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Scrivens making sure we don’t forget him—and “Maple Leaf Hangout”, Episode 12

A lot of Leaf fans probably could not help but notice that the guy we traded (along with Matt Frattin and a draft pick) in the Jonathan Bernier deal this past summer is, well, doing OK for himself.

This is not to suggest Bernier has not been, so far, everything we could have asked for.  He has been, as I’ve posted here many times, a composed, steady presence in the Leaf net, providing excellent goalkeeping.

But Ben Scrivens, albeit in a small sample size, has also done quite nicely to this point in the season with his new club.  I looked up his “numbers” today and he has clearly taken advantage of the opportunities he has received in Los Angeles.  He has earned three shutouts, has a sterling goals-against average and a save percentage around .955, I believe.

Nonis made a move that seems to be paying off for the Leafs—and may for years to come.  But I liked Scrivens in his time with the Leafs.  He was a battler, and it’s good to see him have success.

That’s just one of the things we talk about, by the way, on the latest “Maple Leaf Hangout” (Episode 12) with my colleague Michael Stephens from the Maple Leaf Hot Stove web site.  If you get a chance to listen in, I hope you enjoy the show.


  1. Michael,

    Another fantastic episode, kudos to you and Mike. A little bit too long between episodes, lets try to keep them coming more regularly. Do you have some guests lined up for the near future? Would you like to spoil the surprise and let your regular VLM readers in on it early?

    I didn't understand the trade from the outset Michael. I said so on this forum. To me the difference between Scrivens and Bernier was too small to justify giving up assets to make the deal. Not to mention that we paid LA to make the deal by retaining salary. To me, this is just a trade that was largely unnecessary given our circumstances in goal.

    I would much rather Nonis stop making these kinds of deals and actually hold on to the majority of picks and prospects. Hoard them even, so that he might have ammunition in order to make a real blockbuster of a deal. Maybe acquire a game changer, or two. They are sometimes available, you just have to have prime time assets available to give up. The Troy Bodies, and Brad Staubitz's of the hockey world, are entirely replaceable to me. You can even pick up the occasional quality player when a team needs to dump salary, if you are in a position to add salary. Mason Raymond is an excellent example of what I am thinking here.

    The salary cap era is more and more going to be about having the most options available. I hope Nonis figures this out.

    1. Thanks for tuning in, Jim. And yes, I well recall your comments about the Bernier deal at the time of the trade, and your consistent stand since that time. Like all trades, I guess that one will have to stand the test of time- for both parties.

      Nonis has been moving second to fourth round draft choices, it feels like, with some regularity in recent months. Maybe someone has constructed an overview outlining exactly how many of these picks have left the barn! In this sense, he is no Bill Belichick, who loves to acquire as many picks as he can.

  2. Michael,

    As best as I can decipher, this is what the Leafs have done with respect to trading draft picks for the upcoming 2014 entry draft, as well as the 2015 draft. Reference,

    Toronto acquired in 2014, 2015 entry draft:

    2014 conditional 4th round pick from Calgary, for Colborne
    2014 7th round pick from Anaheim for David Steckel
    2014 4th round pick from Edmonton for Mike Brown
    2014 4th round pick from Phoenix for Matthew Lombardi

    Toronto traded away in the 2014, 2015 entry drafts:

    2014 3rd round pick, will become a 2nd if Holland plays 25 games for T.O.
    2014 7th round pick to Anaheim for Holland, Staubitz
    2014 4th round pick to Chicago for Bolland
    2014 or 2015 2nd round pick to LA part of Bernier trade
    2014 4th round pick to Colorado for Ryan O’Byrne

    To the best of my calculations this is where I have the Leafs situated at present. I have assumed for now that Holland does not play 25 games in T.O. and that pick stays a 3rd. I have also assumed that the Kings choose to have the 2nd rounder in the upcoming draft instead of 2015. Of course if Holland plays the 25 games LA would, I assume have to defer their pick to 2015 and Toronto would then have this years third round selection.

    Toronto will pick once in the first round, twice in the fourth (not sure really whose picks they would have of the four options), and once each in rounds five, six, and seven.

    1. Thanks for that breakdown, Jim. I actually had thought Nonis, in particular, had traded away more what I'll call 'mid-range' picks (second through fourth round).

  3. I didn't care for the trade either. Nonis had been asking about Bernier for a year before the trade was actually done. He wanted him, was willing to wait for him, and that is that. Ben Scrivens stats were for most of the year almost identical to Reimers and he was often used in back to backs in front of a tired team. I'm not surprised by his success on a team with good defense and less shots, the very reason I thought getting Bernier was taking a chance. He was untested/unproven. C.N.

    1. I like how Bernier has played here, C.N. but you are not alone in raising the "need" for such a trade in the first place. As those who visit here regularly know, I thought our goaltending "question" had finally been settled by the end of last season.

      I'm not suggesting Scrivens will supplant Quick at any point, or will even necessarily have a great career in LA, but he is demonstrating that he can play, too.

  4. Sorry I havent had a chance to tune in Michael but have only had time to look at your written work as opposed to audio! As far as what draft picks are left, unless someone can correct me, my cursory glance tells me those picks given away were acquired from other teams to begin with...the recent Anaheim ones are conditional though. Whoever wishes to try and sort it out can have a look at:

  5. I too wrote at the time that the Scrivens deal was confusing and wasteful of resources. As I said, the difference between the three outstanding young goaltenders is too close to call and that my “spidey sense” has told me all along that Scrivens could well be the best of the three. My concerns about Nonis have magnified over time. He makes some nonsensical trades (remember the bullet we dodged named Mikka Kiprusoff) and overpays in trades. While it is appropriate to be focussed on the here and now in the Leafs’ development as a team he is going to have to find a way to maintain the prospect pool in a way that is fair to the amateur scouting department. At the moment, Nonis is living off Brian Burke’s work in stocking the prospect pool while mortgaging the future with an apparently endless stream of disposable draft picks. I fear that it has gotten out of hand unless Nonis can find a way to acquire more prospects and picks to restock the cupboard in the coming years.

    Just a quick note: I am finishing up Michael’s “The Maple Leafs of My Youth” which, I feel, has to go into the category of required reading for any serious Leafs fan. It is quite a “page turner” that gives us the rare perspective of a supporter’s memories of the team and its culture. While fine as it is, I could really picture it as a coffee table book illustrated with historical photographs and illustrations. Mainstream publishers should take note. Quite apart from that notion, everyone who benefits from VLM and the Leafs Hangout really ought to download a copy and read it. (I hope you don’t mind me recommending your book here, Michael.)

    1. I well recall your observations when the trade was made, and the interaction we have had here since, Bobby C.- Neither of us has an issue with how Bernier has played in Toronto. In fact, he has been stellar, and a very calming influence on his teammates, it would seem.

      That said, yours questions about the trade were and remain fair ones. Scrivens is someone you have cited here long before that trade was ever made. And as for Nonis and his penchant in recent times for trading away 'futures', while some may not see his moves in this regard as 'alarming' necessarily, it does seem to speak at times to a bit of desperation. We'll see over time, I suppose.

      A heartfelt thank you for the kind words about my eBook. Of course I don't mind the reference. I know your comments are genuine - and it saves me from over-promoting my own work. Thanks Bobby, stay well.

  6. I bet Dallas Eakins still wishes he had Scrivens.

  7. I still have mixed feelings about the trade. I didn't like it at the time but the concensus among hockey people was that Bernier was going to become an elite goaltender and would be an upgrade at a vital position. I cannot argue with the results but given Scrivens recent run along with his play last season the upgrade may be slight at best. My biggest problem with the trade was in giving up a promising young player like Matt Frattin in the deal.

    I cannot quibble with Nonis' body of work to this point. The acquisition of Boland and the signing of Raymond were excellent. The jury is still out on Ranger and Clarkson but if Clarkson continues to play the all round game we saw last night he will be a valuable asset. Acquiring a promising young talent such as Holland at a position of need is also a positive step.

    If I am not .mistaken we are 3rd in the East, two points out of first despite the injuries and suspensions. Someone must be doing something right!

    1. Indeed, someone has done something right- and that, to me, includes Nonis and Carlyle. Thanks Pete Cam.

  8. I think that instead of looking at trades on individual basis and weighing whether players received have outperformed players traded away or lamenting the fact that a few of the players we traded have turned out to be great players we should keep the overall 'plan', the overall team that has been built out of various trades and free-agent signings in mind. Dumping Grabovski in order to rearrange a roster a build a team that Carlyle felt he needed in order to win cannot be summed up in 'Grabovski out - nothing back' equation nor should we be talking about giving away Scrivens or Steen or Colborne or Kessel vs. Seguin. You cannot have 3 great goalies on a team nor 3 first-line centres. There's no point in having so much depth on wing (Frattin) that you have to keep fully-developed NHL wingers in the AHL because you have no room for them with the big club. I think that the success of former Leafs only speaks to this organization's ability to draft, produce and acquire more talent that it can retain. If the Leafs continue to win and Grabovski, MacArthur, Scrivens, Gusstavson, Rask, Steen and even Seguin continue to produce we're golden because all that really matters is winning the Cup and there's only so much roster and cap space. For the first time in 45 years we're able to say that our organization has churned out a wealth of talent so big that it cannot be contained by one NHL roster and that is very very cool.