Drake fuels Raptors’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rumors with IG post

Drake fuels Raptors’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rumors with IG post

The Toronto Raptors missed out on big trade names like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell during the 2022-23 offseason, but there is still one big name left on the market that Masai Ujiri could chase. The Raptors haven’t given up on adding Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. While the Thunder are allegedly trying to […]
Drake fuels Raptors’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander rumors with IG post – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Fitting Rasmus Sandin into the Toronto Maple Leafs line-up

Fitting Rasmus Sandin into the Toronto Maple Leafs line-up

Rasmus Sandin has finally signed a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now the coaches will need to find the best place for him in the line-up.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer waiting for any remaining restricted free agents to sign a new deal with the team after it was announced that Rasmus Sandin had agreed to a two-year, $1.4 million AAV contract. It is reportedly the same contract that was offered to the young Swedish defenceman earlier in the summer and is the exact same deal that fellow countryman and teammate Timothy Liljegren penned this past off-season.
Now that the deal is signed, and there hasn’t been such a long and drawn-out situation that could make people sour on the 22-year-old, fans can rejoice that the Leafs have one of their better young players locked up and can now simply focus on playing hockey. That would be easier to do, however, if the Leafs were not suffering the slew of injuries that seemingly prompted Sandin to get his deal done this week.
With the injuries, though, comes the opportunity for Sandin to cement his position within the Leafs’ top six defencemen early on this season. This poses an interesting question of where will Sandin most likely fit into the team once h …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

3 Toronto Raptors who could lose their roster spot midseason

3 Toronto Raptors who could lose their roster spot midseason

The Toronto Raptors are going to use the 2022-23 preseason to gauge just how strong the bench will be. Considering that they have their starting lineup completely figured out, the first few exhibitions in October will be used to ensure that this team is as well-rounded as possible. While the core of this team is […]
3 Toronto Raptors who could lose their roster spot midseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The King Of The Multi-Hit Game Is Back

In the immortal words of Peter Drury: “Close your eyes and it’s like he never went away…”
Bo Bichette is back. Well, kind of.
His 222 wRC+ in the month of September is only bested by Aaron Judge’s mark of 286. That said, he’s also had one of his worst defensive months to date, with a -2 OAA and several bad mistakes in the field to go along with that. That isn’t even mentioning how, at the plate, Bichette is a bit of a streaky player. Between September 1st and September 14th, Bichette had a wRC+ of 329. But between September 15th and September 29th, he’s fallen back to Earth with a merely decent 105 wRC+.
However, on the whole, he’s absolutely dominated pitchers in September. Thus far in September, he’s racked up 16 multi-hit games, basically one every second day. Here are his multi-hit games, by month:
April: 5 multi-hit games
May: 11 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
July: 6 multi-hit games
August: 8 multi-hit games
September: 16 multi-hit games
While September is clearly his best month thus far, months of 11 or even 8 multi-hit games are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Aaron Judge has been having just about the best hitting season anybody’s seen since Bonds, and his numbers stack up very similarly!
April: 7 multi-hit games
May: 9 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
Ju …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation

Government urges Canadian KHL players to leave Russia and Belarus

Government urges Canadian KHL players to leave Russia and Belarus

On Wednesday morning, the Canadian Federal government warned all Canadian players currently on the Russian and Belorussian teams in the Kontinental Hockey League to get out of those countries.

There are 33 Canadian-born players on 16 different Russian KHL teams, while there are seven different players on the only Belorussian team in the KHL. Out of the 57 players listed at the bottom of the article, 35 are former NHL players. This includes Ryan Spooner, Brendan Leipsic, and Andrew Hammond.
Moreover, there are six players that have played in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, with two making their Leafs debut. The two players who played on the Leafs are Brandon Kozun (Minsk Dynamo), and Brendan Leipsic (Magnitogorsk Metallurg). 
The four players who only played for the Toronto Marlies are Joshua Ho-Sang (Ufa Salavat Yulaev), Ryan Sproul (Kunlun Red Star), Tyler Wong (Kunlun Red Star), and Jack Rodewald (Kunlun Red Star).
Taylor Beck, who plays for Novosibirsk Sibir, also was a Leaf on paper. He was traded from the Nashville Predators to the Leafs for Jamie Devane but was traded with prospects to the New York Islanders for Michael Grabner before the start of the 2015 training camp.
It’s widely known that Russia is in the midst of an ongoing war with Ukraine. Onc …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / The Leafs Nation

3 important Raptors to watch as Training Camp officially kicks off

3 important Raptors to watch as Training Camp officially kicks off

The Toronto Raptors officially got their training camp grind kicked off nearly this week. Nick Nurse wants to ensure that this rebuilt roster and collection of non-guaranteed deals are as locked in as possible before their preseason debut against the new-look Utah Jazz. The preseason is where we saw that Dalano Banton was worthy of […]
3 important Raptors to watch as Training Camp officially kicks off – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Aaron Judge hits home run No. 61 as Yankees spank Blue Jays in series finale

Kevin Gausman said after Monday’s game that he didn’t want to be the answer to a trivia question regarding Aaron Judge’s (potential) 61st home run of the 2022 season. While Gausman avoided that label, there is finally an answer.

That man is Tim Mayza.

61 years since 61.
Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball’s record books. pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 29, 2022

Judge battled through an 8 pitch at-bat with Mayza, and eventually deposited a 94 mph sinker into the Blue Jays bullpen. While he has only tied the record for most home runs in a single season, it absolutely sucks that this happened in Toronto. Glass half full, I think we can all look at the silver lining in all of this and be grateful that Zack Hample wasn’t able to collect the home run ball.
Judge also put Roger Maris Jr. out of his misery, as every camera shot of Maris Jr. showed a man who couldn’t wait to be home.
Judge’s legendary moment came amidst some glaring momentum shifts throughout the game. The Yankees were in complete control through the first five innings. Mitch White walked the first two batters he faced en route to allowing three runs in the first inning. He pitched 3.2 innings total, only allowing those three runs, but eight baserunners.
His opposition, Gerrit Cole, cruised through five perfect innings in only 54 pitches, as the Blue Jays only managed to produce two batted ball outs in the air.
It was the sixth inning, however, that Cole imploded and let Toronto right back int …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Could past chemistry yield current success on the Leafs 4th line?

Could past chemistry yield current success on the Leafs 4th line?

What makes a great forward line? Regardless of which line it is, chemistry is imperative. Understanding strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies will certainly lead to a higher chance of successfully contributing.
It’s difficult to learn these things in training camp, with multiple line combinations being assessed, and players being thrown into different groups, on different wings, and in different scenarios.
Perhaps familiarity is where a coaching staff should start. It’s why we shall see Bunting-Matthews-Marner to start the year. Below them, there are question marks. John Tavares will miss the Leafs opener, which leaves only Nylander as an obvious 2nd liner. Engvall will also miss the opener, leaving yet another hole up front.
Looking at the rest of the forward group, there doesn’t appear to be much familiarity. Kampf is a lock at centre, and the remaining wingers haven’t spent much time, if any, on his line. Dig a little deeper, however, and you might find a couple of new Leafs that have in fact played together.
Zach Aston Reese (ZAR), who is currently on a PTO, went undrafted before attending Northeastern University and played 4 years for the Huskies. During his time in the NCAA, he made the Hockey East All-Star team twice (one 1st Team, and one 2nd Team). He was a Hobey Baker nominee (the most outstanding NCAA Division 1 player), and was voted Hockey East Player of the Year in his senior season.
That same season, Adam Gaudette made the Hockey East All-Star 3rd team and was beginning to forge his own path in the NCAA a …

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Author: Bennett Jull / The Leafs Nation

Errors prove costly as Yankees defeat Jays 5-2, clinch division

Dan Shulman made one of the better points of the night. The Blue Jays can play with anyone, but they can’t be successful handing the opposition more opportunities. I’m paraphrasing, but that turned out to be the tone of the game tonight, as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 5-2 to clinch the AL East.
The rollercoaster ride that has been Jose Berrios’ season looks like it is still at another low point, as the righty allowed five earned runs over 5.1 innings, despite registering his 1,000th career strikeout tonight. While the loud contact was way down, the Yankees gave him death by a thousand paper cuts, if you will, as seven of the nine hits he allowed were singles.
George Springer homered off of Yankees starter Jameson Taillon to lead off the game, but the offense struggled to produce much else until the later innings. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning, however, behind a couple of RBI singles from Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres.
Rain started to figuratively pour in the top of 5th, when Rizzo skied a ball into shallow center fiel …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Newest Fred VanVleet contract update sounds good for Raptors

Newest Fred VanVleet contract update sounds good for Raptors

In the early stages of the offseason, it seemed like Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet was a lock to be extended. A four-year deal that would get into nine figures would make the highest-paid undrafted player in NBA history even more wealthy following an All-Star season. VanVleet is close to free agency once again, […]
Newest Fred VanVleet contract update sounds good for Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ