesus Christ. I’ve got some questions!
Gary Bettman gets very drunk at the NHL Xmas party and his little red cheeks announce a one-time only change to the CBA.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can trade one player on their current roster for any other one player on another club’s current roster, which cannot be refused by the other club, and the cap implications from the trade, and any future salary of that acquired player until they retire will not count against the cap.
Who do you trade, and who do you acquire?—Rickap
I mean, it’s gotta be Cody Ceci for Connor McDavid, right? If I read correctly that we get to dispose of Ceci’s contract into the air for nothing, that’s a gimme on top of a preposterous acquisition. I don’t think it could be anything else.
What’s your favourite kind of bagel?—NotARealOne
Sesame seed. Nice to finish with an easy one.
Thanks to everyone who contributed!