Welcoming the distraction of Leafs hockey and looking at the roster by the numbers

Here we are, hours from the start of the new, shortened, and definitely weird NHL season. It’s kicking off with empty arenas, new divisional alignments, and already one team in the midst of a COVID outbreak that has sidelined 17 of their players, and led to an immediate postponement of games. Still, it’s hard to be anything other than excited about hockey right now, even if it is a selfish feeling, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that a nightly distraction of Auston Matthews chasing the Rocket Richard Award, seeing a legend like Joe Thornton in a Leafs uniform, or having Wayne Simmonds punch in the mouth is something that we need.
Of course sports are more than just a distraction, but it’s not unfair to say we missed the distracting part. Knowing that I’ll be able to sit on the phone with my father for three hours, trying to watch a game together, but largely just listening to him talk about how players get too cute with the puck, is comforting. Having this site fill up with pre and post game articles instead of offseason profiles and trade speculation will be nice too.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Stories of the Year: Professional Women’s Hockey Comes (Back) to Toronto

If you’re a TLN reader at all, you definitely know by now that we’ve launched an exciting partnership with the Toronto Six – the newest team in the NWHL, and the only Canadian franchise. While we’re thrilled to bring you exciting content and coverage of the team’s inaugural season, there’s more to it than just hockey coverage. The establishment of a Toronto-based NWHL team is logical, necessary, and important.
Leafs fans often proudly joke (and other teams’ fans often derisively joke) that Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe. But the fact is, that’s more or less true. Toronto is home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL’s “situation room”, and one of the most prominent Original Six teams in the league. The Toronto hockey fanbase is so deeply established and embedded in Toronto life, that the waiting list for Leafs season tickets (if one can afford them) is twenty years long.
Hockey and Toronto are synonymous. And bringing an NWHL team to the city further cements that. After the CWHL folded, and following the lengthy discussions about the creation of one women’s league, the launch of the Toronto Six signifies …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: VanVleet has been good, but he can be much better

VanVleet has definitely gotten better with the Toronto Raptors over the years, but there is still one area of his game that needs a lot of work. Fred VanVleet does a lot of things right. He can shoot, pass, play defense, and can be plugged into any situation. He played a big part in the […]
Toronto Raptors: VanVleet has been good, but he can be much better – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Prospects make us feel good, right? Let’s see how they are doing…

So the first quarter of the season definitely could have gone a lot better. I don’t feel I’m too bold by saying that. And you know, the fact that the Leafs likely won’t even have a first round draft pick to show for this season if they don’t make the playoffs, well, that’s not lost on me either (of course the pick they sent to Carolina is top 10 protected, so if they do really bad they’ll have something.)
Yeah, that will be two years without a first round pick, and that isn’t ideal, but what we can enjoy is a quick trip around the world to check in on the prospects the Leafs do have that aren’t currently playing on the Marlies or Growlers…
Europe
Mikko Kokkonen-D
I’m starting with Mikko because I really like him. A lot of the things that went right with drafting Rasmus Sandin I feel could go right with Kokkonen, although maybe not on as skilled a scale. Kokkonen isn’t either a offensive dynamo or a shutdown guy. He’s the guy you happily trot out in a Carl Gunnarsson fashion and enjoy a stable …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation