Dubas walks line between patient and swift in deal for Leafs reinforcements

Well, that didn’t take long! After back-to-back losses to crucial conference competition Kyle Dubas wastes NO time in pulling the trigger to alleviate two issues in the current Leafs team. On paper, he’s hit another home run (or two!).

Jack Campbell:

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. So many people were looking at Michael Hutchinson and suggesting that the Leafs would need to massively cut through their active roster and/or prospect pool to get in someone like Georgiev to replace him, but no one thought a sensible move for Jack Campbell would be on the cards.

Where Dubas showed patience with this move is in his treatment of Hutchinson since Sheldon Keefe had taken over. The firing of Mike Babcock was an emphatic slam on the reset button. This alleviated a ton of pressure on the likes of Mitch Marner, Tyson Barrie, and William Nylander, but also Hutchinson, who had a very prominent atrocious start to the year.

Since Keefe came in, Hutchinson went 4-4 in games he appeared in, including three relief appearances that were all chalked up losses when he entered, other than the Florida game this week. As a starter, he was 4-1 and looked to be the right man for the job, on the whole.

Where Dubas was swift in his decision to make a trade was by pulling the trigger post-New York loss. Hutchinson took the third period off against Florida in a must-win game and he couldn’t come up with a save against the Rangers when the team needed him. With Anderson sidelined and a Friday-Saturday back-to-back coming up this weekend, it was now or never. The Leafs aren’t out of the playoff hunt in the slightest and Dubas’ move for Campbell ensures this.

Campbell joins the Leafs having played in 20 games this season, posting an 8-10-2 record on the awful Kings this season. Despite the team’s play, he still posted a 2.85 GAA and a 0.900 S% this season. At 27-years old, Campbell seemingly passed up the likes of Jonathan Quick in LA, who the Kings are committed to, so was delt to acquire assets in a rebuild. It’s a big upgrade for the Leafs, who have a goalie, now, who will act as a solid backup while actually pushing Anderson for games down the stretch.

Kyle Clifford:

An olive branch to those who want more grit, truculence, and abject violence in this Leafs team. After watching Zach Hyman get served by Jacob Trouba and John Tavares try his bet to get physical at the end of the Rangers game, Kyle Clifford is a welcomed addition to this Leafs team which is far more “speed and skill” than it is “physical and violent.”

This graphic from TSN’s First Up with Lansberg and Colaiacovo tells the tale pretty well. Kyle Clifford brings the physical edge to the bottom unit the Leafs have needed for quite some time. He’ll keep the opponents on their toes like a Ryan Reeves or Zach Kassian, he’ll chip in with some offensive talent, and he’ll provide a different element to team play.

As mentioned, he can add some offense, albeit in a limited sense. This season, Clifford has scored six goals and added eight assists in 52 games. This isn’t ‘Rocket Richard’ level of production, but it makes the addition of a bruiser, not a net loss when it comes to offensive production, too.

Dubas patiently allowed Trevor Moore to come back from his lengthy concussion layoff and gave him five games to make an impact. Moore failed to score and had a -2 rating over this stretch, matching his slumping season where he’s scored just three goals and two assists this year.

Moore is a hard worker, small, skilled forward who is destined for a role on the bottom-six, with upside to move up the lineup in a pinch. Unfortunately for him, the Leafs have many players who fit this model and also have Jeremy Bracco and Nick Robertson who look to fill this position in the future. Dubas’ decision to move on from Moore at an instant to get Clifford in the deal shows his willingness to overlook history and fond feelings to improve the team, while also sending Moore back to California, where he’s from, to ease the move as a silver lining.

Overall, the Leafs received a better backup goalie with the potential to sign him for future seasons and added a physical, player-protecting enforcer all for the cost of Trevor Moore, San Jose’s 3rd round pick, and a conditional third-round pick. Great value for the price paid. Kyle Dubas has done it again, bolstered the team early to gel the players, increase their impact with more time left in the season, and operating prior to the trade market being set near the deadline. Another home run for the GM.

Man William Nylander is so overpaid, right? … Right?!?

People actually still think this. They live among us. They comment on the same posts you do on Facebook and Twitter! It’s crazy to think about it because he’s out-producing his contract value more and more as the season goes on.

Last night Nylander hit the 23-goal mark, a level he’s never hit before. Just as a reminder, people were upset and asking for Kyle Dubas to be fired because he was paying his star players on projected numbers rather than rewarding them for what they’ve already done.

His goal totals by NHL season are as follows:

  • 2015/2016: 6 goals in 22 games
  • 2016/2017: 22 goals in 81 games
  • 2017/2018: 20 goals in 82 games
  • 2018/2019: 7 goals in 54 games
  • 2019/2020: 23 goals in 50 games*
    *indicates season still ongoing

His 23rd goal of the season last night puts him on pace for just under 38 goals this season, and at $6.9 million that is an absolute bargain. You have to take into consideration as well that William Nylander has had a sort of renaissance since the firing of Mike Babcock, a coach who notably hated playing Nylander and would punish him by demoting him midgame.

So, why is Nylander performing much better this season than he had in the past? Well because he changed his number to 88 obviously. He’s a new-age Eric Lindros and the Leafs have this goal-scoring physical wrecking crew on the books for four more seasons after this, so things are looking up.

In all seriousness, there are two reasons I can see: he’s grown up and matured, and he’s now playing with John Tavares. His maturity seemingly took a big step forward after last season’s playoff run ended. The team needed to be better, and for whatever reason, Nylander took that on himself. He rebranded with a new number, he extended an olive branch to the fanbase that soured on him over his holdout by coving the cost of jersey restitching, and he took the World Hockey Championships seriously, using the tournament as a jumping-off point for his new commitment to hockey.

Moving to Tavares’ line cannot be understated in why Nylander has developed into a more threatening and complete player. Complete in the sense that he is more consistent offensively – I’m not going to try and argue he’s a defensive beast or anything like that. Tavares gets into the hard spots on the ice and wins puck battles in deep, freeing up time and ensuring possession for the lethal sniper that Nylander is.

Tavares’ grinding style of hockey is more predictable than Auston Matthews’ and this surely benefits the more creative Nylander to be the unpredictable element on the unit. He’s also thrived on a line that has seen different forwards factor in at leftwing, so clearly it’s all about how he and his centerman work together.

People are going to hate Nylander regardless of his offensive output. Probably because they can’t get over that he held out against their team, or because they’re jealous of his long hair and timeless good looks. It doesn’t matter because Nylander is a legit superstar and his long-term status at the club is nothing but a positive for Leafs Nation and a gold star on Kyle Dubas’ resume.

The rise of Pierre Engvall makes injured Leafs star trade bait

Don’t look now, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are the hottest team in the NHL right now and it’s not without adversity. With injuries making an impact, the team’s depth has stepped up and held strong.

Capping off a brilliant play from Kasperi Kapanen, Pierre Engvall calmly and assertively finished a one-handed dangle pass from the Fin to put the Leafs ahead and eventually win it for the Buds against the steady Islanders. The 23-year-old Swedish forward has looked the part after ascending to the Show on November 19th.

He’s played in 21 games this season since his debut, and in that time has quietly put up ten points (six goals, four assists) and is up to a +6 rating on the year. His play has clearly impressed his former AHL coach and current NHL coach, too as his TOI has jumped from an average of 9:40/game in his first five games to 13:40/game in his most recent five games.

Sheldon Keefe uses the third line as a carrot on a stick for his depth players; perform when called up on the bottom unit, and your ice time will increase as you rise through the lineup. We saw it with Conor Brown, Trevor Moore, and now Engvall, with Mason Marchment hopeful to follow suit.

With Trevor Moore, Ilya Mikheyev, and Andreas Johnsson both injured and out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, both Engvall and Marchment have received the call to fill out the bottom-six. Engvall’s ease into the lineup and chemistry with Kasperi Kapanen (and any Marlies former teammate) has him the likely candidate to remain once Johnsson and Moore do come back.

The question then must be asked, should the Leafs look to improve elsewhere on the team by sacrificing Johnsson or another solidified forward? Engvall has shown the depth can take the step up from the AHL level, along with Dmytro Timashov, Mason Marchment, and Justin Holl.

Ultimately there isn’t any pressure on Dubas to make a move right now, the defense is playing better than ever and the backup goalie just got a shutout for his third consecutive win. Engvall represents the area in which the Leafs can afford to cut ties on high-ish contract players to beef up elsewhere. Nothing seems imminent, but come deadline time don’t be surprised…

Why the Leafs season-long adversity will define their season

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently without Trevor Moore and Ilya Mikheyev for the foreseeable future due to individual injuries to the bottom-six stars. This, compacted with previous adversity will define the Buds’ season.

There has been no shortage of controversy for the Leafs this season. It started in the offseason, continued through a turbulent start, and has been extended through the holiday break by stacking injuries. Whatever this season holds for the Leafs, it will be defined by how the team reacted to the relentless adversity faced.

Mitch Marner sets the stage

Leave it to the best playmaker on the roster to set the season up for some “fun” and “exciting” storylines by flirting with a holdout a la William Nylander! With bated breath and on pins and needles Leafs Nation was glued to SportsCenter and Twitter to try and get some updated on their 1-A star Mitch Marner signing.

The deal was concluded in the 11th hour as training camp approached, with Marner leaving GM Kyle Dubas with a little egg on his face, forcing him to pay for the prospective rather than what he’s already shown the team. Regardless, the tension between Marner and the fanbase was palpable, downplayed by the happiness that he actually signed. His play this season has turned and now all seems to be forgotten as the team is on the rise.

Babcock? More like Badcock!

Who would have thought that the hard-nosed, old school, hit and bash em’ coach with a laundry list of players who don’t speak too highly of him after being coached by him would be a bad guy? Well, as it turns out, he was a bad dude and not just in his past! The main example of this was Babcock getting Marner to rank his teammates on effort levels, then alienating the young star (rookie season) by revealing this list to the team with him in attendance.

Dubas and Shanahan cut ties with Babcock before December, promoting AHL Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe, the in house heir to the coaching throne. Under Keefe the Leafs have gone 12-4-1, correcting their early-season slump and shooting back up the standings.

Bah, hum-(injury)-big!

As it stands right now, excluding Nathan Horton and David Clarkson’s career-ending injuries, the Leafs are without Andreas Johnsson (Dec. 3rd) with a leg injury, Trevor Moore (Dec. 22nd) with a concussion, Ilya Mikheyev (Dec. 26th) with a wrist laceration, and Jake Muzzin (Dec. 26th) with a broken foot. Those are four massive injuries to a top-six forward, top-four defenseman, and two bottom-six (with upside) forwards who play key roles.

As a result, we’ve seen Martin Marincin and Adam Brooks get the call up from the Marlies to match the use of Pierre Engvall and Dimtryo Timashov who have been fixtures in the lineup under Keefe. The organizational depth built by Shanahan and Dubas will be critically tested, as it already has been, and the resiliency of the players will ultimately define in the team’s sustained success; this means the depth players stepping up but also the star players carrying more than their load in the interim. So far so good, but time will tell if this resurgence can continue through to a playoff berth and push.

Kyle Dubas “willing to bet my career” on Leafs success under Keefe… LFG Leafs

Never once has Kyle Dubas said anything more than the cookie-cutter support message about Mike Babcock, that is until now. With his guy finally behind the bench Kyle Dubas is all in on Sheldon Keefe leading the Leafs to sustained success.

Mike Babcock was the final piece of the Lou Lamoriello era gone. Patrick Marleau went at a steep price, Lamoriello and Hunter both shipped out, Matt Martin and Leo Komarov gone, and now the head coach Mike Babcock axed – all by Kyle Dubas.

The glasses-wearing, new-age thinking, NHL-unproven GM has been ruthless in shaping the Leafs team into his own vision. The latest and final move, relieving Babcock of his coaching duties, forced MLSE to open their wallet and cut ties with the faltering coach and proves the GM is all in on “HIS” team with the highest stakes.

While talking on TSN radio Thursday, Dubas shared his thoughts on Sheldon Keefe’s hiring stating the team didn’t look at any other options to replace Babcock. Makes sense too with Keefe following his GM from the OHL to the AHL and finally to the NHL. That being said, Dubas went one step further in pushing his chips in the middle, staking his own job on the faith he has in his coach to get the job done, specifically playing hockey the way they want to play – without physicality and “brute toughness.”

These actual words left Dubas’ mouth, “I am willing to bet, I guess, my job and my career on it” when talking about the Leafs having success playing fast, skilled hockey and being a dominant team playing this way. Bryan Hayes gave the GM the floor and Dubas took full advantage of the opportunity, giving a detailed and passionate message to the fanbase about a changed mentality with the team.

All I can say is lets fucking go, boys! No cookie-cutter any more, no lob-ball pitches and predictable answers for Dubas. This is now his team with his players run by him and his coach. All the success will come back to him but so to will the questions about the system and the doubt along the way. I love that the GM is betting on himself. And, the freedom in which Keefe coaches could make Dubas a big winner in the big picture.

Will (and should) Kyle Dubas abandon his team structure and trade for linked “Grit Guy”?

The Leafs fended off Ryan Reeves and the Las Vegas Golden Knights to earn their third straight win to stay undefeated in November. And, while Reeves decided to leave the Buds’ stars alone, will and should Kyle Dubas bring in the linked-to enforcer a lot of people think they need?

Kyle Clifford – the enforcer the Leafs ‘need’?

With the LA Kings passing through town the trade rumor popped up – are the Leafs trying to bring in Kyle Clifford to defend their young stars? Maybe it was created simply because the two teams faced off recently, but regardless the link makes sense when you examine the strikes against the Leafs.

Not since Matt Martin have the Leafs had a legitimate fighter on their team, and the younger Leafs players adored him. Martin was close with Mitch Marner above anyone else on the team, and it makes sense – Marner needs the freedom that an enforcer brings to the team to create offense by keeping the opposition in check from debilitating checks or cheap shots. The same goes for Matthews, Nylander, Rielly, Barrie, and realistically every other Leaf on the roster.

Clifford would slot in on the fourth line’s left-wing. This unit is made up of Trevor Moore, Frederick Gauthier, Dmytro Timashov, Jason Spezza, and Nick Shore, meaning that someone will lose their job indefinitely to facilitate another member of the fourth line timeshare. If the Leafs brought him in, it should be mentioned, he wouldn’t be an everyday starter. If Reeves’ Knights are in town -throw him in, if the Bruins are on the schedule next – Clifford starts, but this team build on speed and will keep that mantra alive in games where he isn’t needed.

Statistically speaking, the 28-year-old enforcer had his best offensive season in the NHL last year, RACKING UP 21 points and 96 penalty minutes in his 72 games played. You don’t trade for Clifford’s point production though, you trade for him to add some grit, truculence and to shut up the likes of Brian Burke for five seconds.

Would this be a “loss” for Kyle Dubas?

Many Dubas haters would look at a trade for Clifford as him buckling under fan-pressure and recanting on his beliefs that this Leafs team doesn’t need a physical element. On the contrary, however, I – a loud and proud Kyle Dubas supporter (go Badgers) – think this can and should be spun in a positive light should he pull the trigger on a deal.

Only Siths deal in absolutes and Kyle Dubas opening up to the folly of his current game plan for team selection would show growth and an open mind in a business full of arrogant, uncompromising executives.

If anything, Dubas has shown that he is forward-thinking and on the cutting-edge of new-age NHL ideology. What he needs to now show is that he is still connected to the now, connected to the fans and that he isn’t going to ignore history over the past few playoff runs and try to out-skate physicality.

I’m all for the Leafs being a fast, dynamic team that burns you with speed and relentless effort of grinding you down over the extent of a game. I am also a strong believer that protecting your assets on the ice and policing through players should be adopted by this team. Don’t abandon the makeup of this team, but sacrifice some game time to make your stars feel protected in-game.

Yes, Maple Leafs, I am ready to run through a brick wall – season hype video is here

Nothing is better than the annual Toronto Maple Leafs hype video getting released to get the juices flowing. The 2019/20 video is here and the question has been asked, who’s ready to run through a brick wall.

Image result for Hand raise gif

Without hesitation, the answer is yes. With the theme of “the next chapter” as the message in the video, the goal of erasing the marks left from seasons prior falls on the landscape of downtown Toronto. Blue paint in hand, here it is:

The unexpected best part of all of this is the tweet to follow and the answer it conjured up…

Couple things going on here: our GM is on twitter pumping up the fanbase with his pro-Leafs tweets, he’s ready to go through a brick wall with his grandma who he tagged, and the Leafs Twitter admin’s gif game is on point.

One day left before the puck drops and I believe I can speak for every card-carrying member of Leafs Nation when I say it can’t come soon enough. The video encapsulates everything Leafs fans want from this season, which is basically just one thing. No more living on the history of the franchise and no more relying on on-paper talent. Rewrite the script and earn everything yourselves. Time to define the new era Leafs.

Me RN:

Image result for run through a brick wall gif

More offer sheet bullshit with Mitch Marner

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mitch Marner to a 6-year $10.893 million contract, with the forward graciously leaving $107k on the table for a hometown discount. We all thought the bullshit would end with his signature but notable asshole Darren Farris continues to talk offer sheets.

The claim from Marner’s agent Ferris on TSN radio is that two offer sheets were on the table for Mitch. But, because Marner was fully motivated to stay a Maple Leaf, he declined both of them by not signing. This… this doesn’t make sense.

Kyle Dubas had cast doubt on the Marner offer sheet situation earlier this summer, basically warning teams that if they try to mess up the Leafs cap with a ridiculous offer they may just have to pay the compensation. However, unlike paid SportsNet analyst and resident “old-man yelling-at-clouds” Brian Burke, Dubas understands the cap and knew he could fit Marner in, regardless of the offers.

So, why not force Toronto’s hand and sign an offer sheet if you’re Mitch Marner, you know because you want to be a Maple Leaf? You get a quick resolution to the contract dispute and don’t have to sour the fanbase while threatening to miss games or training camp. It’s a win-win, right?

In reality, the offer sheets weren’t considered by Marner because they were almost certainly long-term deals, similar to what he eventually signed in Toronto, and it makes sense. What team is going to give up either four first-round picks (if the contract was over $10.5m) or two first-round picks, a second-round pick, and a third-round pick (contract value between $8.5 – $10.5m) for a three-year bridge deal?

We all know Marner wanted a short term deal, end-loaded to maximize his qualifying offer before hitting free agency. It’s exactly the reason why teams didn’t offer a deal like that to him – because any team that could afford to do it aren’t three to four years away from contending with Mitch Marner, especially without draft capital.

As far as I can tell, Ferris is going to the media and selling the story of declined offer sheets to try and win back the favor of Leafs Nation. It’s a shallow attempt; Leaf fans would rather hear that Marner wanted to maximize his value as a generational player over being spoon-fed shit like this fairy tale Ferris has crapped out.

Can we all just move on from this now and win a handful of Stanley Cups before the next contract situation pops up? Marner got a great deal by flirting with derailing the Leaf’s season, resulting in a good bit of personal business. Hopefully, the contract talk resides for a bit, now.

I’m already tired of hearing how much Morgan Rielly is going to make or is Woll/Scott are ready to replace Freddy Andersen as cheap cap options in a few years time.

Maple Leafs Hot Take: Timothy Liljegren will partner with Morgan Rielly

Nothing like a hot take to bridge the gap between the offseason and the regular season, right? As far as hot takes go this one I guess it’s pretty hot, as SportsNet and TSN are reporting the exact opposite of it.

Oh well, here it is: Timothy Liljegren is still going to open the season beside Morgan Rielly.

This is more about Mike Babcock’s options, and Tyson Barrie’s recent comments then it is about finding the most well-suited partner for the should-have-been Norris Trophy winner last season. With both taken into consideration, it’s got to be all about Liljegren so let’s start with options.

Right-Shot Options

Kyle Dubas did a hell of a job reforming the Leafs D-core last season in an attempt to balance out the left-shot/right-shot defenders on the team. Of the players brought in, Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci top the list of high-end talent (Barrie is leagues above Ceci, I know) new recruits.

Morgan Rielly, as we all know, is an offensive beast. His skating opens up so many opportunities for himself and his teammates, while his shoot and passing stack up the points for him, 72 points last season to be exact. He did all of this with Ron Hainsey on his line, too, which makes it even more impressive. Hainsey wasn’t an offensive factor, but his responsible play allowed Rielly to jump up in attack more freely.

Barrie is a right-shot version of Morgan Rielly. For this exact reason the duo wouldn’t work, despite the excitement they would create as a unit. Ceci is more of a reclamation project than he is a top-pairing option, despite his dollar value and right-shot status.

That leaves Jordan Schmaltz, Justin Holl, Joseph Duszak, and Timothy Liljegren as in-house options to pair with Rielly. Schmaltz and Holl are destined for a time-share on the bottom unit and Duszak is great but too green to make the team just yet. That leaves Liljegren, the former first-rounder, as the defacto option.

Liljegren developed some terrific chemistry with Rasmus Sandin last season, a player who makes an impact with offensive contribution from the back end. Liljegren has been forced to develop into more of a two-way, defense-first defenseman, although his specialty is really outletting the puck. Sandin benefitted from Liljegren’s first pass ability last season, and Rielly will too come October.

Barrie wants blueline reunion

In recent comments relayed by TSN’s Kristen Shilton, Tyson Barries thinks he’ll be reunited with World Cup partner Jake Muzzin; “I love playing with Muz. I played with him at World Championships…when we won. He’s a pleasure to play with, a very poised, smart guy. He’s got a lot of experience and he talks a lot.”

It’s always nice when you can see successful players reunite in a new scenario. Barrie and Muzzin makes a lot of sense from a player perspective, and Babcock knows how the duo will play together. Shilton also reported that preliminary skates have Muzzin and Barrie paired up already.

Rielly has been skating with Ceci in informal skates, but allow me to dig myself out of this hole if I may. Quite simply, Liljegren will win the position over Ceci as training camp goes on. The obvious partner for Rielly to start is Ceci, I’ll admit that but there is no history with the players like Muzzin and Barrie, so this pairing is up for debate still (in my opinion).

Liljegren will pass Ceci for the same reason the Leafs were able to trade Dion Phaneuf without retaining any salary – Mike Babcock will pick each situation and minute Ceci plays to maximize his value on the team this year.


I fully expect Cody Ceci to get every opportunity to play alongside Morgan Rielly this season and soak up the majority of minutes of training camp alongside the Leafs defensive leader. I also think Ceci winning this position would be the best-case scenario for the team this season, but that is unrealistic.

I’ve even gone on record saying that Cody Ceci is primed to be the Leafs most surprising player this year, but I think Ceci being surprisingly good would be an NHL-best bottom-pairing player who can play intelligently in limited situations.

Liljegren is one of the key parts to the future of the Leafs defensive core and is a homegrown talent. The time needs to be invested in the youth movement to prove the NHL pathway exists for prospects, and to provide some cap relief to a contractually uncertain team moving forward. Ceci may have the upper hand now, but Liljegren is my dark horse for Morgan Rielly’s partner come October.

Maple Leafs trade for Marner replacement, bring back former TML legend

The Leafs continue to make major splashes around the NHL via trade. This time Kyle Dubas brought back a former fan favorite and massive free-agent signing David Clarkson to replace Mitch Marner on the top unit’s rightwing. Size and physicality > speed and skill.

If you’ve made it this far, past the ridiculous title and egregious opening sub-heading paragraph, then congratulations, you didn’t take the bait! Yes, the Leafs signed David Clarkson again but obviously this deal is to facilitate the re-signing of Mitch Marner, not replacement of him.

This post will be short and sweet, but the cap really needs to be tipped to Kyle Dubas and Brandon Pridham (Leafs capologist) for finding ways to maximize assets and work around the tight, hard cap. Also, Brenden Shannahan deserves credit as well for his assembling of this Avengers-esque team of front office superheroes.

Say what you will about the Leafs on the ice, most notably that they can’t get past Boston, are small, they don’t fight or hit, etc., but the way the organization is being run is nothing short of amazing. The mix of on-ice assessment of skill, statistical input, and maximum cap negotiation has created this hybrid team that hopefully can push to the next level this season.

By the way, let’s all be smart with the Mitch Marner situation too. It’s likely that he won’t sign until the season starts to allow for Nathan Horton and David Clarkson to be shifted to LTIR, opening up approximately $10.5m in cap space for his contract. This then means that a deal for Marner to sign with Toronto is all but confirmed behind the scenes, with the ink to dry on the first day of the season.

No berating the player and no slating the GM please, not until Marner actually signs an offer sheet, hold out like Nylander did, or refuses to sign and requests a trade. A lot of finagling and positioning needs to be done behind doors to make this difficult (and expensive) puzzle come together.

And for all of those fans suggesting Clarkson will bring some size, physicality, and grit to the line up this season… just give your head a shake.