Big contracts for defensemen complicate things with Morgan Rielly and the Leafs

Big contracts for defensemen complicate things with Morgan Rielly and the Leafs

When we last checked in Morgan Rielly, both sides were saying all the things both sides typically say before real negotiations start. Kyle Dubas was touting the importance of Rielly to the team, both as a leader and as star offensive defenseman. And Morgan Rielly’s camp was talking about Toronto is the only place that Morgan wants to play and how he’d be willing to take less money in Toronto to spend his career as a Leaf and win in Toronto. A lot of that was summed up in a couple of articles from The Athletic, first from Pierre LeBrun…
Rielly loves being a Maple Leaf and would take a bit less to remain one. But the dollar figures have to make sense. He’s earning $5 million a year. He’s worth at least the $6.5 million AAV Torey Krug got in St. Louis last fall, if not more, depending on term.
Jonas Siegel also explored what Rielly’s next contract would look like using players with similar offensive defenseman statistics, age, and experience, and came to these findings:
If we simply take the average of these 11 comparables, he would be due roughly 8.86 percent of the salary cap — or $7.22 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Dalano Banton and David Johnson could contribute in 2021

Raptors: Dalano Banton and David Johnson could contribute in 2021

The Toronto Raptors might’ve surprised plenty when they decided to take Florida State dynamo Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs in the 2021 NBA Draft, but that wasn’t the only surprise they had in store. With the No. 46 and No. 47 picks still in their possession, they were in a position to select players like […]
Raptors: Dalano Banton and David Johnson could contribute in 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Bob McKenzie has the Leafs as a front runner for Michael Bunting

You know it’s free agency season when you have Bob McKenzie stepping away from the lake to chase down rumours about a player with 26 NHL games to his name.
Nevertheless, Michael Bunting has been a favourite free agency target of the writers on this site, and Leafs nation at large so news like this is encouraging…

Michael Bunting — 10 G in 21 GP with ARI this season — is the rare Group VI free agent. All the logical speculation is on him being reunited with his Soo Greyhound GM (Kyle Dubas) and head coach (Sheldon Keefe) in TOR but multiple teams interested. @TSNHockey
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 27, 2021

The fact that there is competition for Bunting is the first thing to take away from this. And there’s likely a lesson being learned from what Florida was able to accomplish by taking a chance on players like Duclair and Verhaeghe last season.
A lot of Bunting’s appeal, besides the fact that he isn’t going to cost a ton comes from the fact that he’s been considered a bit of a Brad Marchand lite. A skillset that hasn’t really been present on the Leafs since Nazem Kadri departed. There’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The case for and against leaving Jared McCann exposed in the expansion draft

The case for and against leaving Jared McCann exposed in the expansion draft

When the Leafs announced they had acquired Jared McCann at a very low cost, fans were ecstatic that the team was adding a talented player at a reduced rate which would help the team on the path towards improving on the previous season’s unfortunate finale. So eyebrows were raised when they left him exposed ahead of the expansion draft, and then confusion turned to anger once reports came out that he was the player taken by the Seattle Kraken.
The frustration stem from the decision to leave Alexander Kerfoot unprotected when there were rumblings that he would be moved and with Justin Holl being one of the four defencemen protected despite a regression in the latter half of the 2021 campaign. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a major concern given the team views itself as a contender looking to do damage in the postseason. With the Leafs, these are not normal circumstances, especially because they were fresh off their biggest blown lead yet and the fanbase’s anger towards the team’s shortcomings is at an all-time high.
Now, there’s no question losing a player of McCann’s calibre stings, even if he isn’t high on …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

That was awful

Sometimes baseball sucks. Especially when your favourite team loses by a score of 13-4. Personally, what I love about baseball is that there are 162 games, meaning that one loss, no matter the score, only counts as one loss.
The Jays won their games handily versus the Rangers, the last one being 10-0. Even with the blowout tonight, they’re still 3-1 over their last four games. This article will mainly be focused on the pitching and relief as the offence was fine tonight.
Things worth mentioning…
Ross Stripling
Stripling didn’t have a good game. He recorded one out and gave six earned runs, two were homers. Did Ross decide to Pumpkin during the All-Star break? In my honest opinion, no. His last two games weren’t good, but since May 19th, he has pitched well.
I believe the Red Sox have something on him. Since May 19th against the Red Sox, he’s pitched 9.2 innings and has given up 16 earned runs. In the other 44 innings pitched, he’s only allowed 12 earned runs. If you are reading this Stripling, Pete Walker or anyone from the Blue Jays organization, I think this needs to be fixed.
After finishing writing this article, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse sued by former agent over breach of contract

Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse sued by former agent over breach of contract

Just when you think that the tsunami of bad luck that completely swallowed up the Toronto Raptors during their sabbatical in Tampa was on the verge of finally ending, head coach Nick Nurse, one of the bastions of stability on this team, was hit with a lawsuit. Warren LeGarie, a prominent agent with a client […]
Toronto Raptors: Nick Nurse sued by former agent over breach of contract – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Meet the Sellers: Chicago Cubs

When news broke saying the Cubs would become sellers this morning, I had to pause my AL “Meet the Sellers” writing and go back to the NL. This comes on the heels of a 1-9 record over their last 10 games.

The Cubs have slowly slid into a tie for third place in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals. They hold a record of 43-45 after starting the season hot. They are 9.5 games back of the division-leading Brewers, who appear to have run away with the division.
The Cubs have a former NL MVP on the team, a stud closer, and a lefty reliever available, and I think the Blue Jays should have interest in all of them.  Honestly, I did not expect to have to write about the 2016 World Series Champions, as I thought they would win the NL Central coming into the season. Now that the Brew Crew are comfortably in first place, it does not make sense for the Cubs to hold onto expiring contracts, no matter the talent.
Here are some players that would fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Kris Bryant
Let’s start off with a bang. Kris Bryant, the former NL MVP (2016) should …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Remember whose fault this really is: The Leafs

Remember when New York City put red stockings on the Statue of Liberty after the Red Sox snapped their 86-year championship drought in 2004?
Did you know that earlier that summer the city of Chicago put a Detroit Pistons jersey on the Michael Jordan statue outside United Center after the three-headed monster of Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups won the NBA Finals?
I mean, sticking within hockey, there was the time the Detroit Red Wings celebrated Claude Lemieux’s 1000th game played with a congratulatory jumbotron video.
You don’t remember any of these things? Oh. That must be because they never happened.
Which makes what happened with the CN Tower tonight all the more enraging:

Tonight the #CNTower will be lit red, blue, and white for the @CanadiensMTL who will go on to represent Canada’s hope for a 2021 @NHL Stanley Cup! pic.twitter.com/cEqsXqBefZ
— CN Tower/La Tour CN (@TourCNTower) June 8, 2021

I don’t know who calls the shots over at the CN Tower, but congratulations on making this city a punchline and giving Montreal something to forever hold over our heads: the night our biggest hockey rivals got to own our city’s most famous landmark.


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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors

B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors

When the Toronto Raptors released former lottery pick Cameron Payne before the 2019 season, it looked like his NBA journey was coming to a close, as he signed with the Shanxi Loongs in China shortly thereafter. Against all odds, he could end up back in Toronto during this Raptors free agency period, as he has […]
B/R tabs Suns PG Cameron Payne as breakout star with Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr.

Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr.

When Gary Trent Jr. was traded to the Toronto Raptors in the same deal that saw fan-favorite and expert marksman Norman Powell flipped to the Portland Trail Blazers, he knew that he had to hit the ground running to prove himself as a worthwhile replacement. Trent might have a similar style of play to Powell, […]
Toronto Raptors: Grading the debut season of Gary Trent Jr. – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ