It’s intermission in the Leafs game and I remembered that it was Monday. No brilliant description, just five answers to questions below. Lets get it.

Probably spend it on whatever. The Panthers have looked excellent of late, and I’m rooting for them to make it, but a bet like that probably isn’t coming with a massive return on investment. There are probably better things that I could spend my money on, though, even if I was simply looking to make a few bucks.

I’d wager that one of them will get the spot next year. Curtis McElhinney has been solid, but you don’t ditch two good, reasonably young goaltenders to bet on a 35-year-old backup. Ditch is exactly what would happen in this case, as neither Sparks or Pickard is likely to clear waivers in October. One will almost definitely be moved, while the other takes the reigns.

If I had to guess who gets the chance? Probably Sparks. He has more in-organization seniority, and Pickard’s experience will make him more valuble on the trade market to a team looking for a 1B rather than a super-backup.

Absolutely not to expanding it. The great thing about 32 is that it makes 16 a perfect divide. I would like to see a return to conference-based seedings, though; let’s just go with top eight on each side and however it shakes out, it shakes out.

I don’t think so. I’m going to devote a longer post to this at some point, but there are definitely markets that are more universally hostile to their management, they aren’t really hostile to their players (even the ‘goats’ get recognized as fault-of-the-staff, for the most part), and I don’t think fans are as snippy to the media as they are in places like Edmonton.

Vancouver has one specific form of negativity, and that’s towards Toronto-based media. I definitely strugged with that myself when I was the editor of Canucks Army; despite being genuinely excited to cover the team I grew up watching almost as much as the Leafs, people assumed that I was “faking it” and just using the Canucks as a stepping stone.

I got over it when I realized that the Vancouver resentment to Toronto was an ingrained cultural thing that went beyond hockey media. I’m not huge on that, as I really love Vancouver and I know few Torontonians who feel a negative way about the city, but I at least understand its roots so I’m glad to move on from that. I feel like the reporters who don’t parse that, though, see the hositility given to them for a percieved coastal bias as how Canucks fans are with everyone, which for the most part, isn’t the case.

These next few months are going to be a great opportunity for him to show his stuff. The Tomas Plekanec trade left an opening on the Marlies in Kerby Rychel’s position for someone gritty, tough, and sizeable to play as a net-front presence / power forward. Marchment’s less than a year younger than Rychel, but has made some pretty big strides in the past year and a half, so these next few weeks will be his chance to prove he brings value in that regard.

If it’s enough to get him an ELC? Hard to say until the season is done. Before his early-season injury and before the Leafs signed Roman Polak to their (then) 50th contract, I thought he was a gimmie. Now, he’s got to prove it again.

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