We’ll just go with Monday right now. It’s familiar and I don’t really have a content schedule in place anyway, so until that changes, we’ll go with that.
Yeah, I haven’t really gotten better at doing introductory paragraphs for the Mailbag over the years. Let’s just hop into the questions.
This upcoming season will probably be the deciding factor but who will get a bigger contract between Marner and Nylander?
— Jared (@JxredNHL) August 20, 2017
It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Marner will get the bigger deal. Not so much because he merits one, they’re pretty equally talented players, but I imagine that Toronto won’t wait until the end of the year to sign Nylander, meaning Marner will have more proving ground hockey to work with when he goes to the negotiation table. I wouldn’t be too shocked if he pulls an extra couple hundred thousand a year as a result.
What do the leafs need to do this year to have a "successful" season. 100 points, Conference Finals? Just make the playoffs?
— Brendan Bettez (@HockeyMalarkey) August 20, 2017
I think winning the division would be a good start. As you all know, I have Cup-seeing glasses already, but at the same time, putting too many expectations on a weighted crapshoot feels too heavy. The Atlantic should be a bit easier this year; Montreal and Ottawa should both be worse and I’m not convinced that the rest of the pack other than Tampa (via getting healthy) made enough changes to jump ahead.
I don’t envy them right now. I believe this is the longest they’ve gone between albums and I think they’re hoping for a bit of growth in their fan base before the next one. All of their albums have a distinct sound to them, but now that they’ve built a mainstream fanbase out of one, they’re now stuck with a tough choice; more of the same to cash in, or risk alienation to keep experimenting.
Besides JVR and Komorov, who else do you think could be traded?
— Jon (@casey_bat) August 20, 2017
I don’t know if those are the two that are most likely to go. Toronto knows they have a bit of a window now, so to sell their UFAs just to sell could backfire when they need to re-rent in February.
Josh Leivo and Kerby Rychel would be the players to keep a better eye on. Both are in an uphill battle to make the opening night roster and neither are waiver exempt. Martin Marincin could face a similar fate too, unless he’s fine with being the 7 or 8 for much of the year.
Expectations for josh ho sang this year? I'm expecting top 9 minutes (hopefully top 6 rw) and 45 pts. And does barzal stick in NHL or ahl?
— Tom McKee (@6_isles) August 20, 2017
I think that sounds about right for Ho-Sang. His AHL numbers were very good and he’s got NHL speed and creativity. Off- ice concerns that were once legitimate (punctuality and work ethic) have now been shifted to media showing their age (jersey numbers and every day youth outspokenness), which shouldn’t be too much of a distraction in Long Island.
Barzal is a harder one to gauge. I think he’s ready to make a straight jump, but it may be best for him to start in Bridgeport if there’s not enough room for him to get significant offensive minutes from the get go.---
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed this post. If you did, don't hesitate to share it on Twitter or Facebook; having more readers will help the site grow. As well, consider a subscription if you're interested in reading additional work that isn't available to guests.