John Tavares looks like he could make Team Canada and the impact of Leafs at the Olympics

It’s safe to say the amount of Olympic talk has increased. Whether it’s because of COVID concerns largely stemming from the Senators outbreak, the threat of a US boycott of the games that would likely be followed by other nations like Canada, or whether it’s the good old fashioned speculation that comes with assessing lineups based off of play this year instead of previous years, people seem to be talking about the Olympics.
Let’s start with the John Tavares story. Tavares very much seemed like a bubble player or someone who could find his way into the Team Canada fold through injuries to other Canadian forwards, but things have shifted slightly, in a couple of different ways. The first being that John Tavares was selected as the model for Team Canada’s Olympic fashion, something that is largely due to the fact that he is a former Olympian, but still there isn’t a shortage of former Olympians around, and this could speak to the Hockey Canada brass’ continued preference towards going with experience, leadership, as well as I’m sure the marketability of having the Leafs captain on their roster doesn’t hurt things like …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A Look At The Blue Jays’ 40-Man Roster Crunch

Want to talk about the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros playing in the American League Championship Series? Neither do I!

There ain’t much going on around these parts right now as we wait for the post-season to conclude and for the off-season to get rolling, so let’s take a look ahead at one of the interesting situations Toronto will be dealing with — the 40-man roster crunch.
As with last winter (and, well, with just about every winter when you have a deep prospect pool), the Blue Jays have a handful of interesting prospects who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft come December. They added Gabe Moreno, Riley Adams, Ty Tice, Josh Palacios, and Otto Lopez to the 40-man ahead of last year’s draft, who might they add this year?
Here are some names worth considering…
RHP Eric Pardinho: Back in 2017, the Blue Jays inked Pardinho as an international free agent out of Brazil to a deal with a $1.4 million signing bonus. He was a top-100 prospect coming into 2019 but injuries have massively stunted his development. Pardinho, who turns 21 in January, pitched just three innings in 2021. This would almost be an Elvis Luciano situation for somebody …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes in the Leafs roster, by counting stats

Welcome to Staturday, the column where we talk about stats on Saturday. Today, we’ll get into an overall look at last year’s team totals vs. what the 2021-22 roster did in 2020-21. Basically, we’re going to see if the Leafs should expect to have more or less of all of the basic counting stats. By doing so, we’ll see in what areas the 2021-22 roster should be better or worse than the 2020-21 roster.
I approached this same concept via the Goals Above Replacement model by Evolving Hockey in a previous Staturday column, so check that out here.
All of the stats below will be from Evolving Hockey, and will be at Even Strength, with no adjustments.
Last Year’s Leafs
Player
Season
Team
Position
GP
TOI
G
Points
iSF
iFF
iCF
ixG
Sh%
iBLK
GIVE
TAKE
iHF
iHA
iPEN±
FO±
Morgan Rielly
20-21
TOR
D
55
1078.95
4
21
74
109
160
3.61
5.41
54
64
18
60
132
-5
0
Tj Brodie
20-21
TOR
D
56
1053.38
1
11
40
62
96
1.58
2.5
75
45
19
28
99
0
0
Justin Holl
20-21
TOR
D
55
984.1
2
17
52
75
109
2.2
3.85
60
33
14
72
126
-1
0
Jake Muzzin
20-21
TOR
D
53
950.8
2
22
86
115
169
2.85
2.33
68
49
19
91
138
-5
0
Mitch Marner
20-21
TOR
C
55
904.07
17
47
108
143
195
11.6
15.74
34
53
42
19
45
-1
-1
Auston Matthews
20-21
TOR
C
52
889
30
49
167
225
260
18.11
17.96
40
42
40
56
57
7
34
John Tavares
20-21
TOR
C
56
831.3
12
33
119
155
196
12.8
10.08
27
49
30
44
75
9
62
William Nylander
20-21
TOR
C
51
697.93
11
27
100
137
167
11.37
11
15
33
29
12
61
1
2
Alex Kerfoot
20-21
TOR
C
56
674.1
6
18
59
77
100
6.41
10.17
28
25
14
38
115
3
-43
Ilya Mikheyev
20 …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

When will Kristians Rubins be in the Maple Leafs lineup?

Of all the players I could talk about from the Toronto Marlies, Kristians Rubins is still one of the most mysterious. He’s a big player who can move up and down the ice at a high rate of speed. But the question is — can he put everything togeter?
Today, I look into what he’s good at, what he can work on, and how long it might be before he’s ready for a spot in the Maple Leafs lineup.
I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio Ep. 10: A split in Oakland, the Springer Saga, Free Manoah, and more!

There was a lot to talk about after the Blue Jays’ four-game set out west in Oakland.

We recapped the good from the A’s series, including Robbie Ray again not walking anyone and Marcus Semien popping off in his return home, and we talked about the bad, including the injury bug that won’t leave the Blue Jays alone and Steven Matz’s second consecutive rough start.
We also went into a bit of a rant about the puzzling George Springer injury saga. After being told Springer wasn’t playing simply because he needed some rest, the $150 million man is back on the Injured List. Who would have guessed! Why the Blue Jays are being so coy about this whole thing is a mystery and it’s incredibly frustrating.
After that, we talked about the Angels releasing Albert Pujols and how funny it would be if he inexplicably finished off his career as a Blue Jay in Buffalo. Finally, we wrapped things up by talking about Alek Manoah’s amazing Triple-A debut and how he could factor into the team’s plans when the trade deadline comes around.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How did rival teams do at the deadline?

There’s been a lot of talk about the moves the Leafs made at the deadline, and all the new players they will be bringing in, and why not? They’re players we haven’t seen on the Leafs before, and it’ll be fun to see what kind of impact they make.
But, the Leafs rival teams also made some additions as well, some bigger than others, but if the Leafs want to go on a deep run, it’s good to know how their biggest competitions improved. There was a bit of a trend within the division as it seemed like the Canadian teams didn’t really want to go all in when they didn’t feel like they could beat the Leafs, and outside the division the bigger teams only made a couple big acquisitions.
Montreal Canadiens
The Habs made their biggest deal a few weeks before the deadline by bringing in Eric Staal for a 3rd and a 5th, but they also made a couple smaller moves this week by bringing in Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson to beef up their blue line a little bit. Staal bring a bit of extra scoring touch to the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs acquire Big Save Dave from Calgary

Leafs acquire Big Save Dave from Calgary

For all the talk about how the Leafs were staying the course with the Campbell/Andersen/Hutchinson trio, we can now say we were mislead…

TRADE: We’ve acquired goaltender David Rittich from Calgary in exchange for a 2022 third-round selection. #LeafsForever
Details » https://t.co/9sLAeLvWvQ pic.twitter.com/q2wJXOxdoZ
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 12, 2021

A third round pick is a reasonable price for a solid NHL goaltender, not too high, not too low, but for anyone hoping for Linus Ullmark or Chris Driedger, David Rittich is a step down from that calibre. For anyone hoping for the returns of former Leafs, James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier, well, you’re out of luck too.

Leafs get goalie insurance. Flames retain 50 percent of Rittich’s salary/aav. Which they needed to do to get it to a third-round pick https://t.co/FxLqer6pSU
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 12, 2021

The salary retention is a big part of why the Leafs paid a 3rd, although it’s a 2022 3rd (you know, when the draft is good again.) The cap hit is the same as the hit on Nick Foligno and it now appears the intention is to shut down Andersen until playoff time.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Our customizable consolidated 2021 NHL Entry Draft Ranking dashboard

It seems strange to talk about the draft for a few reasons. The first is that this is a Leafs blog, and the Leafs are sitting at the top of the league. They are going to be picking late in the first and the player they draft isn’t going to be a focus for a number of years. This isn’t the decade of darkness where the first round pick was what pulled us in off the ledge from after a torturous season. Or in the case of the post Kessel trade years, it was salt in the wound as we saw Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton get selected with the Leafs pick. Frankly the pick isn’t that important anymore because we are no longer searching for the faces of the franchise, the draft has already gifted us Rielly, Nylander, Marner, and, of course, Matthews.
The other reason it seems a little strange is that no one at this point has any idea of if or when the 2021 draft will take place. There is talk of it being pushed back until December, or potentially a double draft next summer. As such there hasn’t been a lot of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest

Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest

The Toronto Raptors were the talk of the NBA world yesterday, as they absolutely slammed Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Needing to take home a win against a poor Minnesota Timberwolves team, a gassed Raptors team gave them their best shot on the second night of a back-to-back. Fresh off the second night of […]
Raptors: Clutch shooting gives Toronto win over T-Wolves in old-school slugfest – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nickeem Khan / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history

Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history

If it wasn’t for a few of the shooting guards we’re about to talk about, the Toronto Raptors franchise would have been completely different. In their 25-year legacy, the two-guard has been instrumental in team success and has provided some of the best moments in franchise history. While most would typically look at the point-guard […]
Toronto Raptors: Top 5 shooting guards in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ