Jacks of all trades, masters of none: Are the Leafs overdoing it with Swiss Army knife players?

Over a stretch in the late 90s, everyone in my family struggled annually with what to get my Dad for Christmas. The solution seemed to be that every year he’d wind up with a Swiss Army Knife, a Leatherman, or some other utilitarian tool that was great for stuffing in a tacklebox, backpack, travel kit, or whatever. These are great tools for when you are in a jam and need to rely on the next best thing to the proper tool, but much like my Dad at the turn of the century, the Leafs are over-encumbered with Swiss Army knives that were a pleasant surprise as a stopgap, but a miserable Plan A for addressing problems.
In the grandest tradition of complaining about the Leafs, I’ve chosen to wait until after they’ve had a 5-2 win, featuring a goal from one of those Swiss Army knives, set up by another Swiss Army knife, and the third Swiss Army knife managed a breakaway as well (although that result was predictably underwhelming.) Still, it’s worth noting that if we are going with our recency bias on this, Calle Jarnkrok, Pierre Engvall, and Alex Kerfoot all performed well on Saturday night.
Now with recent success acknowledged, let’s mo …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Prospect Rankings: Where did we get it wrong?

We’re heading into the home stretch of our countdown of the top Leafs prospects, and as we near the end, it’s time to reflect on some of those we might have gotten wrong. Maybe we loved them too much or maybe not enough. Either way, some of our voters and some of our non-voters weigh-in on the TLN rankings.
Dylan Murphy:
Maybe it’s just recency bias seeing him at the World Juniors, but Roni Hirvonen looks ready to make the jump to North America, perhaps even ready to make his NHL debut in a depth role. I’ll admit to not seeing him play all that often, but from what I have seen, he’s a creative playmaker with a nose for the net. The Leafs are weak at the LW position, but between Robertson, Knies, and Hirvonen, the team’s future (at that position) is in good hands.
Ryan Hobart:
I’m continually surprised by how little recognition Axel Rindell gets from prospects people. He didn’t get into our top 20 prospects this year or last. While being an older prospect at 22 years old, his expected move to the Marlies this season could prove an excellent launching pad to the Leafs. If he can take over the Marlies’ powerplay as a quarterbac …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Tuesday Rumour Report: Sandin and goaltending remain the priority, Aston-Reese looking like a lock, and “Malgin?”

It’s the home stretch of rumours and speculation and we’re a day from signing and trade announcements. That’s a bit of a relief. Soon we can stop guessing at who fits into the Leafs roster and instead spend the next couple of months creating Leafs line combinations in notes on our phone while sitting on the toilet (maybe that’s an oddly specific trait of mine that isn’t a universal experience.)
Anyways, Elliotte Friedman had a fair bit of Leafs information crammed into a tiny paragraph today, so we’re going to blow it up and turn it into a lot more.
Toronto will look for another goalie and try to sign Rasmus Sandin with their remaining cap room. One team indicated that even 1B or No. 2 goalies could still do very well in this market, so it won’t be as easy as it sounds. One potential depth target for the Maple Leafs: forechecker extraordinaire Zach Aston-Reese. They could also bring back Denis Malgin from Switzerland.
It really doesn’t feel like we can say a lot more on the first two things. The importance of getting Sandin figured out and fast is painfully clear. Having nothing to show for Sandin but a second round pick would be disastrous, but so would be paying a ransom for his contract. He’s kinda backed the Leafs into a corner and we’ve seen t …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation