May 14, 2017
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Like Gudas as an option, but the contract values are off, in my humble opinion.
Dermott plays 14 minutes per game, with no PP or PK duties. He wouldn't get 3M for a bridge RFA contract. 1.5M maybe, though with the "Dubas bonus", your post may be realistic. In all seriousness, though, we can't afford to overpay in the current situation. Also, Sandin will almost surely jump ahead next year and take that no 2 spot.
Mikheyev, on the other hand, play(ed) a lot, with PK duties. He has comparables in the 3-3.5M range on the team. In short, switch the values of these two contracts. Wish him well (I like the player a lot), but you're right to say his injury may actually decrease his next contract by missing the entire year.
I'd say Engvalll will get a higher contract (close to 1M) than Gauthier (probably a Moore-type 2x 0.75).
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>Rsamuelson</b></div><div>Fair enough, I can understand your points! So in your eyes you don’t think the leafs have an issue on the right side of their defence?</div></div>
Things could always be better, but so far the right side is doing well, especially since Keefe took over. The two main issues were Barrie being cold and letting everything in, and uncertainty about Holl.
As of now, though:
1. Barrie is again the player he used to be. He finally got into the team's chemistry, and we couldn't find a better bargain.
2. Holl has become a fan favourite, and he could turn out to be the inspiring type of story of the late bloomer taking his place in the NHL. He's doing well, both defensively and offensively, and keeps improving every game. If anything, he's the one who could still be replaced by someone with more experience, but that would be heartbreaking in a sense. I'd like to see him remain and for his story end well. I couldn't see him being replaced with Stecher, for instance.
3. Ceci has to cope with some fans' distorted views and disparaging comments, but I like his play a lot without the puck. In a nutshell, he rarely lets goals in when on the ice, and that's what I want. His pairing with Dermott hasn't allowed a goal at 5v5 for many games now. He may be overpriced at 4.5M given that he doesn't produce offensively, but other than that, he's hasn't done much wrong, and his game with the puck keeps improving under Keefe. If he leaves, the player stepping in has to be able to play the same role on the PK, and defensively.
To me, the real problem with the RHD will be next year, when all three players leave as UFA!
I think there's a big difference between what Peters did using slurs and what Babcock did to Marner.
The Babcock controversy reminds me of the moral dilemma in the film Whiplash. The big question is, can coaches (or teachers, or parents) push players out of their comfort zone, "break" them, to get the best of their potential? In some cases, someone doing that to you can have positive effects in the long run. I don't like this psychological exercise myself, but is it worse than shouting at the player in the dressing room? It's more difficult to judge than what people think.
The racial slurs, on the other hand, have no place whatsoever from a coach. This case is completely different.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we changed the coach in Toronto, and players are much better off with Keefe. Just saying, the three cases mentioned in the post are not a trend. They're distinct incidents without the same implications.
People repeat the same bits all over the place on social media: Babcock played a defensive style, Babcock wants a system where players wait for opponents to mess up, Babcock believed in an outdated style of play.
Not the case. It's the opposite. Babcock always preached an offensive style. He's the one who introduced the trademark North-South stretch pass system we used all these years, with Gardiner at QB. His "defensive system" had nothing conventional. He wanted players to put intense pressure along the boards to regain possession (read: puck chasing), by outnumbering the puck carrier, with the hope of generating fast counter-attacks. Instead of a more conservative, positional play.
We are the second worst defensive team in the league! If Babcock taught a defensive style, we would lose games 2-1. Not the case. The problem is, the defensive system was lacking in the first place, and he couldn't find a solution to it this year.
My guess: this run and gun system, with intense pressure on puck carriers, worked in the past because the lineup was more balanced. And we had players who had been trained with that system for years. They knew Gardiner would reach them with a pass if they cheated. Change the lineup, and new players are not used to that. They don't know where to go, make errors, which leads to silly looking goals.