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Messages - mr grieves

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1
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Tavares
« on: Yesterday at 02:25:51 PM »
From Arthur Staple of The Athletic:

Quote
Its believed at least three teams are assured of meetings with Tavares and his camp: The Leafs, Sharks, and Stars. The Lightning and Kings the latter a long-desired destination of Tavares if he were to leave the Isles could also get into the mix.

This is assuming he doesn't re-sign with the Islanders in the next couple days.

Can't see any way that this works now that Kovalchuk is signed to go along with LAK's collection of horrible contracts.

2
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Tavares
« on: June 22, 2018, 01:00:44 PM »
I knew when Lou joined the NYI the chances of JT coming went down, but now that Trotts has been hired, the chances are now gone IMO.  I guess we look elsewhere for our much needed center help.
I dont think it changes anything pertaining to the Leafs. If he had the dream of playing for us or anyone else, that wont change his mind. I think he's going to free agency just to see whats out there. If the Leafs offer up the right amount of cash and term to go witg his desite, if there is one, he'll be a Leaf. We'll see soon eniugh.

I don't think that's exactly right. This is looking more and more likely to go the way of Stamkos. JT will hear offers, consider the opportunities they present, and then look back at what he's leaving... which, now, isn't just the team that drafted and to which he feels some sense of obligation, loyalty, or whatever. It's a living legend GM, a recent Cup-winning coach, and, by the end of the weekend, maybe stability in net (one of NYI's firsts for Grubauer?).

3
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2018-2019
« on: June 20, 2018, 01:44:49 PM »
Are the Leafs further ahead than pre-Lamoriello? Well, you'd have to say yes, considering they went from last overall to a franchise record regular season points total in a couple of seasons. In too many ways though, they jumped the gun on finishing the rebuild. They will no longer get high draft picks by being a bad team. UFAs? Tavares would be nice, but I wouldn't be betting on him signing with the Leafs. They haven't built enough depth to make a big trade without weakening the team in another area.

Andersen contributed to their emerging from the basement sooner than you'd like, but so did the decade or so getting pretty high picks. I've said this elsewhere, but there really aren't many teams that drafted as high and for as long as the Leafs did -- and with relatively few busts (none if you consider we turned a bust into a 30-goal winger). It's possible that all those high picks just meant that they weren't bad enough to pick top 5 again after they got Matthews. Of course, that might doom us to be being the Caps (until last week) or San Jose.

4
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2018-2019
« on: June 20, 2018, 01:28:45 PM »
So yeah, it's possible to draft an impact, bonafide #1 dman outside the first 5 picks.  In fact it seems to be easier than getting a center.  Still though, you would have a better chance if the pick was in that first 5.  So why rush the process when you have already committed to the rebuild?   

I'm just not convinced rushing things really cost them that player who has greater odds of panning out to fill a need. Would the Leafs be much closer if they'd tanked in 2017 and got Cale Makar or Miro Heiskanen instead of Liljegren?

5
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2018-2019
« on: June 20, 2018, 11:21:24 AM »
When this rebuild started though, I was hoping for more than a punchers chance.  I wanted the Leafs to be built in to a team that was considered a favorite year after year for an extended period of time.  I think I said it at the time of the Andersen trade, or sometime around there, but when we look back on this 10 or 15 years from now, if the Leafs haven't won a cup, I think we can point to that trade as to where things went off the rails.

I sort of came to worry about this as well, but I can't say the Leafs really paid the price I thought they would. Get a proven goalie to keep you out of the basement, and you'll miss out on the high pick needed to get a defenseman with a really high ceiling... and then they landed Liljegren, who had been ranked in the top 5 and seems to have all the skill level to be what we need. So, I don't know.

Maybe without Andersen they wouldn't've held on to the UFAs, and so had another 2 or 3 picks in the 20-60 range. But those guys wouldn't be ready for a years, and no one assessing whether they were year-in, year-out favorites would be looking at them. That judgment would be made on the core assembled with those high picks: Matthews, Marner, Rielly, Nylander, Kadri, Liljegren.

6
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2018-2019
« on: June 16, 2018, 02:56:31 AM »
Well, you say that but unless you're counting on Matthews/Marner to be Crosby/Malkin(who established themselves as Crosby/Malkin pretty early in their careers) then by "edge" at forward you're probably talking about depth and I'm not sure there's an example of a really successful team without stars in net or on the blueline and who won because of a lot of forward depth.

Well, I'm not "counting on" anything and think it's as likely as not that they end up like the Sharks... but, if not, a combo of the two, maybe? The Leafs won't be the VGK. They'll have stars at forward, but maybe not generational talents... Matthews + Marner won't be Crosby + Malkin, but what if you throw in a Nylander? -- and maybe you've got stars but not HoFers and depth. Plus a blue line that isn't "weak" (like Pittsburgh last year) but generally fine in the way Gus described (platoon of great to ok #3s). 

I think your initial post made the point that you can find examples of plenty of ways of winning, if you pick one thing and isolate it. There's probably a path forward for the Leafs. It won't involve having Drew Doughty or Sidney Crosby or anyone in their ballpark. But it's not a bad thing -- thinking as a fan who likes watching teams get built -- that they have a core with some very good pieces -- great, even, if we allow the term for folks who don't reach Crosby/Malkin heights -- and now a GM who seems focused on optimizing everything you don't just luck into by sucking hard enough and winning the ping pong balls at the right time.

7
General Rumours & Speculation / Re: Armchair GM 2018-2019
« on: June 15, 2018, 10:43:21 PM »
So once every 14 years or so.  Leafs are almost guaranteed to win it.
Nah, there are other examples. The '96 Avs and '99 Stars depending on how you see Sandis Ozolinsh and Sergei Zubov. Then there's the '95 Devils where Niedermayer wasn't yet in his prime and Stevens was into the "World's Greatest #2D" phase of his career. Then you've got the first and third Crosby/Malkin cups.

Pens '17 (or was it '16), Caps '18... although maybe I'm behind on how we rate Carlson?


Thing is you could probably make similar lists about any one thing in isolation. #1C or a superstar goalie...there have been a bunch of teams winning the Stanley Cup without them either. Teams can win a Stanley Cup with weaknesses but they usually have some crazy edge elsewhere to compensate whether it's multiple HOF level C's or all-time great goalies or what have you.

I think that's probably the main thing. Compensate for your weakness by having some ridiculous strength elsewhere to compensate. Once it was clear the Leafs were done drafting in the superstar spot (top 5 or so?) and didn't really knock it out of the park with Rielly, I think we all realized their edge would have to be at forward -- if they, in fact, have an edge. Time will tell.

8
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:19:18 PM »
I really think you're reading too much into "George HW Bush wasn't a good president but at least he managed not to bring the post-war co-operation of Western Nations down around his ears".

Or I just disagree that competence in maintaining the day-to-day administrative functions of government is even worth a minor compliment next to the last crew's pernicious contributions to, and the horrible consequences of those on, our politics. I suspect we also disagree on causes and symptoms, and that likely has something to do with it. People disagree on the internet -- wild.

9
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 12, 2018, 11:59:05 PM »
So I'm not entirely clear on your point. I don't like any of those politicians but there's still something to be said for some level of competence. If only ideologically.

My point is that the only "something to be said" for mainline conservatism of the 70s-00s is that it helped paved the way for the frothing bigots that now control our governments. Its competence is, I guess, not nothing, but their real world-historical function and contribution was to take a preexisting strain and turn it into the core of their popular support, feeding the beast that broken free and run wild over the last few years. That's how we ought to remember them.

10
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 12, 2018, 12:53:20 PM »
Right. I certainly don't mean to insist on identity between the two. But the first term is more than just upwardly redistributive policies that reinforce various inequities and sustain systemic racism -- they're policies largely sold by appealing to racial and other cultural resentments. And I think it's fair to say that helps us get from the former state to the latter.
I don't know that is fair to say as some sort of inevitability. I think it's fair to say it certainly happened in the US to some extent but I don't think that makes it a hard and fast rule. Other countries have had centre-right conservatives without descending into that.

I don't think anything is any sort of inevitability. Everything is contingent. A lot of different variables have to come together to produce any sort of outcome -- one important ingredient here is a base of political support primed to respond favorably to racist, xenophobic messages, and I think we know how they got there. Rick Perlstein tells us.

11
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:38:16 PM »
For all the differences between the Bushes and the Trumps, there's a continuity in the conservative movement that shouldn't be overlooked.

Sure, at the same time it would be insane to not see a difference between "I don't like these policies because they're reinforcing and strengthening the systemic racism that creates social/economic divide" and "I don't like these policies because Neo-Nazis feel emboldened to violently roam the streets".

Right. I certainly don't mean to insist on identity between the two. But the first term is more than just upwardly redistributive policies that reinforce various inequities and sustain systemic racism -- they're policies largely sold by appealing to racial and other cultural resentments. And I think it's fair to say that helps us get from the former state to the latter.

12
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 11, 2018, 02:49:01 PM »

Although I was never much for the Joe Clark-George HW Bush style of conservative politics I will say this for them, they at least represented an ideology where competence in elected officials was still valued.

I would be the first to say that Centrists too often value "charisma" over something more tangible but the response to go running to the dumbest, loudest voice in the room is pretty breath taking for a movement that once prided itself of being the voice of cold, hard rationality.

I wonder if the complete incompetence, cravenness, and brutality of the Trumps and Fords sometimes distort the way we see previous conservatives. HW Bush might've governed guided by an ideology that prized cold, hard rationality, but he made it into office with racist garbage like the Willie Horton ad, which hits a lot of the same notes that Trump did in 2016. There's long been a split between what conservative elites think and do and what they tell their base, which makes plenty of sense since there's little popular support for their policy platform. The most recent development in right-wing politics is, I think, the elevation of a generation of politicians who actually believe what they've been telling telling voters for years, the dogwhistles becoming air horns, and the sales pitch (nationalism and xenophobia, for example) becoming the substance of what they do (protectionism and closed borders). For all the differences between the Bushes and the Trumps, there's a continuity in the conservative movement that shouldn't be overlooked.

13
Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Ontario Election 2018
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:15:13 PM »
Your point is well-taken.  I voted with my brain, BTW.  :)

After carefully compartmentalizing each leader's platform, and after Wynne's conceding defeat but urging Ontarians to keep the other two parties from going to extremes (for a minority government of either one), she made more sense than either of Ford or Horwath.

Neither extremism of the right nor the left is appropriate.  I always like to say one extreme leads to another extreme.  Such was the case after Rae's NDP (the next election brought the right-wing Harris), as an example.  And not just limited to the political field.  It can be applied anywhere, etc.

Except now your brain has to reconcile the thing you always like to say with the brutal fact of a moderate party being wiped off the political map by (what I gather is) the most right-wing government that Ontario's had in a while. The Liberals seem to have lost as much of their vote as the NDP did in 1995 and nearly as many seats. It's as much a bloodbath, and seems not to have been called into being by starting from one extreme.

14
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: 2018 Draft Targets
« on: June 08, 2018, 06:50:19 PM »
So with the free agents set to walk, and the prospect pool being rather shallow, how would fans feel about moving Kadri and Gardiner for futures?   Sure they take the hit now and they probably miss the playoffs for the next couple of years,  but the hope is that they recoup a bunch of picks and prospects to build a stronger team depth wise around Matthews, Nylander, Marner, and Reilly in a couple of years. 

I just read a rumour that Vancouver may be dangling the 7th overall pick in a package for either Ryan O'Reilly or Noah Hannifin, and that got me thinking about what Kadri or Gardiner could bring back.

Kadri is turning 28 before this season starts and coming off back to back 30 goal years you'd definitely be trading high on him.   He's also got a sweet cap hit for the next 4 years so I'm sure he would be worth quite a lot in a trade.  The problem is how the hell do you replace your 2nd line center?  Would be a hell of a bold move that's for sure.

Gardiner has 1 year left, so the time to trade him would be now.  There's no way they can afford to pay him what he'll want in his next contract so if they can move him for some good asset I'd say do it.  Again, the problem of replacing what he brings to the current lineup is there.
So the goal isn't to replace what you have in them right now, but rather to work towards being better in two years to three years.

Which is where I'd get a bit hesitant to move Kadri...

If they trade Gardiner now, would they be ahead of where they are now in 2 to 3 years? Yes, he's likely to price himself out and allocating those dollars elsewhere while letting more cost efficient options filter in is good.

But Kadri...? I don't know. It's hard for me to imagine them doing better than a $5m 2C in his prime (at least as far as knowing how to play goes, if not being offensively explosive).

If they Tavares, on the other hand...

15
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: 2018 Draft Targets
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:10:48 PM »
While not death-spiral decisions, that and not trading JVR (and/or 42 & 47) were, to be frank, very bad decisions by Lou.  And Shanahan, who had to have acquiesced. (apologies to the dead horse)

I know this is somewhat using the benefit of hindsight (although it didn't take a genius to think the Leafs weren't winning the Cup in the past 2 seasons) but we could easily have had 5-6 extra picks in the first 2-3 rounds of the last 2 drafts and our current roster as of July 1st wouldn't have been worse in any way. That stings.

"Somewhat the benefit of hindsight" is... unfair to a lot of folks here and in the broader community of sport fans/writers. IIRC, Nik was on the get the picks train back in 2015. I rated having vets to insulate rookies sort of valuable, but I was there by summer 2017. A bunch of other folks around here -- you among them, I think -- got on board in between. And there were plenty of folks in the (smart) media and blogosphere who had the same foresight.

Nik's pointed out somewhere here lately that the Leafs can try to go one of two ways as contenders: the PIT model (have the best players in a generation, adequate complementary players) or the CHI model (very good high end players, better all around team). To have lots of good complementary players, you have to draft well and that means draft a lot. We can quickly tally to see how far off we are that second path, which seems most likely.

The Hawks went through a rebuild that encompassed the 2004-7 drafts, and during those 4 drafts, they had their 4 first round picks, and, in addition to that, ten (!!!) 2nds, five 3rds, and seven 4ths. 22 lotto tickets. The Leafs were only really tanking/rebuilding from 2015 to 2016, but let's say it starts with Nylander (2014) and continued into 2017 to make it four: four 1sts, five 2nds, five 3rds, six 4ths. That's 16.

So, yeah, those 5-6 extra picks the Leafs didn't have are the gap between where they are now and where Chicago was a decade ago, when they were stocking the cupboards to contend for 10 years or so.


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