The next shift.

After his game on Jan. 22 vs. the Jacksonville Icemen, Jordan Subban took to Twitter to express frustrations from a racist incident he faced in-game.

More like @JPanetta12 was too much of a coward to fight me and as soon as I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is. There fixed it https://t.co/JtPqpN9wwE
— Jordan Subban (@jordansubban) January 23, 2022

This comes less than 10 days after Boko Imama was the victim of yet another racist incident in-game on Jan. 12. All in the same week that Willie O’Ree had his number retired by the Bruins.
Here we have two instances of racism occurring in various levels of hockey, that were made public. How many have gone unnoticed? How many have been swept under the rug? How many more players have to experience these terrible acts before real change comes?
Responses from the Icemen, the ECHL and the NHL were subpar. Even with two attempts at a statement, the Jacksonville Icemen still missed the mark. Saying, “we apologize to anyone that was offended,” is not the apology you think it is. The ECHL couldn’t even describe what Panetta did, simply describing it as “his actions” in his suspension notice. Then moving to the top of the food chain with the NHL, they say a whole lot of nothing in a very weak statement. Proceeding to extend education resources to its hockey ecosystem.
What more has to happen before organizations realize their empty words are falling through the cracks?
W …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Trail Blazers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 23

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Trail Blazers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 23

The Toronto Raptors finally chalked up another win after a very difficult road lost streak, as Scottie Barnes’ career-high 27 points helped them take down the Wizards in Washington. The latest Raptors odds are bullish on this team. as they expect them to be victorious and avenge an early-season loss. Toronto is slated to take […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Trail Blazers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 23 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs’ Latest: Keefe addresses post-game comments, Mrazek starts vs. Islanders

After a day off, the Maple Leafs are practicing one final time before their game in Long Island. It’s Toronto’s last game on the road before they start splitting games at home and away from the city.
It’s a later practice today in New York at 2PM, but it allowed the Maple Leafs to make some moves ahead of practice.

Forward Joey Anderson and defenceman Carl Dahlström have been reassigned to the Maple Leafs taxi squad from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 21, 2022

Joey Anderson and Carl Dahlstrom are two players who seem to have a bungee cord strapped to them with the amount of times they go up and down. They leave a Toronto Marlies team, who’s also close to the state of New York.
So, evidently, they made it to practice today.
Maple Leafs lines in New York
Both Anderson and Dahlstrom look to be in the lineup with the way the lines shape up today.

#Leafs lines at practice Jan. 21/22
Bunting-Matthews-MarnerKerfoot-Tavares-NylanderMikheyev-Kampf-EngvallSimmonds-Spezza-AndersonExtra: Clifford, Ritchie
Rielly-BrodieSandin-LiljegrenDahlstrom-DermottBiega
Campbell Mrázek
— David Alter (@dalter) January 21, 2022

Each line remains the same, except for the four line and the third defence pairing. Coming onto the fourth line is Anderson, who had six points in his last three AHL games. Dahlström comes in for Alex Biega, who didn’t have the best game on Wednesday night.
It looks like Dahlström will get his first game with the Maple Leafs on Saturday. He’s excited for the opportunity to play and has been “itching” for the chance, since joining the organization over the summer.

Dahlstrom: “Exciting times. I see myself as a two-way defenceman.” Broke his hand and foot in previous stops. “I’ve been itching for my chance. I’ve always liked (the Leafs’) game.”
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) January 21, 2022

 
Still missing from the team is Ondrej Kase and Justin Holl. Sheldon Keefe said after Friday’s practice that both players are out of protocol and will join the team tomorrow.

Keefe says Kase and Holl are out of protocol and flyi …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The revised Maple Leafs schedule is about as friendly as it can be

The Leafs have no shortage of games to make up after a number of postponements in December and January either due to COVID protocols or out of attempts at getting the Leafs playing in front of fans and generating ticket revenue.
The Leafs find themselves with 11 rescheduled games overall, including the two that were essentially moved to get the Leafs optimal home dates, and this has the Leafs with the highest number of make up games of all teams presently sitting in a playoff spot, and only the Senators, Canadiens, and Islanders have more games to make up overall. Suddenly that three week stretch without hockey in February has become very busy, but it always was going to be potentially busy for Leafs players as the Leafs could have had their roster core committed to the Olympics, so perhaps playing around the same number of games as they’d have in the Olympics and cutting out the travel and quarantine time in Beijing is still a net gain. Still, when you see the Panthers only making up 4 games, and the Lightning with 5, the deck seems a little stacked against the Leafs, although it could have been so much worse.
Here is the list of resched …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs’ revised schedule for February finally dropped

Weeks after the Omicron variant wreaked havoc on the 2021-22 NHL season, the revised schedule for the teams impacted has finally been released.

February Schedule #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/xjru2A5E5z
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 19, 2022

Altogether, the Leafs had eight games that originally were supposed to take place in late December and early January get pushed to the initially planned Olympic break.
As a result of these changes to the schedule, the afternoon game that was supposed to be held on December 23 will now be on a Saturday night. Beyond that, the other seven games will be held at their originally scheduled times.
One fascinating note in the revised schedule is that despite the games being pushed back, the Leafs only get one back-to-back where they play in Montreal on February 21 and Columbus on February 22.
The Leafs also reported that their game against the Devils on January 31st and match against the Red Wings on April 26 will now start at 7:30 p.m. EST.
How many fans will be allowed into Scotiabank Arena remains a mystery since the Ontario government has yet to loosen the restriction on the 1000 capacity limit for indoor arenas. The Leafs’ next home game is scheduled for January 26 when they host the Ducks.
In all, the NHL rescheduled 98 games for all of the teams and still plans to finish the season on April 29.
Here is a full breakdown of the revised schedule:


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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Remembering Blue Jays Legend Francisco Liriano

After spending 14 seasons in the majors, pitcher Francisco Liriano officially announced his retirement from professional baseball Monday, putting a wrap on his lengthy career in Major League Baseball.

Francisco Liriano is retiring, agent Mike Maulini tells FanSided. https://t.co/6nIFDMtS71
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 17, 2022

While Liriano spent the majority of his playing days between the Minnesota Twins (2005-2012) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2013-2016), the 38-year-old joined the Toronto Blue Jays for a couple of partial seasons from 2016-2017 – including their post-season run in ’16.
Though he’s certainly not one of the more notable hurlers that have ever thrown for this organization, however, the left-hander still enjoyed some memorable highlights during his brief time pitching north of the border.
First and foremost, there was that glorious trade involving the Pirates that brought Liriano to the Blue Jays – along with prospects Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez – in exchange for Drew Hutchison and financial relief. Granted, this club retained just over $8.5 million of the remaining $39 million that was left owing on his contract, although that proved to be worthwhile in the end.
Looking back, this transaction remains one of the best trades ever made under the Mark Shapiro/Ross Atkins era. With that in mind, it’s time to explore the most meaningful moments of Liriano’s tenure in blue and white.
Liriano Earns 2nd Career Win With Blue Jays 
Normally, a pitcher’s first win with a new franchise is usually the one most fans remember the most, but in Liriano’s case, his second victory with Toronto proved to be more satisfying than his first.
Making his ninth appearance since being acquired at the 2016 trade deadline …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs’ Latest: Jake Muzzin unavailable for New York trip after suffering concussion

After a day full of snow yesterday, in which the Maple Leafs still held practice, they take one final day to prepare for their two games in New York.
Toronto is coming off a road trip that saw them give up a few leads, but still come out with four points from four games. When you look back at the Maple Leafs’ recent play, there’s things to be happy about. But, other teams in the Atlantic Division are playing just as good, or better.
Sheldon Keefe understands that and wants that to be the focus going forward,
“We’re 7-2-1 in our last 10 games, but over that span, we’ve actually lost ground on Boston,” said Keefe after Monday’s practice. “That’s just the nature of the way the division has gone. Obviously, Florida and Tampa don’t lose very often. We’ve been fortunate to stay up with them, but despite the fact that there’s a lot of season left, you can’t take days off, can’t take nights off. That’s why it was frustrating that we gave up those points on the road like we did, whether it was giving up a lead, or giving up two points in Arizona. Those are tough points. Those are things that you have to be ab …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

News from the Rink: Marner, Engvall return to Leafs practice as more players enter COVID protocols

After a day off in Arizona, the Maple Leafs have returned to practice before their game vs. the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
Returning to the team today is Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall, who have both in COVID protocols since January 7th. As those two come off the COVID list, the Maple Leafs have unfortunately had to add a few players to it.

The Maple Leafs have placed defenceman Justin Holl, forward Ondrej Kaše and forward Nick Ritchie into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 14, 2022

There were five players remaining on the team who haven’t been placed in protocol, and this is three of them. Justin Holl, Ondrej Kase, and Nick Ritchie will all have to isolate for five days and submit a negative test before returning to the team.
Both Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting are the only Maple Leafs left who haven’t been put into protocols this season.
Losing those three players is a huge blow for Toronto. It seemed like Holl was starting to find his way after a rough start to the season, and it looked like Kaše was a fit on the top line with Matthews and Bunting. It looked like Ritchie was starting to have a bit of success too.
Maple Leafs lines in practice
With Marner and Engvall returning, and a few others in isolation, here’s how the Maple Leafs lines shaped up in practice today.

#Leafs lines at practice Jan. 14/22
Bunting-Matthews-MarnerKerfoot-Tavares-NylanderMikheyev-Kampf-EngvallClifford-Sp …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

‘He lets younger guys be themselves’: How Rich Clune’s leadership is felt throughout the Leafs organization

Seven years after joining the Maple Leafs organization, and Rich Clune is still playing the game he loves.
The bus was getting packed up on Thursday as the Toronto Marlies get set for a six-game US road trip. Clune walked out of the dressing room wearing a Gold’s Gym crewneck and track pants. He had some nice shoes on too.
He greets you with a big smile on his face and a kind “Hello.”
Clune had just gotten off the ice after a 40+ minute practice. The team also had time on the ice after to work on whatever they wanted. The 34-year-old spent it skating from blue line to blue line, back and forth, at some points also receiving pucks from teammate, Joseph Duszak.
He would stop, take a breath, watch what other players were doing, and then go again. There’s always something about players who work on their craft alone after practice. Bobby McMann, who was the captain while playing at Colgate University does the same thing at Marlies practices.
Players like that are doing what they love, while still finding a way to lead by example.
“I grew up in an area of Toronto where we flooded the streets,” Clune said of where his leadership may have come from. “Whether it was …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Coming off miserable 2021, Michael Conforto could be a perfect match for Blue Jays

After winning the George Springer sweepstakes last off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays may find themselves in a similar position this winter where they possess a chance to dramatically improve their outfield through free agency.
But will the front office ultimately take that option whenever this current lockout ends? Only time will tell.
As currently constructed, Toronto’s outfield at the major league level is set to feature Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk next season. While that’s a suitable group to open the year with, however, there’s no question this organization could benefit from making an upgrade.
Looking to the free-agent market, outfielder Michael Conforto is someone who should immediately jump off the page, especially given his seven seasons of major league experience. Along with serving as a veteran presence, the 28-year-old would also check several boxes off on the Blue Jays’ wish list, starting with his left-handedness.
It’s no secret this organization needs a reliable left-handed hitter, and even though Conforto is nearing his age-30 season, inching closer to that threshold likely wouldn’t prevent him from balancing out this team’s offence in …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation