Trade Deadline Wrap-Up

Trade Deadline day is almost always one of the most disappointing days of the year. Whether you’re disappointed because of the players that went out, or with the players who came in, or the moves that could have been made and weren’t, there’s something for everyone today.
Let’s have a look at what went down in the Blue Jays world on the 2021 trade deadline.
To Oakland: Starling Marte
To Miami: Jesus Luzardo
Impact on The Blue Jays: Oakland is currently the team Toronto is chasing in the second Wild Card spot, and Marte is a bonafide star outfielder both at the plate and in the field. The Blue Jays were likely not in on Marte, with such a loaded outfield and the acquisition cost would have been too high for them if they were. Jesus Luzardo has struggled at the major league level, but he’s no doubt a promising young piece comparable to Nate Pearson from The Blue Jays who has also had his own trials and tribulations at the Major League level.
To New York: Joey Gallo, John King
To Texas: Everson Pereira, Trevor Hauver, Josh Smith, Ezequiel Duran, Randy Vazquez, Glenn Otto
Impact …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

The best free agent options for the Leafs are the RFAs who weren’t qualified

In the past few seasons the qualifying offer deadline has become an increasingly important day heading into free agency. The tougher guidelines around arbitration has forced some tough decisions on cash strapped or cap tight teams, and produced some of the most intriguing names in free agency. Today might be the best haul of unqualified free agents we’ve seen, and for a team like the Leafs that is wanting to remake their forward group, this is a potential windfall as some of these players address significant needs.
You can find the full list of RFAs who didn’t receive a qualifying offer at PuckPedia.
Let’s start with the name we’ve all heard way to much about over the past few years.
Nick Ritchie -W
You can’t teach size, and that’s been the drawing factor for many Leafs fans and for some time. He’s a beefy boy, with some hands, as he picked up 15 goals last season. That’s undoubtedly what the Bruins were worried about driving his arbitration case and why they had to cut him loose at the 11th hour heading into free agency.
Ritchie won’t come as cheap as his $1.5M …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Deadline Primer: The Bullpen

Oh how we love to get our hopes up, it’s a Trade Deadline tradition, after all. However, heading into the 2021 Trade Deadline, things feel a little bit different. The Blue Jays boast one of the game’s most feared lineups to go along with one of the game’s deepest farm systems. It’s the perfect recipe for a little trade deadline drama.

The biggest hole for this club since the very beginning of the season has been in the bullpen, and although Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards have done well to come in and bolster, it’s very to say that GM Ross Atkins will be on the hunt for at least one more reliever. In 2020, The Jays were in a similar situation, as they approached the expanded playoff with minimal concern for falling out. They went out and acquired starting pitching depth in Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling and used them to lengthen the bullpen. I would suspect another bulk reliever to be added to fold sooner than later to upgrade over Anthony Kay as the first man out and push relievers like the aforementioned Cimber and Richards back down towards the back end.
Tim …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

Who Are The Untouchable Prospects?

As the trade deadline looms large, the Toronto Blue Jays are on the cusp of a wildcard position with a fleeting chance of winning the AL East. This means that the Jays will be looking to add MLB players to their roster and as they have a surplus of prospects, so much so that Fangraphs ranks them second in the best farm systems. So with this article, I’ll give you my list of untouchables and the higher prospects who could be on the move.

A small disclaimer here, I actually don’t believe any of the Jays top prospects will be traded this deadline. If we’ve learned anything, they’ve made deals that usually surprise us, like the Liriano trade back in 2016. I could be wrong, but I think at most they trade only one top prospect.
The Untouchables
There is a difference between prospect hugging and holding onto players that have the potential to be all-stars, if not superstars. Prospect hugging means that you hold on to most of your prospects instead of trying to make your team better for the time being. There are a few prospects in the Jays’ system that could be the next …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs spent a lot to get Nick Foligno, so they should try and keep him

The 2021 trade deadline is going to be remembered in many ways for Leafs fans. It was a time where they pushed their chips to the centre of the table and tried to go all-in on a team that was on track to win their division. They used that opportunity to fine-tune the edges and bring in enough depth to help prepare for what should have been a lengthy playoff run.
And it will best be remembered for a blockbuster move they did and did not make.
Toronto’s big slash at the deadline was acquiring former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno for a hefty price that included a first-round pick being shipped off to Columbus. Not even a few hours after this trade went down, the biggest prize available went to Boston as the Bruins snagged up Taylor Hall for a roster player and a second-round pick.
At the time of the trade, I was critical of the decision to go with Foligno instead of Hall because the best course of action was to provide as much offensive depth as possible and there aren’t many opportunities to acquire a former Hart Trophy winner at a reduced price (because the …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

How did the Leafs do at the Trade Deadline? — Staturday Weekly Column #15

Going into the Trade Deadline this year, the Leafs appeared to be singly focused on getting a depth middle six winger. However, it slowly came to light that, despite a lack of cap space, they had their sights set on a number of different roster improvements.
At the end of the day, Toronto added two forwards, one defender, and one goaltender, whose averaged annual salaries are a combined $11.95M, but costing the Leafs only $6.45M against the cap. To add such value for such a good financial cost, Dubas had to pay some draft pick premiums, but no assets that the Leafs couldn’t afford to spend.
This post will dig into the statistics of each of the acquired players, and figure out just what they add to this already powerful Toronto team.
The Columbus Duo
Interestingly, the Leafs made two separate trades with the Columbus Blue Jackets for injured defensive forwards. THe first was Riley Nash, and the second was Nick Foligno. As the biggest acquisition the Leafs made, Foligno carries with him a certain expectation to really move the needle when it comes to the Leafs’ success this season. As an energetic middle-six winger, Foligno will drive opponents …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Robertson cleared, Kokkonen joins the Marlies, and Andersen skates

The news doesn’t stop with the trade deadline, and it’s been a busy morning for the Leafs. Here’s a quick rundown of the events of Thursday leading into tonight’s game with the Jets.
Robertson cleared to rejoin the Leafs

Forward Nick Robertson has been cleared from the NHL’s COVID Protocol list and is available to re-join the Leafs this morning.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) April 15, 2021

Following yesterday’s unfortunate suspension of play for the Marlies, Nick Robertson was put into the NHL protocol because of his close contact with the team. It appears that the necessary testing has been done and Robertson is now able to rejoin the Leafs, which is quite fortunate because he’s an exciting addition to a lineup that is already missing William Nylander, and in a holding pattern waiting for Nick Foligno.
It’s likely that Robertson will be back with the Marlies once the Nylander and Foligno are with the Leafs, so this is his best opportunity to get in some quality NHL time, and it’s nice to see it wasn’t cut short.
Kokkonen to join the Marlies

Mikko Kokkonen will soon join the Toronto Marlies. The 2019 third-round …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What do the new guys bring to the team?

The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Leafs have made a few moves to help beef up their roster. While they didn’t go for any big names, it was very clear that Kyle Dubas had a very specific need he wanted to improve up front, and that’s what he looks to bring in with the acquisitions of Nick Foligno and Riley Nash.
With that, I’m going to dive into both players and what kind of role they can play on the current Leafs team. This won’t be evaluations on the trades themselves, but if you want my thoughts in very few words, the Nash trade was sneaky good, and the Foligno trade was a bit of an overpayment, even though I like the player. I won’t dive into Rittich because we already have an article on the way for that.
Nick Foligno
At age 33, expecting Foligno to be the power forward he once was would be setting yourself up for a disappoint. He hasn’t had more than 20 goals and 35 points since 2016-17, and even then, he only ever had seasons of that calibre three times in his 14 season career, and was mostly …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Nation trade deadline day tracker

Welcome to The Leafs Nation’s trade deadline tracker. We will be updating this post throughout the day with any rumors or speculation relevant to the Leafs’ ahead of the deadline. To get you warmed up, check out our deadline day primer from earlier:
Leafs likely aren’t done making moves ahead of the trade deadline

10:15am EST: Craig Custance of The Athletic reports that Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton is drawing interest around the league with the Flyers still weighing whether to sign or trade him.

Scott Laughton drawing strong interest from contenders. Flyers still weighing whether to sign or trade him at this point.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) April 12, 2021

10:14am EST: St. Louis Blues reporter Andy Strickland is hearing that Anaheim is shopping Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson, perhaps as a package deal. The price appears to be high and the Leafs would have to move out significant money to get involved.

Hearing Anaheim asking for a 1st-Plus for both Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson. Would consider a top prospect as a 1st but would want two. #Flytogether
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) April 12, 2021

10:00am EST: With the Leafs rumored to be interested in adding a depth defenceman, ESPN hockey reporter …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

5 Leafs thoughts to start off trade deadline day

Here we go, it’s deadline day. The last day for a couple of months that the front page of The Leafs Nation is littered with trade rumours and speculation. And now with the acquisitions of Nick Foligno, David Rittich, and Riley Nash we can probably anticipate a bit slower of a deadline day for the Leafs. NOT TRUE. The Leafs still have $3.3M worth of cap space to play with. In fact, I’d argue the Leafs are still in an excellent position to do some fun things in the final minutes of the trade deadline. We just might be sitting around bored for most of the day. Now here’s so stray thoughts to jump start what will be a day that can’t possibly live up to any hockey fan’s expectations for it.
1. Last year’s acquisition is still the best acquisition
The fact that the Leafs have Jack Campbell and a goaltender that this team feels relaxed playing in front of and wants to win games for is already a huge advantage. Having an 11-0-0 goaltender as their Plan A this postseason, their former starter, who has fully rehabbed his injury as the Plan …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation