Maple Leafs nominate Wayne Simmonds for King Clancy Trophy

It appears that Wayne Simmonds has gotten the vote to be Toronto’s nominee for the King Clancy Trophy.

Congrats, Simmer pic.twitter.com/Z17fm5VYj3
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 4, 2022

A King Clancy Trophy nominee is someone who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” One player from each of the 32 NHL teams gets chosen before a committee of NHL executives, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The finalists and a winner will demonstrate “clear and measurable positive impact on the community, investment of time and resources, commitment to a particular cause or community, commitment to the League’s community initiatives, creativity of programming, and use of influence; engagement of others.”
First place gets $25,000 and the other two finalists get $5000, each for their charity (or charities) of choice.
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Maple Leafs vs. Lightning: The goaltending factor by Mark Norman
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning: The Leafs have the edge over the Lightning with forwards by Jon Steitzer
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIOPointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get a $25 free bet just for signing up right here! …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs sign Hobey Baker-winning goaltender Dryden McKay to two-year AHL deal

It appears the Maple Leafs have won the sweepstakes and signed Hobey Baker winner Dryden McKay to a two-year AHL contract.

News | We’ve signed goaltender Dryden McKay to a two-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) April 25, 2022

There was likely a number of NHL teams trying to sign one of the best goaltenders available at the college level. In 43 games this season with Minnesota State U, McKay had a 38-5-0 record, shutting out teams ten times this year. His save percentage at the conclusion of the 2022 season was a .931. Just nutty.
His career at Minnesota State U gets even crazier.
Over the span of his four-year career at Minnesota State University, McKay holds a record of 113-20-4 with a save percentage of .931. He also had 34 shutouts in those four seasons — McKay had ten more shutouts than losses in his career at Minnesota State U.
McKay recently received a six-month period of ineligibility after he tested positive for a banned substance called Ostarine. In an article speaking with Elliotte Friedman, the 24-year-old said he was staring down the face of a four-year ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
An excerpt from Friedman’s article with McKay on Sportsnet:
“Shock. Four years was staring me in the face. My career might be over,” he said, during an interview last Friday.  “A 30-second phone call. ‘Hey, you tested positive, and it’s a four-year ban, potentially.’”
McKay did not get a four-year penalty. On Monday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced a six-month suspension for a positive test of the banned substance Ostarine. The Minnesota State goalie and Hobey Baker winner as NCAA men’s hockey’s top player received a much-smaller punishment because he proved the source was a …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Jake Muzzin joins Maple Leafs for first team skate since second concussion

Jake Muzzin appears to be inching closer in his recovery from his second concussion this season.
The veteran defenceman took part in his first skate with the Maple Leafs since suffering his second concussion of the season on Feb. 21.

Muzzin has been skating on his own with skills coach Denver Manderson as they worked on ramping up his defenceman’s conditioning. The two worked together again before the Maple Leafs took the ice for their morning skate ahead of their game against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
“It means a lot to our group in so many different ways,” Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said of seeing Muzzin on the ice. “I know I personally lean on him for a lot with our team on the leadership side of things and obviously the presence he brings in the room and on the ice and the style of game he plays.”
The 33-year-old collided with Montreal Canadiens defenceman Chris Wideman last month and was later diagnosed with his second concussion of the season. The incident occurred just over a month after he suffered his first one when he was hit along the end boards by St. Louis Blues forward Klim Kostin on Jan. 15.
Muzzin played six games before the incident in Montreal. He was placed …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Finding the Next Marcus Semien

As we enter the offseason it appears all the more likely that the Blue Jays will lose Marcus Semien in free agency.

Reports indicate he wants to head back out West to be closer to his family and go back to his natural position of shortstop, neither of which the Blue Jays can offer. Semien who finished the season with 6.6 WAR and a top-three MVP finish will be incredibly difficult to replace. Having George Springer healthy for a full season will help but the Blue Jays need to find another player to fill the hole left by Semien.
The Blue Jays were able to get Semien as Oakland didn’t want to pay him after he had a down 2020 season. Even though it was just 60 games and Semien had an incredible 2019 season. There were some doubts that his 2019 season was real. To find the next Marcus Semien here is a list of players who had down 2021 seasons, and are prime bounce-back candidates for 2022.
The Young Players: Cody Bellinger and Gleyber Torres
We will start with two players who the Blue Jays are unlikely to acquire given their age and cost, but still need to be mentioned. Bellinger, the 2019 National League …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

The biggest issue with the Kampf line is that it’s the third line

On the surface the Leafs third line appears to be working. They are absorbing a ton of defensive starts, freeing up the Leafs top six for better offensive situations, and generally they have be playing a low event, low high danger area style of play that is like catnip for NHL coaches. Kampf, Kase, and Engvall are doing what you have them on your roster to do and that’s probably why this is the one line Sheldon Keefe hasn’t tinkered with, at least until Kase was hurt.
While Keefe may love this line, I certainly do not. Part of this is because I like to be entertained by hockey and this line is not particularly entertaining or exciting in anyway. Part of this is because I believe that Ondrej Kase is capable of much more than what he has been given to work with, and while Nick Ritchie and Michael Bunting have been given the opportunity to test whether they can be a fit in the top six, Kase hasn’t yet been afforded the same chance.

There’s also the issue with Engvall and Kampf truly being better suited to 4th line roles and while both are …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Playmaker acquires The Nation Network

It appears that today’s news is…well…us.
Playmaker has acquired TLN along with Daily Faceoff, and the entire Nation Network family and so begins a new age for the network as a bigger, bolder network ready to take on the internet.
Who is Playmaker?
Playmaker (TSX-V: PMKR) is a digital sports media company that lives at the intersection of sports, betting, media and technology. Playmaker is building a collection of premier sports media brands, curated to deliver highly engaged audiences of sports fans to sports betting companies, leagues, teams and advertisers. (From the press release)
Most notably Playmaker are the owners of the Yardbarker network.
As for The Nation Network. This has been a huge year of growth and change. Between the relaunch of the Daily Faceoff under the leadership of Frank Seravalli, and the network’s partnership with PointsBet Canada, big things have been happening and apparently will continue to happen, including facelifts for the team sites coming in the near future.
“We are beyond excited to be joining the Playmaker family. It’s refreshing to work with a group that understands and shares the same fan-first culture as we do, because like us, they are sports …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Kyle Lowry will fit in well with Miami

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Kyle Lowry will fit in well with Miami

The Kyle Lowry era of Toronto Raptors basketball appears all but over, as the Miami Heat are closing in on a sign-and-trade that would bring Lowry to South Beach on a three-year, $90 million contract while sending veteran point guard Goran Dragic and 2020 first-round pick Precious Achiuwa to Toronto. Lowry is joining a Heat […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Kyle Lowry will fit in well with Miami – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Report: Maple Leafs to sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to three-year contract

It appears the Leafs have found their partner for Jack Campbell. Kevin Weekes of ESPN and the NHL Network is reporting that the Leafs will sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a three-year deal once free agency opens at noon. Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff has since reported that Mrazek’s contract is expected to carry a cap hit in the neighborhood of $3.8 million.
Adding Mrazek as a replacement for the departed Frederik Andersen will see the Leafs spending around $1.2 million less on the goaltending position than they were paying the tandem of Andersen and Campbell last season.

Sounds like Petr Mrazek is expected to join the #Leafs on a three-year deal in the $3.8 million AAV neighborhood.@DFOHockey @Sportsnet
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 28, 2021

Mrazek, 29, was injured and played just 12 games for Carolina last season, posting a 2.06 GAA and a .923 SV%. In 277 career regular season games, he has a 2.61 GAA and a .910 SV%.
The Czech native will presumably share the crease with Campbell next season, giving head coach Sheldon Keefe the option to run with the hot hand in the case that one of them struggles. The move also ensures that the Leafs will have an NHL-caliber goaltender signed beyond this season …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Tyler Chatwood has been placed on the 10-day Injured List

It appears to be a case of Right Arm Shittyness!

The Blue Jays are officially calling it a neck strain, but, regardless, Tyler Chatwood is getting a trip to the 10-day Injured List to slam the rest button.
After an excellent start to the season, Chatwood has been a mess for over a month now. His first really bad meltdown came on May 23 against the Rays in which he allowed four runs while recording just two outs. From that outing until yesterday’s implosion, Chatwood has allowed 16 earned runs on 12 hits and 15 walks over the course of 11 innings. Yikes!
Also, Patrick Murphy, another struggling member of Toronto’s ‘pen, has been optioned to Triple-A.
Murphy was activated from the 60-day Injured List in mid-June and has been all over the grid in six outings. He’s had a few good showings, such as his five-out performance in a win against Baltimore last week, but he’s also had a couple of meltdowns, such as his three-runs-while-recording-one-out showing against Seattle on Wednesday.
All told, Murphy has allowed five earned runs in seven innings of work on eight hits and three walks with only four strikeouts. Getting him to sort himself out …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation