We have some quick hits in today’s Leafs Links regarding Jack Campbell’s overtime talks, a report on the Leafs who could buy a right-handed defenseman, and Wayne Simmonds’ outspoken take on Kyle Beach history.
Friedman: “I think the Leafs have kind of made it known that one of their right-sided D’s might be available”
Excerpt from yesterday’s episode of the Jeff Marek Show:
Kyper announced yesterday that they are in extension talks with Jack Campbell. He is right.
I also think Toronto has made it known that they might be interested in doing something with their blue line. I’m not sure exactly what was said, but I think they kind of made it known that one of their Ds on the right side might be available. I suspect it’s potentially Dermott, but I’m not sure if they actually identified the player. I don’t think it’s Holl or anything, although he struggled.
I suspect it’s Dermott, but I’m not sure… Liljegren has been playing well lately and is younger. I don’t know how it would work, but there is something going on there.
Knowing that his camp is open to negotiations during the season and that Campbell’s desire to remain a Leaf, working diligently to secure an overtime as soon as possible makes perfect sense. The more Campbell plays, the larger the size of his sample of high-end goalie performances, the stronger his influence for a big pay rise from his current salary of $ 1.65 million as he grows up. heading to the open market this summer.
Campbell has been a .922 goaltender in 36 regular season games (and .921 in seven playoff games) since arriving in Toronto in February 2020 (the league’s top 10 at that time among goaltenders with a minimum of 20 games played). He’s showing no signs of slowing down to start 2021-2022 – he’s posted a .929 in seven starts (also in the league’s top 10) even despite a mixed start across the squad ahead of him.
It’s safe to assume that unless there is an injury or a sudden and unforeseen drop in performance, the price only increases as games go by, and the Leafs don’t have much. thing to spend in this position given their contractual commitments elsewhere, which now include a $ 2.5 million increase for Morgan Rielly for 2022-2023 – giving them $ 48 million tied to their top five skaters – as well as Petr Mrazek’s $ 3.8 million AAV which is on the books until 2023-24.
They’ve already pledged over $ 75 million on next season’s cap, and that’s with Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, Pierre Engvall, Ondrej Kase as RFA on hold, and Jason Spezza and Campbell as UFA on hold.
Buying a right-handed defender doesn’t make so much sense at first glance, although it is interesting timing in light of Rielly’s recent extension and the additional ceiling commitment at the post. The Leafs have seven defensemen right now, and their depth options are relatively low compared to NHL experience with the exception of Alex Biega, who is currently against the Marlies.
Biega is a name that was not mentioned in Friedman’s roster but could be a player the Leafs are willing to spread the word about and look for an opportunity elsewhere, especially since Travis Dermott has been helpful on the right side and Timothy Liljegren is showing up ready for the NHL. Biega was a full-time NHL roster for several seasons prior to this one (in Vancouver and Detroit), showing up and competing fiercely at camp, and his consummate professionalism has been noted. by the brass of the Leafs.
Perhaps the Leafs see Justin Holl’s eventual return to the top six – we can assume he’ll have another chance soon, and he’ll likely get his game back at some point – as pushing Dermott out of the regular six at the light of Liljegren’s game, and they want to smell the commercial market for Dermott. Maybe they sense the market on Holl, who is currently in good health and has signed for this season and next at $ 2 million a year.
TJ Brodie, 31 and signed for two more seasons at $ 5 million AAV, also cannot be glossed over in light of his early struggles, though the Leafs are unlikely to give too much thought to that. here after a solid 2020-21 season and knowing Brodie’s current role alongside Jake Muzzin in the stoppage pair.
That said, subtracting from the team’s quality depth on the blue line, especially on the right side, without anything coming back to the same position – whether in the same chord or another – didn’t. doesn’t make much sense for a team with contention aspirations.
Wayne Simmonds: “The NHL, NHLPA, everyone has to be held accountable… There are no excuses… It can’t just be another fleeting moment where he’s here now and gone tomorrow.
Wayne Simmonds’ voice has become unmistakable thanks to his willingness to speak eloquently and frankly about the league’s issues as a veteran player with extensive experience in the game. His response to the Kyle Beach story did not do. exception.
First of all, I want to say my condolences to Kyle Beach. Everything that happened was heartbreaking. I found myself watching this interview and started tearing it up a bit. What touched me was when they asked him about the 16-year-old, and he apologized. For me, he doesn’t have to apologize. He was the one who was wronged.
It is something systemic. I find in the NHL that when something bad happens, guys are afraid to speak up because of the repercussions. This is something that definitely needs to change. It is unacceptable.
In our locker room and many other teams’ locker rooms, the culture is now starting to change and turn around given the new blood that is coming into the league. I am in tune with what Robin Lehner said last night. More players need to speak up. More players need to do their part. We don’t want this to continue.
As we move forward here we need to make things better for the guys following us. It’s not about us anymore. It’s about what happens to youngsters who come into the league now. I think everyone has to be held accountable, whether it’s the NHL, the NHLPA – everyone has to be held accountable. There are no excuses. It can’t just be another fleeting moment where he’s here now and gone tomorrow.
Conversations [internally] were more focused on how amazing it was with the fact that something that was brought up at the time was ignored by so many people. It’s the biggest crime, especially at Kyle Beach. This is something that should have been dealt with immediately. Something like that is so… I don’t really have any words… It’s unacceptable.
I’m not sure if we can have an independent referee or something outside of our league where the players can express themselves so it’s not just in the hands of the teams and the NHL, so there is a outside view and outside reach and they don’t think about who is going to be punished here or who is going to be removed from a GM or coach position. When it comes to sexual assault and a lot of other things in this league, people shouldn’t be afraid to speak out. People should not be afraid to speak the truth without fear of reprisal.
When asked if their inability to act at the time of the incident shattered his faith in the NHLPA:
Frankly, yes, it is.
Well said, Wayne.