The case for and against leaving Jared McCann exposed in the expansion draft

The case for and against leaving Jared McCann exposed in the expansion draft

When the Leafs announced they had acquired Jared McCann at a very low cost, fans were ecstatic that the team was adding a talented player at a reduced rate which would help the team on the path towards improving on the previous season’s unfortunate finale. So eyebrows were raised when they left him exposed ahead of the expansion draft, and then confusion turned to anger once reports came out that he was the player taken by the Seattle Kraken.
The frustration stem from the decision to leave Alexander Kerfoot unprotected when there were rumblings that he would be moved and with Justin Holl being one of the four defencemen protected despite a regression in the latter half of the 2021 campaign. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a major concern given the team views itself as a contender looking to do damage in the postseason. With the Leafs, these are not normal circumstances, especially because they were fresh off their biggest blown lead yet and the fanbase’s anger towards the team’s shortcomings is at an all-time high.
Now, there’s no question losing a player of McCann’s calibre stings, even if he isn’t high on …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

When will Joey Anderson be in the Maple Leafs lineup?

Joey Anderson, the player who was acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils. I’m sure you remember it.
Not many people know much about Anderson though, or what he could provide to the Maple Leafs’ organization. Today, I have everything from what type of player he is, to when he could be in the Leafs lineup full-time.
I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who need to step up without Chris Boucher

Toronto Raptors: 3 players who need to step up without Chris Boucher

The Toronto Raptors saw all of the positive momentum they acquired during a win over the Brooklyn Nets, their fourth consecutive win, blunted when they were dealt some grim injury news about standout reserve Chris Boucher. Boucher left the win with what was termed a left knee sprain, meaning that there is a good chance […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 players who need to step up without Chris Boucher – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. and his historic start with the Raptors

Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. and his historic start with the Raptors

Newly acquired guard Gary Trent Jr. has made quite the impression through his first handful of games with the Toronto Raptors. Trent was the main piece coming back to Toronto in the Norman Powell trade, wherein he was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers on trade deadline day almost two weeks ago. This deal showed […]
Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. and his historic start with the Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

3 things the Leafs need to do to become Stanley Cup contenders

Last year’s season was an unexpected one. Newly acquired Tyson Barrie didn’t pan out, there were a ton of injuries and the Leafs were a very inconsistent hockey team.
But there’s a list of requirements that Kyle Dubas needs to hit to make sure Toronto is ready to go for next season, as well as the playoffs.
Dubas said he wasn’t done making trades and that’s one place he needs to be perfect in, if he wants success next year. There’s also a few other things on his to-do list, but you have to watch the video to find out.

 

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Clifford-Campbell Conditions Corrected for COVID Compromise

It was a simpler time when the Leafs acquired bruising forward Kyle Clifford and Chief Cheerfulness Officer Jack Campbell on February 5th, 2020. The deal, which sent the large-posteriored Trevor Moore and two third-round draft picks (one conditional, we’ll get to that) to the Los Angeles Kings, was made just moments after another disastrous performance by then-backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson, as the Leafs dropped a 5-3 decision to the New York Rangers.
Little did the Leafs, or any of us, know that within five weeks a pandemic would bring the NHL season to a screeching halt. Not only did this complicate everyday citizens’ vacation plans, child care arrangements and personal hygiene efforts, but it also complicated the conditions placed on a 2021 third rounder included in the deal.
Almost five months after the NHL paused their season and just a day before the start of the qualifying round for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the league did some housekeeping to re-frame the conditions of trades impacted by the loss of the rest of the regular season and the unique nature of its playoffs.

The NHL has also amended conditions in the TOR/LA Feb. 5 trade: The #leafs owe the #LAKings …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Tyson Barrie this summer

Of all the players the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired this past off-season, I was most thrilled to witness Tyson Barrie become (one of) their best defencemen. I, and most of us were shocked with what we observed.
Let’s begin with his inaugural game in a Maple Leafs uniform; two assists. “Okay, he’s off to a great start.” Two games later, Barrie does it again; two more assists. “Alright, I didn’t think he’d be this good!”
While fans were ecstatic about the player they thought would bring balance to the defence core, we didn’t expect the devastating future ahead. After tallying four assists in his first three games, Barrie was held to just one point in his next 18 and still, he was without a goal.
That was until news surfaced about there being a possible coaching change coming. In the two final games under Babcock, the 28-year-old tallied an assist in each appearance.
And then the inevitable happened:

Brendan Shanahan and Kyle Dubas told Mike Babcock he was fired today. Shanahan flew to Arizona from Toronto today to be there. It was Shanahan, of course, who …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs acquire Campbell, Clifford from Kings

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced Wednesday night.
In exchange, the Leafs have sent forward Trevor Moore, Columbus’ third round pick in the 2020 draft and a conditional third round pick in 2021.

The Kings will retain 50 percent of Clifford’s contract in the trade, the Maple Leafs announced.

The @MapleLeafs have acquired goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Trevor Moore, Columbus’ third round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional third round pick in 2021. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 6, 2020

Campbell, 28, has started 20 games for the Kings this year posting a .900 save percentage and a 2.85 GAA. Over his five-year career, Campbell has appeared in 58 games posting a .916 save percentage and a 2.58 GAA.
He is a UFA at the end of the season and carries a cap hit of $1.65-million.
Clifford, 29, has six goals and eight assists for the Kings in 53 games with the Kings this year. Clifford, a UFA at the end of the season, carries a cap hit of $1.6-million, but only $800k will count against the Leafs cap with the …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Santiago Espinal is becoming a real prospect

When the Blue Jays acquired Santiago Espinal from the Boston Red Sox he was as fringe as prospects can be. His “claim to fame” so to speak was a mention in a 2018 Carson Cistulli Fringe Five article at Fangraphs. That was the only time being mentioned in a Fringe Five post and had Cistulli not been hired by the Blue Jays it is possible Espinal would have made a couple more appearances in that series this year, as his play this season has warranted attention.
Espinal spent the majority of the season in Double-A where he turned in a respectable batting line of .278/.343/.381, good for a 115 wRC+, in 94 games, per Fangraphs. He made a fair amount of contact, only striking out 12.2% of the time with just a 7.0% swinging strike rate, both of which ranked in the top 10 among qualified Double-A hitters. He has a good idea of the strike zone, having a walk rate of 8.6%. This is what Espinal has done at every stop in the minors, and this is part of what garnered him a mention in that Fringe Five column. 
The other part of his game that got Espinal into that Fringe Five piece was his ability to …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation