Jeff Veillette
Jeff Veillette@jeff

May 27, 2020

Projecting the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2020 playoff roster 

The National Hockey League is back! Sort of… eventually… okay, it’s all still really complicated, but league commissioner Gary Bettman announced preliminary details for the NHL’s return-to-play format yesterday afternoon. The gist of it is more or less what we expected, for better or worse:

  • The regular season is done, and the standings will be sorted by points percentage
  • A 24-team post-season will be played, with 12 teams facing each other in a conference (rather than divisional) format
  • The Top 4 teams in each conference will play a round-robin for seeding
  • Teams 5 through 12 will play a Best-of-5 Play-In to either qualify for Round 1 or fall back into the Draft Lottery
  • The playoffs continue from there, with “real” rounds 1 and 2 being Best-of-5 or 7 (TBD), and the Conference and Cup Final being Best-of-7
  • Hub cities are yet to be decided upon, and no dates are firm. Training camp will not begin until at least July 1st.

So, really, we’re still looking at at least a month and a half before the puck is dropped – and that could be extended if the COVID-19 outbreak gets any worse in North America (which, without getting too political here, is very well possible if pockets of the public continue to act like they’re above the guidelines). Really, this is all so fluid that anything could change before we see anything actually happen.

But, like many others, I enjoy having things to talk about with respect to the game, so we can run with the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs will, at some point, have a post-season to look forward to, including a Round 0 matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

One thing we can start to talk about already, with that in mind, is the roster that the Leafs will bring to that dance. The league’s return plan allows for 28 skaters, and unlimited goalies on an expanded playoff roster. Because players are only paid their salaries for the regular season, cap compliance is not a factor in how you assemble this group. Theoretically, if David Clarkson and Nathan Horton healed up tomorrow, were in the best shape of their lives, and wanted to go for one last dance, Toronto could include their $10.5 million in cap hits on the roster. So in that respect, we can work with some freedom here.

Exterminating The Injury Bug

There are a few orders of business that could limit players from making this cut. The first, and most obvious one, are injuries, and this season was full of them for the blue and white.

Entering the suspension of the regular season, the Leafs were without Andreas Johnsson, Ilya Mikheyev, and Jake Muzzin, and had just re-activated Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci from IR, playing them for one and two games respectively after eight and four-week absences. Johnsson underwent knee surgery in February and was projected to miss a minimum of six months after the fact, which brings him to a late-August minimum return. Mikheyev suffered a wrist injury in December and was projected for a late-March, early-April return, and started light casual skating and training in February. Muzzin broke his hand in Late February by blocking a shot, and was expected to miss two months. Muzzin confirmed in late April that his hand has fully healed.

This is all to say that the pause of society has cured the Leafs of most of their physical ailments, with only Johnsson not projected to be ready to start the playoffs. It’s possible that, should re-opening night be pushed very deep into the summer, or should the Leafs make a significant run, Johnsson might be able to return. I presume they would use a roster spot on him if the start date gets pushed back, but if the league gets anywhere close to the best-case, I’m not so sure it would be worth it – particularly when accounting for the effort that would need to be undergone to get him back to game speed.

Main Roster

Now that we’ve established that the pool here is “everyone except for Andreas Johnsson”, the main 18 skaters and two goaltenders will almost assuredly be some combination of this:

Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
Kasperi Kapanen – John Tavares – Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall – Alexander Kerfoot – Ilya Mikheyev
Kyle Clifford – Frederik Gauthier – Jason Spezza

Morgan Rielly – Tyson Barrie
Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl
Travis Dermott – Cody Ceci

Frederik Andersen
Jack Campbell

There are a couple of caveats here towards the bottom of the lineup.

For one, the Leafs had been giving Denis Malgin a look before the break, playing him in eight games after acquiring him from the Florida Panthers. While unproductive on the scoresheet, he did show spurts of speed and tenacity, drove play in an offensively-oriented way, and the lack of production is more likely explained by an on-ice shooting percentage of 3.2% than it is by him being incapable. On the other hand, Frederik Gauthier is a lot more familiar to Sheldon Keefe and to his teammates, and the head coach has won an AHL championship with him playing a shutdown role. His play-driving experience is much different, however, and his 2 points in 18 games are technically better than Malgin’s, but still effectively worthless.

Both players will be on the roster – I’m not dead-set on which one will start on the fourth line.

The second point of concern is the defence, and specifically, those 5 and 6 spots. Common sense defers this to Travis Dermott, who has been part of the team for three years now and was looking like a player to watch for the first two, and to Ceci, who is used to playing tough minutes and is being compensated well.

All the same, as much as I think Ceci takes too much heat in this market, he’s still a low-end, often-bad depth player and he likely doesn’t have a future in the organization beyond this year, and Dermott has had a down-year in pretty much every way. To his credit, he missed the start of the season to a shoulder injury, and if he was playing through nagging pains as a result of that, this break has likely helped him.

Just below them, though, stand two of Toronto’s top prospects in Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, who began their NHL careers to some degree this season. Sandin has played for 28 games, and Liljegren for 11; both burning the first year of their entry-level contracts but not a year of restricted status. You have to imagine that the team would like to look forward with the two players and capitalize on their mobility and youthful energy, especially since they’ve both missed time this year to injuries as well. I think this ends up as a bizarro-Training Camp battle, with both players fighting for at least one spot against the presumptive third pair.

The Extras

The above leaves us at 18 skaters, giving us room for 10 more. Proportionately, the easiest play here would be to go with two forward lines and two defencemen; some teams won’t do this due to how their depth chart balances, but Toronto has sufficient runoff depth signed to NHL deals that they can fill out both position types sufficiently.

Nick Robertson – Dennis Malgin – Pontus Aberg
Kenny Agostino – Nic Petan – Andreas Johnsson

Rasmus Sandin – Timothy Liljegren
Martin Marincin – Calle Rosen

Kasimir Kaskisuo
Joseph Woll

The first thing here, to clear up any questions: The Leafs can’t bring in Mikko Lehtonen or Alexander Barabanov, their two top European UFA signings of the spring, as their contracts begin in 2020/21. They also can’t bring in any of their prospects who don’t have entry-level deals yet, nor can they bring in Kristians Rubins, who has played out this season on the Marlies and earned an Entry-Level deal, which again, doesn’t kick in until 2020/21.

In this scenario, I’m imagining that it’s going to be very tough to become one of the extras if you’re a veteran who doesn’t have a commitment for next year. That includes Miikka Salomaki, Garrett Wilson, Tyler Gaudet, Matt Lorito, and Kevin Gravel. It very well could include RFAs Max Veronneau and Jeremy Bracco as well, as the former is still very new to the organization (and not particularly good), and the latter hadn’t played in months even before the pause.

Injuries can come into play as well. Johnsson takes the last forward spot because the reward for him being activated is a tangible upgrade on the roster, should the team get that far. Adam Brooks, who I’m very fond of, didn’t make my cut, as there isn’t an update on his status available on his concussion that he suffered in mid-February. In speaking to various reporters after signing a contract extension a few weeks ago, Brooks sounded positive about the idea of being a Black Ace, so it’s very possible that he fits in and knocks someone out of the lineup.

If it is, that person is probably Pontus Aberg, who seems poised to move on from the organization at the end of the year. At the same time, Aberg has some of the most meaningful Stanley Cup experience in the Leafs organization, having been part of the 2017 Nashville Predators run to the Finals. Aberg is a high-talent player who’s competitive instincts have come into question in recent years, so it really depends on how committed he would be to joining the group, but the potential upside of him coming in and getting his proverbial groove back would be immense. Kenny Agostino and Nic Petan, both signed into next year, were key contributors on the Marlies who can play multiple different forward positions.

Lastly, you get Nick Robertson, who could have the highest upside of anyone on this part of the list if he has a great training camp. Arguably now Toronto’s top prospect, the 2019 second-round pick had a Draft+1 season that put him on everyone’s radar, scoring 55 goals and 31 assists in 46 games with Peterborough in the OHL. Given that Robertson was just days removed from sliding to the 2020 draft, these numbers have people wondering if he’s the next instant-impact star in the Leafs system – if he shows up prepared, Line 5 could very, very quickly turn into Line 1 or 2.

If not, it’s still a great learning experience for Robertson, to get to know his future teammates and see what level of preparation Toronto expects out of players in their program, which, judging from what we know of him, will likely be more of a fine-tuning than a “kick in the ass”. Kyle Dubas confirmed today that Robertson will be a part of this 28-skater lineup, so while he would’ve been an “I don’t know if they’ll do it, but I would” had I written this yesterday, he’s a lock with a sliding spot right now.

Goaltending here is pretty much a lock, just like it was with the big club.

Other Considerations

Amazingly, there are still a few players that could be considered in this process, some of whom were mentioned above.

For example, while they’re veterans who likely won’t return to the team next year, the Marlies did appreciate the veteran presences of Tyler Gaudet and Kevin Gravel, with the latter getting a cup of coffee with the big club this season. If Adam Brooks is in fact healthy, he’ll be in the mix. There’s a possibility that Jeremy Bracco does get to tag along to see what his level of buy-in is and gauge whether a qualifying offer for him makes sense.

Beyond revisiting that group, you also have a few defencemen you could look to for the final pair; Teemu Kivihalme provides you with similar elements to Calle Rosen, though the latter is likely better. Joseph Duszak could be worth having around if one of the powerplay point men go down, and Mac Hollowell is a player that the team sees potential in, so maybe he’s someone they consider bringing for the ride.

Another route could be to replace one of the forwards with another prospect in Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, to give him a similar experience to what Robertson will get, and give them both a friend to be somewhat around in a strange time for them, having been linemates with the Petes. It’s also possible they’ll bring Ian Scott as a fifth goalie, though with him still having at least another month remaining in his hip surgery recovery time, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to do much for them.

May 27, 2020 19 views 0

Reply

Jeff Veillette
Jeff Veillette@jeff

May 25, 2020

The Mailbag: May 25th 

This was the week I envisioned bringing back the Mailbag, but not really the way I envisioned it. This will get published after sunrise, but it’s written about 2:00 AM. It’s very humid in Toronto, as we skirted the expected thunderstorms for yet another day, and my building hasn’t turned on the air conditioning yet. I’ve got many fans to minimize, but not enough to eliminate. So while I wait to get tired enough for my body to ignore the weather conditions, let’s pull into your questions for this week.

PS: For the record, the goal is to go back to every Monday for this – or at least once a week, and keep it that way for as long as possible. While the mailbag has been an oft-pump faked and forgotten feature, I do really enjoy the interaction it brings. Alright, on to it:

A post-pandemic cap crunch could be more of a blessing than a curse for a team like the Maple Leafs. A lot is made of the top-heavy commitment of paying four star players, but I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that given how many teams have grenade deals near the top of their cap commitments. Toronto gets rid of nearly all of their serious cap baggage going into this summer with the ending of Cody Ceci, David Clarkson, and Nathan Horton’s contracts; after that, the worst contracts are all players who are seen as good and reasonably young.

Those can be moved, and just as importantly, the rest of the league isn’t exactly in cap paradise anyway, meaning that those teams would be impacted by a pinch too. That likely means a slump in the market, which may add some insult to injury on not getting under the market value line on Matthews/Marner/Nylander, but could mean a deflation of market value for the likes of Morgan Rielly, Zach Hyman, and Frederik Andersen, or for the next wave of young gun deals down the line (Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, Nick Robertson). This crunch impacts 31 teams, not just 1, so you can skirt issue if you know what you’re doing.

I think a sneaky-interesting team to look for in this picture might be the New York Rangers. Their underlying metrics are, frankly, terrible, so it would be of equal non-shock if they collapsed in the play-in, but in a game that relies so much on luck, with a playoff format that drives that up even further, it’s hard to rule out a team that has one of the very best players in the world (Artemi Panarin), a red-hot finisher (Mika Zibanejad), and three different and capable goalies who could all land on the miracle run story.

This is a particularly interesting question, and one I don’t think anyone has a definitive answer to. Jeremy Bracco left the Marlies in the fall citing personal reasons, and only rejoined the team for informal practices in the days before the lights went out. He’s a restricted free agent this year, and when you combine his departure with a down season and some already prior skepticism towards his play translating to the NHL, I can’t imagine his value is super high.

It’s possible that Toronto brings him back for another season or two, possibly hoping to sneak him through the waiver wire, but I can also see them moving on. A big factor will obviously be the underlying cause for his departure, though it would be indecent to speculate on what that cause is.

The Pittsburgh Penguins. Like, as a collective group. That team has been decimated by injuries all year, including their core leaders and top players, and I feel like a team with a player like Sidney Crosby at the helm would be the type to really see this pause as an opportunity to catch back up and get in shape. A bunch of those top players who missed time were already a few games back into the lineup when we paused, but this will see them all come back without a race against the ticking clock of the season.

On that note: I’m pretty amped to see what Erik Karlsson does with this extended offseason. No player in the game has needed one more than he does.

Woll, to put it bluntly, had an extremely rough first season at the professional level. With 32 games played, the 2016 Leafs 3rd Round Pick stopped just 88% of the shots on goal, gave up a little under four goals per game, and had an 11-16-3 record.

Even for a rookie goalie, that’s pretty bad. Okay, it’s really bad; only Cam Johnson of the Binghamton Devils last year played a regular goaltender’s workload (around 1500 minutes at minimum) as a rookie and posted a worse save percentage since 2005/06. In fact, it’s a bottom-ten effort for AHL goaltenders in general in that time span.

I also have skepticsm of taking even the best college numbers seriously, and while his Boston College results were solid (about a 0.917 over 3 years), they aren’t jaw-dropping or precedent-setting.

This all goes to say: I have no idea. Goalies are the weirdest thing, and he’s got tools. If came here via a time machine and you told me that he’ll never play an NHL game, I’d believe you, and if you told me that he wins a Vezina in the next 3 years, I’d also believe you. I’d also, in seriousness, given him the benefit of the doubt of a very rough transitional season for the Marlies, particularly with all the organizational yo-yoing with goaltenders. In a perfect world, I think they’d have preferred he got some ECHL reps this year, but it didn’t happen. Lots of time on the clock to figure this one out.

To quote steady veteran defenceman Liam Beaudoin, “the only way the Buzzwagon was going to stop was because the world broke down”. 16-1-1-1 from January 10th to the pause button. My advanced statistical model (my heart) says we go all the way. I guess we’ll never know.

May 25, 2020 5 views 0
Jeff Veillette
Jeff Veillette@jeff

May 21, 2020

The Final 50 – A Proposal to ‘Finish’ the NHL season and preserve the playoff format 

The National Hockey League doesn’t exist anymore. Hockey is a social construct, and our only reason for our continued survival is to map out proposals for playoff formats when the doctors give us the thumbs up for sports to resume again. Or something like that.

Look, it’s been a long few months, where the actual game has been the least of our concerns. So forgive me for being a little stir-crazy about it. But over the past few weeks, we’ve started to get a pretty good read for what the NHL wants to do to get back on the ice. Chaining together reports – particularly from Sportsnet Insiders Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston, who have been great on this beat, it’s safe to assume that we’re going to see something along these lines:

  • Two or four, likely two, host cities, where players will congregate on an area that’s been closed off as much as possible to the public.
  • A 24-team playoff format to allow for teams that are just out of the playoff picture (and also Montreal and Chicago) to get a chance at post-season glory
  • A first “play-in” round where seeds 5-12 in the conference play a Best-of-5 series for the rights to play in the first round
  • The 1-4 seeds in each conference will get some sort of exhibition-like, but also seedings-tied (?) action in so they don’t come in cold
  • The playoffs push forward as a 16-team format from there

I’m not going to go into too much detail here, because I’ve given this rant a thousand times over the past few weeks, but my general opinion remains that the proposal is too open-ended and further dilutes the value of being the “better team” in the postseason. Hockey is already one of the most luck-driven sports out there, and a playoff series is already typically decided by which combination of a starting goalie and handful of shooters go hot for two weeks. We’re a year removed from one of the best regular-season teams of all time getting swept in the first round, and three years removed from a team being an overtime goal away from winning the Eastern Conference with negative goal differentials in both the regular season and playoffs.

In other words: The sport is already a slightly weighted coin toss on the best day, and now we’re opening up the luck spectrum even further, equally throwing months of success and failure by certain teams out the window to give all but the seven worst teams in the league a chance to win the Stanley Cup. The 5v12 play-in in the Eastern Conference has the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are 4 points out of the Metropolitan Division lead and 6 points out of 3rd overall, against the Montreal Canadians – who have played the most games in the NHL and are still 10 points back of the final playoff spot.

All the same, the league is in the business of making money, and as such, they see the value in having another 12-20 play-in games per conference, plus a handful more for the warmups of the top teams. This means somewhere in between 36-60 extra games will be created with a 24-team playoff, fulfilling whatever TV deal obligations need to be made while pulling in some side revenue and getting teams back into game shape.

That’s well and good, but what if we could do something that’s very similar on the surface, without punishing teams that had five better months, without stretching a fortune-driven sport even further into randomness, and without creating a format worthy of an asterisk?

In my proposal, 23 teams play out a few more games in their regular season before we get the playoffs going, to get to a total of 74 apiece – which can be marketed as a nod to the schedule used for the first post-Original 6 season in 1967/68. The schedule for this would have to be re-generated by the league to be in-conference and weighted as evenly as possible. I don’t have the modelling chops to generate one for them, but glancing at the total games remaining for each conference, it appears to be doable; there are 26 surplus games remaining in the East, and 24 in the West, for a total of exactly 50 remaining games to be played in the regular season. Assuming each conference host city can take in three games per day, the regular season can be finished in about 9 days at the fastest – though something closer to two weeks would likely be ideal so that the teams with 5 and 6 games aren’t alternating between back-to-backs and single days off.

We use 23 teams, in this case, to only bring teams that are still within reach of the minimum points required to finish 8th in their conference (currently 81 in the East, 80 in the West). This pulls Montreal out of the equation (sorry!) but includes everyone else as they try to make one last push to earn their playoff spots.

This gives the teams that are hanging by a thread a chance, but closer to the teens and 20’s in terms of percentages rather than the 40% that you have to spot any NHL team in any given playoff series. It gives teams like Pittsburgh some additional security that they’ve earned by being a better team throughout the course of the season. It gives us definitive seeds to use when everyone gets to their magic number, and it creates a nice, round, marketable number of pre-Round 1 games to play that’s right in the middle of the variable number that the play-in creates.

In other words: It gives most of the teams the opportunity that they’ve earned thus far. It includes a near-identical amount of teams and games with a lot less confusion and a much lower risk of freak upsets and asterisks. It makes all the sense in the world – which is why it probably won’t happen. But a blogger can dream, right?

May 21, 2020 5 views 0
Jeff Veillette
Jeff Veillette@jeff

May 14, 2020

Leafs sign Adam Brooks to two-year contract extension 

Prairie Jesus is here to stay, at least for now. The Toronto Maple Leafs announced this morning that they would be signing forward Adam Brooks to a two-year contract extension, carrying an AAV of $725,000.

The exact terms of the contract were not disclosed, save for the fact that is a two-way deal, which implies a different salary to be paid should Brooks be re-assigned to the Toronto Marlies at any point. One would also guess that the deal pays $700,000 in 2020/21 and $750,000 in 2021/22, given the AAV and the fact that the league minimum moves up from the former to the latter at the end of next year.

Brooks was drafted as an over-ager by the Maple Leafs in the 4th round of the 2016 Entry Draft, after putting up a 120 point Draft+2 season with the Regina Pats of the WHL. There was some thought that Brooks wasn’t put in a sufficient position to succeed by Pats staff early in his junior career and that he was blooming with the newfound opportunity, which was intriguing to a Leafs managerial group that was looking to speed up the re-stock of it’s prospect cupboards. At the time, I compared Brooks to then-Leaf forward Connor Brown, pointing out their similar development curves in junior. Brown caught enough eyeballs to be drafted late, but at a more traditional age; Brooks slipped through the cracks but produced like a pleasant surprise late-round pick.

Since then, Toronto hasn’t quite hit a grand slam with Brooks, but they’ve at minimum landed a strong, base-earning hit. Brooks returned to Regina for a final season in 2017, and joined the Marlies following that. As an AHL rookie in 2017/18, Brooks struggled to produce for the first few months, which can be chalked up to league adjustment, a deep roster, and his own battles with mono in the summer. As the season progressed, Brooks found chemistry with Mason Marchment and later Trevor Moore, and their fourth line became a sheltered play-driving line in the playoffs, pushing pace and driving possession en route to the 2018 Calder Cup.

Brooks started to see a steady increase in his productivity from there, producing at a respectable Top-6 rate for the AHL level and having a noticeable impact on possession. In 2018/19, Brooks’ Corsi-for Percentage consistently hovered in the 60% range and his point total jumped from 19 to 40 within a similar games-played threshold.

This season wasn’t quite as kind to Brooks; while he maintained his point production rate with 20 points in 29 games, concussions and other injuries set him back, as did a weakened surrounding roster and the departure of his favourite linemates – Moore to an NHL graduation followed by a trade to Los Angeles, Marchment to a trade to Florida. But there was a silver lining that came in the form of an NHL call-up; Brooks played seven games for the Leafs this season, picking up the first three points of his NHL career while averaging about eight minutes per game.

Brooks’ immediate future remains in question. At 24-years old as of this week, he’s approaching the “put up or shut up” stage of the development curve – even if his personal development was stalled in his youth, athletic prime waits for no one. His underlying numbers weren’t particularly good in his cup of coffee, and if he wants to compete for a 4th-line centre spot, he’ll have to come to camp 100% healthy and with some work done on skills that match his role. While Brooks has the brain to play a responsible two-way game, he’s typically had at least one winger to defer to for physicality, and while he’s improved since coming to Toronto, he remains relatively weak on the draw, winning about 47% of his faceoffs over the past two years.

Obviously, this is one of those signings that can be brushed off as business as usual – an NHL team retaining a low-cost prospect who had RFA status is hardly major news. I do like that Toronto got an extra year on the deal, which works as a way to keep Brooks affordable if he does make a permanent leap this season or works as a pseudo-barrier to him being claimed off waivers should he not make the big club. At minimum, Brooks is a valuable piece of the Marlies, so protecting yourself from teams who just want to try a player out without having to worry about him the following season by adding a second year is a solid strategy.

Toronto still has several other lower-level RFAs to address over the coming months. Frederik Gauthier, Denis Malgin, Max Veronneau, Jeremy Bracco, Pontus Aberg, and Teemu Kivihalme will all have to be extended, qualified, or let go in the coming weeks and months, with Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev being in the RFA priority tier above them.

May 14, 2020 8 views 0
Jeff Veillette
Jeff Veillette@jeff

May 13, 2020

Social Media House Keeping 

Early last month, I brought The Faceoff Circle online after a couple of weeks of maintenance, which came with some reflection time with regards to where my life was at and where I wanted to go next.

Society, obviously, has continued to be on pause since, and there hasn’t been a ton of news to cover, so a lot of that reflection continues. Which is, to me, a good thing – I haven’t had this much “planning time” in a long time, or time to just sit down and think about decisions made, and what to do better next time.

One thing I’ve decided to address particularly over the past couple of weeks is my social media presence, and how I would like to use my accounts moving forward. The following is a bit of an update on that.

Twitter

I’m going to be honest with you, figuring out what the point of my Twitter account even is has been a battle for every single day of the dozen years I’ve been on there, and I don’t suspect that will change.

It’s been oft-demanded that I split the account up in some way, shape, or form, because the account attempts to be a lot of things at once. That’s because it’s ultimately a personal profile, and it’s never not been that – it’s my conversational connection to all of you where I go to learn, chat, vent, and everything in between. I take pride in the fact that I’ve been true to myself with the platform, no matter what the consequences have been. At the end of the day, honesty is more important to me than success.

I’ve had a locked personal account for a while that my closest online and real-world friends have access to, but a small, confined environmental limits who you can have conversations with. I’ll keep that (and not name it here, though most of you know what it is), but I’ve used it less and less over the past few months anyway – mostly just to vent on particularly depressive nights.

What I’ve come around to in recent days and weeks, though, is that the main account can be very full-on and cluttered, to the point where the items I feel actually matter get lost in the wind of the things I’m just saying to spitball or shoot the shit. So yes, I am splitting into two public-facing accounts. But no, it’s not a concession for the “stick to hockey” crowd or anything along those lines, or a shift towards being more vanilla.

Rather, I’d like the main account to be the place where I share more fleshed out content, ideas, and points, while my second account will be where I do the spitballing, shooting the shit, and rambling about my day or whatever. That way those who want the full life experience (TM) can get both, but those who just want my firmest feelings can get just those.

The new account has a familiar name – my original Twitter username of @Jeffler, and you can follow it now if you wishThe Faceoff Circle’s account will also continue running, though it will likely continue to just be used to promote articles and respond to tweets sent specifically to it.

To repeat: This isn’t “Hockey Jeff” vs “Non-Hockey Jeff”, but more of a “best of” vs “the rest” situation. The minimization isn’t on disagreement – I will continue to accept lumps for what I believe to be correct – but on overbearingness for those who just want the main points.

Twitch

As a few of you have noticed, I’ve been working on my Twitch account for the past few days. I’ve always liked the idea of something more interactive, and now that quarantine has me actually using my Playstation and Xbox as a means of hanging out with my real-world friends and teammates, there’s no excuse to not be on a little more often.

My goal is to try to come on more days than not, generally around 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST, until we have items on the hockey schedule that would interfere with that. Typically, I’ll be playing NHL 20 EASHL with the other Beavurritos (my beer league team come digital team) as we try to climb up to Division 1 (we’re pretty good, but not great), but I’d like to get some versus and HUT games in with followers and friends, maybe mix in some other games as well. There’s some potential here, particularly if we can get a regular base in the chat room, and maybe it’s something that can be expanded into something bigger than just “Jeff plays video games” once we return to hockey normalcy.

You can follow me on Twitch by clicking this link. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can also use it to log in and give me a subscription that pays me a few dollars but doesn’t charge you anything (a rare benefit of Amazon owning Twitch), even if you don’t think you’ll regularly follow along with the videos.

Instagram

Straight up: I’ve had an Instagram account for about a decade now and have never really had a clue of what I wanted to do with it. I’ve probably wasted a lot of opportunities there because of it – if I put as much energy into Instagram as I did Twitter I’d probably have a much bigger audience today.

Alas, the worries about being overwhelming to real-life friends who followed me, followed by worries about self-image during the height of the depression stretch were big barriers to doing much there. With that said – I cleaned up my main account this week. It’s a bit more presentable now, and I found out that most of the people I would be worried about annoying have already unfollowed me (oops).

I’d expect to post more about my life, and a lot more about hockey on there moving forward. I don’t want it to be the same as every other generic account, so I’ve still got some planning to do with regards to format, but I’d encourage you to follow all the same. Presently, I have doubts that the Faceoff Circle account will remain in use – unless I were to operate it full time like it’s own business, I don’t see any real value-add in having it up, and that’s not a priority for me right now.

Facebook

I have a Facebook page. You can like it if you want, but I haven’t used it in over two years.  Maybe that will change – I don’t really have plans for Facebook right now – but I will acknowledge right here, right now, that it is a website that exists, and maybe I’ll post an update again. Same goes for The Faceoff Circle’s page, which is decidedly more operational but will likely stick to, much like the Twitter, just posting new content.

LinkedIn

Same kinda thing. I’ll probably accept your connection request. I don’t really do anything on here worth your time, but that could change – probably a little more likely so than Facebook.

May 13, 2020 7 views 0
C
Compose new post
S
Search
J
Next post/Next comment
K
Previous post/Previous comment
R
Reply
E
Edit
O
Show/Hide comments
T
Go to top
L
Go to login
H
Show/Hide help
Ctrl+Enter
Submit post
ESC
Cancel and clear content
Top
Follow us on Social Media