Nick Abruzzese and Matthew Knies officially named to Team USA’s Olympic roster

It’s officially official. Maple Leafs’ prospects Matthew Knies and Nick Abruzzese are headed to Beijing for the 2022 Olympics with Team USA.

Introducing the 25 men headed to Beijing! #WinterOlympics | @TeamUSA
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 13, 2022

The two Toronto prospects join 13 other NCAA players on the United States Olympic team. Knies, who’s playing in his first year at the University of Minnesota is averaging a point per game this season (20P in 20GP). The 19-year-old was picked in the second round, 57th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft by the Maple Leafs.
Abruzzese missed all of last season rehabbing from hip surgery. This season, he’s returned with a bang, scoring 21 points in 13 games (5G, 16A). The 22-year-old was drafted by the Maple Leafs at 124th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs have traded for Nick Foligno

It’s official the Leafs have added Nick Foligno.

TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

TOR is paying 25 per cent of Foligno salary
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

So the Leafs give up their first, as was expected, and two fourths. One which probably got the deal closed today, and the second which accounts for the Sharks retaining salary as well. As for Stefan Noesen, we’ll get to him in a bit.
Here’s the run down on Nick Foligno:

Nick Foligno, reportedly acquired by TOR, is a defensive specialist top six forward who doesn’t bring much of anything offensively whether it’s play-driving, production, or finishing. #LeafsForever
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 11, 2021

Nick Foligno has been traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Toronto Maple Leafs per @frank_seravalli. We’re waiting for more details. There were a rumors that this trade can be a bigger than just Nick Foligno for a draft pick. We’ll see.
— Andy & Rono (@HockeyStatsCZ) April 11, 2021


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NWHL Isobel Cup rescheduled!

The NWHL announced the official rescheduling of the Isobel Cup playoffs, which will now take place on March 26-27 in the Boston area.

The completion of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) Isobel Cup Playoffs, presented by @Discover, will take place March 26-27 at @WarriorIceArena in Brighton, Massachusetts on @NBCSports! #InternationalWomensDay
— NWHL (@NWHL) March 8, 2021

Our very own Toronto Six take the top seed for the completion of the tournament. According to the official press release, “All three games will be televised on NBCSN and streamed on and the NBC Sports app exclusively in the U.S., and streamed via Twitch in Canada and other international markets.”
International Women’s Day is starting off with a bang thanks to this exciting announcement!

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

George Springer is officially a Blue Jay! (with a front-loaded contract)

It’s officially official — the Toronto Blue Jays announced George Springer’s six-year, $150 million contract on Saturday.

Boy, it still feels nice to type that out. Though I wasn’t really worried that this deal was going to fall through, there was a small  sense of anxiety after the whole Michael Brantley gong show, so the contract finally being made official is soothing for all us overly-anxious weirdos.
Springer’s deal, of course, is the biggest in Blue Jays’ history, breaking the record that was set all the way back in 2006 when Vernon Wells was given a seven-year, $126 million deal. It also dwarfs the biggest free-agent signing the franchise has made, which was Russell Martin’s five-year, $80 million deal.
That’s a lot of cash, but Springer has certainly earned it. Between 2017 and 2020, only five outfielders have produced more WAR than Springer (Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Aaron Judge, and Cody Bellinger). And then there’s also his incredible playoff stats, a .269/.349/.546 slash line over 292 post-season plate appearances and 19 homers, tied for fourth all-time.
So, there was never any doubt that Springer was going to get paid, and it’s great that the Blue Jays were the ones …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six announce official roster for the 2021 season

The Toronto Six have announced their official roster heading into the Lake Placid bubble to begin the 2021 NWHL season. Led by team captain Shiann Darkangelo, the 20-person lineup is set to play their first game in franchise history this Saturday at 1pm against the Metropolitan Riveteers.

Roster is set
See you soon, Lake Placid
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 21, 2021

Playing out of Herb Brooks Arena, the Toronto Six lineup will be tested early and often with five games over eight days to kick off their inaugural campaign. Notable players to crack the opening lineup include the leadership team of Darkangelo alongside alternate captains Emma Greco and Emma Woods, second-round pick Amy Curlew, and two-time NWHL all-star Emily Fluke who put up 27 points in 23 games last season for the Boston Pride.
With a lineup that has blended experience alongside some new faces to the league, the Six will look to avoid those expansion team blues and make a name for themselves right out of the gate.

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Taking a look at who will make the Leafs

The Leafs training camp official opened yesterday, and we now know the 40 players in attendance.

The 2021 squad
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) January 3, 2021

Today is the first day the Leafs hit the ice, and while there are some interesting camp battles and roster spots up for grab. The fact that the Leafs will have a taxi squad in addition to their core roster means that most of these players will be sticking with the Leafs for the season. Given that the Leafs can have six players on the taxi squad, we’ll assume they will. And given that the Leafs can afford to have can either a 21 or 22 player roster (most likely 21), we’ll assume that as well and 27 of these 40 players won’t be heading to the Marlies.
Here’s the situation by position.
Forwards (23 invites)
Locks: Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Nylander, Hyman, Kerfoot, Thornton, Simmonds, Mikheyev, Spezza
The locks are essentially the core forwards mixed in with the veterans who took steep discounts in order to play for the Leafs that it would be cruel to leave out in the cold. Mikheyev and Kerfoot are decidedly NHL players even if they don’t 100% fit the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

The official start date for Free Agency is November 20, and the Toronto Raptors will have a lot to think about at the Center position. The questions keep accumulating for the Toronto Raptors when talking about who will be their Center/s next season. Serge Ibaka will be looking for a lucrative deal, and Marc Gasol […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Blueprint for Beating the Tampa Bay Rays

Its official the Blue Jays will play Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round. Tampa Bay was the class of the American League in this shortened season. They went 40-20 to lead the AL finishing just three games behind the Dodgers for the MLB lead. The Blue Jays went 32-28 taking the second wild card.
The Blue Jays enter this series as heavy underdogs, but there is a way they can win this series.
The official rotation for the Blue Jays hasn’t been announced yet but it seems likely that Taijuan Walker will start Game 1 instead of Hyun-Jin Ryu. It’s been speculated that he perhaps asked the Blue Jays to give him an extra day of rest.
This actually can work in the Blue Jays favour. They get their ace fully rested and in a situation he is comfortable with and having Walker pitch Game 1 isn’t the worst thing.
For one Walker’s primary pitch is a four-seam fastball. It averages 93.2 mph, with 2143 rpm of spin, per Baseball Savant. Batters hit just .156 off the pitch the 14th lowest in the league among pitchers who faced at least 50 batters. He gets whiffs on it 23.1% of the time. It’ …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs Postgame: Frederik Andersen plays good, but Joonas Korpisalo plays better

It’s official, hockey is back, and the Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off meaningful play on Sunday night with an unfortunate 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in game one of their Stanley Cup qualifier series. It was a hard-fought game and it has certainly set a tone for the rest of this series, as both teams are hungry to clinch their spot in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1st Period
The first period started off fast-paced, but the shell of the pre-quarantine Leafs was still apparent, as the Blue Jackets spent a lot of time in the Leafs’ end.
Leafs fans got their first bit of excitement when Nick Robertson received a quality scoring chance out front during his very first shift. Unfortunately he couldn’t bury it, but he was certainly flying out there for the rest of the period. It’s definitely time to hop on the Nick Robertson hype train.

Nick Robertson gets a shot on goal on his first NHL shift
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) August 3, 2020

Midway through the first, a fumbled pass from William Nylander to Justin Holl left Blue Jackets …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

It looks like Sam Gaviglio has been optioned to the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site

According to the team’s official website, the Blue Jays optioned pitcher Sam Gaviglio to the Alternate Training Site on Friday.

According to the Blue Jays transactions page, Sam Gaviglio was optioned to the Alternate Training Site today.
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) August 1, 2020

Gaviglio has had a rough start to the 2020 season. Due to not wanting to overwork other late-inning relievers, Charlie Montoyo has opted to use Gaviglio in a couple of different high-leverage situations, which has pretty clearly left the veteran long-inning guy out of his depth. Through two outings, Gaviglio has recorded three outs while surrendering three earned runs on three hits and three walks.
I had originally figured that this could mean that Chase Anderson, who suffered an oblique injury back during the team’s Summer Camp, could be ready to return, but that isn’t the case, as he’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Wednesday.
It also won’t be Ken Giles returning, as he was placed on the 10-day Injured List back on Monday. The Blue Jays are optimistic that Giles won’t miss a significant amount of time, as …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation