Chris Boucher, Thad Young return to Raptors: Instant analysis

Chris Boucher, Thad Young return to Raptors: Instant analysis

The Toronto Raptors helped turn Chris Boucher from a G League player into one of the most impactful bench players in the league over the last few seasons. For the first time in what feels like forever, Masai Ujiri faced the genuine prospect of losing him and trade acquisition Thad Young in free agency to […]
Chris Boucher, Thad Young return to Raptors: Instant analysis – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors must make everyone available in Kevin Durant trade talks

Raptors must make everyone available in Kevin Durant trade talks

The Toronto Raptors can take solace in the fact that the Brooklyn Nets‘ grand experiment featuring a collection of superstars has imploded before it really ever began. After the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving, it appears as though Kevin Durant is calling time on his time in New York. Durant asked Nets owner Joe Tsai for […]
Raptors must make everyone available in Kevin Durant trade talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Pre-Series Notes: The shorthanded Rays roll into Toronto for a five-game set with the Blue Jays

As a result of the lockout pushing the start of the season back and Major League Baseball not wanting to go deeper into October and November, teams will be playing some scheduled double-headers in order to squeeze all 162 games into the calendar.

For the Blue Jays, this results in two different five-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. This one will feature a double-header on Saturday and then there’ll be another five-game set in mid-September with a double-header also on Saturday. Thankfully, both of these are being played in Toronto, as it would be unethical to make somebody play five games in four days at The Trop.
Anyways, the Rays roll into town hobbling through injuries, as catcher Mike Zunino, infielder Brandon Lowe, and centre fielder Kevin Kiermaier are on the 10-day Injured List while pitchers Tyler Glasnow, Pete Paribanks, Drew Rasmussen, J.P. Feyereisen, Nick Anderson, Andrew Kitteridge, and JT Chargois are all on the shelf.
The Rays will also be leaving a pair of arms, Brooks Raley and Ryan Thompson, in Tampa because they aren’t vaccinated…

Relievers Brooks Raley and Ryan Thompson will not be joining #Rays in Toronto for 5-game series due to the vaccination requirement. Will be placed on restricted list (no pay, service time), can be replaced on active roster. Several options under consideration at AAA Durham
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 29, 2022

Raley is a big loss to Tampa’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 91: Gearing up for a long weekend with the Tampa Bay Rays!

The Blue Jays nearly pulled off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox this week but some bullpen struggles resulted in a loss in the finale.

Pitching will be important this weekend as the Blue Jays are set to host the Tampa Bay Rays for five games. Tampa is a game-and-a-half behind Toronto in the standings and are rolling into town limping through multiple injuries.
On this episode of BJN Radio, we talked about the good and the bad from the Boston series and then looked ahead to the five-gamer with the Rays.
You can listen to the episode here… 
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Report: Maple Leafs willing to trade the rights to Ilya Mikheyev

While there was little speculation that Ilya Mikheyev might return to the Maple Leafs, it looks like the ship has officially sailed.
Reports surfaced late last summer that Mikheyev asked for a trade, but Toronto decided to keep him because they saw more in him. And while they did get more out of the 27-year-old, there was still the looming possibility he would leave.
It was a great season for Mikheyev, too, finishing the year with 32 points (21 goals and 11 assists) over a 53-game span. He played a key role on Toronto’s third line throughout, even getting some opportunity on the second line too.
Bringing back Mikheyev and Engvall vs. finding the next Mikheyev and Engvall
With yet another cap crunch, though, the Maple Leafs are left with having to let Mikheyev go elsewhere. But, they could send him off into the sunset via a trade for his signing rights.

Hearing TOR has notified teams the rights to Ilya Mikheyev are available if a team wishes to “jumpstart the process.”
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2022

The Maple Leafs did something similar with Zach Hyman last summer. It was evident that the two sides weren’t going to be able to strike a deal, so Toronto wanted to trade his rights. At that time, Edmonton was the clear frontrunner for him but they didn’t think it was worth it to trade for an extra year of Hyman.
So, Toronto got nothing for him and he walked right into free agency. The same could happen to the 27-year-old.
It’s not known what the Maple Leafs’ ask is for Mikheyev’s signing rights. I do believe, though, that it won’t be much of a haul if they do find a suitor. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming days.
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
Rumours: …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors showing interest in veteran Jazz wing Royce O’Neale

Raptors showing interest in veteran Jazz wing Royce O’Neale

The Toronto Raptors are finally ready to start making some big-name additions to the roster, as the annual free agent feeding frenzy will kick off properly over the next few days. Names like Royce O’Neale are expected to fly off the board to any number of worthy contenders. With the Utah Jazz potentially going in […]
Raptors showing interest in veteran Jazz wing Royce O’Neale – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 3 burning questions as 2022 free agent frenzy starts

Raptors: 3 burning questions as 2022 free agent frenzy starts

The Toronto Raptors are prepared for all hell to break loose on Thursday evening, as the start of NBA free agency will completely shake up the foundation of the league. Toronto’s Thad Young and Chris Boucher situations are just one of many variables Masai Ujiri needs to consider. The Raptors already saw one of their […]
Raptors: 3 burning questions as 2022 free agent frenzy starts – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Rasmus Sandin lands on Frank Seravalli’s offer sheet candidates list

Offer sheets are entertaining when you’re watching from afar, but would you enjoy it if a player from the Maple Leafs received an offer sheet?
Well, that could be a possibility this off-season, according to DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
On Wednesday, the NHL insider released a list of seven players who are offer sheet candidates this summer. Third on the list is Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin.
From Seravalli:
“Sandin probably isn’t the first player you think of when you think about offer sheets, but an opportunity exists to get a quality player who can slide into your top six. Toronto’s cap crunch is obvious. Every $100,000 counts for the Leafs. With a new two-year, $1.4 million AAV deal for Timothy Liljegren, you can ballpark that Sandin is roughly in the same neighborhood for pay, though they play on opposite sides. An untimely regular season injury made him an easy candidate for healthy scratch in the playoffs, but the Leafs still view Sandin as having more upside than Liljegren. It probably wouldn’t take that much for the Leafs to walk away (by necessity). Would a one-year deal at $4.2 million be enough to get the job done? Compensation would be just a second-round pick. Even if it doesn’t work, for a division or conference rival, it would complicate life for the Leafs.”
Now the chances of this happening aren’t huge, but there’s always a possibility that th …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Potential under the radar Leafs goaltending targets

Hockey has changed. Gone are the days where a single goaltender can play 60 or more regular season games and then go on a long playoff run. The game is faster now and there is enough evidence in recent cup winners over the past decade to show that teams benefit much more from having a solid goaltending tandem as opposed to a single elite starter and a backup who only plays the second half of back-to-backs.
This tandem split can be most recently seen with the 2019 St. Louis Blues, 2018 Washington Capitals, and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins. Of those three teams, the most games played by a single goaltender was Braden Holtby’s 54 games with the Capitals.
It’s easy to believe that a more or less even split was the plan going into last season for the Leafs, but between injury troubles and Petr Mrazek having the worst season of his career, that plan was derailed and abandoned fast. Whether Jack Campbell is re-signed or not, the Leafs’ goaltenders need to be better overall, and with the team’s current cap situation (and the risk of bringing in a new face at a high cap number,) going after a brand-name goaltender might not be in the cards for next season.
There are, however, a number of goalies around the league who have put up excellent numbers in a backup or tandem role and have sort of flown under the radar for a while now. Any one of them could be an excellent …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Campbell can be moved for an asset, Sandin speculation, and the Fiala fallout

This week seems like Jack Campbell rumours are front and center so that’s going to make up the meat of what we’re dealing with here. The Leafs goaltender seems to be awfully close to being referred to as the Leafs former goaltender as none of the talk seems to be about him returning to Toronto.
via Larry Brooks
We’re told by one informant that New Jersey may attempt to jump the process by dealing for the 30-year-old’s rights if the Maple Leafs cannot or will not extend the netminder, who started more than 26 games (47) in a season for the first time in his career.
The idea would be to move Mackenzie Blackwood, whose career has somehow careened off course during a couple of drama-filled seasons this fragile team does not need. It also does not need an older veteran coming off injuries to serve as the backup; e.g., Corey Crawford; Jonathan Bernier.

via Mike Harrington
There’s no real sense the Sabres have any interest in Kuemper but that’s not the case when it comes to Jack Campbell of Toronto.

Kuemper, meanwhile, could be a fit in Toronto going forward if Campbell goes elsewhere. Campbell may want a deal of 3-4 years and the Sabres aren’t all that interested in that kind of term. Maybe they can get it down with a bigger offer in dollars, but the Sabres can’t leave themselves vulnerable either.

Alongside Darren Dreger’s statement of “he will probably get $6M” and we are clearly in the final days of Jack Campbell. Still. Let’s break down some of what is going on here.
Let’s start with what Mike Harrington said and couple it with Dreger’s statement. There is absolutely the possibility for an overpayment coming out of a team like Buffalo and relatively speaki …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation