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Messages - L K

Nonis, Lou, Dubas

Carlyle, Horachek, Babcock, Keefe


One of those things has been a constant.  I have absolutely no trust in this organization at the moment
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on May 19, 2023, 02:22:04 PM
Quote from: Nik on May 19, 2023, 02:20:56 PMWell, I really don't feel good about knowing that this wasn't a decisive action in order to affect meaningful change but was, instead, sort of everyone's second choice.

This is pretty bizarre.

This feels like an organization that doesn't know what to do next.  That gives me a lot of pause for concern.  They better sort this out quick but if this year is a mess Shanahan needs to be booted.  He's the guy who has been here through the entirety of this thing and it's his final say on decisions.

I am very concerned with the direction of the team now
Obviously who the new GM is going to really determine how I feel about this.  On the surface I'm not thrilled but it's not entirely unexpected or undeserved.

That presser on Monday didn't sound like a guy ready to go through the grind again

The autonomy stuff makes you wonder what he did/didn't want to do at times.   Shanahan sitting through multiple GMs with nothing to show for it.  The Shanaplan has been more of a bust in my mind and I hope he's the guy facing criticism moving forward
Quote from: herman on May 19, 2023, 09:48:01 AM
Quote from: Frank E on May 19, 2023, 09:34:20 AMOne of the things that I haven't seen mentioned much is the fact that the Leafs haven't been able to develop a stronger player...like a top-6 scoring player or a top 3 d-man.

And this is after all the hiring of all the super duper development and training and scouting teams the Leafs have.

I think if Dubas could point to being able to develop great players, but it just hasn't all come together yet, it would be more likely that he'd get the extension...but he really can't.

Dubas started drafting in 2018, and it takes about 4-5 years for non-top 15 draft picks to get significant NHL positions. In the meantime, regardless of what you feel about them individually, his Marlies system brought in and skilled up Justin Holl, Martin Marincin, Travis Dermott, Trevor Moore, Kasperi Kapanen, and Mason Marchment to play either key NHL roles or serve as significant trade pieces.

His actual draft pieces have all been 15 and lower picks; Sandin, Durzi, Holmberg, Robertson have all played NHL minutes and Knies has likely cemented himself a full time role next season.

Fun example: Carter Verhaeghe, drafted by the Leafs in 2013-Rd3, didn't break out until 2021 on his 4th team. So a lot can be accomplished with the right bargain bin hunting finding players that match your playstyle.

The problem though is that Dubas (and Lou) didn't do a very good job of asset protection since the Matthews draft.  I like a lot of Dubas' picks but we haven't had a single player come in and defy their draft spot.  Nik has gone off on it a lot but the Leafs haven't been able to supplement their 8 non-core forward with internal players.

Guys like McMann, Steeves, Holmberg.  I like bits and pieces of what they did but they also really weren't able to cement long-term spots on the roster or haven't been able to generate any finish.  Knies looks like he will be a good player but I think we should also let him play an actual season before we project his playoff performance. 

There are prospects that are on their way but they aren't help today or tomorrow. Maybe there is another Michael Bunting that our GM will find in the offseason but we keep losing peripheral pieces and having to replace them with UFA because internal solutions haven't been there.

I think the standard of having players play NHL minutes needed to be higher when the team was trying to build around an expensive upper core.  Expecting a GM to hit on diamonds all the time isn't fair, but the organization has basically forced that scenario with a strategy of losing your good assets to free agency and trading lots of picks at the deadline year over year.

And just to be clear, I want Dubas back as long as his head is in the game.
Quote from: cw on May 19, 2023, 08:00:57 AMIs winning another round a great measuring stick for that?
They may well have lost to the Cup finalist the last three years and four out of the last five years. On that basis, does it really matter what round it was? (As a fan, I enjoyed them beating Tampa ..)

If GM Holland phones Dubas up and offers McDavid & Draisaitl for Matthews, does Dubas say "Oh sorry Ken, Auston is 'untouchable'"? If he did, that is pretty solid grounds for firing. Gretzky wasn't untouchable. You do what is best for the organization. (in Pocklington's case, making money was what was "best" for the team he owned)

The core has always been on the table and always will be to some extent. Dubas has said that effectively - probably using different words. He would do what was best for the club. Accepting McDavid & Draisaitl for Matthews would be what was best for his club.

Do you break up the core? Definition of insanity (keep doing the same thing and expect a different result) driven at this juncture? Maybe. But you don't if its Mrazek for Matthews, right? But maybe you'll take a little less than you would previously - in part because years of falling short has knocked the trade value of the core down. If you're offered relative garbage, the core remains intact. It is hard to trade big talent.

I would also say that every one of the core is capable of contributing on a Cup winner. They were all .75+ ppg this year (roughly top 20 in NHL playoffs). The bigger problem to me always has been the supporting cast.

Price performance? Only Tavares seems really questionable but they signed him at market value and wouldn't likely have got him if they didn't. Many teams have one of those. And who would want to take it off the Leafs hands? Even if you found one, he has a no trade deal. And it is questionable if he is even in the top 4 core - he's 2nd in cap hit but probably 5th or lower in talent now behind Rielly & Nylander.

Like any year, I'd listen to whatever GMs have to offer. In the meantime, I'd assume those big deals are unlikely but play along in case I got lucky (Leeman for Gilmour) while I'm be beating the bushes to improve the balance of the talent on the roster. If you go into it saying "I HAVE to trade one of the core", I think you're setting yourself up for a burn.

Basically, the untouchable label is a bunch of media crap. It's nonsense. Do what is best for the club.

Before doing anything, I'd want to clearly understand where the team fell short - which players, which coaching, etc and how much did the opponent's hot goaltending have to do with it. etc. To parachute a GM in to try to do that, draft, trade, sign UFAs, etc in a short period of time seems almost impossible.

Obviously we don't want to make bad trades just for the sake of breaking cup the core.  If the best offer we get for Marner is a 1st round pick and a 2nd line player that doesn't make the team better now or in the future.  But we have retooled the periphery for 4 years and not being able to score enough has been a recurrent problem.  Every team is going to potentially face a team that can "goalie you" but its happening over and over again. 

I'd absolutely entertain a new coach and faster play style but at the same time, that's going to be a big ask for a team that employs the blueline that they currently have.  I just don't see how we drastically alter the playstyle without having to sacrifice a bigger piece to acquire an asset through trade.
Always a good time when you fall asleep in the 3rd period and wake up to see the game still going on in the 3rd overtime.
Quote from: cw on May 18, 2023, 06:51:24 PM
Quote from: Bender on May 18, 2023, 11:24:49 AM
Quote from: cw on May 18, 2023, 08:51:14 AM
Quote from: L K on May 18, 2023, 08:00:16 AMWhatever is going on with Dubas I do hope the organization makes a move sooner than later.  This off-season is too important to have the GM position in flux like this

What if they had made it to the conference finals? Then what?

That was a key part of the reason for me to extend him. Not so much because of a few weeks. But because a new guy coming in has a lot to get his head around. Dubas is intimately knowledgeable of the talent on the team, the staff, where they fell short, etc. That is not possible to absorb very well between now and July 1. Draft is coming up and the new GM won't know the scouts, etc. New GM won't know the organizational talent as well, their health, their development progress, etc. Trade talks are back to square one. etc.

It is a different situation than when a team has fallen short and it is time for a rebuild or significant retooling. That GM has plenty of time to get oriented. The Leafs are a 4th place team that still has a window and needs some adjustments. A Sam Pollack clone would have trouble taking over in the first year. The haste to get up to speed makes it more likely to make some mistakes.

Dubas can carry on discussions with the UFA's or RFA's agents. New GM has to start up without the intimate knowledge of what has gone on with the player. Ditto for trade discussions with GMs. Or with his scouts and staff.

They would have to find a GM. I guess Shanahan or Pridham would be interim if he isn't leaving for Calgary. Then they probably have to find a coach.

I doubt this problem with Dubas will be left unresolved very long.

40 days to NHL draft
43 days to July 1.

How is this specifically a problem for the Leafs though? GMs and coaches are let go all the time at the end of the season. I understand there are a lot of things to do during this offseason but so what?

And at the end of the day his heart is either in it or it's not, and if not we have to move on. It's that simple. Rightly or wrongly to me he looks like a farmer who got too close to his pigs. I mean, just the fact that they weren't even entertaining trade offers for their stars (according to CJ) is grounds for dismissal.

As I said, I do not see it as a problem in the very short term. The example I gave was what if they made the Conference Finals? Two more weeks would have gone by. So that is not the issue for me.

CJ doesn't know what offers they entertained or not. Dubas has run a pretty tight ship in that regard. Dubas had previously said nobody was untouchable. He's not going to chat with the media about it if a trade for one of the core 4 is a maybe. He probably won't even talk to the player until he's got a deal unless there is a trade limiting clause.

What Dubas does is up to Dubas and his family. No one has control over that. He has to do what is best for him.

But if he goes, I think it is a significant loss because, as I said, his knowledge of the players, his staff, the scouts, the agents, the GMs and what they've discussed is enormous. No GM is going to have an easy time of haggling contracts, making deals, etc without the knowledge Dubas has. In a rebuild year, it is not as big of a deal. A new GM can take their time to evaluate talent and come up to speed. In a year where they're trying to take another shot at a Cup starting in the next 43 days, he has some big decisions to make soon and the Leafs probably haven't even interviewed him yet. I think that is a big problem. I hope Dubas can get things straightened out with his family.

I mean if they won another round I don't think we are even entertaining breaking up the core.  Dubas could still walk in that scenario but then the real work is more free agency stuff and not potentially dealing a star player with movement clauses coming into effect on July 1st

Quote from: bustaheims on May 18, 2023, 03:01:46 PM
Quote from: Rob on May 18, 2023, 01:44:59 PM
Quote from: Dappleganger on May 18, 2023, 01:17:10 PMCan we re-sign Gustafsson and get him and Liljegren comfortable together?

Keefe seemed loath to play Gustafsson, but I thought the limited amount of time he did play he looked quite serviceable with an offensive upside. 

Yeah. If Keefe is retained, I don't think Gustafsson is a real option. He'll cost more than the value the team would likely get from him under those circumstances. If Keefe is relieved of his duties, then maybe he becomes an option. With his defensive deficiencies, he'd be more of a PP specialist/3rd pairing guy than anything else, though. Not sure that's the best use of the team's resources

Although after watching Gio really slow down as the season dragged on, I'm not sure that I necessarily want to buy into a defence of

Rielly - Schenn
McCabe - Brodie
Gio - Liljegren

I think something has to give there.  Maybe it's trading Nylander/Marner for a high end defenseman but I think something needs to change to get more puck movement off the blue line.  I don't think Gustafsson is good enough defensively to be that guy.

Tick tock on a Dubas decision though.   I hope everything is ok with him at home, mentally, physically but standing up at a press conference and saying you aren't sure if you want to be a GM next year would give me a real pause on how up for the task he is.  He seemed a bit broken down by the whole process.  Maybe it's just the emotional let-down of the series loss but again, I think waiting much longer to get going on a GM search if he isn't coming back is really risking things getting tight for decision making.  Obviously a trade can come together quickly but Marner/Matthews probably need to be dealt before July 1st if it is going to happen.
Whatever is going on with Dubas I do hope the organization makes a move sooner than later.   This off-season is too important to have the GM position in flux like this
General NHL News & Views / Re: 2022-23 NHL Thread
May 16, 2023, 11:30:26 PM
Tempe voted NO.

End this charade
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on May 15, 2023, 01:47:10 PMAaand those were really enlightening exit interviews (read on MLHS).  Did Marner do one?  Nylander?

Yes to both.  They all said the same thing.  "I want to be here".
ROR seemed more inclined to test free agency but open to coming back.  I don't blame him.  He's a top tier free agent in a bad free agent class.  He's young enough to get a multi year big extension.  I don't know that Kerfoot money gets anywhere near close enough to get him back

Acciari said he would love to come back.  Great.

Matthews said extension.  Fantastic (only thing is how low can we whittle down his extension)
Quote from: Guilt Trip on May 15, 2023, 11:14:45 AM
Quote from: cabber24 on May 15, 2023, 10:49:36 AMI really think the only option is to run it all back again. I couldn't stomach a reset anytime soon. Change the coach and see who resigns and who walks.
How about Dubas for Pres and Pridham for GM.

I wouldn't be opposed but do we know if Pridham is a capable GM?  We know he knows the cap inside out but it doesn't mean he would make a good evaluator of talent.
Holy heck the free agent market is not great.  Any changes that come are probably going to have to come from trades even if we didn't want to make trades.  What a mediocre free agent class.
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on May 15, 2023, 07:30:06 AMhttps://twitter.com/frank_seravalli/status/1658083556600446978


We obviously can't hold a guy back from getting a promotion but this is a loss that would be devastating for the organization.  Unless Pridham has a user guide available with all of his intricate calculations.