Joseph Woll has played his way into being next goaltender called up to Maple Leafs

Joseph Woll has played his way into being next goaltender called up to Maple Leafs

Joseph Woll last played in the NHL 419 days ago and it’s time for him to return there, again, with the Maple Leafs.
It was a strange Friday night for the team, to say the least. Matt Murray was supposed to start against Ottawa. That was until he suffered an injury in warmups, according to Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe.
“He’s been dealing with something that flared up on him tonight,” Keefe told reporters on Friday night, “so he wasn’t available to play.”
That meant Ilya Samsonov — who’s played in Toronto’s previous four games — was getting the start.
Murray remained on the bench for the entire game, though Keefe did say that he wouldn’t have been able to play had Samsonov got injured.
“We would’ve been EBUG in that situation I believe.” The head coach added.
It’s not known whether Murray will be available to play, or even be the backup for Toronto on Sunday against Washington . And when Keefe was asked if the team would have another goaltender for Saturday’s practice, he really didn’t have an answer.
“We’ll see,” Keefe said to reporters Friday night. “The Marlies are away and we’ll get a better idea of exactly where everything’s at — it obviously happened pretty quickly and right before game time. (We) haven’t had a lot of time to get organized on it, bu …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors trade rumors: Fred VanVleet being eyed by Western contender

Raptors trade rumors: Fred VanVleet being eyed by Western contender

The Toronto Raptors could be just a few days away from doing what was previously unthinkable and trading away Fred VanVleet. Teams all across the league want to acquire VanVleet and bring his unique veteran presence and deadly 3-point shot over to their mix. VanVleet just fired his agent, which could be a precursor of […]
Raptors trade rumors: Fred VanVleet being eyed by Western contender – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

International Free Agent tracker: Blue Jays add six Venezuelans and an intriguing Brazilian pitcher

One of the year’s best days is here, as we’ve officially started the International Free Agency period.

As more signings become announced, I’ll create a new section for each player. Let’s start with the big fish of the class.
Enmanuel Bonilla
It was announced on Sunday morning that the Blue Jays have officially signed Enmanuel Bonilla, a top prospect in the 2023 IFA class.

Source: #BlueJays agree to a $4.1 million deal with OF Enmanuel Bonilla, #7 on Top 50 Int’l Prospect list. The team has not confirmed. https://t.co/A3Ar3oTG3N
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 15, 2023

Ranking as Blue Jays Nation’s 20th-best prospect, Bonilla has an intriguing hit tool and some of the best power in the class. Moreover, he may have the tools to stick in centre field as he’s rather athletic and has a strong arm, but he could move to a corner outfield, likely right field.
The 16-year-old ranked as MLB Pipeline’s seventh-best available prospect in their Top 50 international ranking for 2023l. Fangraphs ranked him as their 11th-best prospect, while Baseball America ranked him as their fourth-best available prospect.
Per Jesse Sanchez, he signed for $4,100,000, meaning that the Jays have $1,184,000 remaining in bonus pool money.
Update #1:
The signing on Enmanuel Bonilla was to be expected, but below is a list of the first batch of prospects that have officially signed.

Add C Juan Rosas 🇵🇦to the list
— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) January 15, 2023

Sports Illustrated’s Mitch Bannon was the first to tweet this out, and it was officially confirmed by the team on Sunday afternoon.
Andersson Barvosa:
With a lot of these guys, scouting reports are going to be nearly impossible to find. However, I got pretty lucky and found some video, as you can watch below.

Andersson Barvosa from 2021.
Courtesy of Bendecidos Sport on Facebook.#BlueJays pic.twitter.com/h6VuYczqK8
— Brennan …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

2022 Blue Jays Retrospective: Bo Bichette’s legendary September, the Wild Card series vs. Seattle, and more

Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look back at the year that was for the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Bo Bichette Revenge Tour
One of the only ways that Blue Jays fans could describe September of 2022 was simply the name Bo Bichette. Bo went on an absolute tear, in which he was undoubtedly the best hitter in baseball through the first couple weeks of the month.
The numbers are truly eye-popping; Bichette posted a .403 batting average with a 1.134 OPS throughout September, with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs. His 48 hits set the Blue Jays record for most hits in a single month, and if it wasn’t for Aaron Judge, the MLB would have likely named Bichette the AL player of the month.
Let’s take a quick dive into how Bichette did in some of the September series.
September 2-4 @ Pittsburgh: Bichette went 6-for-12, with 5 RBIs. His clutch three-run double in game two of the series broke a 1-1 tie in the 7th inning, sealing the series win. He also added two much-needed insurance runs in the 9th inning of game one with a two-run home run off of Pirates reliever Yohan Ram …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

2022 Blue Jays Retrospective – Pt. 1: An Opening Night for the ages, Vladdy lights up the Bronx, and more

Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look back at the year that was for the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Spring training was fun and all, and it was good to see the Blue Jays back out on the field competing again after the lockout. To make things even more exciting, the city of Toronto was able to witness an opening night at the Rogers Center for the first time since 2019.
A wild opening night comeback
Opening night was a rollercoaster, to say the least. The vibes of the fanbase were about as positive as they could be — a World Series-contending roster was about to take the field with the highest expectations since the ’15 and ’16 playoff teams.
Let’s start with Jose Berrios, the opening night starter. Oof, talk about a performance that served as a harbinger of things to come. Berrios allowed a leadoff home run to Brad Miller, and it only went downhill from there. Berrios recorded only one out before being pulled from the game, after he allowed three hits, four runs, and two walks, serving him up an ERA of 108.00.
Tayler Sauc …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

3 reasons Raptors must be your go-to NBA League Pass team

3 reasons Raptors must be your go-to NBA League Pass team

The Toronto Raptors are just a few days away from opening up their regular season in a year where they will look to improve upon a 2021-22 campaign that featured 48 wins, multiple starters receiving individual honors for their play, and two postseason victories against the 76ers. If you’re not necessarily a Raptors diehard who […]
3 reasons Raptors must be your go-to NBA League Pass team – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The annual Leafs Nation predictions

Normally I like to run this content a couple of days before the start of the season, but with the long weekend here and the preseason wrapping up tonight, I figured lets get the predictions up early, especially since one of the questions is about the first Leaf traded and that could be happening as we speak.
This year 14 of our TLN contributors, and despite decades of worth of disappointment from the Leafs, we certainly still saw some passion shine through in the results, including some borderline troublesome Vezina predictions.
Without further adieu let’s hop into the predictions starting with the big one…

Those are the top cup contenders according to our TLN panel. These seem like a reasonable list, even if I think we’re a tad premature on expecting anything from the Leafs after a steady stream of hurt, but let’s admire optimism. The interesting team left off here is probably the Oilers, but I suppose we’ve all seen too much of Jack Campbell to expect anything from them this year.
50%
of those surveyed had the Leafs winning the division
On paper, it very much seems like a two horse race between the Leafs and the Lightning, but the Panthers were dismissed from this conversation last year too, and while I’m not ready to throw the Bruins into the mix, it still is very difficult division. The Lightning have definitely taken a step back and that could make the division title attainable for the Leafs.
13 out of 14
people said if the Leafs didn’t win the division it would be the Lightning
That definitely fits with what was said above, and in case you had to ask, the other vote was for the Panthers.

When it comes to how far the Leafs will go, I guess I’m the only one with some respect for tradition. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Pre-Series Notes: New Blue Jays make home debuts, Canadian Cal Quantrill returns to face his childhood team

Coming off two days rest and riding a two game losing streak into tonight, it feels like the Blue Jays haven’t won a game in forever. That said, they still hold the top spot in the American League wild card race with a record of 60-50.
Meanwhile the Guardians have won five in a row to take the lead in the AL Central. The tightest division race in the Majors, the Central still has three teams battling for the division crown. The Minnesota Twins trail the Guardians by just 1.5 games and the Chicago White Sox are 3.5 back.
The Jays will be looking for revenge after losing two of three in Cleveland back in May.
Things Worth Mentioning…
A pair of Blue Jays will be making their home debut tonight.

Whit Merrifield (2B) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) will make their #BlueJays home debut starting tonight. pic.twitter.com/NVdbg7HgdB
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) August 12, 2022

George Springer is still on IL so Bradley Jr. will start in center and Merrifield will make his first start at second for the Jays. One of the best defensive CF’s of the last decade Bradley Jr. provides plus defence and speed with a below average bat. He did however hit two home runs in his last series against the Blue Jays while he was with the Red Sox. In 92 games this year he is slashing .210/.257/.321 with three home runs.
One of the favourites for the AL Rookie of the Year, Steven Kwan is on a tear recently.

.@CleGuardians OF Steven Kwan has now hit safely in 26 of the last 29 games
Tale of the tape:
.358 (42 hits) 9 doubles 1 triple 2 HR 8 RBI 12 multi-hit games; 5 three-hit games pic.twitter.com/wJJZW94DEx
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) August 11, 2022

In his debut season, Kwan it batting .300 …

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Author: Scott Ony / Blue Jays Nation

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

It has now been five days since NHL free agency began and teams around the league are starting to take shape. There are several new faces in the Atlantic division and a few notable exits. The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings were the most active teams. Both look to be much improved. The Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres don’t appear to be ready for a playoff push, but the rest of the division should be in contention. Here is a look at how each team has fared since free agency opened. (Trades and free agent acquisitions have been included.)
Florida Panthers
Notable additions: Nick Cousins (C/LW), Rudolfs Balcers (LW), Marc Staal (D), Eric Staal (C/LW)
Notable exits: Claude Giroux (C/RW), Ben Chiarot (D), Mason Marchment (LW)
Losing Claude Giroux was inevitable, they simply didn’t have the cap flexibility to keep him. The exits of both Ben Chiarot and Mason Marchment create holes in their roster but over last few seasons, depth players have consistently shined in the Panthers system. In Cousins they get a solid defensive forward with experience. Balcers isn’t a physical player, but he is responsible in his own zone. He scored a career high 11 goals in 61 games last season on a San Jose Sharks team that struggled to produce offence. Playing on a third …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Our Leafs predictions heading into free agency week

We’re just a few days removed from our draft predictions, and it seems like we should start by looking back at how we did on that survey. 33% of our respondents nailed it with the Leafs trading down, and we all knew the Leafs would be picking more than 3 times. Nick Moldenhauer was the favourite of TLNers for a pick outside the first round and that certainly came to fruition, and 33% of us thought that Petr Mrazek would be traded away and that was also nailed. I’ll hang my hat on being the only person who predicted three or more trades, of course most of them were extremely boring pick swaps.
Now, onto free agency, the event we should care more about as Leafs fans because we are living in the now, not preparing for the future. We’ve got the same nine writers responding and we’ll dive into those questions now.
Where will Jack Campbell sign?
33.3% New Jersey22.2% Edmonton
22.2% Detroit
11.1% Toronto
11.1% Philadelphia
It’s at this point I should point out that we did this survey before the draft and some situations like the Detroit and New Jersey have somewhat been resolved already. I’m the bizarre outlier here who thinks that Philadelphia might do something bizarre like move on from Carter Hart, and that might be a lot of w …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation