How can the Leafs get the most out of Nick Robertson?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Leafs have a problem at left wing.
This was the story running rampant last summer and early in the 2021-22 season following the departure of Zach Hyman and the failed Nick Ritchie experiment. Michael Bunting was a revelation once he finally carved out his spot but here we are again, discussing the same issue one line lower in the forward group.
Alex Kerfoot, despite his versatility in the lineup, is going to be traded. The salary cap crunch demands a sacrifice that will leave a hole in the lineup in the form of a player who can play top-6 minutes, but isn’t necessarily the best choice to play alongside John Tavares and William Nylander. And in the wake of that impending loss, the Leafs need someone who can step in and fill that position.
That someone could be Nick Robertson.
The soon-to-be 21 year old forward was the Leafs’ second-round draft pick in 2019 and immediately had a breakout season in his final OHL year with 55 goals and 86 points in 46 games. Since turning pro and joining the Leafs in the 2020 playoff bubble, (dressing in four of the five games,) Robertson has only played in 65 total regular season games …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Raptors’ Nick Nurse has blunt take on OG Anunoby’s offensive role

Raptors’ Nick Nurse has blunt take on OG Anunoby’s offensive role

Before Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors were embroiled in the Kevin Durant trade fiesta over the last few weeks, rumors swirled seemingly nonstop around OG Anunoby. Reports suggested that Anunoby was reportedly frustrated with his role on the offensive side of the ball. Despite a sharp increase in points per game and usage rate […]
Raptors’ Nick Nurse has blunt take on OG Anunoby’s offensive role – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Pierre Engvall has signed a one-year extension with the Leafs

Mere moments before the salary arbitration deadline, Pierre Engvall has signed an extension with the Leafs.

We’ve signed forward Pierre Engvall to a one-year contract extension.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 17, 2022

The new contract pays him $2.25 million for the 2022-23 season, a nice pay raise given he is coming off a two-year deal that had a $1.25 million AAV.
Today was the deadline for RFAs with the option to file for arbitration could apply for one. Had Engvall decided to go this route, it would have established a hearing date for when he and the Leafs would debate over what the player should be paid and have that decided by a third-party arbitrator.
Avoiding this route entirely rids the team and Engvall of the pressure, meaning now the Leafs only have to worry about getting Rasmus Sandin’s contract sorted out since he is the last RFA they need to sign.
Engvall is coming off his breakout season where he set career highs all across the board with 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points, good enough for eighth on the team in scoring. He also added on three assists in seven playoff games, although all of them came in Game 3 against the Lightning. In addition, he posted some impressive underlying metrics all across the board at 5v5.
PLAYER
CF%
FF%
SF%
GF%
XGF%
SCF%
HDCF%
HDGF%
PDO
PIERRE ENGVALL
54.44
53.70
54.03
56.90
54.92
56.03
53.66
45.95
1.007
It was an impressive season that catapulted him to become one of the Leafs’ most important secondary scoring options and an integral part of the team’s future. Given that two-thirds of what made up a dominant third line made their departure in free agency, (Ilya Mikheyev and Ondrej Kase) getting Engvall to an extension was of the utmost importance and getting it done right at the deadline was a close call. Now the question remains who will be joining him and David Kampf to make up for the revamped third line.
As a result of Engvall’s contract, the Leafs are now $1.5 million over the salary cap heading into the 2022-23 season with 13 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goalies. A trade is almost certainly going to come in the weeks ahead that will clear up the necessary cap space to get Sandin’s contract done and add a top-six forward to the mix since improving the John Tavares line remains a top priority. (perhaps Nino Niederreiter or Sonny Milano)
Related:
Best of what’s left: pooper scooping free agency for the Leafs
Kyle Dubas’ summer is far from over, but he got a key piece under contract for next season. Now the focus shifts to their 2018 first-round pick and his new extension.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick.
Salary information from PuckPe …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

It’s Time to Fire Charlie Montoyo (Next Week)

In this space in August of 2019, way back in the before times, I wrote an article advocating for the Blue Jays to move on from Charlie Montoyo.

You can go ahead and read it if you’d like, but the gist of it was that Montoyo was a truly awful tactical manager that wasn’t only costing the team victories, but was also leading to players getting hurt. I felt those deficiencies in his style were not worth whatever intangible positives he brought to the clubhouse with his mentorship and vibes, for a lack of a better term. The Blue Jays front office clearly disagreed, as, much to the chagrin of many fans, Montoyo is still around.
I believe the time has come for this conversation to happen again. Ironically, I think Montoyo has drastically improved his in-game management since 2019. The number of mind-boggling moves that he is responsible for nowadays is much smaller than it was previously, and I would even go as far as saying that he has had numerous games this season where he has managed perfectly. Another complaint you often heard about him was that he didn’t stick up for his team enough when umpires were costing them games, and he has also corrected that flaw, getting ejected often this year to the point where he is giving John Gibbons a run for his money.
He’s made great strides and has worked on his weaknesses, to the poin …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation