Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads”

Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads”

The Toronto Raptors made arguably the best draft-day move in franchise history during the 1998 NBA Draft. In a draft that featured big names like Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Mike Bibby in the Top 10, Toronto managed to land a franchise cornerstone in the mercurial Vince Carter. Carter was taken with the No. 5 […]
Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads” – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 Atlantic Division free agents Raptors should consider adding

3 Atlantic Division free agents Raptors should consider adding

The Toronto Raptors have the misfortune of playing in arguably the best division in the NBA. The Atlantic Division is made up of championship contenders and some young teams that are laying the groundwork for eventually moving into that very exclusive, elite tier. Not only are the Raptors and Knicks trying to show that they […]
3 Atlantic Division free agents Raptors should consider adding – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Apparently Jack Campbell isn’t on Team USA’s long list for the Olympics

Jack Campbell has been arguably the NHL’s. best goaltender this season.

Yet, if players wind up going to Beijing to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics, Campbell will be watching from home.
Frank Seravalli mentioned on Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Faceoff Show that Campbell wasn’t placed on Team USA’s long list back in October and, as a result, won’t be eligible to represent the United States at the Olympics.
Mike McKenna: “We’re going to take a look at Jack Campbell next. This is a goaltender who’s playing lights out. I think that this guy is absolutely a Vezina candidate this season. He’s been carrying the Maple Leafs, who have been looser defensively than people realize.
They can score like crazy, but you look at Campbell’s numbers, his traditional numbers are fantastic (.937 save percentage), but his goals saved above expected and all of his advanced metrics are in the top three in the league.
Yet, he wasn’t on Team USA’s long list for the Olympics when it was turned into the International Olympic Committee back on October 15. What’s going on here?”
Frank Seravalli: “That’s the nugget right there. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

It’s everyone gets a trophy day for the Leafs

As you may have noticed, it’s award season. Arguably one of the stupidest things the NHL does, but at least they’ve done away with the award show (hopefully permanently.) The highlight of the season is less about who wins the awards, and more about who throws the biggest meltdown over the dumbest bullshit. It seemed like the early front runners for the award hilarity was the flood of writers outraged that Oskar Lindblom won the Masterton for returning from cancer over Patrick Marleau’s playing a really long time, but the new clubhouse leader is Damien Cox’s Lady Byng meltdown:

When you’re not mad and having a normal one online pic.twitter.com/9tq0f3GCiO
— Daryl Morey’s Pier (@SnackMyFridgeUp) June 20, 2021

Awesome.
Still, despite Matthews already having the Rocket Richard I decided the Leafs needed a more awards, and because this is the participant ribbon generation, we’ve made sure that everyone gets an award.
I decided to have a traditional hockey season ending banquet. I rented a private room at the local Shakey’s Pizza and brought a ton of Rock’em Sock’em and Wrestlemania VHS tapes to watch, but sadly none of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Identifying good, affordable players to buy at the deadline market

Arguably the most exciting time of the season, the NHL trade deadline is just around the corner. After Monday April 12th at 3:00 pm in Toronto (it’s set on Toronto time because the NHL knows that’s where its money comes from), teams will no longer be able to trade players and have them play in the NHL playoffs for their team this season.
Because the Maple Leafs are the most talked-about buyer on the market, they will be linked to every single player who is available. This post will aim to identify just which targets Toronto should be trying to go after.
There are five factors that will determine whether a player is a good buy for Toronto. Two of these are very simple and obvious, one is based on NHL CBA wizardry, and the last two rely on advanced stats.
At a high level, these five factors are:

Player is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) at the end of the 2020-21 NHL season
Player plays for a team that is a seller, or could be convinced to be a seller for the right price
Player has a cap hit that Toronto can afford
Player has is expected to …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: TJ Brodie

TJ Brodie was arguably the Leafs biggest addition this offseason, at least as far as on-ice value goes, as his signing helps the Leafs round out their deepest blueline in years, maybe even decades. Brodie was the one player that I really wanted the Leafs to go after, considering that he was the best mix of being a blueliner capable of playing well at both ends of the ice and manning a top pair, and actually being an affordable option in the Leafs current cap climate (sorry Pietrangelo).
It’s likely that Brodie plays on the top pair with Morgan Rielly, at least to start the season, and while Rielly is no Mark Giordano, Brodie being the best partner he’s ever played with could mean we might see an improvement in Rielly’s play as well.
Of course, that also brings up probably the biggest concern of TJ Brodie’s game, and that’s that he has shown to be codependent on playing with Giordano to play well. Put the two together and they’re a force to be reckoned with, take them apart and Brodie struggled a bit more.
And with a 4 year deal with a $5 million AAV …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

How To Build A Contender, and what that means for Frederik Andersen’s future as a Leaf

Goalies are voodoo.
The goaltending position is arguably the most important one on an NHL roster, but no matter the amount of talent, netminder performance is notoriously difficult to predict year over year. Bundling this unpredictability with the heightened risk of injury due to the physically demanding nature and heavy workload of the position creates a potentially perilous situation. Goaltending can save, sink or significantly sidetrack a season, and even with the right pieces in place, teams need a lot of luck to go their way.
Performance vs. Investment
If the numbers show one thing, it’s that money can’t buy you glove. Just one look at the ten highest-paid goaltenders over the last three seasons and their performance in two key goaltending metrics (EV SV% – even strength save percentage & GSAx/60 – goals saved above expectation per-60) shows that paying top dollar for your starting goaltender does not necessarily mean getting top performance.

Let’s flip around the view. Below is a listing of goaltenders who finished top 10 in either of the aforementioned goalie metrics. The data shows that high-end goaltending performance comes from all over the salary spectrum.

What if we looked at …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Did Brian Cashman play the Blue Jays at the trade deadline?

Ken Giles was arguably the Blue Jays’ most coveted player heading into this year’s trade deadline, but, as we know, a nagging injury resulted in the team’s closer not getting traded.

According to Ken Rosenthal, Ross Atkins nearly swung a deal that would have sent Giles to the New York Yankees. 
On the day of the trade deadline, the Yankees and Blue Jays made significant progress on a deal that would have sent reliever Ken Giles to New York, according to major-league sources. The Jays were set to receive three prospects, and informed the other clubs pursuing Giles they were going to be moving him elsewhere.
The trade, of course, never happened, and the Yankees backed off too late for the Jays to complete a deal with another club. The most logical explanation is that the Yankees had concerns about Giles’ elbow, though teams had prior access to his medical records and several factored the risk into their offers, sources said.
This would have been the second year in a row the Jays hooked up with their division rivals for a deadline deal. Last year, Toronto sent top starter J.A. Happ to New York in exchange for …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation