Let’s Talk About A Couple Of Bad Ideas

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Well…… just “wow” is all I can say about these bad ideas that, somehow, are being accepted as great ideas in some parts of the internet.

I know that things can quickly spin out of control in Leafs Nation, but at this point we’re teetering on the brink of insanity.

Let’s start with this doozie of an idea that’s been circulating from The Athletic, that quotes an “NHL exec” that isn’t named (that’s code for “some guy that has an opinion, but not an opinion that’s good enough to actually put him in a position of decision making, rather, it’s just good enough to make your article look legit).

Let’s start with this; I don’t even think Rickard Rakell is close to the guy I’d want if I’m the GM. When I put myself in that chair I would want what a lot of other people are talking about, and that’s a player that can play a physical/grinding style of hockey. Rakell is a good player, don’t get me wrong, but he isn’t what the team needs. That’s an opinion, let’s talk about facts instead.

The fact is he simply isn’t good enough to demand this type of return in a trade. If the Ducks are trying to hit a home run you have to let them try it with another team, especially considering the fact that John Gibson and Rickard Rakell are the players that Anaheim selected with the picks the Leafs gave up in the Tyler Biggs trade (ouch). Let’s not add insult to injury by overpaying for a player that was already involved in a deal where the Leafs got absolutely schooled.

Also, Rakell has been trending down over the past couple of years in terms of goal scoring. He scored 33 and 34 goals in 2016/17 and 2017/18, respectively, but since then he has been on pace for 21, 19 and, this season, 15 (all pro-rated totals based on injury/COVID shortened seasons). His point totals have gone down as well since his career high of 69pts in 2017/18. With pro-rated totals that would land in the low 50s, he is still producing like a top 6 forward should, but not like the player he was when he peaked a few years ago.

The team around him as gotten progressively worse, so that certainly will play a part in a dip in offensive numbers, but only to an extent. To me, simply put, if you’re going to give up a kings ransom like this, then the player you’re getting should carry his teammates, not the other way around.

Lastly, if he helped in other ways you could overlook his lack of offensive production. Rakell has never been a regular contributor to the Ducks’ penalty killing unit though, nor is he overly physical or what you’d consider a grinder. He’s just a good hockey player with a solid contract. It’s that contract that makes people overrate him, in my opinion.

They need another Zach Hyman, whereas Rickard Rakell is more comparable to William Nylander, just with a little more effort and a little less offense (they’re even listed at the exact same height and weight, not that that means anything). So I’ll take a big pass on this idea.

Okay, let’s move on to….. whatever this is:

This paragraph in particular, is …… actually, I don’t know what it is….

According to multiple sources, the Los Angeles Kings have spoken with the Maple Leafs about Quick. At this point, a move does not sound imminent, but the option appears to be available if Toronto decides to pursue it in the next three weeks.

I want to start here by saying that David Pagnotta is a terrific writer and journalist and that everything I’m about to say has nothing to do with him or his article. In fact, if you read it you’ll see that he simply speculates on it. It’s not as if this is his idea, it’s just something that he heard and he’s reporting it.

Anyway, with that said, this is a very very bad idea if you expect Quick to be a starting goaltender. If the Leafs saw more of Jack Campbell this year and determined that he is starter worthy and then wanted to get a veteran backup for him, then maybe this would be something to pursue. On top of that, the Kings would have to be willing to retain 50% of his contract. However, with Campbells ability as a starter in question and Quick not being able to retain the crease in Los Angeles, there’s nothing there that makes me believe they’d be interested in him. He isn’t the quick Quick that we once knew and there’s nothing to prove that he could do a better job than Frederik Andersen.

Literally, the only thing that would be beneficial here is the fact that he could play at a smaller caphit than Andersen’s 5M and even that is assuming the Kings will retain salary.

The last rumour I’d like to touch on is one that has all but gone away, thank tiny, baby Jesus for that.

Sam Bennett. Yes, Sam Bennett.

You’d think, with the way I’d like to see the game played, that I’d be a big fan of the idea of the Leafs adding Bennett. The thing is, you’d be right. I’d be thrilled with that.

However, Bennett is a pending RFA that makes 2.55M this year, which means that the Leafs will have to negotiate a lower caphit than that on his next contract, or qualify him at that amount for at least one more year.

If you’re in his shoe’s there’s no reason to take less, you’d hold out in hopes that your team would tender a qualifying offer. At that point he’s not worth the paycheque.

Between this season and last he has played 81 regular season games and produced 11 goals and 18pts. That’s not what a cap strapped team should want on their roster. Even at half price, which would be the equivalent caphit of Pierre Engvall (23GP, 2G, 6pts), a toss-in in so many fan’s fantasy trades, who has comparable offensive numbers to Bennett (29GP, 3G, 6pts) this season, you shouldn’t want it.

If he came to your team for free then maybe we’d talk, but, simply put, spending assets on a player that is the same age and comparable offensively to Engvall, while being twice as expensive is nonsensical.

I’m blown away, in fact, that so many people have convinced themselves that he can play in the top 6 in Toronto, while never having reached those heights elsewhere. The only silver lining I can see is that his playoff production is much better than his regular season production. But how much should a team be willing to spend in assets and caphit in order to (maybe) get 7-28 decent games out of a player?

In my opinion, they shouldn’t spend the assets or a penny of caphit on this guy. I’d rather spend less on more veterans like Wayne Simmonds.