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

Where there’s smoke there’s probably Granlund

There doesn’t seem to be much escaping the idea that Mikael Granlund is the primary target of Kyle Dubas over the next month and a half leading up to the trade deadline. This really seems to mirror a lot of the past Dubas key acquisitions as there was plenty connecting the Leafs to Muzzin, Clifford and Barrie well in advance to the deal being completed. When Dubas starts working on something, it seems he wants to finish it, and with that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to wrap our heads around the three big questions.

What do we know about Mikael Granlund?
What is it going to cost the Leafs to get Mikael Granlund?
When is this trade actually going to happen?

As best as I can, I will attempt to answer those questions.
What do we know about Mikael Granlund?
Well, on a less than good Nashville Predators team, Mikael Granlund is presently being utilized as the top line center. That’s not to say he’s their top center, that’s to say he’s interchangeable with Matt Duchene and Erik Haula, and he might work better with Filip Forsberg than the other centers. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Mikheyev scores first goal of the season in Leafs win – Rate That Leafs Game

It really feels like we’re on top of the world, doesn’t it?
The Toronto Maple Leafs win yet again. This time defeating the second-best team in the North Division — the Montreal Canadiens. I’d say this was one of the tougher games the Maple Leafs have had this season and that was expected.
Josh Anderson scored first for the Canadiens before Toronto would score three-straight from Travis Dermott, Justin Holl and Ilya Mikheyev. Frederik Andersen had a shaky start, but finished the game smoothly. Auston Matthews continued his dominance, but not in scoring goals as the 23-year-old has points in 11th-straight games. Even Jake Muzzin wanted in on the action tallying three assists.
The Maple Leafs play Montreal again on Saturday, so you better be ready. I definitely am.
Here’s my latest video — discussing this game and what the Maple Leafs should do going forward. I hope you enjoy (and subscribe too).

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Reliving Kobe Bryant dropping 81 points on Toronto

Raptors: Reliving Kobe Bryant dropping 81 points on Toronto

Listing the accolades of Kobe Bryant simply doesn’t do his legacy justice, as the basketball immortal remains one of the most iconic and showstopping performers the league has ever seen. Unfortunately, for Toronto Raptors fans, they were burned by Kobe’s unmatched ability to get hot quickly more times than they can count, with today serving […]
Raptors: Reliving Kobe Bryant dropping 81 points on 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 by the numbers: Pierre Engvall

Pierre doesn’t seem so lucky this season, as he finds himself in the unfortunate situation of being waivers exempt. While he’s shown himself capable of being amongst those competing for Leafs depth roles this season, the fact that he can be sent down to the Marlies or taxi squad with ease may keep him off the roster, at least full time.
For that reason, Pierre Engvall’s number is 15. For the number of games remaining in his waivers exempt status.
So, it seems unfair to put Engvall a notch down in the pecking order strictly because of his situation, and in fact, there is a case for the Leafs needing to play Engvall for at least 18 games this season, and that reason is the expansion draft. The Leafs could come up short on players under contract who are eligible to be selected by Seattle, and Engvall is one the players who could most easily hit that mark, especially if those games are prorated based on the shortened season. Though enough about that, let’s talk about if Engvall merits being used by the Leafs from day one.
It didn’t feel like it, but Engvall found his way …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Darren Dreger reporting the Leafs still in talks with Pietrangelo

Let’s pretend the salary cap doesn’t exist for a moment and enjoy how this could potentially play out…

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights have spoken to Pietrangelo. Interesting to see who else steps forward.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 9, 2020

While there is a lot of talk about the Leafs being in serious trade negotiations with Florida regarding MacKenzie Weegar, they haven’t lost sight of the big fish free agent, Alex Pietrangelo.
RUMOUR: Leafs interested in MacKenzie Weegar

We’ve talked a lot about Pietrangelo on this site over the past few weeks, but if you are interested in reading up on Pietrangelo, Scott Maxwell has a breakdown on how he’d fit in with the Leafs…
How does Alex Pietrangelo statistically fit with the Leafs?

Additionally we might be hearing from Dubas soon, and that will probaby let us know that nothing is imminent for the Leafs and Simmonds in the big haul for Day One.

Dubas avail at 3:30. Indication, but nothing written in stone, #Leafs are done for the day.
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) October 9, 2020

Of course a lot of things can change quickly, and we’ll see how this plays out.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

I regret to inform you that I’m back on my Taylor Hall to the Leafs BS

Taylor Hall doesn’t play defense. This is a fact. A heartbreaking one because the Leafs need defense. The Leafs still would need to find a way to address that need, but the solution isn’t Taylor Hall. That doesn’t mean that Taylor Hall shouldn’t be a target for the Leafs in free agency, because last time I checked, Taylor is a damned good hockey player, one who can make Toronto better, and one that allows Toronto to explore different options via trade later on.

Sources say the Arizona Coyotes are shopping the rights to Taylor Hall.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 5, 2020

So that’s the catalyst for my Taylor Hall bullshit this morning. It’s become clear that he’s not sticking around Arizona (no real surprise) and he’s going to hit free agency on Friday. I wouldn’t say that shopping for his rights is a particularly good idea unless Toronto wants to dump some salary in the process of acquiring him or simply feel that having 11 picks in the draft this year is too stressful.

Chris Johnston on Headlines says Taylor Hall will entertain 1 or 2 yr deals.
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) October 4, 2020

While I’m …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Friday Future Stars: The 2020 Draft and the Leafs

It just doesn’t seem like June unless we’re talking about the draft. Normally by this time of year our site would be rotten with prospect rankings, profiles, mock drafts, arguments for the Leafs trading up or down in the draft, and the several dozen trade rumours of Leafs dumping players for picks which never materialize but give us the false hope and content we love to keep us interested in what is usually a pretty straight forward and bland process.
That brings us to this year and the mountain of question marks surrounding the draft.
The Draft Lottery
We know it will be held on June 26th, but alas, we might not know who the winner is until the play-in rounds of the rebooted playoffs are completed.
This could potentially be a consolation prize for the Leafs if they are booted in the play-in round by the Blue Jackets.
The format this year is as follows (via NBC Sports)
There will be three different draws. The first will be for the No. 1 overall pick; the second for the No. 2 pick; and a third for the No. 3 selection.
The seven teams done for the year were ranked …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Daily Duce: Bigger post-season? No draft? Pro-rated service time? The ripple effects of MLB’s COVID-19 play stoppage

Daily?!?!

Yesterday marked the first day of spring. It doesn’t feel like spring.
Everybody is cooped up inside in order to ease the spread of COVID-19, wondering how long it’ll be until things become normal again.
In the grand scheme of things, baseball is incredibly low on the list of things that actually matter. But for those of us who love this silly sport, those of us who wait around through the dark, cold days of winter, staring out the window, waiting for the snow to melt and for baseball to signal warmer, better times, baseball’s hiatus has been another depressing ramification of the pandemic.
Last week, Major League Baseball announced that spring training would be cancelled and that Opening Day would be pushed back for a couple of weeks. On Monday, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restricted gatherings of 50 or more people for 60 days, MLB announced that the season won’t get started until at least mid-May. At this point, that even seems wildly optimistic.
So, what now? All we can do is wait. And, of course, stay inside, wash our hands, and be careful.
But while the NHL …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Injury updates on your favourite wounded Leafs and Cody Ceci

Good news for everyone who doesn’t see Martin Marincin as the long term solution to the blue line woes, help is on the way…

Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci are on track to return at some point next week, according to Sheldon Keefe.
The #leafs also believe Ilya Mikheyev will play again this season, although his timeline is a little longer than Rielly and Ceci.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 2, 2020
Now, there are two very different elements to that improved defense. First, the return of Morgan Rielly brings in a veteran capable of playing top four minutes, albeit with some defensive deficiencies, but ultimately the Leafs are getting back a top pairing caliber defenseman next week, which is awesome.
The Leafs will also be getting back Cody Ceci, which is nice too, I think.
The Leafs have a tough schedule next week, with Tampa on Tuesday, Nashville on Thursday, and Boston on Saturday. None of those are easy games, but let’s face it, Tampa and Nashville haunt our dreams, so help there is what we need the most, and if the Leafs don’t have the warm bodies for Tampa, it seems like they …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation