The Case for Travis Dermott as the Leafs’ Most Lovable Goofball

You can love the way Travis Dermott plays, you can hate it, or you can be indifferent. But I’m here to argue that what you cannot deny is that he is, off the ice, by far the most lovable goofball on the Toronto Maple Leafs current roster.
I want to disclaim, before I begin making my case, that there was a picture of Travis on vacation a few years ago in a Speedo, with cornrows in his hair. While some Twitter users suggested this to me as an example of Travis’ affable, goofball personality, I have to disagree. Cornrows are a hairstyle that carries deep meaning to Black people, and when white people or people from other cultures mimic this style it is a form of cultural appropriation and insensitivity. Travis was rightfully called out on this by many, and I am hopeful that he learned from that experience.
Aside from that instance, though, there are countless examples of Travis’ fun-loving, easygoing, carefree personality that we can point to when arguing that he’s the most lovable goofball on the team. I put a call out on Twitter (as mentioned above) and received so many suggestions, I might not …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays non-tender Travis Shaw and A.J. Cole; Kyle Schwarber, Archie Bradley, and David Dahl among other notable names who got cut

The deadline for teams to non-tender arbitration-eligible players was on Wednesday, so we have a whole bunch of new names on the free-agent market.

The Blue Jays non-tendered two players, Travis Shaw and A.J. Cole. That leaves Teoscar Hernandez and Ross Stripling as the only arbitration-eligible Blue Jays.
Shaw getting cut was really no surprise at all. He was brought in on a one-year deal to be a veteran stop-gap at third. The hope was that Shaw could rebound from a putrid season at the plate and become the hitter he was in 2017 and 2018. That didn’t happen. Shaw slashed a .239/.306/.411 line with OK defence. This is a position the Blue Jays are surely looking to upgrade this off-season.
A.J. Cole seems a bit more surprising on the surface but it really isn’t. Cole was solid for the Blue Jays in 2020. He tossed 23 1/3 innings for the team and had a nice 3.09 ERA, though his peripheral numbers (3.5 walks per nine and 7.7 strikeouts per nine) weren’t good. There will be plenty of better relievers who fall through the cracks this winter so there’s no sense in committing to Cole at this stage.
The Blue Jays now have 38 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Joey Anderson is the Leafs 7th ranked prospect

When the Leafs made the trade that sent Andreas Johnsson to the New Jersey Devils, it was safe to assume at first that the deal was meant to be a cash dump for Toronto. After all, Johnsson was making over $3 million against the cap and the Leafs were looking to make some upgrades elsewhere so it’s understandable that he would be one of the casualties as a result of this.
While it is true that the Leafs wanted to shed salary, they weren’t going to just deal away Johnsson for nothing. They wanted to get back a player who could provide a different element to the forward unit and potentially find his way onto the roster in the near future. That’s why they got Joey Anderson in return; Toronto saw something in the Roseville native that compelled them enough to acquire his services.

Rank
Grade
NHL Readiness

7th
B
0-1 Years

Position: Right Wing
Age: 22
Height: 5’11
Weight: 190 lbs
Drafted: 2016 3rd round, 73rd overall (NJD)
What kind of player is he?
Anderson isn’t a big player but he makes up for it by playing a high level of energy. This allows him to win races to pucks …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

What are the expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season?

If you told me in September that there might not be hockey until February, I would’ve laughed and cried at the same time. But every day, it looks like that’s more and more likely.
Let’s say though that the season starts in mid-January and the NHL gets 50-70 games in. The Maple Leafs are in the so-called Canadian division and they end up coming out on top. How far do they go in the playoffs? Even if they don’t win the division, how far do you think Toronto can go?
An early first-round exit? A second-round playoff berth for the first time since 2004? Eastern Conference finals? Heck, even the Stanley Cup Finals? That would be the dream but it’s so hard to judge especially with a team like the Maple Leafs.
However I think I’ve got it right:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him

Pascal Siakam is a player that is good in nearly every aspect of the game for the Toronto Raptors. Although shooting was never one of those fortes, Siakam has shown he can be one of the league’s best players when he shoots the three at an efficient rate. Pascal Siakam, to the surprise of many, […]
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

TheLeafsNation Top 25 of 2020: #24 — Friedman hints the Toronto Maple Leafs

Welcome to the yearly wrap up of the top read articles over the last year!

One of the bigger rumours that circled the NHL this past offseason surrounded the biggest free agent defenceman — Alex Pietrangelo. Before he signed a mammoth deal with Vegas, his name had been linked to the Maple Leafs.
An article penned by TLN editor Jon Steitzer on October 3rd detailed how while the Leafs may not land him, they had some plan b’s and that was the 24th most read article this year.
Friedman hints that Pietrangelo and the Leafs might not happen, but they have some Plan Bs
While the deal didn’t happen, there’s no denying the interest that was there. He’s that surefire number one right-shot defenceman that every team in the league covets. But right from the get-go, there was the knowledge that it would be tough to make sure it happened.
There were a number of players linked to the Leafs: Dylan DeMelo, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Radko Gudas, Sami Vatanen, Chris Tanev, and T.J. Brodie.
The Leafs finally landed on Brodie signing him to a four-year, $5-million AAV deal days after free agency opened.
Here’s what …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Training Camps Not Likely To Open Until January 10th or Later

Training Camps Not Likely To Open Until January 10th or Later

According to Brian Burke, the NHLPA has dug in their heels on being able to spend Christmas/holidays with their families. As a result, they would not be available to cross borders or begin quarantining in hub cities until December 26th or 27th. With a 14 day quarantine necessary, that means camps would not be be able to begin until January 10th or later.
Keep in mind this is but one of a number of sticking points between the league and the players, so there is still much to determine before final decisions are made.

Brian Burke @Burkie2020 just said on radio the players “have dug in on Christmas, they’re not giving up Christmas with their families.” If true (and I believe it) border corssing/quarantining can’t begin till Dec. 26, or 27th, camps would open 14 days later.
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) December 2, 2020

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, December 2nd: Kane You Believe It?

Hello there drama fiends. I won’t lie, your author took a Twitter break and wasn’t super aware of the latest happenings until last night, when our TLN blog daddy Jon told me to check out what had been happening with Evander Kane the last few days. So, everyone, while there are a few other little tidbits to touch on first, we will of course be diving deep into the Kane situation(s).
But first, as is custom, we check in on how our Leafs lads are doing.
Leafs Lads (and Ladies)
Mitch Marner and the Marner Assist Fund will be hosting a stream-a-thon later this month raising money for families in need this winter. I caught a screengrab on Instagram, so be sure to check that out!

Elsewhere, Tessa Virtue and Morgan Rielly are preparing for the holidays, which includes a stocking for each of them and their adorable pup:

Doggie Christmas stockings for the win! #TessaVirtue pic.twitter.com/6rZVGBwcKs
— Ann Ice2 (@icetalking2) December 2, 2020

To be honest our Leafs have been a bit quiet this week, so I’m sure they’re all resting up to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and possible training camp. Speaking …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Play in Dominican Winter League

It was reported Monday night that Vladimir Guerreo Jr. has been granted permission and will play Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic. 

Vladimir Guerrero will play with @EscogidoBBClub in the Dominican Winter League. https://t.co/qTAGBU4ao1
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) November 30, 2020

Vladdy will be joining the Escogido Baseball Club, a team already loaded with young talent. Vladdy will play alongside Julio Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners prospect who ranks among the top 10 prospects in all of baseball and the undisputed top prospect in baseball in shortstop Wander Franco. The roster also includes Gregory Polonco of the Pirates. 
As far as Blue Jays fans go the other name to watch on this team is Otto Lopez. Lopez was just added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Lopez is a versatile player having played every position but catcher and first base. It looks like the Blue Jays want to get him more focused on playing a middle infield position. In 2019 Lopez played 693.1 innings at shortstop after playing less than 100 innings there the year prior. Reading some scouting reports he doesn’t sound like a great defender, which means he’s likely headed …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Mikko Kokkonen is the Leafs 8th ranked prospect

I guess we’ll stick with the theme from yesterday and keep on talking about Finnish defensemen. A lot of the same things can be said about Niemela and Kokkonen, so excuse me if it looks like I plagiarized Nick Richard’s article, but that doesn’t change that like Niemela, Kokkonen is smooth skating defenseman with a good head on his shoulders that isn’t overly flashy and the Leafs were fortunate that he slid to the 3rd round of the draft.

RANK
GRADE
Time until NHL ready

8
C
2-4 YEARS

Position: Defense
Height: 5’11
Weight: 198lbs
Shoots: Left
Drafted: 2019 3rd Round, 84th Overall
What kind of player is he?
I’m going to jump straight to a player comparison. Player comparisons are generally terrible, and never accurate, but that’s not going to stop me from repeatedly going back to that well, and say the kind of player that the Leafs will get in Mikko Kokkonen is a player who plays a very Carl Gunnarsson style of hockey. That’s not to say he’ll be as good or as bad as Gunnarsson, depending on your opinion of Gunnarsson, but simply it speaks to Kokkonen being a steady kind …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation