Maple Leafs GM Sean Hanley sits down with a Leafs beat reporter to discuss their Dispersal Draft haul and what the future may bring for Toronto.
BRANDEN THOMPSON, Leafs top reporter reporting...
I had a beer and a sit down with Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Sean Hanley recently. I asked him questions about the BEARD Hockey Dispersal Draft and their trade with the New York Islanders. Here's how it went. Hope you enjoy!
BRANDEN THOMPSON: What were your intentions as you headed towards the Dispersal Draft?
SEAN HANLEY: Leafs fans are very demanding on success as they should be. So I wanted to build a solid foundation of offensive and defensive skill now, and also have a ton of potential in the future.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: What's your biggest weapon this year?
SEAN HANLEY: I feel we have mixed in a very solid in-your-face defensive blue line. Teams are going to be afraid of going in our zone corners and standing in front of our net. Should cause a lot of opposing team giveaways and a lot of puck possession for our goal scorers.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: What are your weaknesses?
SEAN HANLEY: Forward grit, which what influenced us to go get Kyle Clifford.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: Which leads us to our next question. Who won the Islanders and Leafs trade?
SEAN HANLEY: I feel it was an even deal. We needed grit and protection, and they needed offensive skill. It was a win win on both accounts. I feel it helped both teams.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: 16th pick overall in the Dispersal - was Mitch Marner the right choice?
SEAN HANLEY: Oh absolutely. He's one of the best playmakers in the game. He can play on the 1st PP and can play PK if needed. He's only 23 too. Not even reached his prime and he's only going to get better.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: What's your thoughts on your goalie situation and your coaches?
SEAN HANLEY: I went with Tristan Jarry because I feel he's ready for a starting goalie role, while Malcolm Subban is a very solid backup. Prosvetov, Skinner, and Booth are all very high-potential goaltenders for the future and will be playing for the Marlies. We wanted one of the best coaches locked up for 3 years and who better for the job than Bruce Cassidy? Can't beat that, and I feel the Marlies are in good hands with Todd Richards and his development skills.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: Do you see the Leafs as a contender this year?
SEAN HANLEY: There's always room for improvement. But yeah, I do feel we created a solid foundation with promising potential to go far - with the ultimate goal, if not this season, within the next two or three...seeing fans watching their favorite team hoisting the beloved Stanley Cup.
BRANDEN THOMPSON: That's a heavy prediction Mr. Hanley. Good luck and enjoy your day.
There you have it everyone. The Leafs have high hopes and we hope he's right. Until next time, I'm Branden Thompson from Leafs Nation News wishing everyone a good night.