Mailbag: Lafreniere destination, commercial intrigue


Who is the most appropriate and exciting team to play for Alexis Lafrenière? – @alehtonen

The best story is that the Montreal Canadiens choose Lafrenière, keeping the perspective of the front in his home province. This is Hallmark’s story, and it would be an incredible comfort for the Canadians if they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Montreal hasn’t had a # 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft since 1980 when it picked Doug Wickenheiser. The Canadians could also have had Denis Savard or Paul Coffey, originally from Quebec. Anyway, Lafrenière going to Montreal would be the biggest story in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. It’s a shame it isn’t a center, because that’s where Canadians really need it, but having the chance to have a potential generational talent on the wing would be among the most important developments for Montreal for a long time.

Canadians set 31-31-9 (0.500 points) before NHL broke season on March 12 due to concerns about coronavirus, seeded Conference No. 12 from the east. The penguins (40-23-6, .623) are the seed n ° 5.

What if Lafrenière, who played for Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, had to land with the Penguins and eventually play with the center Sidney Crosby, who also played for Rimouski? The public explosion of opinion would be wild, but the options for Pittsburgh would be incredible. The Penguins could play Lafrenière with the center Evgeni Malkin, forward Jake Guentzel with Crosby. Or what about a line that includes Crosby with Lafreniere and Guentzel? Intriguing. They could have four or more defenders Kris Letang on the power play, with Lafreniere potentially pulling his wing off.

Another intriguing consideration is the loss of the Edmonton Oilers to the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs and the victory in the 2020 NHL draw. The Oilers (37-25-9, .585) are seeded n ° 5 of the Western Conference; the Blackhawks (32-30-8, .514) are seed No. 12. A draw win would be Edmonton’s fifth since 2010; he used the previous four # 1 choices to select the front Taylor hall (2010), center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011), before Nail Yakupov (2012) and center Connor McDavid (2015). Similar to the Penguins, the Oilers would have great options, including using Lafreniere with McDavid or center Leon Draisaitl. They could each be part of the power play unit.

The eight teams eliminated from the top five qualifications will each have a chance of winning the first choice based on the results of the first draw. A second draw will take place after qualifying and before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to determine who receives choice # 1. Each eliminated team will have a 12.5% ​​chance of winning.

The training camps, part of Phase 3 of the NHL return to play plan, are scheduled to open on July 10. When phase 4 begins, on a date and in two main cities to be determined, the qualifications will be played.

Video: Mystery team wins NHL draw

If the Arizona Coyotes win first choice, do you think a potential trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews is possible? Arizona would get a local star while Toronto would get Alexis Lafreniere, an NHL salary cap space to fill in the blue line, and potentially another room. – @Rob_Oswald

Mind blown. Like. But I think it’s a fantasy.

If the Coyotes get the No. 1 choice, they should convince the Maple Leafs that Lafreniere has a better advantage than Matthews, because that is the crux of the business proposition you made. But it’s a difficult thing to do based on what we know about Matthews and what we don’t know about Lafreniere.

Matthews has an average of 1.01 points per game (285 points in 282 games), including 0.56 goals per game (158 in 282 games) during his NHL career. He would likely have scored 50 goals this season (he had 47 in 70 games) if he had not been on hiatus. He is 22 years old, four years older than Lafrenière. He is a center and the Maple Leafs are in winning mode now with two of the best players in the game at this position: he and John Tavares.

Lafreniere has a big advantage, but we don’t know if he’s going to be as hard-hitting as Matthews. He’s also on the left, and I think the teams are in the middle, that’s why Toronto is in a great position with Matthews.

I don’t think the Maple Leafs would. I think the Coyotes would love it.

Will the NHL have obstacles to overcome with the lack of noise in the arena? Similar to the Major League Baseball game played in Baltimore without fans, players had to watch what they said. The microphones could hear them without crowds. – @theashcity

This is an excellent question that I never really thought about before asking it. My initial thought is that a hockey game lends itself to more noise than a baseball game, like the one played without fans present at Camden Yards between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox on April 29, 2015. Baseball is clearly slower, more methodical game that allows lulls in action, leading to calm on the ground. With that, it’s easier to pick up a singular voice, which was happening that day in Baltimore.

Hockey is not like that. Skates, sticks, pucks, boards, poles and pings all create a unique soundtrack to the game, and I think part of that could muffle the voices of players, coaches and referees. I wouldn’t be aware of the situation if I said everything would be drowned out, but there are other ways to make the game sounds suitable for a TV show, potentially including a 7-10 second delay which gives producers the opportunity to hear something that shouldn’t hit the airwaves and hopefully quickly silence this part.

There is also the possibility of creating an artificial crowd noise, like what they do for some football shows. This is a question that divides publicly. I don’t think it will be perfect. How could he do without fans in the building? But I would say that the shows are not perfect when there are fans screaming their heads and the noise almost blows on the roof of the arenas. The microphones pick up the voices. The lips are read. It happens. But I think players, coaches and referees will understand and be aware of the weight of their voices and how they can wear them.

Nils Lundkvist spent another year in Sweden. Do you think the New York Rangers may be using it as a trading chip to get a left-handed defender in the top four for Jacob Trouba since they already have a hoof on the right side? – @ 1994_nyr

One of the Rangers’ best hopes, Lundkvist was a first-round pick (# 28) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and remains in Sweden for one more season to play for Lulea of ​​the Swedish Hockey League . New York’s plans for the 19-year-old should not be affected by his decision to stay in Sweden, and while your idea of ​​using it as a trading chip to get a left-handed defender has merit, it still remains much to be determined.

A key factor is whether the Rangers plan to keep the right-hander Tony DeAngelo long-term. DeAngelo is a pending free agent and could sign another one-year contract if he is not traded. New York could also give him a long-term contract, solidifying his place on the right with Trouba and Adam Fox and open the door to potentially move Lundkvist for help on the left side.

I’m still not sold on it because the Rangers have organizational depth on the left side. They already know what they have Ryan Lindgren, and they’re strong on the potential of K’Andre Miller, a first-round pick (# 22) in the 2018 draft who signed an entry-level contract on March 16. Another left-hander, Libor Hajek, has shown what it can be like in 33 NHL games in the past two seasons.

I think that decisions about the future of DeAngelo must be made before New York considers all of the business possibilities regarding Lundkvist.


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