What does this Edward Rogers drama mean for the Blue Jays?

There was a lot of optimism in the air earlier this week when Mark Shapiro did his end-of-season press conference.

Shapiro said that the Blue Jays haven’t yet finalized their payroll budget for the 2022 season, as the front office is still a few weeks away from making its pitch to ownership, but he said he was optimistic that Rogers would continue along with the big-picture plan of investing in the team as they started to get better.
That optimism took a hit on Thursday evening when word came out that Edward Rogers, the son of the guy with the statue outside of the Rogers Centre, had been ousted from his role as the company’s chair.
This comes after Ed Rogers apparently tried to boot the company’s chief executive officer, Joe Natale, from his role and replace him with chief financial officer, Tony Staffieri. Adding to the drama is that Rogers is also in the midst of trying to execute a $26 billion takeover of Shaw, one of the other Canadian telecom juggernauts.
The story, per The Globe and Mail, about how Ed Rogers’ plan ultimately got surfaced is absolutely hilarious, like something out of a bad movie…
“The …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 stars from week one of the season (October 12-16)

Week one is officially in the books for the Toronto Maple Leafs after a long wait for the start of the regular season. Toronto started their first week playing none other than Canadian teams after playing them for the entirety of last year, so I’m just happy they got past this week so they can start playing some American teams for the first time since 2020.
They opened their season on Wednesday when they welcomed the Montreal Canadiens to town and took care of business picking up a close 2-1 win to open the year 1-0-0. We didn’t have to wait long for another Maple Leafs game as they took a plane and flew to Ottawa to play the second half of a back-to-back the next day. We all know what happened in that game, a very slow start and a three-goal period for Ottawa ultimately resulted in a 3-2 win for the Senators as the Maple Leafs pick up their first loss of the season.
Fast forward to Saturday night and they’re playing, you guessed it, the Ottawa Senators, yet again. This time Toronto actually started on time and they pounced early with two goals in …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: The Leafs sign an EBUG, Holl out Liljegren in, Mrazek won’t be out long-term

So the 2021-22 season is not even a week old yet and the Leafs are already in full chaos mode with all of the news circulating this morning in regards to the lineup and the status of some injured players.
We begin with the biggest story of them all, which is the Leafs being short on cash and resorting to unique methods to get around that problem.

The #leafs don’t have the cap space to call up a goaltender to take Petr Mrazek’s spot behind Jack Campbell tonight. They will likely sign U of T goalie Alex Bishop to an amateur tryout to back up Campbell.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 16, 2021

What, David Ayres was not available?
Jokes aside, this must be huge for Alex Bishop who has posted decent numbers during his time in the QMJHL and USports. He is in his senior year at the University of Toronto so this will surely be a moment he will never forget. He will most likely sit on the bench for the entire game, but it wouldn’t shock me if Sheldon Keefe were to do him a solid and let him play the final few minutes depending on how things go …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Here we go again: Advanced Stats and Analytics Primer, Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of this primer on advanced stats and analytics, we looked at some stats and resources that cover the foundation of what we can call “advanced stats” or “analytics” in hockey. To recap:
Corsi (CF%) measures how many shot attempts (shots, misses, blocked shots) there are while a player is on the ice
Production (points, goals, assists) can be measured in a number of different ways (primary points, 5v5 points, etc.)
Expected Goals (xGF%) is similar to Corsi, but it weighs the shot attempts based on how good they were, based on where the shot was taken
Shot attempt models like Corsi and Expected Goals have a reasonably good correlation with future wins, so that’s why they’re important
In this post, I’m going to branch out a little further from this foundation and talk about the loads of other stats that are available for the NHL. So, it’s important that you’re comfortable with everything in that summary before we take this next step.
The beauty of publicly available data is that it takes a ton of grass roots effort to make it happen. Please consider donating to the creators of these tools …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Can Anas Mahmoud carve out a role in the NBA?

Toronto Raptors: Can Anas Mahmoud carve out a role in the NBA?

The free agency period is approximately a week old, and the Toronto Raptors have made several transformative roster moves, led by Kyle Lowry’s departure. With that dust starting to settle, fans have turned their eyes to the Summer League, which includes prospects like Scottie Barnes, Dalano Banton, and Anas Mahmoud. The deal with Miami failed to […]
Toronto Raptors: Can Anas Mahmoud carve out a role in the NBA? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Malgin qualified, Vehviläinen heading overseas, and other RFA notes

In a two week window filled with interesting events, restricted free agent qualifying day might not be the sexiest. It is underrated fun though, especially when most of the RFAs of significance have already been sorted out. Travis Dermott was signed pre-expansion draft so the Leafs had the opportunity to protect four defensemen and leave Dermott exposed. Now the Leafs have either a pretty good defenseman in Dermott, or a pretty decent trade chip.
Of their RFAs, Joseph Woll was likely the prospect of the most significance, and while people are starting to raise concerns about his AHL success, the slower development curve for most goaltenders makes adding Woll back a no brainer as well.
That brings us to today, and the remaining players, Denis Malgin, Nic Petan, Joseph Duszak, and Veini Vehviläinen. Taking a quick look at this list you can make a case for it being nice having any of these players back because they aren’t bad, but they aren’t players you are going to lose sleep over if Toronto moves on from them.
The first bit of news came today with Vehviläinen’s decision to return to Europe and play in the Swedish …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Top to Bottom: Thoughts on all of the Blue Jays pitchers at the All-Star break

I talked earlier this week about the 18 position players who have played for the Blue Jays this season, and, next up, we have the 31 (!!!) guys who have pitched for the team thus far.

The fact that the Blue Jays have used so many different pitchers perfectly sums up what the experience has been for the team in the first half of the season. The pitching staff has been decimated by injuries and the Blue Jays have had to dig deep to find guys to log innings and many of them have been ineffective, hence why Toronto ranks below average in the American League in terms of both starter and bullpen ERA.
Let’s talk about all 31 of these pitchers, how they’ve done, and what we can expect from them in the second half.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY SportsRobbie Ray (1.5 WAR)
I think a lot of people expected Robbie Ray to bounce back from the nightmarish season he had with Arizona in 2020 given his solid results after being traded to the Blue Jays, but I doubt that many predicted he would be the team’s ace coming out of the All-Star break. But here we are.
Ray has been excellent this …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Thanks Ken Holland, the Leafs can now afford to re-sign Zach Hyman

Thanks Ken Holland, the Leafs can now afford to re-sign Zach Hyman

Last week, the Edmonton Oilers locked up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a contract extension worth $5.125 million per year over a max-term of eight years with a full no-movement clause. Most members of the Edmonton media and the team’s loyal fanbase see the deal as a win-win. A former 1st-overall draft pick and core member of their team commits the twilight years of his prime to the team that drafted him at a noteworthy discount that will give GM Ken Holland some flexibility to navigate the flat salary cap and attempt to make the Oilers an overall better team.
So the one question that remains is, as always, how does this affect the Leafs?
Well, it’s quite simple, thanks to this contract signing, Ken Holland and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have set the market and in doing so, effectively killed the (mainstream media perpetuated) narrative that Zach Hyman is going to get contract offers in the range of $6 million a year for six years.
Let’s be real here, as much as we all love Zach Hyman and want to see him be rewarded for several years of stellar play (for a player of his skill level), he’s no Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 best free agents to target at small forward

Toronto Raptors: 4 best free agents to target at small forward

It has been over a week since the NBA Draft Lottery. And now that the Toronto Raptors will have the fourth pick, they will most likely pick either Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs. They could also pick Evan Mobley if he somehow drops at four or if the Raptors trade up. Since they will most […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 best free agents to target at small forward – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

AL East Report – June 21

Well, that week sucked. The Jays played three against the Yankees and three against the Orioles and only came out with two wins thanks to a sweep at the hands of the former. 

On the bright side, the Blue Jays actually gained games on the Rays going from 8.5 games behind to 6.5 games behind, however they dropped 1.5 games to Boston. The biggest loss, of course, came to the Yankees due to the sweep. 
As they played two divisional rivals, I will touch upon how the Jays did against them in the Yankees and Orioles section respectively. Yes, that means Baltimore will be longer than a text you receive from your angry girlfriend…
Boston Red Sox:
Wait, isn’t Tampa First? Nope. We’ll get to that, but how did the Sox do this week? Well in all honesty, mediocre. First, they played the sub .500 Atlanta Braves in that weird AL/NL series where they have two games sandwiched between two off-days. They won both of them and then went to play the lowly Kansas City Royals. In Kansas, they lost two of three finishing the season.
This week, the Red Sox have two pivotal series against the Red Sox starting Tuesday …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation