3 impact free agents Toronto Raptors could sign with the MLE

3 impact free agents Toronto Raptors could sign with the MLE

The Toronto Raptors came away from the NBA Draft with a new backup center in Christian Koloko and a solid developmental prospect in Ron Harper Jr. on a two-way contract. The focus can now shift to free agency, as there are still some holes on the roster that need filling. The Raptors don’t have as […]
3 impact free agents Toronto Raptors could sign with the MLE – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

How the Maple Leafs can improve their in-game experience

Is it time to move away from Hall and Oates? If so, what song would Toronto move to?
When it comes to being a Maple Leafs fan, the most important part of attending a game is the experience that comes with it. Whether it be the goal song, the commercial break fun, or the intermission content, it’s all important to the fan experience.
As we enter another off-season, there becomes questions of what needs to be fixed. Some might say change the goal song, others will mention making beer and food cheaper, but the biggest thing fans would want is less expensive tickets.
I don’t even think there’d be any debate for the last one. (One way to drive prices down would be hiring me to do intermission puns, according to our Managing Editor Jon Steitzer, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind that.)
The biggest part that needs to be changed is the ticket prices. There’s not a ticket you can find for a game that’s under $75 and that’s unfortunate. I believe everyone would agree with the fact that if ticket prices were cheaper, Scotiabank Arena would be much, much louder during games.
Unfortunately, though, the suits will …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: 3 best No. 33 overall picks in NBA history

Toronto Raptors draft: 3 best No. 33 overall picks in NBA history

The Toronto Raptors did trade away a first-round pick when they acquired Thad Young from the San Antonio Spurs, but Masai Ujiri made sure to add the No. 33 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Why wouldn’t you want more picks when you’ve drafted as well as he has in the last half-decade? The Raptors […]
Toronto Raptors draft: 3 best No. 33 overall picks in NBA history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Pre-Series Notes: The underachieving White Sox, Johnny Cueto’s first start in Toronto since the 2015 ALCS, and more!

The Chicago White Sox ran away with the American League Central in 2021 and it was expected they would have a relatively easy time winning the division again in 2022.

So far, not so good. The White Sox have been disappointing through the first two months of the season, as they sit second in the Central with a 23-23 record, four-and-a-half games back of the Minnesota Twins. Beyond that, their .500 record might actually be due to some good luck, as the White Sox have a -45 run differential, which is good for an 18-28 Pythagorean record, according to Baseball-Reference.
Two things are going well for the White Sox this season, starting pitching and Tim Anderson, and Anderson won’t be playing in this series as he was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a groin strain.
Outside of Dallas Keuchel, who was recently designated for assignment, the White Sox have a very good starting rotation. Lucan Giolito and Michael Kopech have been untouchable, Johnny Cueto has turned back the clock 10 years, and Dylan Cease has been just as good this year as he was last.
The issue is that the Sox don’t score much, as they rank fourth-last in baseball with 3.63 runs per game, a significant dip from the 4.91 runs per game they scored last season. Anderson is the heart of the team’s offence with a .356/.393/.503 slash line, while nobody else on the team has an O …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bobby Portis would be a dream free agency signing for Raptors

Bobby Portis would be a dream free agency signing for Raptors

The Toronto Raptors must come away from the 2022 NBA free agency period with nothing less than a massive haul if they want to enter into that elite tier in the Eastern Conference. Adding a player like Milwaukee Bucks big man Bobby Portis would immediately give Toronto an impact big man that won’t necessarily break […]
Bobby Portis would be a dream free agency signing for Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors continue to show draft interest in Memphis SF Josh Minott

Raptors continue to show draft interest in Memphis SF Josh Minott

The Toronto Raptors are not a team that shies away from raw prospects that need more seasoning before hitting their full potential. That dogma has helped Toronto turn Scottie Barnes into a Rookie of the Year performer. Toronto could roll the dice again and add Memphis standout Josh Minott. On a team that had Jalen […]
Raptors continue to show draft interest in Memphis SF Josh Minott – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors showing interest in Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller

Raptors showing interest in Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller

The Toronto Raptors have not been one to shy away from making an unpopular or unusual draft selection if the right player falls into their laps. Leonard Miller is not going to be a player that everyone falls in love with, but he has all the traits that Toronto loves to covet in the draft. Miller […]
Raptors showing interest in Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Debating “Leafs should run it back” vs. “It’s time for a change”

This debate isn’t going to go away. It won’t go away this offseason, and it’s likely to run in future offseasons as well, but given the strong regular season and how close the Leafs came against the Lightning, there is strong support for running it back. At the same time, it’s been six years with this core, and while they’ve been improving in most years (save for the two COVID shortened ones) there are limits to the number of improvements a team can make when you have $48M committed to 5 players or $58.6M to 7 players if you want to include Muzzin and Brodie in this equation too. It seems that something has to give in that group of seven if the Leafs want to try to upgrade.
Normally when we do these roundtables, I feel like we run the risk of a lot of groupthink, but even the responses that chose the middle ground offer some different takes we don’t normally see. That’s probably a sign that this debate is going eventually lead to a Leafs fan Civil War. For now, here are the responses to Should the Leafs “run it b …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 Raptors-centric takeaways as NBA Lottery order become finalized

3 Raptors-centric takeaways as NBA Lottery order become finalized

The Toronto Raptors traded away their first-round selection in the 2022 NBA Draft to acquire Thad Young. Unlike last year, where fans were on the edge of their seats after ending up with a top-four pick, Toronto could just sit back and watch the NBA Draft Lottery fireworks. The Orlando Magic ended up with the […]
3 Raptors-centric takeaways as NBA Lottery order become finalized – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs sign a pair of their top Finnish prospects

We’re a day away from an important Game Seven matchup and Kyle Dubas still has his eyes on the future. That’s not a criticism, that’s him doing the job the way he’s supposed to. And this morning it was announced that Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemela have been signed to their three year entry level contracts.

We’ve signed forward Roni Hirvonen and defenceman Topi Niemelä to future three-year, entry-level contracts.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 13, 2022

Here are the contract details from the Leafs release:
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Roni Hirvonen and defenceman Topi Niemelä to future three-year, entry-level contracts. The average annual value of both contracts is $856,666.
Both players still have one year left of their contracts in the Finnish Liiga, and that basically translates to the players either playing for the Leafs or in Finland. The AHL option is somewhat off the table for the year, but remember that European seasons tend to wrap up before the AHL season, so they could be late season additions to the Marlies.
There are some similarities between the players. Both are 20 years old, both taken in the 2020 draft (Hirvonen in the 2nd round and Niemela in the 3rd), and both have represented Finland on their World Junior team, with Hirvonen serving as their most recent captain and Niemela as an assistant.
A lot has been said of Niemela this year, who was one of the Liiga’s top scoring defensemen and was at a point per game pace or close to it for much of the start of the year. Injuries derailed him a bit, but still had one of the top seasons from a 20 year old in the league’s history.
Hirvonen was certainly a bit more understated, but nevertheless still impressive. He appears to be developing a strong two-way center and could be a solid fit for the middle six of the lineup at some point.
Leafs prospects from Liiga in 2022:
NAME
POS
GP
G
P1
P
ppg
SHOTS …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation