Jays activate Danny Jansen, Hyun Jin Ryu, re-assign two

The Jays are getting healthy!

The team activated both C Danny Jansen and LHP Hyun Jin Ryu from the 10-day IL making them both active for this evening’s game. Jansen will catch today while batting eighth in the order, while Ryu will take the mound.
RHP Trent Thornton and C Tyler Heineman were both optioned to Triple-A.
Jansen played in the first three games of the year before suffering a left oblique strain, but in those games he hit .571 with two homers and two RBI.
Ryu, meanwhile, returns to the lineup after missing the last month with inflammation in his left forearm.
Worth noting on top of it all that George Springer is believed to have a mild ankle sprain and he hasn’t been placed on the IL. He crashed into the center-field wall last night in the Trop, and you could see his left ankle roll as he tried to regain his footing jumping for a ball.
It’s clearly a positive sign the club hasn’t moved him to the IL.
Toronto’s batting order has gotten all kinds of wonky with Springer out of the lineup.
Matt Chapman will lead off in the one position for the first time in his career, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits second, Teoscar Hernandez hits third and Bo Bichette takes cleanup duty.
Game two against the T …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Stop deterring hockey’s best moments

There has to be an NHL where fighting and having skill both belong in the game.
On Friday night, Trevor Zegras scored another lacrosse goal, and the Arizona Coyotes didn’t like it very much. There was a lot that happened in this game including Nick Ritchie intentionally high-sticking Kevin Shattenkirk, a fight between Michael Carcone and Sam Carrick, and then this — Jay Beagle fighting Troy Terry — a player who gets fed punches while he keeps his gloves on.
Not all of it’s related to Zegras’ goal, but each incident led up to the fight below.

“That’s the problem with these young players. You wanna embarrass guys? You wanna skill it up? You better be prepared to get punched in the mouth.”
Coyotes broadcast applauds Jay Beagle cross-checking Trevor Zegras/beating Troy Terry senseless. Embarrassing commentary pic.twitter.com/1AfenuTRkL
— Nolan Bianchi (@nolanbianchi) April 2, 2022

After this game, there was a lot of reaction, but I want to focus on the commentary from the clip above for a second. If NHL players are getting embarrassed by others scoring highlight-reel goals, I think they’ve picked the wrong sport to play. No player deserves to get punched in the face because they’re playing good hockey.
I believe if that’s happening, it’s clear that the player who’s throwing the punches isn’t good enough for the NHL. That’s the type of play that belongs in beer league.
This situation would be easier to understand if Zegras did this on the 5-0 goal, but it was only 3-0. If a player is scoring on you with skill, it’s unfortunate for you, because you c …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs are a better team now and in the future thanks to the Nick Ritchie trade

The Nick Ritchie era is over. It had to come to an end both for the Leafs’ sake and for Nick Ritchie’s sake. I remain convinced that Nick Ritchie is better than what we saw of him in Toronto, but much David Clarkson before him, he was a square peg for the Leafs. As nice as it is to have Ritchie out of the lineup, not having his $2.5M contract on the books for the 2022-23 season is also a huge win. This move probably covers Timothy Liljegren’s next contract. Or he’s covered the return of Ondrej Kase and Jason Spezza, or something the Leafs needed to do but looked like it could have been a challenge. If that’s all the Leafs did at the cost of a 3rd round pick in 2023 (or 2nd in 2025), Dubas did good work.
Of course, that wasn’t all that happened. The Leafs addressed their defensive depth by bringing in Ilya Lyubushkin. A hard-hitting, defensive first player who has been paired with Jakob Chychrun of late. By defensive measures, he’s about at the same performance level as Justin Holl. He does hit more, and that’s a good thing, but really Lyubushkin is another 3rd pairing right s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Know Your Enemy: Maple Leafs face off against a depleted Senators team

So, this is a new series that I’ve decided as a way to both be able to do some of my favourite things in writing (which is well-researched statistical deep dives into all the teams in the league, and break them down), as well as give Leafs fans a way to know what they should expect against an opponent going into a game. It’s easy to latch on to narratives thrown around in the hockey world and assume that that’s the case without any evidence, but it’s also a lot of work to keep up with all 32 NHL teams. So, I’ve decided to do the work for you. This will either be done for every game, or just for the bigger matchups, depending on how much work this is for me, and how exhausted I get from it.
The Leafs may have a depleted lineup, but if there’s any team that’s a great matchup to get their skating legs warmed up against, it’s the Ottawa Senators. The Senators are a team that many expected to take the next step after a strong second half last season, and they’ve done anything but …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

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