The Mailbag: August 7th
I haven’t actually picked a date where this site’s mailbag will regularly take place. Monday is what I’m used to, and it seems like that’s what a lot of people do; partially because it’s easy content to do after coming back from a slower-paced weekend, and partially because of the alliteration in the title.
Let me know if you have a preferred date. Today we’ll go with the usual, though.
Kapenen, Sosh, Leivo, Rychel – likely start / finish in 17/18? Which will be legit contributing NHL'ers?
— jimmyG (@jimmmmmmyG) August 7, 2017
The Leafs are in a rough situation with these four players. Leivo and Rychel are both past eligibility for waiver exemption, and it’s very likely that both would get claimed; particularly Leivo, after his brief explosion last year. It’s possible that both get packaged before October in one of those “quantity for quality” (or at least, contracts for fewer contracts) trades.
There is the possibility, though, that the Leafs take their time with this, and send both Kapanen and Soshnikov (three games remaining!) down and keep Leivo on the opening night roster, even as a scratch again. I think all four of these guys can contribute to a roster in some respect, but only one or two will really get a shot at it as it stands.
I really do think this is going to be a “wait until camp” scenario, even if Mike Babcock was already rattling off defensive pairings to reporters today. I think the ideal spot for him is on the Matthews line, because he has the wheels to keep up and the touch to bury some goals, but I also wouldn’t discount the idea of him replacing Leo Komarov on the Kadri line either, to make them even more of a legitimate two-way shutdown threat while the fourth line attempts to break the single season hits record.
Do you plan on taking collaborators at some point?
— Harry (@hillouz22) August 6, 2017
We’re probably a long ways away from that happening. I don’t like the new media trend of big networks exploiting free talent, and while this blog is small at the moment, I feel confident enough in its future that I can’t justify joining that group. Ideally, I’d like to get to the point where I can throw people at least something for the odd post, but the first step is for the site to generate revenue. In other words, if you’d like this site to grow beyond me, help me make it big enough that I can afford to do it the right way.
How do shared minor league teams work?
— Felicia (@feldawg) August 6, 2017
These are becoming increasingly rare, at least at the AHL level, but the Golden Knights’ entrance into the league has meant a return to a dual-affiliation.
In the case of this year’s Chicago Wolves, the Golden Knights are the main affiliate, overseeing most of the operations of the team and most responsible for filling the team with talent. The latter is obviously more difficult for them as an upstart organization, so the St. Louis Blues, who are looking for their next destination and don’t have the most overflowing depth chart themselves, will loan players directly to the Wolves.
The Golden Knights can only call up their own prospects, and the same goes for the Blues. We’ll probably see AHL #31 in the next year or so, to restore balance.
Last year the Leafs were #actuallygood, what team do you see surprising people this year with unexpected success?
— ty (@snizzbonetyler) August 6, 2017
Pretty much every fancy stats person is on this island already, but the Carolina Hurricanes. They have an unheralded but excellent defensive core, and added some solid depth up front and got a good goalie in Scott Darling to help them out. They weren’t that far out of the race until the final few weeks last year; expect them to make a big leap in the Metro in 2017/18.