This is not the “Last Dance”

One of my favourite analysts around the Toronto Maple Leafs is Chris Johnston. I don’t ever want to disparage him or put any negative light on his ability as a reporter and analyst. Especially since we both hail from Cobourg, ON.
That said, today he said something that I believe is a very slightly misguided sentiment about the state of this Toronto Maple Leafs team. The tweet from Chris is below:

Judging by this quote from Kyle Dubas today, the 2021-22 Maple Leafs season will take on a “Last Dance” kind of vibe.
The vision isn’t changing.
It’s now or never for results. pic.twitter.com/FKspBo43Pl
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 22, 2021

In case this reference isn’t one you get, Netflix recently produced a docu-series called “The Last Dance” about Michael Jordan’s journey with the Chicago Bulls, and specifically around his final season before the owner was planning to blow everything up with a Scottie Pippen trade and not renewing Phil Jackson’s contract. It was really well done, if a bit biased towards MJ.
And while Chris Johnston walked back the reference, I’m not one to let a reference to one of the greatest sports …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Rowdy Tellez has been traded to the Brewers for pitcher Trevor Richards

We’ll no longer be Getting Rowdy around these parts.

Ken Rosenthal reported on Tuesday that Rowdy Tellez has been dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trevor Richards.
It really looked like Rowdy had figured things out at the plate in 2020. He slashed an impressive .283/.346/.540 line, clubbed eight dingers, and had a solid 11-to-20 walk-to-strikeout rate. The key for Rowdy was cutting down on swinging at pitches outside of the zone.
That said, this was only a 35-game sample size, so it was far from certain if Rowdy was just on a heater, much like the one he had when he debuted in 2018, or if it was actually him figuring it out.
In 50 games with the Blue Jays this season, Rowdy posted a paltry .209/.272/.338 slash line with nine walks and a whopping 33 strikeouts. Without any positional versatility and a cold bat, he ultimately lost his spot on the 26-man roster and wound up in Triple-A.
Coming back to Toronto will be another much-needed relief pitcher. Trevor Richards started his career with the Marlins, was sent to Tampa Bay in the Nick Anderson deal in 2019, and was sent to Milwaukee a couple of months ago in the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Around the NHL: Lou’s probably done more to hurt the Isles than help them

Welcome to Around the NHL, a new weekly column where I take a deep dive into non-Leafs topics, to give you a better look at other teams around the league. Whether it’s players, teams, or the whole league, the world is our oyster with this series, so let’s dive in.
After a second straight year of conference finals appearances from the Islanders and GM of the Year nominations for the man himself, the topic of whether the Leafs should have replaced Lou Lamoriello with Kyle Dubas has returned yet again, but the results make it harder and harder to argue that the Leafs made the right moves.
However, the process is a much different argument.
Now, I could write about how Lou was pretty bad in his tenure with the Leafs, especially when it came to turning the team into a contender, but instead I’m going to look at how he hasn’t really been a key cog to the Islanders success, as his trades and signings have probably hurt the team from being even better, while relying mostly on the successful systems of head coach Barry Trotz (who got ONE Jack Adams vote this year).
How …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Our playlist for dealing with the Leafs

Our playlist for dealing with the Leafs

To say we’ve been feeling down around these parts is probably an understatement. We’re having a rough couple of weeks coming to terms with not only the Leafs loss, but the fact that the sweeping changes we want to see are very unlikely to happen. I know I’ve ate my feelings, drank my feelings, and rode my bike out into the woods to dance out my feelings. While I recommend all those coping mechanisms, the ones that we as a TLN team can collectively work through together is feeling our feelings through music. It’s for that reason that we’ve put together a playlist of songs based on the question: What song are you listening to in order to cope with the Leafs losing? 
Here’s our playlist:
Ryan Hobart:
As it was a rainy day today, and the Leafs are not in the playoffs anymore, I was self-medicating by listening to Taylor Swift’s latest new album, Evermore. While listening to Tis the Damn Season, it seemed to really answer some feelings I had. The Toronto Maple Leafs are my ‘babe for the weekend’, and there are so many different ways this season could have …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Groshans, and Austin Martin to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A, no word yet on Austin Martin

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Heat have offered Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic in Kyle Lowry trade

Toronto Raptors: Heat have offered Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic in Kyle Lowry trade

The Toronto Raptors rumors centered around Kyle Lowry simply will not go away, as even the fact that the veteran point guard shut down some rumors on Instagram has done little to put off teams like the Miami Heat. The Heat remain interested in Lowry, and names like Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn have been […]
Toronto Raptors: Heat have offered Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic in Kyle Lowry trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

WoHo: What’s what in the women’s hockey world

WoHo: What’s what in the women’s hockey world

Welcome to our new weekly column, focusing on the happenings in and around the Women’s Hockey (WoHo) World! We were so excited to launch our Toronto Six/NWHL coverage in the fall, that we decided to expand that and take a weekly look at the entire women’s hockey landscape. Growing the game and making women’s hockey a hit is a lofty goal, and we hope to contribute by shining a spotlight on all of the things going on.
While the NWHL season sadly ended early due to COVID concerns, WoHo is still happening, with PWHPA games!

NBC’s Kenny Albert and the PWHPA’s Blake Bolden will be in the booth, with MSG Network’s Michelle Gingras doing rinkside. Sportsnet is airing the NHL Network broadcast, so the crew will be the same.
— Anne Tokarski (@annetokarski) February 23, 2021

These games are part of the Secret Dream Gap Tour 2021, with this upcoming weekend’s games hosted by the NY Rangers, and games the following weekend hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s awesome that they’re being televised by major sports networks in both the USA and Canada.
New partner, the Toronto Maple Leafs, will hopefully host some games …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Top 5 point guards in franchise history

Raptors: Top 5 point guards in franchise history

The Toronto Raptors have only been around for 25 years, yet they remain one of the best organizations in the league in terms of identifying, acquiring, and developing talent at the point guard position. Their 25-year history has frequently been led by some of the best floor generals in the game, including current Raptors like […]
Raptors: Top 5 point guards in franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ