Did Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes deserve Rookie of the Month?

Did Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes deserve Rookie of the Month?

The Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers both appear to have come out of the 2021 NBA Draft with new franchise cornerstones. While the Cavs landed a sensational big man in USC’s Evan Mobley, Toronto picked up a perfect system and culture fit in Florida State switchblade Scottie Barnes. While Barnes was billed as a very […]
Did Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes deserve Rookie of the Month? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

It’s only been six games… of the same old habits.

I think there’s merit to both sides of the arguments being presented by a fractured and discordant Leafs fan base right now. On one hand, yes, this team is due for a reversal of fortune. On the other hand, these 2021-22 Leafs have not given us much indication that they have learned from past mistakes. In fact, both sides could be right.
The fact of the matter is that the Leafs will score again, likely in bunches, and with that will come winning. They won’t continue to shoot a second-worst 5.7% in all situations. Their chance-generation volume is simply too high to remain uncapitalized upon. Their powerplay should inch back up towards a top-10 proficiency rate (~22%). Mitch Marner will snap out of his funk, John Tavares will break the apparent hex that has been placed upon him, Auston Matthews will probably still score 50 goals, and Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie will find their legs after slow starts. Everything won’t continue to go wrong at the same time.
When the inevitable bounce-back happens, one cohort of the fanbase will gleefully say “I told you so”, feeling vindicated they have played the percentages correctly.
But will those goals and regular …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Franchise Hockey Manager 7 predicts the rest of Morgan Rielly’s career

One thing that I both love and hate about the NHL is the ongoing saga of a player in the midst of his contract year. It either gets done rather quickly, drags on for way too long before a deal is reached at the 11th hour, or you get teased of the possibility of an extension only for the player to either be traded or let go at season’s end. It’s stressful, exhausting, and is bound to take up endless hours of debate regarding whether or not said player is worth keeping and what constitutes a fair deal.
This year will once again bring up that never-ending tradition with Morgan Rielly being the main player on the Leafs’ roster whose contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign. It would be foolish to suggest that he won’t be getting paid handsomely since he’s blossomed into a legitimate top-pairing defenceman in the half-decade since he signed the six-year deal. Regardless of whether his future remains in Toronto or he moves elsewhere, there’s no denying that he will be highly valued on the open market with many teams vying for his talents.
But …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Big contracts for defensemen complicate things with Morgan Rielly and the Leafs

Big contracts for defensemen complicate things with Morgan Rielly and the Leafs

When we last checked in Morgan Rielly, both sides were saying all the things both sides typically say before real negotiations start. Kyle Dubas was touting the importance of Rielly to the team, both as a leader and as star offensive defenseman. And Morgan Rielly’s camp was talking about Toronto is the only place that Morgan wants to play and how he’d be willing to take less money in Toronto to spend his career as a Leaf and win in Toronto. A lot of that was summed up in a couple of articles from The Athletic, first from Pierre LeBrun…
Rielly loves being a Maple Leaf and would take a bit less to remain one. But the dollar figures have to make sense. He’s earning $5 million a year. He’s worth at least the $6.5 million AAV Torey Krug got in St. Louis last fall, if not more, depending on term.
Jonas Siegel also explored what Rielly’s next contract would look like using players with similar offensive defenseman statistics, age, and experience, and came to these findings:
If we simply take the average of these 11 comparables, he would be due roughly 8.86 percent of the salary cap — or $7.22 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto?

Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto?

The Toronto Raptors will look to use both of their second-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft to acquire the next great developmental player that emerges as a quality rotation presence. If they have their heart set on a bigger, offensively-gifted guard, the perfect player for them might be Ohio guard Jason Preston. Preston’s story […]
Raptors: Could FanSided alum Jason Preston get drafted by Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors Draft: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is the best Round 2 sleeper

Toronto Raptors Draft: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is the best Round 2 sleeper

While everyone keeps both eyes trained on the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft lottery (June 22), we fans should also keep in mind that president Masai Ujiri has two second-round picks at his disposal that he could use to turn this Toronto Raptors draft into a franchise-changing event. One way to do this is nabbing Villanova […]
Toronto Raptors Draft: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is the best Round 2 sleeper – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Raptors and Blazers fans embracing bond after Norman Powell and Gary Trent Jr. swap

Raptors and Blazers fans embracing bond after Norman Powell and Gary Trent Jr. swap

As hard as it was to stomach for both sides, the Toronto Raptors trading Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood was a move that simply had to be consummated. Portland, looking for a third scorer to take the pressure off of Damian Lillard and CJ […]
Raptors and Blazers fans embracing bond after Norman Powell and Gary Trent Jr. swap – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors draft: Could Canadian prospect Bennedict Mathurin save Toronto?

Raptors draft: Could Canadian prospect Bennedict Mathurin save Toronto?

The Toronto Raptors have proven to be both a masterful team when it comes to developing players and a place where Canadian studs, like Chris Boucher, can return home and put up points in their native country. Those two strengths could lead to the Raptors adding another Canadian stud, like Bennedict Mathurin, in the 2021 […]
Raptors draft: Could Canadian prospect Bennedict Mathurin save Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs defeat the Oilers 4-3 in the battle of the special teams

Well if both teams needed to get some additional reps on the powerplay and penalty kill, tonight’s game was perfect for them. The Leafs stayed hot, defeating the Oilers 4-3, making it three straight wins. The Leafs finished the game 2/4 on the powerplay and the Oilers were a measly 2/7.
The Leafs opened the scoring midway through the first, courtesy of the man they call Vintage. Jason Spezza scores his first of the season after a Koskinen miscue behind the net.

JASON SPEZZA 1-0
The Dad is back! pic.twitter.com/dK1CoPFDg7
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 29, 2021

William Nylander added to the Leafs lead, scoring just as the Leafs powerplay expired to make it 2-0. Nylander’s third goal of the season ended a seven-game scoring drought.

#LeafsForever up 2-0 after the 1st
William Nylander on the PP and Spezza the goal scorers
: https://t.co/C81TUUvLIP
pic.twitter.com/h1NgvdOJ69
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) January 29, 2021

The Leafs carried this lead late into the second period… Until the refs decided to enter the game.

Kerfoot called for *checks notes* slashing pic.twitter.com/dPENsudvnf
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 29, 2021

Kerfoot gets called for the non-existent slash, sending the Oilers to …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs more serious about Thornton than originally thought

Things are heating up. There is both chatter AND rumblings. It seems the Leafs really want Joe Thornton to be a Leaf, even if he did shave that magnificent beard.

To follow up on @mirtle’s piece, my understanding is that both Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe have talked to Joe Thornton about the Leafs’ interest. So let’s see where this goes. Feels like the Sharks or Leafs at this point. I do think Jumbo would be a terrific fit in Toronto. https://t.co/3jZwu8r4x8
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 14, 2020

That’s pretty interested.
“Hearing several core Maple Leafs have personally pitched Joe Thornton on going to Toronto. The courtship is on and the interest is real. But one thing I’ve always been told about the future Hall of Famer: do not underestimate his loyalty to San Jose.”- Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts

How interested are the #Leafs in Joe Thornton?@FriedgeHNIC breaks down the latest with @JeffMarek, @Burkie2020 & @StuMunrue.#LeafsForever
Full chat https://t.co/6hcY8bwcLg pic.twitter.com/RDirqg5MRF
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) October 14, 2020

Yep, there’s definitely a lot of interest and desire for Thornton to be a Leaf on Toronto’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation