Expansion drafts are fun, 34 team leagues decidedly less so

There are a lot of fun things that go along with expansion. You get to wait for the team name, the logo, the jersey, there’s all the speculation that goes into the expansion draft and some fun roster fallout (or decidedly less fun if you briefly have Jared McCann on your roster and then lose him in favour of keeping Justin Holl.) Yeah, expansion has a lot of fun elements to it and expanding to 32 teams wasn’t the worst thing for the NHL. It gave the league a nice even divisional/conference balance and now half the league makes the playoffs and the other half doesn’t. Expanding to 32 teams was the next best thing to shrinking the league back down to 21 teams, 24 if you want a bit more of that conference/division symmetry.
Of course, the NHL apparently can’t leave well enough alone and looks be considering expansion again.

👀 🤐.@espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey @DKSportsbook #HockeyTwitter https://t.co/g8aLnSVQgJ
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) March 5, 2023

At least we’ll assume that’s what the eyeballs from Kevin Weekes means. It’s great that he was able to take enough time to tag his favourite sportsbook but was too busy to add any context to the retweet.
Fortunately, plenty of others have been trying to add context to it and the NHL’s taken the first step towards expansion by denying that it is happening and that’s why it’s time to weigh in on this nonsense because in addition to the alluded to Houston and Atlanta locations above, people are taking the opportunity to talk about Quebec City and the most relevant of locations to a Leafs site, a second team being placed in Toronto.
We’ll save the Toronto thing for last and start with the painful suggestion of the NHL trying Atlanta for the third time. Much like how the NHL has a hard time letting go of the Phoenix market given its size and the success of sports leagues there, …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays may head into the 2023 season with three catchers, which isn’t a bad thing

As we move further along in the off-season, it’s more unlikely that the Jays will find a trade partner for one of their three catchers.

The big question is if this is bad, which I believe it isn’t. While numerous teams are still looking for backstop help, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks, the market for trading catchers isn’t quite great. 
This is reflected by the return that the Oakland Athletics got, granted the Milwaukee Brewers absolutely messed that trade up. 
Either way, we’ll look at why everyone wanted a catcher moved and who they’re in a position to avoid doing so. We’ll also look at why it really isn’t a bad idea for the Jays to have three catchers on the 26-man roster.
Trade a catcher because the Jays have a surplus:
The Jays have three MLB-quality catchers: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno. So at a certain point, it actually made sense to trade one for starting pitching help or an outfielder. However, the Jays already have filled the need for a middle-of-the-rotation start by acquiring Chris Bassitt in free agency.
The only gaping hole that remains on the 2023 Blue Jays roster is a left-handed batting outfielder, but that can also be filled with an a …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation