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Mailbag: A Message of Hope

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World Juniors, Expansion draft and Kid Cudi

2020 IIHF World U20 Championship, quarter-finals: Canada vs Slovakia Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images

Welcome to the mailbag! You asked, I answered.

From Alex Dagner(@alexdagner2): Does Bo Byram actually make the team out of camp this season?

Yes. Byram will be part of the roster in some fashion. I see him been a player that rotates in and out to start the season before taking a full time role towards the end and heading into the playoffs. Injuries also will happen. Craming 56 games in a short period of time will take a toll on players and I expect he will be inserted full time when they start to happen. If I had to guess where he start it would be on the 3rd pair with Cole. I also think Timmins will be very much in play to earn a full time role too. My expectation is that both will be full time players come the end of the season for the Avs.

From Jackie (@tigervixxxen): WJC Predictions? Medals and MVP, top D and G honors

Like all short tournaments, the team that can gel the fastest and get stellar goaltending the quickest will more often than not come out on top. That been said, I believe this is Canada’s tournament to lose. They are a very, very deep team. The catch with Canada will be goalies and coaching (yep coaching). Unlike Russia or the USA, Canada does not have a set and forget goalie here. One of Levi (Florida ’20) Garand (NYR ’20) or Gauthier (undrafted) will have to step up and go toe to toe with Spencer Knight of the USA (Florida ’19), Yaroslav Askarov (Nashville ’20) of Russia and top 2021 goalie Jesper Wallstedt from Sweden. With coaching, they have to play the hot hand. Don’t play favorites, remove your ego and let the best play. We saw in the 2018 WJC that Cale Makar was one of the best defensemen in the tournament and he was treated like a 6th defensemen. You can’t do that.

Predications:

MVP: Kirby Dach (Canada)

Top Forward: Kirby Dach (Canada)

Top Defender: Bowen Byram (Canada)

Top Goalie: Yaroslav Askarov (Russia)

All Star Forwards: Trevor Zegras (USA) Kirby Dach (Finland) Alexander Holtz (Sweden)

All Star Defensemen: Bowen Byram (Canada) Ville Henola (Finland)

All Star Goalie: Yaroslav Askarov (Russia)

Honorable Mentions: Anton Lundell (Finland) Matt Boldy (USA) Lucas Raymond (Sweden) Jamie Drysdale (Canada) Emil Andrae (Sweden) Jesper Wallstedt (Sweden)

Gold: Canada

Silver: Russia

Bronze: USA

4th Sweden

From Meeshie (@Hardycharchar) & Eddie Bleau (@ebleau_26): What do you think Justin Barron’s role will be for team Canada?

Barron’s role with team Canada will likely be a 5th or 6th defender with a chance to sneak into the 2nd PK duties. Byram and Jamie Drysdale will be the horses for team Canada, taking the 1st and 2nd PP role with Bryam also manning the PK1. Barron was paired with defensive defender Kaiden Guhle (Mon ’20) during the team scrimmages and I think they will start with that pair come December 25. But, I do think there will be a short leash with that pairing. Barron is going to have to play smart to stay in the line up. While I believe he will and he will be a sneaky star on the back end for Canada, his role will be lots of 5v5 time and being tasked with stopping the opponents bottom 6 lines. Canada will win a lot of games because of their depth. That’s where Barron will make his money.

From Griffin Dreifaldt (@griffin_drei): Do you believe Erik Johnson gets traded this season?

No. Erik Johnson will not be traded this season. He has a $6m cap hit, NMC and NTC. In a time where teams are trying to shed money in a flat cap world, taking on a $6m cap hit for bottom pair defender would be bad business. He is also in his 30s and keeps getting hurt. So I don’t see him been traded.

From Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie): Why was Cudi’s album so much better than Taylor Swifts? And Pursuit of Happiness or Erase Me?

Coming with “guns same size as Kevin Hart” questions! Let’s be honest here, I liked Folklore. It was different but still Taylor. You knew what you were getting. Evermore wasn’t as good, it followed the same personnel and sounds as Folklore that dropped 5 months earlier. It was too much of the same, too soon for me.

Man on the Moon III: The Chosen was the much awaited Kid Cudi album that was four years in the making, that had a message we all needed to hear: You do not have to do it alone. What a message. After what 2020 brought, the struggle, the unknown, the political unrest, having a message of hope that you don’t have to struggle alone is something we all needed to hear. Cudi explores different sounds that write very well with the story he is telling. It was one of the very few albums that I will listen to in its entirety. “Lovin’ Me” featuring Phoebe Bridgers has got Owl City vibe with some electro-indie thrown in was amazing. “Mr. Solo Dolo III” was the highlight song for me. A song you can just play while sitting and lose yourself in the beat and the lyrics. He ends album with the message, in the song “4 Da Kidz”

“Feeling alone? Just know you are not / We won’t leave you alone.”

Putting everything that he is, from his inner demons, insecurities with the hope we might help someone else, his words are written in stone with the melodies and riffs that no one can create quite like Cudi.

Pursuit of Happiness for me. But its not by much. Pursuit of Happiness and Erase Me are both phenomenal in their own rights.