Report from the Rock: Growlers Training Camp Opens

For the first time since March of 2020, the Newfoundland Growlers now officially have a roster of players.
The team has announced the initial training camp roster for the 2021-22 season and in addition to the seven players signed to ECHL deals last month the roster includes 11 AHL-contracted players from the Toronto Marlies (two of whom being St. John’s locals Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power), two players loaned to the team from the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, a local player (Kyle McGrath) on a Professional Try-Out, and newly un-retired Captain James Melindy.

#GouldsRulezhttps://t.co/P55Qu5ml4t
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) October 1, 2021

Aside from O’Brien and Power, notable players assigned to the Growlers from Toronto are goaltender Keith Petruzzelli, who will likely become the team’s starter in light of the unfortunate injury to Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott during NHL preseason, winger Jeremy McKenna, who TLN’s Nick Barden says has genuine NHL-upside and could become the Growlers’ leading scorer if he continues to make positive strides.
The third player of note is Noel Hoefenmayer, a 22-year old left-shot defenceman who played in 18 games for the Marlies last season and is projected to …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Leaflets: Thoughts heading into training camp

It’s been three and half months since we’ve been adequately disappointed by the Leafs, and it’s almost time for some fresh hurt. How will the team wrong us this year? Will this be the year a concession stands worker injures Auston Matthews? Will Mitch Marner be thrown in a Chinese prison during the Olympic break? How will the Leafs keep the hurt fresh, yet quintessentially Leafy? Training camp is our first step on this voyage, and while this entire year feels like it will be a wait and see for the playoffs kind of year, there are going to be important stories to pick up at the start of training camp.
How will the Leafs adjust to Matthews not being in camp?
Auston Matthews’ decision to have surgery in August is potentially going to keep him out of the early on-ice work and preseason games to start training camp and while there doesn’t seem to be any risk to him not being ready for the start of the season, the question remains about how do the Leafs get their lineup sorted for game one.
It will be interesting to see if the Leafs at least explore …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection

Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection

Since being drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors, Scottie Barnes might be batting 1.000. The numbers in Summer League were great. The physical tools and videos of his distractive defensive ability have Raptors fans wondering how opposing teams are ever going to score in the triple digits. He’s proven that his winning qualities go […]
Raptors: Scottie Barnes wanting to play in Toronto is perfection – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is peaking at the perfect time of the season

Since making his Major League debut in 2018, generating consistent offensive results has been one of the biggest areas of concern for outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., however, that certainly hasn’t been the case for him recently.
While the 27-year-old displayed flashes of his potential throughout the first half of this season, maintaining his offensive production over an extended period remained a key issue, which largely prevented the bottom third of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup from making a significant impact. As a result, the offence struggled to turn over the batting order at times, limiting the number of scoring opportunities for the top half of the lineup.
Though this offence experienced its worst slump of the season during the middle of August, they’ve done an excellent job at recovering since then, and while accomplishing this feat has been a group effort, Gurriel Jr. has been one of the main forces behind this team’s recent hot streak.
Sure, almost every player on the 28-man roster has served a critical role in helping the Blue Jays win 15 of their last 17 games, but from an offensive standpoint, no one has enjoyed a stronger resurgence than the 6’4″ left fielder. Despite still …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Are you still mad at the Leafs?

Are you still mad at the Leafs?

It’s been three months since the Leafs last game, their annual tradition of getting bounced in the first round, and they say time heals all wounds. They say that, but for pretty much every Leafs fan on the planet that wound has been open for the majority of their lives (I have to assume there is a 109 year old Leafs fan somewhere.)
So in the spirit of emotional health, this week I’ve asked the TLN Contributors the question, “Are you still mad at the Leafs and why?” For some of them the answer might be that they were never mad, and I’ve asked them to explain that too. The continued playoff failure and outright collapse against a historic rival were the breaking point for many, others will just land on the fact you can’t lose a player like John Tavares in the playoffs and expect much. I envy those people who were able to move on so quickly. I’m a far angrier and irrational person.
Here is what the TLN crew had to say on the question:
Michael Mazzei
I come into this season with some mixed emotions about the Leafs. There’s obviously the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs development camp and rookie tournament: What we know so far

It’s been two years since the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to get a bulk of their prospects together on one rink for what is usually their annual development camp and rookie tournament. With COVID restrictions preventing both offseason fixtures a year ago, next month will be the first time selections across two entry drafts will have the opportunity to work directly with the Leafs development staff all at once.
Normally, development camp takes place the week or two following the draft, right at the end of July and beginning of August. Later in the offseason, just before training camp starts, a rookie tournament is held featuring much of the same group. Obviously, this isn’t the case this time around. Rather than hosting a separate development camp and rookie tournament, it appears the Maple Leafs staff is looking to streamline the process and make things as easy as possible with the COVID restrictions.
It’s confirmed that Toronto will be participating in the Traverse City rookie tournament hosted by the Detroit Red Wings from September 16-20, where they will also face prospects from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and St. Louis Blues.
A schedule is available on …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Can Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam duo work together?

Raptors: Can Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam duo work together?

It’s been a couple of days since the Toronto Raptors drafted Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Many Raptor fans were surprised with the selection, as Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who was taken by the Orlando Magic, was still available and Pascal Siakam is still on the […]
Raptors: Can Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam duo work together? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

The Leafs weren’t fixed in a day

The Leafs weren’t fixed in a day

Since May 31st it seems like there has the has a constant effort to keep the disappointment fresh for Leafs fans. The Habs playoff run took care of a lot of it. The constant reassurance from Kyle Dubas that he loves this roster when the rest of don’t has picked up the slack where the Habs failed. There has been the excitement of having Jared McCann as a Leaf and the having him taken away days later, after being lied to be a fish. There’s been a draft that saw the Leafs only pick three times, and only once in the first four rounds, and all the while the convenient lie I’ve been telling myself is it will all be cleared up on free agency day.
The thing is I know that wasn’t a realistic expectation. And I know that Kyle Dubas is an infinitely more patient man than I am, but at the same time I find myself begging for a sense of urgency and begging for a move that is going to tell me that everything is going to be alright. That didn’t really come in the first day of free agency, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: 5 times the Raps gave up on a draftee early

Toronto Raptors draft: 5 times the Raps gave up on a draftee early

The Toronto Raptors have been in existence since 1995 as an NBA Franchise, and they have seen their fair share of successes and failures on draft night. With the 2021 NBA Draft less than a week away, a trip down Raptors’ memory lane reveals several times the Raptors drafted well and then botched the development or […]
Toronto Raptors draft: 5 times the Raps gave up on a draftee early – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

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