The NBA’s projected start and how it affects the Leafs and the NHL

During any offseason, we are usually counting down the days until our favourite sport(s) return for another year of exciting action. This year has changed that and instead of eagerly awaiting the start of a new campaign, we are instead wondering what the start date will be.
While a certain election was continuing to dominate the headlines, the NBA voted to approve a projected start date of December 22 and compile a 72-game schedule.

The NBPA player rep vote has completed, approving a December 22 start/72-game regular season, source tells ESPN. Next up: NBA/NBPA finishes financial terms on amended CBA, which will take into next week. Expect trade moratorium to be lifted shortly prior to Nov. 18 Draft.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 6, 2020

They are now the latest league to try and determine the beginning of the 2020-21 season after the OHL and AHL did the same just last week. While all of this is contingent on the state of affairs with COVID-19 cases remaining on the rise, it gives fans a clear picture of the duration of the current offseason.
But how does this affect the Leafs NHL?
It has been well documented that the NHL has been trying to …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bruce Boudreau claims his father cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs

During an interview on Leafs Lunch earlier today, Bruce Boudreau confirmed that his father once cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs to never win another Stanley Cup. After being drafted by the Leafs in 1975, Bruce Boudreau bounced between the NHL franchise and its affiliates for the better part of a decade before being let go from the team.
Despite putting up over a point per game in the AHL, and scoring a respectable 69 points in 134 games over six seasons for the Maple Leafs, the young centre was never able to hold onto a regular roster spot and eventually left to play in Europe. Feeling his family was disrespected, Bruce’s father cursed the team to never win a Stanley Cup until he comes back to them. With rumours surfacing that Bruce Boudreau could be joining the team as an assistant coach this season, one has to wonder if his return could reverse the team’s fortunes and lift the supposed curse.

“He said they’ll never win a Stanley Cup until I come back”
Longtime head coach Bruce Boudreau gets to the bottom of why the #MapleLeafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967 on #LeafsLunch with @AndiPetrillo and @CraigJButton: His …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors are the closest thing to the 2004 Detroit Pistons

The Toronto Raptors are looking to do the impossible during this postseason, and the closest team that comes to mind with this team is the 2004 Detroit Pistons. No Superstar? No pro… actually there is a problem. Historically in the NBA, the combination of a championship and a superstar player — a player that is […]
The Toronto Raptors are the closest thing to the 2004 Detroit Pistons – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

NBA Scrimmage Grades: Raptors Sloppy in Loss to the Suns

During their previous two scrimmage games, the Toronto Raptors came out looking healthy, well-rested, and ready to defend their championship. That was not the case against the Suns in which the Raptors came out looking tired and played an overall sloppy game where they lost 117 – 106. The Toronto Raptors played their final scrimmage […]
NBA Scrimmage Grades: Raptors Sloppy in Loss to the Suns – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hani Salehi / Raptors HQ

Nick Robertson will play in exhibition game vs. Montreal

During an appearance on TSN OverDrive, Sheldon Keefe dropped a bombshell that Leafs fans have been longing to hear.

Sheldon Keefe on OverDrive now on Nick Robertson’s lineup status for their exhibition game versus the Canadiens:
“He’ll be playing tomorrow”
— OverDrive (@OverDrive1050) July 27, 2020

With this announcement, Nick Robertson is now one step closer to appearing in the lineup for Game 1 of the play-in round against the Blue Jackets. While a lot can change between now and Sunday’s contest, this announcement has to feel good for him regardless.
It’s a well-deserved reward for what has been an impressive training camp for the 18-year-old, who made an appearance on the Leafs top line alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander at one point. Based on the lines shared by Leafs PR, Robertson is projected to play on the third line with Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen.

Let it rip @nickrobertson01 #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 27, 2020

If you would like to hear the full segment on OverDrive with Keefe, click here.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Justin Holl leaves Maple Leafs practice bloody

Justin Holl left the ice midway during the Maple Leafs team practice on Wednesday after sustaining an injury, Kristen Shilton reported.

Justin Holl has been bloodied during battle drills, and is departing practice.
William Nylander skated over to Holl as he received medical attention to make sure he was okay.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

According to TSN’s Mark Masters, Holl’s injury was sustained in his mouth. This is an unfortunate blow for the Leafs as opening night of the playoffs inches closer. The Leafs have been hoping for a healthy blue line heading into play after a long season and pause. Holl has had an impressive season this season, solidifying his spot on the Leafs blue line under Sheldon Keefe’s helm. Playing 68 games with the Leafs this season, his addition has been nothing short of beneficial for an otherwise rather thin defensive core. Heading into Wednesday’s practice, Holl was slotted alongside Jake Muzzin on the Leafs second pair.

#Leafs lines/pairs appear unchanged from yesterday:
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

Injuries sustained during training camp isn’t something new for the Leafs, as Zach Hyman …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Three takeaways from 2020 All-Star Weekend

The Toronto Raptors were well represented during NBA All-Star Weekend 2020. The new format made for an exciting game. Here are three takeaways from what was a successful weekend for Canada’s lone NBA franchise. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, guided by Nick Nurse who at this point has got to be the odds-on favourite to […]
Toronto Raptors: Three takeaways from 2020 All-Star Weekend – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jordan Skuse / Raptors HQ

Jake Muzzin reportedly has a four-year extension to be signed after the trade deadline

During the Headlines segment during the intermission of Saturday night’s Maple Leafs and Senators game, Chris Johnston reported that Jake Muzzin and the Leafs had agreed on a four-year contract extension, though pen wouldn’t hit paper until after the trade deadline.

Apparently, not all of the deals are hammered out just yet, but there’s a deal in principle that’ll keep Muzzin in Toronto for another four seasons beyond this one. We don’t yet know what the cap hit would be on this deal, but it’s been speculated to come in at around $5.5 million annually, with a front-loaded salary to make the deal movable at the end, if necessary.
The reason the Leafs and Muzzin have to wait until after the deadline is due to an oddity in the salary cap known as Tagged Payroll Room.
Under Article 50.5 of the 2013 NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, any team that is trying to re-sign a player to a multi-year contract after December 1 needs to have “Payroll Room.” Basically, Payroll Room is the difference between the cap ceiling and the total amount of all Average Annual Values (“AAV& …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: How do your favorite players train during the offseason?

How do your favorite Toronto Raptors train during the offseason? I talked with Joe Abunassar, the man responsible for training Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Terence Davis to find out. The NBA is seasonal. However, your favorite player’s work ethics are not. They’re constantly focussed on improving their game. For a few Toronto Raptors, that […]
Toronto Raptors: How do your favorite players train during the offseason? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Marner out for at least a month with ankle injury

The Leafs announced tonight during the Leafs-Blackhawks game that Mitch Marner will be out with an ankle injury, and will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner underwent an MRI exam today after sustaining an ankle injury in last night’s game vs. PHI.
Marner is expected to be out of the lineup for a minimum of 4 weeks, at which point he will be reassessed by the @MapleLeafs medical staff. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 11, 2019

The injury was sustained during the second period of last night’s game vs. the Flyers, after falling on his right leg off the opening faceoff.
Some have mentioned the potential of it being a high ankle injury, which even when healed, can take a while to fully recover, so even after his return, it might be a while before we get Mitch at 100%.

Slowed it down, that’s a right knee / ankle injury for Marner.#LeafsForever
— Leafs ALL Day (@LeafsAllDayy) November 10, 2019

However, with the minimum of four weeks for a recovery time, Marner will be placed on LTIR, and the Leafs cap crunch will be prolonged for another month or so, even if Zach Hyman returns.
This …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation