Leaflets: Thoughts heading into Draft Day

Leaflets: Thoughts heading into Draft Day

It’s Draft Day!!! Woooooooooo. A magical night where anything seems possible, except for the Leafs doing anything. With Kyle Dubas’ repeated vocal support for the top of his roster, there is absolutely no chance that the Leafs find their way stumbling into the first round. At best they might do something that sets them up a bit differently for Saturday, but watching the draft tonight is just hoping for as many teams as possible to reach with their picks and provide the Leafs with the best possible talent pool to work with tomorrow.
Change needs to be made beyond the free agents
The Leafs have no shortage of vacancies created due to departing free agents, but that doesn’t seem like it should be the extent of the changes being made, and there is a need for additional funds to improve the Maple Leafs. As things sit right now, sticking only with the returning Leafs on the roster, the Leafs have just over $10M to address 4 roster spots (3F and 1G) and up to three reserve spots. At best they can comfortably chase a $7M if they plan on cheaping out the rest of the way. The fact that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Deadline Primer: The Bullpen

Oh how we love to get our hopes up, it’s a Trade Deadline tradition, after all. However, heading into the 2021 Trade Deadline, things feel a little bit different. The Blue Jays boast one of the game’s most feared lineups to go along with one of the game’s deepest farm systems. It’s the perfect recipe for a little trade deadline drama.

The biggest hole for this club since the very beginning of the season has been in the bullpen, and although Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards have done well to come in and bolster, it’s very to say that GM Ross Atkins will be on the hunt for at least one more reliever. In 2020, The Jays were in a similar situation, as they approached the expanded playoff with minimal concern for falling out. They went out and acquired starting pitching depth in Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling and used them to lengthen the bullpen. I would suspect another bulk reliever to be added to fold sooner than later to upgrade over Anthony Kay as the first man out and push relievers like the aforementioned Cimber and Richards back down towards the back end.
Tim …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs preseason starts September 25th

It’s the day before the NHL schedule comes out, there’s an expansion draft going on, and you are probably more interested in the entry draft, free agency, and whatever trades Kyle Dubas might have up his sleeve. Still, a preseason schedule is still news, so here we are joyfully dumping it on our website for you to reference.

Preseason dates are set #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 21, 2021

Following a year that saw the Leafs only play against Canadian teams, I can’t think of anything I’m less enthused about than seeing that continue, but I assume there’s some recognition of the ease of limiting border crossings when possible, and that’s what drove this situation.
It also gives us a time frame for when we’ll start watching actual hockey again, which is nice and I can’t wait to read way too much into how the Leafs will do from these games.
The regular season will be released tomorrow, and we’ll take a much more meaningful look at that. I promise.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes

It’s long been an assumption that with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors will select one of either G League guard Jalen Green, USC center Evan Mobley, or Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who looks like the favorite. However, Florida State standout Scottie Barnes has slowly been gaining […]
3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Around the NHL: The Canadiens may have made the Cup Finals, but the franchise is probably doomed going forward

Around the NHL: The Canadiens may have made the Cup Finals, but the franchise is probably doomed going forward

It’s always weird writing articles like this, because criticizing a team for being good is a very weird stance to take. Making the Stanley Cup Finals is something that only two teams can accomplish in a season, and it’s a lot of hard work to get there. Depending on the trajectory of the franchise, it’s a sign of hope that you’ll be a contender for years to come, especially if it was the talent and ability of the team that got you there. Just look at the Tampa Bay Lightning making the Cup Finals in 2015, and six years later, they have two Cups to their name.
That said, there are two key phrases in that paragraph that mean the most in these kinds of runs: “the trajectory of the franchise” and “the talent and ability of the team”. That Tampa team made that Cup finals as a young, up and coming team poised for years of success, making that deep run with a solid 1-2 goalie tandem in Bishop and Vasilevskiy, a strong blueline with Hedman and Stralman at the helm, and a talented forward group led by Stamkos and the “Triplets Line” of Johnson, Palat, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Player Valuation and bargain hunting in the offseason

It’s probably no secret at this point that the Leafs don’t have a lot of cap space. I mean, they have the cap space to bring in maybe one significant player, but after that it’s going to be about bargain hunting some of the better, cheaper options in free agency. While the lesser known signings certainly aren’t as fun as big game hunting players like Dougie Hamilton or Taylor Hall, teams like Tampa Bay and Montreal certainly point to the importance of having a depth that contribute beyond their contract.
To some extent the Leafs did have that though. Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton certainly provided value beyond their contracts, it just may come down to utilization, miscasting of roles, or you could argue in Thornton’s case, that his opportunity to play a significant part of the year within the top six forward group propped up his numbers beyond his personal contributions, which is both a fair criticism, but also ignores the fact that a capable top six complimentary player at that price isn’t anything to scoff at and the Leafs failing to consider style of play into the roster construction isn’t his …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Seravalli: Darcy Kuemper a trade target for the Leafs

It’s no secret the Leafs need to add a goaltender heading into next season, and there is a certain preference towards that goaltender being able to either share the workload, or push Jack Campbell. Today Frank Seravalli is suggesting that fellow late bloomer, and product of Dusty Imoo/Bill Ranford could be their target.
Arizona Coyotes goaltender @Darcy Kuemper has emerged as a primary target for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche. Both teams remain in contact and conversation with their pending free agents in @Frederik Andersen and @Philipp Grubauer, respectively, but trade talks have been ongoing with Arizona as the Avs and Leafs consider the goaltending market at-large. The Seattle Kraken are also believed to have interest in Kuemper.
So this comes as a bit of a surprise as the Leafs were initially not interested in Kuemper due to only having one year remaining on his contract, and the wish to avoid rental situations as well as having all three goaltender contracts (Kuemper, Campbell, Hutchinson) coming up at the same time.
Some of the logic around Kuemper’s availability is connected to the fact that his salary is $5.5M this season on a cap hit of $4.5M, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs target Zach Parise and Ryan Suter?

If you’re a hockey fan, it’s the most wonderful time of the year right now, or at least one of them given that is it officially the NHL off-season and things are going to get very interesting in the coming weeks and months leading up to the next NHL season. This off-season is only days in and we have already seen some trades, some hirings, some retirements, some big rumours and even some buyouts.
It’s no secret that this off-season was going to be a crazy one due to a bunch of circumstances. For starters, the COVID pandemic is still affecting the league which is affecting the salary cap which is ultimately affecting teams to keep certain players on their team. Secondly, there’s an expansion draft just around the corner and with a new team coming into the league, teams are bound to lose potentially an important player on their team.
With that said, within days we’ve seen a bunch of different things happen in the NHL and more specifically we saw the Minnesota Wild buyout, not one, but two of the massive contracts that they signed back in 2012. The Zach Parise and Ryan Suter …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays release proposal sent to Canadian federal government for the team’s return to Toronto

It’s been a long, long time since the Blue Jays have played a game at Rogers Centre in Toronto, but, if all goes according to plan, the team will be back at home to host the Kansas City Royals on July 30.

The key is getting the green light from the Canadian federal government as the Canada-U.S. border is still closed.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays released the proposal that the organization sent to the federal government for how they and the teams that they host would enter the country and operate upon arrival…

Details on the #BlueJays’ proposal to return to Toronto on July 30: pic.twitter.com/pBL131cv8f
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 13, 2021

The report indicates that more than 85 percent of players and personnel across Major League Baseball have been vaccinated from COVID-19, which should make life significantly easier for the Blue Jays when it comes to getting the green light to come back home.
The proposal suggests that fully vaccinated individuals will operate under the same rules as those who are travelling from the United States, which would mean players and personnel need to produce a negative COVID test in order to avoid doing a quarantine. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation