The annual Leafs Nation predictions

Normally I like to run this content a couple of days before the start of the season, but with the long weekend here and the preseason wrapping up tonight, I figured lets get the predictions up early, especially since one of the questions is about the first Leaf traded and that could be happening as we speak.
This year 14 of our TLN contributors, and despite decades of worth of disappointment from the Leafs, we certainly still saw some passion shine through in the results, including some borderline troublesome Vezina predictions.
Without further adieu let’s hop into the predictions starting with the big one…

Those are the top cup contenders according to our TLN panel. These seem like a reasonable list, even if I think we’re a tad premature on expecting anything from the Leafs after a steady stream of hurt, but let’s admire optimism. The interesting team left off here is probably the Oilers, but I suppose we’ve all seen too much of Jack Campbell to expect anything from them this year.
50%
of those surveyed had the Leafs winning the division
On paper, it very much seems like a two horse race between the Leafs and the Lightning, but the Panthers were dismissed from this conversation last year too, and while I’m not ready to throw the Bruins into the mix, it still is very difficult division. The Lightning have definitely taken a step back and that could make the division title attainable for the Leafs.
13 out of 14
people said if the Leafs didn’t win the division it would be the Lightning
That definitely fits with what was said above, and in case you had to ask, the other vote was for the Panthers.

When it comes to how far the Leafs will go, I guess I’m the only one with some respect for tradition. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Pre-Series Notes: New Blue Jays make home debuts, Canadian Cal Quantrill returns to face his childhood team

Coming off two days rest and riding a two game losing streak into tonight, it feels like the Blue Jays haven’t won a game in forever. That said, they still hold the top spot in the American League wild card race with a record of 60-50.
Meanwhile the Guardians have won five in a row to take the lead in the AL Central. The tightest division race in the Majors, the Central still has three teams battling for the division crown. The Minnesota Twins trail the Guardians by just 1.5 games and the Chicago White Sox are 3.5 back.
The Jays will be looking for revenge after losing two of three in Cleveland back in May.
Things Worth Mentioning…
A pair of Blue Jays will be making their home debut tonight.

Whit Merrifield (2B) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) will make their #BlueJays home debut starting tonight. pic.twitter.com/NVdbg7HgdB
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) August 12, 2022

George Springer is still on IL so Bradley Jr. will start in center and Merrifield will make his first start at second for the Jays. One of the best defensive CF’s of the last decade Bradley Jr. provides plus defence and speed with a below average bat. He did however hit two home runs in his last series against the Blue Jays while he was with the Red Sox. In 92 games this year he is slashing .210/.257/.321 with three home runs.
One of the favourites for the AL Rookie of the Year, Steven Kwan is on a tear recently.

.@CleGuardians OF Steven Kwan has now hit safely in 26 of the last 29 games
Tale of the tape:
.358 (42 hits) 9 doubles 1 triple 2 HR 8 RBI 12 multi-hit games; 5 three-hit games pic.twitter.com/wJJZW94DEx
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) August 11, 2022

In his debut season, Kwan it batting .300 …

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Author: Scott Ony / Blue Jays Nation

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

It has now been five days since NHL free agency began and teams around the league are starting to take shape. There are several new faces in the Atlantic division and a few notable exits. The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings were the most active teams. Both look to be much improved. The Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres don’t appear to be ready for a playoff push, but the rest of the division should be in contention. Here is a look at how each team has fared since free agency opened. (Trades and free agent acquisitions have been included.)
Florida Panthers
Notable additions: Nick Cousins (C/LW), Rudolfs Balcers (LW), Marc Staal (D), Eric Staal (C/LW)
Notable exits: Claude Giroux (C/RW), Ben Chiarot (D), Mason Marchment (LW)
Losing Claude Giroux was inevitable, they simply didn’t have the cap flexibility to keep him. The exits of both Ben Chiarot and Mason Marchment create holes in their roster but over last few seasons, depth players have consistently shined in the Panthers system. In Cousins they get a solid defensive forward with experience. Balcers isn’t a physical player, but he is responsible in his own zone. He scored a career high 11 goals in 61 games last season on a San Jose Sharks team that struggled to produce offence. Playing on a third …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Our Leafs predictions heading into free agency week

We’re just a few days removed from our draft predictions, and it seems like we should start by looking back at how we did on that survey. 33% of our respondents nailed it with the Leafs trading down, and we all knew the Leafs would be picking more than 3 times. Nick Moldenhauer was the favourite of TLNers for a pick outside the first round and that certainly came to fruition, and 33% of us thought that Petr Mrazek would be traded away and that was also nailed. I’ll hang my hat on being the only person who predicted three or more trades, of course most of them were extremely boring pick swaps.
Now, onto free agency, the event we should care more about as Leafs fans because we are living in the now, not preparing for the future. We’ve got the same nine writers responding and we’ll dive into those questions now.
Where will Jack Campbell sign?
33.3% New Jersey22.2% Edmonton
22.2% Detroit
11.1% Toronto
11.1% Philadelphia
It’s at this point I should point out that we did this survey before the draft and some situations like the Detroit and New Jersey have somewhat been resolved already. I’m the bizarre outlier here who thinks that Philadelphia might do something bizarre like move on from Carter Hart, and that might be a lot of w …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation