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Here's a questions. What happens if Horton retires? I assume that he won't because it would mean that he would stop being paid. So then, what would happen if the Leaf's offered Horton a job in management for $5 million a year. If he retired then, would all of the cap implications of his contract be gone altogether?

5 days, 8 hours ago on Friday Mashup: It Really Happened

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@MLHS_Luke  I see this as a definite short term (next couple of years) way for the Leafs to improve. Carry the salary of decent Free Agents on one year deals for half the year. Then, trade them for some draft picks. It helps the players (they get a shot at proving themselves after being cast aside by their original club), it helps the Leafs (draft picks), it helps the other teams (they save some money by not having to pay a "role player" for the whole year and can wait until towards the end of the season before making decisions on who they need).

1 week ago on Daniel Winnik Traded to Pittsburgh

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@Burtonboy  Again, you can't compare Kessel to other elite players because those other elite players missed a lot of time due to injury. They got injured because they played more hockey (i.e., tough playoff runs) and they play tougher minutes. And why doesn't Kessel have more PP points? Because he is defended against. The slightest defence is all that is necessary to slow him down. Carlyle's whole system was based on keeping Kessel away from defensive structures.


He needs to be traded. No tears shed. And we have to resolve ourselves to getting someone back whose stats are not nearly as good but who is a better hockey player.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Bob McKenzie on Tyler Bozak & Dion Phaneuf interest, Phil Kessel rumours

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@Burtonboy  Narratives are powerful.


For instance, look at last years statistics. Who is missing?


Malkin, because he played 60 games, Patrick Kane, because he played 69 games, Duchene played 71 games, Tavares played 59 games, James Neal played 59 games, etc.


Every year, many of the NHL elite miss a lot of games. Why? I'd say a lot of it has to do with wear and tear (long post seasons, playing hard and playing tough minutes against elite defenders).


Every year, the most consistent part of Kessel's game is that he doesn't get injured. Even the one year where the Leaf's made the playoffs was a shortened season, which meant less wear and tear.


I'm a Leaf fan for 40 years. But I am not a fan of Kessel and it drives me crazy that people are always dredging up statistics and excuses for him.


He's an excellent skater and has an excellent shot. But pointing out statistics like this are like telling the world to be impressed with Einstein because he could do his taxes.


When you have incredible talent, you need to do something with it other than not get injured.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Bob McKenzie on Tyler Bozak & Dion Phaneuf interest, Phil Kessel rumours

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@Top_Jimmy  I think that there are players like Winnik available every year. This is one way for the Leafs to improve in the short term. Find the diamond in the rough free agents. Sign them for a year and then trade them off at the trade deadline. That way, we can stockpile draft picks and prospects for virtually nothing (2/3 of a season from a guy making $1 million a year who we got without trading anyone). Use the new analytics team to find these guys and then find the prospects with the most upside that we can get for them.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Bob McKenzie on Tyler Bozak & Dion Phaneuf interest, Phil Kessel rumours

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@Hammertownleaffan @Leafs2 Isles1 I see what you're saying. All systems can be taken advantage of. However, especially because of the money the playoffs generate, I don't see teams missing on purpose. A bubble team, with a great draft pick, almost instantly becomes a better team. So, teams that are almost there are made all the better and can complete more quickly with the best in the league. As for the worse teams in the league. It would promote them to actually do something to improve. Right now, there is an argument that all Edmonton is doing is destroying the careers of the best prospects.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Friday Mashup: “If it’s not here, it’s not here”

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Not that anything can be done about this, but wouldn't it be better if the 17th place team got the best chance at the #1 draft pick, and then go down from their (18th place team gets next best chance, 19th best team gets 3rd best chance and so on).


Teams that fight hard all year long and then miss the playoffs by a point or two would get rewarded. None of this tanking on purpose to lose. Losing should never be rewarded.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Friday Mashup: “If it’s not here, it’s not here”

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@Mind Bomb @Leafs2 Isles1 @Cameron19  I did. There are a number of better hockey players in the league. They play so hard that they actually get injured and have to take time off of playing. They miss games and that affects their point totals. Also, Carlyle played Kessel in situations where he could score. The entire system Carlyle uses was so that Kessel could score. Kessel gets more ice time than he deserves and easier ice time than almost all elite forwards. Let's say we gave a guy like Kyle Wellwood (remember him) the soft ice time and minutes that Kessel got and then played him 20 minutes a game. Wellwood would have potted at least 25 goals a year. So, we're paying Kessle $8 million a year to score 10 more goals than a guy who can't even make an NHL roster.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Friday Mashup: “If it’s not here, it’s not here”

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@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1  You're just giving him another excuse. Who he's playing with doesn't affect that he doesn't play with full effort. Doesn't matter who you play with, you can still drive the net or win a battle in the corners. Also, there are less talented teams who make the playoffs. Its a long season and grit and determination are needed to win.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Friday Mashup: “If it’s not here, it’s not here”

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I can't agree with the sentiment of this article.


Kessel is not a Leaf great.


He's an excellent skater with an excellent shot. That is it.


He doesn't know how, nor does he seem to want to know how to play a complete game. He is moody. He doesn't give his full effort. He doesn't prepare himself well for the season. He doesn't prepare himself well for games. One of the main reasons why he has been a consistent top 10 player in the league is because he doesn't get injured. He doesn't get injured because he doesn't play a hard game. He gives up on any difficult situation on the ice. When the chips are down, he skates away from trouble.


Too many people line up to give this guy excuses. There is a reason why Boston traded him. There is a reason why the Bruins couldn't stand him, even after he was traded, and played with extra aggression towards him.


Before saying he's a Leaf Great, look at the Leaf's win/loss record since Kessel got his payday contract.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Friday Mashup: “If it’s not here, it’s not here”

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@mtommy @AlbertaMapleLeaf  Not to mention his quip, "I don't really skate much in the off season...or the regular season."

2 weeks, 5 days ago on GDT: Game #56, Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Islanders (7 p.m., TSN4)

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@Dan39 Look what we got Bernier for.  Wasn't it a 2nd and Matt Frattin. 

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Tuesday Mashup: Reimer to start third consecutive

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@Pent_House @Cameron19 @GibsonLPStudio  Keep in mind that we picked up Panik for nothing and he started playing for the Leafs ahead of all their prospects. Was Ashton better? Guess we'll never know. But the fact that the Leafs played Panik and not Ashton suggests that their were good reasons not to play Ashton. (Panik was Tampas second round the year they chose Ashton I believe).

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Game 54 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 5 vs. Oilers 1

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After reading this article, it occurred to me that, right now, our team is playing like it did in 2008 - 2009 when Jason Blake was our top scorer. Six years later, we're exactly where we were right before we signed Kessel and Phaneuf.

4 weeks ago on Leafs Notebook – February 3

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Scoring chances per 60 minutes 5-on-5 under Carlyle: 26.7.

Scoring chances per 60 minutes 5-on-5 under Horachek: 26.6.


I'd say that that is one of the problems with analytics. Not all scoring chances are the same, but they are all analysed in the same way.


You either believe that the entire Leafs team has lost their ability to score, or you believe that  their style of play has changed and that has resulted in a difference in quality of scoring chances.

1 month ago on Monday Mashup: Goals? Never heard of ‘em

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@ingy56 @Leafs2 Isles1 @B_Leaf @MaxwellHowe  I guess that what irks me is that he gets the biggest pay cheque on  the team and thinks that it is all because he has talent. At some point, you have to work for your money. He's like a starving artist who thinks that he should get rewarded for his creativity and ability. At least the artist is starving as a result of his outlook.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@ingy56 @B_Leaf @MaxwellHowe  Really? Through know fault of his own? Their is a reason he never gets injured. The fact that he's one of the top scoring players in the league has less to do with him scoring a lot and more to do with the fact that other players who score a lot get injured because they are trying harder to win. Every team has a top scoring player. That player's numbers on poor teams are often inflated due to lack of depth. You put Kessel on a better team and his point totals go down.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Hmmm @B_Leaf @MaxwellHowe  It is not his talent that is in question. It is his effort.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Xxxxxnew  I think that was because Carlyle knew how to play him. Everyone gave Carlyle a hard time. But I really believe that he coached to win, knew how to match lines and chose a style of play that fit this dysfunctional team best.


While the sample size is small, we are seeing how well this team plays a more defensive style. Let's face it, teams often win a game or two when they get a new coach.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Xxxxxnew  The Leafs had 16 back to backs last year, which was about average. The question is, how far did they travel when playing them. I don't have that information handy. But when you're playing in Florida more than you should, I'd say that their is a good chance that the Leafs traveled more than they had to for those back to backs.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@MaxwellHowe @sniperstar  That's the part that bugs me the most. I don't care if you like your captain or not. I don't care if your captain is a jerk. When you're on the ice, you play for the sweater on your back. You play to win or you shouldn't be playing. It says a lot about the character of the team when they don't play with professional pride.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@sniperstar @Leafs2 Isles1 @B_Leaf  Yeah. His problem was not being a good judge of goaltending talent.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Xxxxxnew  It would be ludicrous to claim that the Ballard years were anything but atrocious. I don't even include those years in my thinking.


Over the past 20 years or so, we've made it to the third round 4 times. I'd say that that is above average for the league.


You think that, for one reason or another, there has been some bad luck thrown in their too (everything from Gretzky's high stick game to Sundin getting injured in the playoffs to Owan Nolan getting injured after giving up too much for him to how Larry Murphy played in Toronto to Brian Berard's eye injury...and the list goes on). All teams have those kinds of problems, but I can't help but feel like the Leafs have had more.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Radar O'Rielly @Leafs2 Isles1  Some of the blame is in the mirror. But, as an example, look at the schedule. Their is no reason for the Leafs to play as many back-to-back games as they do. Their are plenty of teams within a short flight of Toronto. But the league wants to fill seats in Tampa Bay and Florida. The end result is some sold-out games for those teams and a poor schedule for the Leafs. I know the same can be said for Montreal to an extent, but I think Montreal knows how to get their way better than Toronto.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@B_Leaf  I agree with you. The Leafs' actually draft pretty well. When the draft is studied, the Leafs come out being middle of the pack. But they draft middle of the pack without many first and second round picks. I think that Burke was a pretty poor judge of talent as well. Their new team should do much better.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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@Xxxxxnew  But you have to ask what the roots of mismanagement are. I believe that ownership wants a winning team. That puts a lot of pressure on management to make it happen. The pressure causes management to make mistakes. Pressure has a tendency to do that. I think Burke wanted to replicate the Gilmore years, not realizing how unlikely that was (hubris will do that).


The Leafs actually spent a lot of money during the Sundin/Quinn era, and they had a number of years where they had the potential to make it to the Cup finals.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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I think that the NHL has taken almost every advantage that the Leafs' might have away from them. It's a problem of trying to make it in the States. The majority of the teams in the league are in poor NHL locations and are not making any money. Yet, they can out vote the minority of teams that are in good NHL locations and do make money. Rubbing salt into the wounds, the profitable teams share their money with the money losing teams. That allows teams in poor NHL markets to survive lean years, where they are no good, until they can reap the rewards of high draft picks. Their is little fan pressure on those teams and, because they are kept afloat by revenue-sharing, there is little financial pressure either. So, the Leafs stink year in year out as management tries too hard to fix the team quickly, all the while suffering to watch as they pay the league's bills so that the best young players can get drafted elsewhere.

Like many others, I think that where the Leafs' can use their money is in scouting, analytics, salary cap number crunchers, coaching and other management positions.

For the next 2 or 3 years, I'd like to see the Leafs make more off season moves like signing guys like Winnik and Santorelli. The purpose of such signings should be for short-term profit only. Tell these guys that they can revive their careers in Toronto. Keep them until the trade deadline, thereby eating up most of their one-year salary. Then, trade them for draft picks and prospects to playoff bound teams. Everyone wins. The players go to the playoffs, the Leafs get the picks and prospects and other teams get utility players for a bargain (because they only have to pay them for a few months).

Their was a guy a few years ago who traded started trading a paperclip and ended up with a house. Every trade was a marginal improvement over what he had.

I think that is one of the only ways that the Leafs can improve without actually being the worse team in the league for an extended period of time.

1 month ago on Saturday Mashup: In Philly Tonight

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I think that the NHL has taken almost every advantage that the Leafs' might have away from them. It's a problem of trying to make it in the States. The majority of the teams in the league are in poor NHL locations and are not making any money. Yet, they can out vote the minority of teams that are in good NHL locations and do make money. Rubbing salt into the wounds, the profitable teams share their money with the money losing teams. That allows teams in poor NHL markets to survive lean years, where they are no good, until they can reap the rewards of high draft picks. Their is little fan pressure on those teams and, because they are kept afloat by revenue-sharing, there is little financial pressure either. So, the Leafs stink year in year out as management tries too hard to fix the team quickly, all the while suffering to watch as they pay the league's bills so that the best young players can get drafted elsewhere.


Like many others, I think that where the Leafs' can use their money is in scouting, analytics, salary cap number crunchers, coaching and other management positions.


For the next 2 or 3 years, I'd like to see the Leafs make more off season moves like signing guys like Winnik and Santorelli. The purpose of such signings should be for short-term profit only. Tell these guys that they can revive their careers in Toronto. Keep them until the trade deadline, thereby eating up most of their one-year salary. Then, trade them for draft picks and prospects to playoff bound teams. Everyone wins. The players go to the playoffs, the Leafs get the picks and prospects and other teams get utility players for a bargain (because they only have to pay them for a few months).


Their was a guy a few years ago who traded started trading a paperclip and ended up with a house. Every trade was a marginal improvement over what he had.


I think that is one of the only ways that the Leafs can improve without actually being the worse team in the league for an extended period of time.

1 month ago on Maple Leafs Rumours: Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik “highly likely” to be traded (Bob McKenzie)

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@ProfessorRance @Forever17 @Xxxxxnew You could say Nylander, Kadri, Gauthier and throw in Holland. That's not a horrible list.

1 month ago on Game 49 Scoring Chances: Devils 2 vs. Maple Leafs 1 (SO)

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@phaneufoundlander @Forever17 Just have to say that the Sittler, MacDonald, "Tiger" Williams, Palmateer Leafs beat those Islanders in the playoffs in '77-'78. 

1 month ago on Game 49 Scoring Chances: Devils 2 vs. Maple Leafs 1 (SO)

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@mcloki @Mitch92 Wasn't that "The Rocket" in that commercial?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on GDT: Game #30, Los Angeles Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs (5 p.m., SNO)

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@Burtonboy The purpose of analytics should be to provide deeper analysis. What does this top 5 list tell us? Almost nothing. First of all, you need to compare them to other numbers (goals for, assists for, points for, quality of competition etc.) Secondly, any measure of the better players will bring up the names of the better players. Geeze, I could make a list of top 5 jersey sales and get a similar list. Where this might be interesting is  to compare the names that are not on the top of the list to cap hit and free agency. Then, you might get an idea on who should be signed for cheap.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Tuesday Mashup: Burkie Bowl

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@McDickey @Leafs2 Isles1 @mike_84 You make some good points. But the Leafs are already at the cap. They can't bring in a guy making $5 mil a year. Who are you sending the other way? Bozak? Does L.A. want that trade? I don't think so. And like it or not, Richards is 30.  His way of playing wears him down over the year, and he's only getting older. Playing top line minutes the way he plays is asking too much of him...he'll end up just getting injured.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #18, Buffalo Sabres 6 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@mike_84 @Leafs2 Isles1 True. However, they brought in a lot of expensive players this year, so spending money doesn't seem like a concern.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #18, Buffalo Sabres 6 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@McDickey @mike_84 Richards is expensive and on the downside of his career. Bjugsted is young, big, inexpensive and just starting out. He's having a tough beginning to his season, but that isn't the end of the world for a 22 year old. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #18, Buffalo Sabres 6 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@mike_84 I think the Leafs could get Nick Bjugstad from Florida. First rounder. 6'6", 218lbs.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #18, Buffalo Sabres 6 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 2

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@Mattmark @Lescott @Mortagleus when I say "brake," I mean "break."

3 months, 4 weeks ago on GDT: Game #12, Toronto Maple Leafs at Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m., SNO)

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@Mattmark @Lescott @Mortagleus I know I'm Johnny-Come-Lately on this one, but the debate intrigues me.  Some might say that part of the game is knowing how to bend the rules or even brake them without getting caught. Kind of like bumping the pin-ball machine or reneging in Euchre hoping that the play will be so fast that no one will notice.


Some could argue that "the trap" or "a pick" are examples of taking advantage of rules even though the end result might not be in the true nature of hockey.


As for this move in particular. I don't like it. A hook is common in hockey. Some you get away with, some you don't. It is part of the game. Just knocking the net off of its moorings is not an "in-the-moment" type play. If it is allowed, than the game opens up to a lot of shenanigans just to stop play.

3 months, 4 weeks ago on GDT: Game #12, Toronto Maple Leafs at Arizona Coyotes (9 p.m., SNO)

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@BoneChompski Even Carolina's scored more than Buffalo (in 3 fewer games).

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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Any news on when Booth is going to be ready to come back. I wonder who is going to get pushed off the team when he comes back.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@docmma I was listening to sports radio one morning last week, and the hosts were going on about how there is no team in the league that needs McDavid more than Arizona. It drove me nuts because they then went on to talk about how Arizona just needs to keep its head above financial water until McDavid does for them what Crosby did for the Penguins.


So, the NHLs plan is basically to allow the Leafs and a handful of other profitable teams to keep teams like Arizona afloat just long enough so that those teams can get good draft picks and then start winning.


Sometimes it seems like there is a conspiracy.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@Mattmark @Leafs2 Isles1 True. But Kessel also scored in the 4-0 and 4-1 games. Its not like he always gets the pivotal goal.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@Mattmark I know. It's like saying that the team wins more often when the goalie has a high save percentage. I wonder if you looked at a guy like Polak and tracked his goals. I'd bet that when he scores, his team is more likely to win too.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@docmma @Leafs2 Isles1 @Wilbur @Bring the Cup Home I think just about everyone agrees with you. I'd like to see more of Carrick too. 

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@Wilbur @Leafs2 Isles1 @docmma @Bring the Cup Home Yeah. I'd go for that. Hopefully Booth will get going and he'd be a possibility for deadline deal as well. 

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@docmma @djamon @Leafs2 Isles1 If they continue to play like they are, they'll want more money and a few years. Don't get me wrong. I really like both guys. They're teaching the Leafs to play with some jam. But I also have high hopes for some of the guys on the Marlies. In the next 2 or 3 years, we're going to want Nylander and Gauthier playing, maybe Lievo, Brown, Verhaeghe. There's only so many spots.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@docmma @TheLoovTrain @Leafs2 Isles1 @Bring the Cup Home I'd go that route if the trade would bring back a quality first line center. I just don't know if that's a possibility.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@djamon @Leafs2 Isles1 Because I don't think they are in the Leafs long term plans. They are UFAs. They'll want a raise. Their are guys in the minors who are ready do come up. 

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@TheLoovTrain @Leafs2 Isles1 @docmma @Bring the Cup Home I know. But I've been thinking about how the Leafs have lost guys like MacArthur. I think that as long as the Leafs are just making the playoffs, they can move some of these pieces out for the future. Make the playoffs, then bring some young, hungry guys up to get some experience.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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@docmma @Bring the Cup Home I have to say that one of the reasons I'm happy with the way Winnik and Santorelli are playing is because I could see trading them at the deadline. We've got some players in the minors ready to come up. These two can prove themselves here, get traded to a playoff contender (good for them) and bring us some draft picks or prospects.

4 months ago on GDT: Game #11, Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., CBC)

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