Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len

Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len

Alex Len has just been waived by the Toronto Raptors, which is important because it is most likely signaling another transaction. The Raptors were not making this move for cap space, as Alex Len was signed to a very small contract, but the team was using up all 15 contracts that the team is allotted. […]
Three potential reasons why the Toronto Raptors have waived Alex Len – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Stanley Johnson’s Kawhi-Esque defense and offensive revolution

Toronto Raptors: Stanley Johnson’s Kawhi-Esque defense and offensive revolution

The Toronto Raptors bench depth has been poor for the better part of the season (besides Boucher), but one player who has been impressive is Stanley Johnson. “I just think that I’m the best player in the draft,” Stanley Johnson said shortly after being selected 8th by the Detroit Pistons in the 2015 NBA Draft. […]
Toronto Raptors: Stanley Johnson’s Kawhi-Esque defense and offensive revolution – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Niemela out of action, Miettinen taking over, Rindell running hot

It’s been a long time coming but NHL hockey is finally back. There has been plenty of focus on the new additions to the team and how the Leafs will construct their lineup within the limitations of the salary cap with the team only able to carry a 21 man roster. Their decision to keep Aaron Dell on the roster as the third goaltender to start the season has relegated offseason acquisition Mikko Lehtonen to the taxi squad along with top prospect Nicholas Robertson. While Leafs fans await the season debuts of two of the most enticing new faces on the team, there is plenty to talk about for some players lower on the organizational depth chart.
Rodion Amirov – LW/RW – Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Amirov has returned to his KHL team after a strong showing at the World Juniors for Russia. He has played three games since rejoining Ufa and has been deployed as the right winger on their third line alongside veterans Vladislav Kartayev and Dmitri Kugryshev. He has been held off the scoreboard thus far but has fired 10 shots on goal while playing close to 15 minutes per game. His role will be something worth monitoring as there …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Nation Preseason Prediction Poll

It’s been a long off season. We’ve gone a long time without the joy of cheering the Leafs, blaming the refs, and laughing at the Habs. Tomorrow night that all comes back. We need this.
With the return of the season, we’ve decided to take a different approach to our annual predictions than we’ve done in the past. We’re still asking the same questions, but we’ve also asked a few more, and rather than sharing the individual votes, we’ve rolled everything up into the official, guaranteed result predictions of the TLN team. Take these to the bank, but know if you win anything because of these predictions, we demand a cut. Similarly if you lose, remember, we don’t know what you’re talking about and these are for entertainment only.

First off we asked, how far the Leafs will make it this year, and the result was we all think the Leafs will do better than they have since the Quinn era. The majority of our contributors think they will match the Leafs best results since 1967, but no one was willing to step up and be bold and predict a Stanley Cup …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Analyzing Leafs’ WJC performances

It has been quite some time since a World Juniors tournament has held so much intrigue for the Leafs and their fans, with six of the organization’s prospects taking part this year. It would have been seven had the Leafs elected to send Nick Robertson to play with team USA but the decision was made for him to remain in Toronto to put himself in the best position to earn a spot in the NHL lineup on opening night.
Considering Robertson’s proximity to the NHL, and just how impressive the Leafs’ prospects looked at the World Juniors, management has to feel good about how they’ve been able to restock the prospect pool in recent drafts. Two of their mid round picks from the 2019 draft were called upon to play in the tournament, and each of their first four picks from the 2020 draft also made the cut for their respective countries.
Topi Niemela – RHD – Karpat (Liiga)
The World Juniors were a coming out party for the Leafs’ 2020 third round pick as Niemela exceeded all expectations on his way to being named the best defenceman at the tournament. He played in all situations for the bronze medal winning Finnish …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Beginner’s Guide to the 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs: The Team

Over the past *checks notes*… oh god, it’s been 10 months since we’ve been in lockdown. Sorry, over the past 10 months when we’ve all been trapped in our houses with not much to do, we’ve been lucky enough to see sports return to provide some of us with some form of entertainment. This has also allowed an opportunity for more eyes to watch hockey, and we’ve seen more fans join the fun with not much else to do. I would know, I was one of them.
This year, I decided to put more of an effort to watch Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and Miami Dolphins (my favourite MLB, NBA, and NFL teams, respectively). While they all have certainly made it fun to watch, I’ve also found myself lacking some knowledge. With the Leafs, I liked that I could see a player on the ice and know exactly what their skills and responsibility are, something that I didn’t know with the other sports.
So, while I might not ever get that closer, you can. I give you The Beginner’s Guide to the 2019-20 Toronto Maple Leafs, a three part series where I give …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Rigid in Their Ways, the Blue Jays Will Still Be Fine

It has been a demoralizing off-season thus far for Blue Jays fans.

Hyped up by the words of Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins in October and November – that the Blue Jays will add, and add significantly – watching the Padres and Mets get better while the rest of baseball stagnates has been difficult.
Even the most rational of observers will admit that despite a litany of ways to improve still available, finishing in second place for Kevin Gausman, Ha-Seong Kim, Tomoyuki Sugano, and seemingly Francisco Lindor as well, will take its toll. But despite all of those near-misses, it’s important to realize that the Blue Jays will be fine.
The whispers from the Blue Jays camp are that they still believe the end result of this off-season will be one that impresses the fans, and until it is too late for that to happen, we have no choice but to believe them. But how is that going to be done? How are they going to finally get people to start accepting the money they are offering?
The Shapiro and Atkins group has always been very rigid in the way they do business. Together with their scouting, player development, and analytics …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

What does this season mean to the Maple Leafs?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been through almost everything.
It has been an interesting last few years to say the least. I’d like to say it started with the Nikita Zaitsev signing in May of 2017 — a questionable choice. A year later, Lou Lamiorello, the Maple Leafs GM at the time was let go and Kyle Dubas was named the new GM.
There was a new head honcho for the Toronto Maple Leafs — someone younger, who can present new ideas and create a new team. That year was the hardest for Dubas and most Maple Leafs fans because 2018 was the year that William Nylander was an RFA, until December 1st.
A few months later, Auston Matthews signed his five-year, $58.17 million contract and it felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders. Yet again though, we didn’t know what was upon us going into that summer. The Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner couldn’t agree on a contract, and later that summer his agent, Darren Ferris, said that the then 22-year-old would soon leave for Europe if there was no solid contract offer.
Fast forward to September 13th, Marner signs a six-year, $65.3 million contract and flies out St. Johns, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021

Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021

2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but through it all the Toronto Raptors have consistently performed well. From being second place in the Eastern Conference last season to reaching the semifinals in the playoffs last season with the recent departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Although it doesn’t feel as Christmas day […]
Toronto Raptors: A Christmas Wishlist of what needs to be done in 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

Leafs by the Numbers: Travis Dermott

It feels like Travis Dermott has been around for a long time. After all, the Leafs drafted him way back in the second round of the 2015 draft and a lot has changed for this organization since then. The fact is Dermott has still only scratched the surface of what he is capable of in the NHL, having turned 24 years old yesterday but still with just 157 regular season games of NHL experience due to various health and pandemic related issues.
Entering the 2021 campaign, the number to focus on for Travis Dermott is 4. This will be his fourth NHL season and I believe it will also be the season in which he firmly establishes himself as an effective top four defenseman, despite the multitude of options the Leafs have on their blue line. With Dermott signing a one-year, prove it contract and the Seattle expansion draft looming, Kyle Dubas and his staff will be eager to find out if they can rely on the young, homegrown blue liner as a core piece of their future.
Many believe, and rightfully so, that Justin Holl will get the first crack alongside Jake Muzzin on Toronto’s shutdown pairing to begin the season after they …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation