The Leafs have hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach

After weeks of speculation, the Leafs have finally announced who will be replacing Dave Hakstol on the bench for 2021-22. It turned out to be someone no one expected would be in the running for the job.

We’ve hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 12, 2021

Dean Chynoweth had spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, who have proven to be one of the best defensive teams in the league. During that three-year span, the Hurricanes had allowed a combined 2.64 GA/G (In that same stretch, the Leafs have allowed 2.95 GA/G). They also boasted one of the best penalty-killing units in the NHL, finishing eight, fourth, and third in each of the past three seasons.
Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe surely think that Chynoweth can carry over those results to Toronto and make the Leafs an even better defensive team than they did last season where they averaged 2.64 GA/G. It may not be an assistant coach that can bring some much-needed creativity to the struggling power-play (i.e. Bruce Boudreau), but it does signal that the Leafs want to double down on being better in their own …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Joe Thornton’s Leafs tenure was long overdue, but hopefully is at it’s end.

After years of pleading with the universe, Leafs fans finally had their wish granted when the team announced the signing of veteran centre Joe Thornton to a one year league minimum contract last October. After what felt like decades of hoping only to see the man they call Jumbo re-up with the team he carved out the bulk of his (potential) Hall of Fame career with, it was announced on October 16th that when Thornton would eventually leave his stint in Switzerland with HC Davos to return to North America, it would be to play with his “local” boyhood team in Toronto rather than the Golden Coast.
However, within nine months, the Toronto Maple Leafs decision to bring in Joe Thornton went from “long overdue” to “three years too late” to outright lamenting ever doing it in the first place. After visions of Thornton, a man (fairly or not) maligned for his own personal shortcomings in the postseason, teaming up with the Leafs to shake their long drought of not only a playoff series win, but hopefully a Cup win as well, were conjured up amongst fans, we find ourselves here, in a familiar spot. Lamenting another lost season, and …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Pros and Cons of moving the first round pick

Toronto Raptors: Pros and Cons of moving the first round pick

After vaulting up three spots in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery, the Toronto Raptors have officially secured themselves the fourth-overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. With tons of talent on the board this year, this could not have come at a better time for the Raptors. With several areas in need of improvement on […]
Toronto Raptors: Pros and Cons of moving the first round pick – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

Meet the Sellers: Minnesota Twins

After a successful 2020 shortened season, it is surprising to see the Minnesota Twins in a seller’s article in 2021. The Twins went 36-24 in 2020, finishing atop the AL Central. In 2021, the team has done a complete 180 and have found themselves near the bottom of the division. They are 12.5 games back of the leading White Sox, struggling with a record of 33-44.

The Twins could have some higher-end players available for trade at this deadline, including their ace. They also have a couple of bullpen arms potentially on the market. Despite the recent deal for Adam Cimber, I think the bullpen could still be addressed. You can never have too many reliable late-inning arms or starting pitchers. The Twins could also have some valuable bats on the market, specifically Nelson Cruz, but I do not see a fit for any of the bats the Twins could trade. 
According to MLB.com, the Minnesota Twins still have the 12th best farm system in baseball and getting more impact prospects will improve an already young nucleus that includes Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff, just to name a couple.
Here are some players that fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Tyler Duffey
The first reliever …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six select, in the second round, Annie MacDonald and Rachel Marmen

After an exciting first round for the Toronto Six, where they selected 2 forwards and a defender, they embark on the second round of the draft where they have two more selections to make.
Annie MacDonald
The first of their round two picks, their fourth total pick so far, and the 9th overall pick in the draft, was made by NWHL’s Advisor on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Head Coach of the Arcadia University women’s hockey program, Kelsey Koelzer.
MacDonald is a forward who played for Princeton (which happens to be Koelzer’s alma mater), but hails from Nova Scotia.
She had 13 points in this 2020-21 season, where she played 28 games. She also helped to lead the Tigers to the NCAA Championships in the 2019-20 season, which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID.
Rachel Marmen
This pick, the 10th overall in the draft and Toronto’s 5th, was announced by the New Jersey Devils’ PK Subban.
Marmen was a defender for Mercyhurst University, where she played all four of her college seasons. Another offensive defender, Marmen put up 11 points in the 18 games of her Senior year in the 2020-21 season.
She led the Lakers with a +11 rating this …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Why the Wayne Simmonds signing makes sense

After Wayne Simmonds’ wrist injury, he wasn’t the same. We all know it. This time around, he’ll be healthy and at a cheaper price tag — for two years.
There’s a lot of reasons to like this deal, and there are some question marks in terms of where he’ll play in the lineup.
Everything and anything you need to know is in the video below. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Suggs should be the pick at No. 4

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Suggs should be the pick at No. 4

After an extremely tough year in Tampa, the Toronto Raptors draft plans didn’t look as promising as some would have hoped. With the seventh-best odds at the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Raptors appeared to be incapable of selecting a game-change like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, or Jalen Suggs. However, the cosmic […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Jalen Suggs should be the pick at No. 4 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Raps officially win franchise’s first title

This day in Toronto Raptors history: Raps officially win franchise’s first title

Even after the addition of Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors winning the 2018-19 NBA championship wasn’t a possibility entertained by sports media as a whole. In addition to the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference, the Golden State Warriors were once again slated to pick up what would’ve been their fourth title […]
This day in Toronto Raptors history: Raps officially win franchise’s first title – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The NHL Draft: Consolidated Rankings, Where the Leafs sit, and introducing the Hunter Score

Salt, meet wound. After an incredibly disappointing post season that saw the Leafs in their traditional role of watching the second round from their comfort of their own homes, we now need to address the fact that the Leafs are heading into the NHL Entry Draft with only 3 draft picks and most significantly, without a first round pick. Draft experts will provide some comforting knowledge that this isn’t a particularly high end draft. It’s not a draft that is overwhelmingly deep, and of course with COVID, there are entire leagues like the OHL that didn’t play and others that played shortened schedules in bizarre circumstances. Still the seven regular season games and four post season games of Nick Foligno that resulted in 5 assists and 0 parades probably is creating a nice bitter feeling at the moment.
Still, it’s foolish to completely dismiss any conversation of the entry draft because we don’t particularly like the way the Leafs are situated heading into it. Last year the Leafs also looked to be without a first round pick, and low and behold, the Kapanen trade brought a first back into the mix and Rodion Amirov into our lives. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 free agents from eliminated playoff teams Raps could get

Toronto Raptors: 4 free agents from eliminated playoff teams Raps could get

The Toronto Raptors might be watching the postseason at home after almost a decade of consecutive appearances, but eight more teams have since joined them at home on the couch. Among them are plenty of Raptors free agency targets. The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics joined their Atlantic Division mates at home after getting taken down […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 free agents from eliminated playoff teams Raps could get – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ