Five of the best Toronto Maple Leafs-themed gifts to get this holiday season

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a gift to, or from, one of your loved ones that was Toronto Maple Leafs-themed, would it?

It’s two days before Christmas — I know — but if you’re a last-minute shopper like me, or still haven’t found the right gift for someone you’re buying for, this could be the perfect article for you.
Some of these gifts can be found at multiple sports stores, and some are just found at Real Sports Apparel, online or in-store.
Either way, these are the best gifts that I found for that special Leafs fan in your life.
(Click on the photo of the gift if you’re interested in seeing more information.)
Borje Salming ALS Patch

This is the perfect gift to get any Maple Leafs this holiday season.
If you have a friend or family member who has a jersey, you can buy this patch for them. It comes in at $19.99 and would be an incredible stocking stuffer or little gift for that special person this holiday season.
And guess what? All net proceeds will be donated to ALS Action Canada, “Canada’s only ALS patient-led nonprofit organization building a movement to ensure urgent, equitable access to promising therapies for Canadians living with ALS; more and better clinical trials for ALS therapies throughout Canada; and increased federal and provincial investment in ALS research.”
Even if that friend or family member doesn’t have a jersey, this patch is a nice little memento to have for keepsake.
Matthews 60-goal net twine puck

Who wouldn’t want a piece of history?
This puck has a snippet of twine in it from Auston Matthews’ 60th goal, scored on April 26th, 2022 in Toronto against the Detroit Red Wings.
The puck comes in at $79.99 at Real Sports Apparel and could be the perfect gift for the diehard fan, or for someone who enjoys memorabilia. And hey, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Should Auston Matthews play on the penalty kill?

Should Auston Matthews play on the penalty kill?

Auston Matthews is, without a doubt, the face of the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise. Alongside his powerful skating, elite strength, slick puck handling, and otherworldly shot, he has recently added another layer to his game, becoming an incredibly strong defensive player. His defensive prowess has developed to the point that he’s found his way into the Selke trophy conversation, finishing 10th in the voting this past season. One of the biggest arguments against his Selke case, however, is that he does all of his work defensively at 5 on 5. In the 2021-22 season, Matthews logged just three seconds of shorthanded ice time per game.
So why hasn’t Sheldon Keefe been willing to put Matthews on the penalty kill? The Leafs have struggled to find centres who can play shorthanded, sometimes being forced to put wingers in the faceoff dot in crucial 4v5 situations. The addition of David Kampf helped this past season, but Matthews is a strong centre who won 56% of his draws last year, and had the most takeaways of any forward in the league with 92.
Perhaps the biggest downside of putting Matthews on the penalty kill is load management. While the Leafs’ superstar is far from injury prone, he has had some …

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Author: Jaden Ho / The Leafs Nation

Where would the Blue Jays be without Adam Cimber?

Where would the Toronto Blue Jays be without reliever Adams Cimber? Given the shallow depth of the Blue Jays bullpen, I can only shudder to imagine.

He has been able to keep his place as a go-to arm in high leverage situations since establishing himself in that role after being acquired from the Marlins last season. Crucially, he has also remained steady in this role while offseason signing Yimi Garcia and closer Jordan Romano have struggled physically with the heavy workload the Blue Jays have required of them.
Cimber goes about his business by missing barrels instead of outright missing bats. The Blue Jays’ resident submarine reliever, throwing the ball below his shoulder, does not wow you with strikeouts. He makes good use of his sinker, fastball, and slider mix to induce groundballs and other forms of weak contact. He simply gets a lot of outs without necessarily blowing anyone away. This can be stressful in high leverage situations or when there are runners on base. However, an improved infield defence buoyed by third-baseman Matt Chapman and second-baseman Santiago Espinal has allowed Cimber to continue to flourish. Despite only throwing his fastball in the upper 80s, Cimber is able to avoid barrels (a batted ball with the perfect combination of con …

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Author: Noah Vande / Blue Jays Nation