The Maple Leafs Draft Pick Cupboard is Bare and That’s Okay: A Letter from a Draft Guy

 
Hey Leafs Nation,
It’s me, you’re favourite bald draft analyst. It’s been a busy week. The Leafs made a few trades to bolster their lineup. The additions of Riley Nash, David Rittich, Ben Hutton, and the key piece of the deadline, Nick Foligno will all go a long way to ensuring the Buds are good to go should injuries strike. The team added depth, a key piece, and an NHL calibre goalie who helps make sure things don’t go awry in the crease. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good deadline for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs. One thing that seems to be bugging everyone is the lack of draft picks going forward with just six picks in the next two drafts combined. As a draft guy, I have one thing to say about that. Who cares?
Hear me out. Of those six picks, they have their 2021 second-round pick as well as their 2022 first and second-rounders. That means most of their truly premium assets are still in the fold to add good talent or use them next year to bolster the roster again. As I explained before, this year’s first-round is …

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Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

The Alternate Training Site lives on as Triple-A baseball’s start has been delayed by one month

Bad news if you’re a fan of the Buffalo Bisons — The Alternate Training Site will continue to exist for at least the first month of the 2021 season.

According to a report from ESPN, Major League Baseball has opted to push back the start of the Triple-A level season to early May. It was originally slated to begin on April 6, a few days after the start of the big-league season, but players will instead go to Alternate Training Sites like the ones from last summer for at least one month.
Here’s what MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations’ statement said…
“This is a prudent step to complete the major league and minor league seasons as safely as possible, and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon.”
With COVID-19 vaccinations quickly becoming available in the United States, MLB is ultimately strategizing to have non-big-league players wait around and practice so that they can receive the vaccine before embarking on the minor-league season. Both Double- and Class-A level ball had always been scheduled to begin in May this season.
Minor-league players are obviously in a more susceptible position to contract the virus, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: MLBPA rejects pushing back the season, getting in on the Rockies blow-up, Edwin Encarnacion’s pursuit of 500 homers, and more!

Daily?!?!?!

Good news if you’re really jonesing for baseball to come back as quickly as possible — the MLB Players’ Association has rejected the league’s offer to push the start of the season back by a few weeks. Though we don’t know everything MLB included in this offer, we know that it featured a 154-game season with full salaries and it very likely also featured an expanded post-season and a universal designated hitter.
Why would the players be against this? They’re hanging onto their bargaining chips for later on because there’s one hell of a storm brewing.
As we know, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire on Dec. 1, 2021 and there’s going to be a long, tough battle between the players and the owners over a wealth of hot-button issues, such as service time manipulation, free agency, collusion in free agency, and so on.
The players are cognizant of the fact an expanded post-season is going to make the owners a fuck-load of cash, so that’s one thing they aren’t going to fork over unless they’re getting something worthwhile back in return. And no, the universal DH, which advantageous to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

DailyFaceoff.com releases free 2021 Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking to get an advantage in your fantasy hockey pool. Whether you’re in a league with you friends, your co-workers at the office, or some random people you met online, every game counts.

And our friends over at DailyFaceoff.com have once again concocted your go-to draft kit for the 2020-21 NHL season. This year the team there is giving away the kit for FREE. Yes, FREE! That’s in big thanks to the team over at OwnersBox.
The draft kit features a customizable google spreadsheet, cheat sheets, projected lineups and draft tips.
I know I’ll be finding myself diving deep into the kit with multiple drafts coming up over the next week. In the past, we used to charge $5 for the draft kit but we decided that it would be better to put it out for free so that everyone can have access to it, doing what we can to ensure that all of you are much better fantasy hockey GMs.
DailyFaceoff also offers some great other tools as well including up-to-date information on lineups, projections and starting goalies.
You can check out the draft kit in its …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Stories of the Year: Professional Women’s Hockey Comes (Back) to Toronto

If you’re a TLN reader at all, you definitely know by now that we’ve launched an exciting partnership with the Toronto Six – the newest team in the NWHL, and the only Canadian franchise. While we’re thrilled to bring you exciting content and coverage of the team’s inaugural season, there’s more to it than just hockey coverage. The establishment of a Toronto-based NWHL team is logical, necessary, and important.
Leafs fans often proudly joke (and other teams’ fans often derisively joke) that Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe. But the fact is, that’s more or less true. Toronto is home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL’s “situation room”, and one of the most prominent Original Six teams in the league. The Toronto hockey fanbase is so deeply established and embedded in Toronto life, that the waiting list for Leafs season tickets (if one can afford them) is twenty years long.
Hockey and Toronto are synonymous. And bringing an NWHL team to the city further cements that. After the CWHL folded, and following the lengthy discussions about the creation of one women’s league, the launch of the Toronto Six signifies …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Major League Baseball is thinking about delaying the start of the 2021 season to May

If you’re already looking forward to February and have pitchers and catchers report written down on your calendar, I’ve got bad news for you.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Major League Baseball is considering pushing the start of the 2021 season back to May because it would give the league more time to get players and personnel vaccinated.
Apparently, those on MLB’s side would rather push things back and have a shorter (like 140-game) season if it means everyone is vaccinated and fans are more likely to be able to attend games in person rather than going forward with a normal 162-game schedule as planned. On the other side, the Players’ Association believes that a full season can be executed as normal even without a vaccine so long as protocols are in place.
“I don’t see any way spring training starts in February,” one anonymous executive told USA Today. “Zero chance of that. I don’t care if we play 140 games, 120 games or 80 games, we have to make sure everyone is safe to do this right.’’
I generally tend to lean pro-player when it comes to issues between MLB and the PA, but, in this …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency?

Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency?

If you’ve been out of the loop, you’re at the right place for your Toronto Raptors free agency news. The 2020 NBA free agency is upon us. It officially starts on November 20 at 6 pm Eastern time. The Toronto Raptors will have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, and what they do […]
Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix Wednesday, October 28th: Babies, Fur Babies, and Instagram Madness

Happy Wednesday, gossip hounds. If you’re here, it likely means you either have a sense of unwavering loyalty to yours truly, or you too need a break from the real world to focus on the mundane, trivial fun of hockey gossip and drama.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Leafs Lads (and Ladies, and Fur Babies)
Our boys in blue were all over Instagram this week cuddling their furry loved ones. First up, this adorable picture of Morgan Rielly and little Zoë, shared by Tessa Virtue on her IG stories:

This picture of Mo and Zoë is Tessa’s favorite on her phone right now and I’m not okay pic.twitter.com/KPqS701UwT
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 27, 2020

It’s her favourite, and it might be ours too.
Then, we have our adorable backup goalie Jack Campbell, aka cat dad extraordinaire:

We must protect Jack Campbell at all costs pic.twitter.com/PRufpirALe
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 27, 2020

Love those furry friend pics!
Finally, quick shout out to the newest Leaf goalie, Aaron Dell, and his fiancee Nicole, who recently made the move to Toronto. Nicole has been documenting it on IG stories, and if you don’t yet …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

WATCH: Braves organist trolls Reese McGuire by playing “Beat It”

Sorry, Reese, I don’t think you’re ever going to live this one down.

As we all surely know by now, Reese McGuire was arrested back during spring training for allegedly jerking off in a Florida parking lot. McGuire pleaded no contest and was fined $450 after initially being charged with exposure of sexual organs, a first-degree misdemeanour.
Anyways, here we are now, a few months later, and the jokes are still coming in. Last night in Atlanta, the Braves organist played Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It” for McGuire as he came walked up to the plate.

Earlier this year, the Blue Jays’ Reese McGuire was arrested for public masturbation.
Listen to the song the Braves played for his walk-up music last night.
This is literally the greatest thing that has happened all year.
pic.twitter.com/keUBbrwZjV
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) August 7, 2020

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: How to fix the draft lottery

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Scott, this topic is almost two weeks old now, it’s not relevant anymore. Well, let me be the first to say that I know, I’m just an idiot and forgot to do this one last week.
Regardless, this year’s lottery was a controversial one to say the least, as a lot of fans of really bad teams were mad that the first overall pick went to a playoff team, and that an elite team already loaded with offensive talent, like the Penguins or Leafs, could end up adding Alexis Lafreniere to their team.
And it’s deserved criticism. As Leafs fans, we can consider ourselves lucky that we were one of two last place teams to keep the first overall pick in this new lottery system. In fact, since this new system was put in place, only three teams that finished bottom three (2016 Leafs, 2018 Sabres, 2020 Sharks/Sens) actually retained their original pick, and only four (those three and the 2019 Devils) actually won any of the lottery picks. More often than not, it punishes bad teams for being too bad. It does encourage more parity in …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation