Toronto Raptors free agent profile: Bucks SG Pat Connaughton

Toronto Raptors free agent profile: Bucks SG Pat Connaughton

The Toronto Raptors have already done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to building their squad into a viable playoff team, but Masai Ujiri might need one or two more big-name free agent signings to fill in the cracks on the roster. Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton could be Ujiri’s perfect veteran bench […]
Toronto Raptors free agent profile: Bucks SG Pat Connaughton – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leaflets: Giordano signing is a great start, defensive offer sheets, and what’s next for Simmonds

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Leaflets post so rather than just simply doing one, I’ve decided to commit to this as a regular Monday thing going forward. Consider Leaflets a small dose of my correct bad opinions for you to get mad at. It seemed like it was going to be a quiet long weekend, but much to delight of everyone, Kyle Dubas showed he was hard at work getting a former Norris Trophy winner back at a bargain price, so let’s start there.
The Giordano signing is impossible to hate
I immediately regret that assessment, as there is a pocket of Leafs fans outraged over Jason Spezza being around at all despite making league minimum and still putting together stretches of productive hockey. I am confident someone while emerge to teach us why Mark Giordano at two years for $800k AAV is bad, but for now let’s focus on all the reasons it’s good including when we last saw Mark Giordano a few weeks ago he still seemed like a perfectly capable middle pairing, or stellar bottom pairing option for the blueline.
So first off, this is a player at the end of his career signaling to his teammates that he believes the Leafs provide him the best opportunity …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Fred VanVleet, Nick Nurse question Malachi Flynn’s fit with Raptors

Fred VanVleet, Nick Nurse question Malachi Flynn’s fit with Raptors

The Toronto Raptors have done a very nice job of adding contributors later in the NBA Draft over the years, but Malachi Flynn is coming dangerously close to bucking that trend. After two full seasons in Toronto, Flynn, who was picked right before Desmond Bane, is nowhere closer to asserting himself as a member of […]
Fred VanVleet, Nick Nurse question Malachi Flynn’s fit with Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

WATCH: Auston Matthews scores 59th and 60th goal of the season

Auston Matthews has finally done it — he’s scores 60 goals for the first time in his career.
The 24-year-old scored his 59th goal of the season in the second period vs. Detroit.

TONE TUCKS IT HOME!! pic.twitter.com/IWXGD79MUC
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 27, 2022

And then, shortly after on a Maple Leafs power play, Matthews made history scoring 60.

The Office └ Season 5└ Episode 14 – 1:33 pic.twitter.com/mRFALkqz19
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 27, 2022

The 24-year-old is the first player in the NHL to score 60 goals in a season since Steven Stamkos back in 2011-12.

Maple Leafs say Michael Bunting ‘feeling better’, will know more about his injury when they return home by David Alter

How Toronto’s trade deadline acquisitions will help in the playoffs by Dylan Murphy

Maple Leafs sign Hobey Baker winning goaltender Dryden McKay to a two year AHL deal by Nick Barden
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIOPointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get a $25 free bet just for signing up right here!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

20 Takes heading into the trade deadline

We’re at the 3rd quarter mark, and as was done at the first quarter, and halfway point of the season, I’m taking this as an opportunity to rid my mind of the excess number of Leafs takes I have floating around my head. Given that it’s trade deadline weekend, I’m sure there will be more of a theme to this, but the importance of the final stretch of the season shouldn’t be forgotten either. The greater playoff impact is still going to come from the group that is already here, not the newbies who will be joining in the next few days.
Now here are the takes:
1. If he comes at a reasonable price, the Leafs should bring in Miles Wood in the same fashion they brought in Riley Nash last season.
While the hockey world is presently in awe of the Lightning paying an absolute ransom for Brandon Hagel, it’s worth considering that there is a very comparable alternative to Hagel sitting on New Jersey’s LTIR. Wood would be a gamble, to say the least, but shouldn’t be an expensive one, and at best he’s a second-line winger, and at worst he’s a sparkplug for the fourth line.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury is definitely not the answer.This is not the hottest of takes, but one I wanted to get ou …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s Transaction Time! Here are the Blue Jays’ needs now that teams can make trades and signings again

The lockout is done and despite losing $10 to fellow Blue Jays Nation writer, Brendon Kuhn, I am pretty damn happy. Instead of refreshing Twitter hoping that the lockout will end, I am now refreshing Twitter to see Blue Jays rumours.

Per Spotrac, the Blue Jays have a payroll of $159,382,143, meaning that they can spend an additional $70,613,857 before they hit the new Competitive Balance Tax of $230,000,000 (they can still spend over this).
Let’s hop into the biggest needs the Blue Jays have coming into the 2022 season.
Starting pitching:
I think there is an argument that the Blue Jays don’t actually need starting pitching. They already have a very good core of four players (Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Alek Manoah, Hyun-Jin Ryu). If you were to add Ross Stripling as their fifth starter, the team still looks good. However, with over $70 million left to spend, it’s easy to see the Jays possibly looking to upgrade the last spot in their rotation.
In terms of free agents, the best free-agent pitcher available is Carlos Rodon. The 29-year-old left-handed pitcher owned a 2.38 ERA along with a 2.65 FIP in 2021. He also had an incredible K/9 of 12.55 with a lowish BB/9 of 2.44. There are concerns about his health though, as he only pitched 42.1 innings in the two seasons prior.
Another name that’s been in the rumour mill, especially before the lockout started, is 30-year-old left-handed …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Leaflets: Some Leafs trade deadline targets, goaltending, and the KHL

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Leaflets post, so here’s another attempt at turning a bunch of my half-thoughts into a full post. The fact that I’m running a fever should add to my tendency to err on the side of hot takes. In the spirit of that, it’s time to get weird with it.
Revisiting some old Miles Wood appreciation
I’m sure if I took the time to look back there wouldn’t be any shortage of mentions of Miles Wood from me and some of the other writers on this site last trade deadline and throughout the offseason of Wood being a great fit for Toronto.
Wood was New Jersey’s next Blake Coleman to unleash on the world, and in a perfect world for them, they’d probably be trying to land a first for him heading into the trade deadline. The fact that Miles Wood hasn’t played all year has probably hurt that but he was a 17 goal scorer in 55 games last season shouldn’t erase all interest in him.

While the Devils won’t get their first, I wonder if they’d be open to more of a hockey trade and take on someone like Travis Dermott in exchange for Wood. Or whether a mid-round 2023 pick is enough to rent a player who hasn’t played all year. Wood could be a way of the Leafs addressing their second-line winger need in an affordable way while using their “one bullet” on a top-tier defenseman.
The best defense is a good defensive forward
One of the things that has been noticeably improved this season is the contribution of Leafs forwards in their own zone. Arguably the Leafs’ defensemen haven’t improved much defensively, the Leafs’ goaltending recently has been on par with the worst of Frederik Andersen last season …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TRADE: Maple Leafs acquire goaltender Carter Hutton for future considerations

The Toronto Maple Leafs were not done dealing with the Arizona Coyotes.
Two days after sending castoff forward Nick Ritchie to the desert, the Maple Leafs acquired goaltender Carter Hutton from the desert in exchange for future considerations.
Hutton was limited to just three games with the Coyotes this season after he suffered an ankle injury back in October. The 36-year-old cleared waivers earlier in the afternoon and will not be on the team’s active roster.
The Thunder Bay, Ontario, native is on a one-way, $750,000 contract. Although not expensive, it is another contract off the books. With goalies Scott Wedgewood and rookie Karel Vejmelka taking the reins in goal while Hutton was absent, the veteran became expendable.
In Hutton, the Leafs get another goaltender to add to their depth, although given the age and lack of playing time, it’s hard to expect that he will be much a factor for the Leafs. With Joseph Woll proving himself this season to be a sufficient No. 3 option, it’s hard to see any situation where Carter Hutton factors into the team’s plans.
Two days ago, the Maple Leafs acquired defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin and forward Ryan Dzingel in exchange for Ritchie and a conditional second-round NHL Draft Pick. Although the money for this season ev …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Raptors PG Malachi Flynn gets vote of confidence from Masai Ujiri

Raptors PG Malachi Flynn gets vote of confidence from Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri and Toronto Raptors have done well when it comes to adding talent in the later parts of the first round, but Malachi Flynn has not developed in the same way that Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby have. Flynn is shaping up to be one of the few Ujiri draft misses on his resume. […]
Raptors PG Malachi Flynn gets vote of confidence from Masai Ujiri – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Malachi Flynn struggling with Raptors 905 in G league is concerning

Malachi Flynn struggling with Raptors 905 in G league is concerning

Masai Ujiri’s Toronto Raptors have done an excellent job at drafting late in the first round and developing young talent, as evidenced by names like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam improving their game with Raptors 905 in the G League. One player who has not improved in the way Toronto hoped has been point guard […]
Malachi Flynn struggling with Raptors 905 in G league is concerning – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ