By Rukaru Shida
So....free agency is a think! Shattenkirk got less money/term than I was expecting, was sad the Leafs didn't get him. BUT! They did get Marleau! Big contract, but I think he could do great things with Matthews, and it gives us the option of trading JVR for defensive help should we feel the need.
Also! Price signed his extension...in 2018/19 he's going to be making 10.5 for 8 years. He's the best (or at least top 3) goalie in the world...he's worth the money, but I can't help but feel they will be in cap hell by having that much money tied up in net.
I didn't see a topic for this so....
I used to buy the EA NHL games on the day of release every year - until I played last years game on the PS4. Something about it just wasn't appealing - especially in the menus when trying to play my favourite mode, Be A GM.
I heard this year's version is better, so I picked it up a few days ago. And it is better - the menus are more responsive and less of a pain in the ass to navigate. The actual game play is pretty fun too. Very smooth. I feel like I can score in a ton of different ways. Sniping it off the rush, deking around the goaltender, one timers, point shots. It's not a frustrating experience like last year - it's just fun.
The real reason for starting this thread is...I want to talk about my GM mode as the Leafs. I attempted to tank hard - the Jets took Bernier for a first, and I was able to unload a ton of guys and wound up with 4 first round picks and 4 second round picks, plus a bunch more later on. The team was pretty thin beyond, especially in goal with only Reimer and Garrett Sparks. I thought I had orchestrated the perfect tank job.
The hockey gods laughed at this thought.
Instead, despite not having a player score more then 21 goals or more then 60 points on the roster, the 2015/16 Toronto Maple Leafs would go on to win the division and only fall out of the playoff in the second round. The teams who had traded their picks away to the Leafs also finished strong - so despite having four picks in the first round, the earliest pick I had was 15th overall. I was not pleased.
When it was time for the draft, I knew that I needed to add an impact player. Edmonton was 1st overall (again?!), but willing to deal. I was able to package two picks in the first round plus a prospect to get the top pick - and with that, drafted Auston Matthews. My remaining picks were late in the first round, so I packaged them to move up to tenth, where I picked up Jake Bean.
The other big move came in free agency. I was unsure about committing to Reimer as my top goaltender, so I looked to see if anything was available on the block. Low and behold, the Ducks were willing to move 22 year old John Gibson - a goaltender with the potential to become elite. I sent them Kasperi Kapanen and a 2nd round pick in 2018, and then signed Anders Lindback to have a solid back up.
Going into year two, I've made some significant changes to the team, and some of the players have really grown. Already, Auston Matthews is 87 overall with the potential to be a franchise player. Gibson jumped from 86 overall at the time of the trade, to 89 overall in the preseason. Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner are both far and away the best defenders on the team, while Dion and Scott Harrington (from the Kessel deal) are a very good second pairing. And Nazem Kadri is 89 overall and should have a fantastic season paired with JVR.
I was asleep when the draft started, and I forgot to do this earlier in the day.
Welcome to the new season, everyone!
I'll edit in some more thoughts over the course of my Monday, but for now all i'll say is that MacKinnon better score ALL of the goals if we've passed up on Seth Jones to a team within our own division.
My draft day:
I woke up at 4am to go to the bathroom and decided to check Twitter to see who we'd drafted, dreaded the worst. Scroll back through tweets...Yup, MacKinnon. Dammit, I wanted Seth. What's this, you say?! Major trade? I'll stay awake for this. HOLY FUCKING SHIT CORY SCHNEIDER!!! At this point I probably did what you all did, which was dash to @strombone1 and wait. As I watched some media coverage, Holy F'n Shit was I ever NOT prepared for Nathan MacKinnon's lisp. Oh god Seth Jones is in our division I hate my life. Good lord, that is a WORLD CLASS lisp.
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