The Toronto Six will be playing hockey soon!

FINALLY! The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) announced a plan to play out its 2021 season, and the Isobel Cup. The new season will start on January 23rd. I can’t wait to see what the Toronto Six twitter page will meme about now!

The National Women’s Hockey League today announced a plan to play the upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY
PRESS RELEASE: https://t.co/EWlz31m8wY pic.twitter.com/QyCKGCKQ0K
— NWHL (@NWHL) November 25, 2020

This season will see the first EVER action from the new Toronto Six hockey club, Toronto’s newest professional hockey franchise.
In order to protect the players and staff against COVID-19, the season will be compressed and done in a bubble. The teams will each play each other once, followed by a playoff qualification round to determine seeding, followed by a 4 team Isobel Cup playoff. The Isobel Cup game will be played on February 5th, 2021.
The following additional measures are being taken, as per the announcement:
The teams will arrive separately in Lake Placid in a staggered schedule on Jan. 21 and 22. Beginning Jan. 23, they will each play five games (one against each …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Rating the three new Toronto Raptors jersey for upcoming season

The Toronto Raptors have finally revealed three out of five new jerseys they’ll be wearing in the upcoming season. It felt like just yesterday that the Toronto Raptors said they were going for a new look. Many were of the opinion that they’d bring back the beloved purple back into their color scheme. But the […]
Rating the three new Toronto Raptors jersey for upcoming season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

The Leafs Nation Guide to Draft Day

It’s finally here. A day filled with expectations that anything is possible, but given the NHL’s recent track record, a day much more likely to be formulaic, with each team making a somewhat predictable selection and our big moments will consist of teams moving up or down a couple of picks in exchange for a second or third round pick. It still will have some excitement. It will still be a chance to have numerous new trade rumours dumped on us. It will still set the table for free agency. It’s fun, but maybe our expectations need to be lower.
In advance of this day we’ve put together a ton of draft related content on TLN since the Leafs return to play was cut short. And if you are looking for something to pass the time until the draft or feel the need to be brought up to speed, this is the post for you. Enjoy the link dump.
First of all, here are the picks the Leafs own:
Toronto Maple Leafs picks set for 2020 NHL Draft

Our own Mark Norman put in work to build a Consensus Ranking out of all the draft rankings. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays go from being no-hit through six to an explosive extra-innings win in Boston

It took a while for them to get there, but the bats finally showed up in the 10th inning last night. Better late than never.

Things worth mentioning…

Taijuan Walker got the start on Thursday night looking to build on the excellent Blue Jays debut he put together last weekend. Walker’s stuff was a little bit different this time out than it was with the adrenaline of his debut. He was sitting around 92 miles-per-hour on his fastball, which is a slight tick down from the 94 mph he was hitting against Baltimore. Still, Walker tossed five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four. If he can keep doing that for the rest of the season, it would be huge.
In the sixth inning, Walker allowed a couple of hits and then walked Christian Vasquez to load the bases. Charlie Montoyo pulled him in favour of Anthony Kay, a lefty, and Walker wasn’t happy with it at all. I know the general sentiment is you don’t want to see a pitcher “show up” a manager on the mound like that, but you have to love the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have recalled Julian Merryweather (yes, the guy from the Josh Donaldson trade) from the Taxi Squad

The infamous PTBNL is finally here!

The Blue Jays have called Julian Merryweather up from the Taxi Squad while Jacob Waguespack has been optioned in a corresponding move.
Merryweather, of course, is known for being the guy who came back in the much-maligned Josh Donaldson trade. He was a fifth-round pick made when Mark Shapiro was back in Cleveland and was once a fairly highly-touted prospect, but injuries have completely derailed his development. Since being acquired by the Blue Jays back in 2018, he’s only pitched 12 innings, six of which came in the minors and six of which came in the Arizona Fall League.
At this stage, it’s hard to imagine that Merryweather will ever be a starter in the big leagues, which he has been throughout virtually his entire career in the minors. But it’ll be interesting to see if the hard-throwing Merryweather can be a weapon for the Jays out of the bullpen. He features a fastball that touches the upper-90s and a good changeup, so that could be the makings of a quality reliever.
Honestly, it would just be nice to see Merryweather finally get into a game. There were times …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays will debut their new powder blue uniforms tonight

Finally, after a much longer than anticipated wait, the Blue Jays will debut their sort-of-brand-new-but-also-throwback powder blue uniforms tonight when they host the Miami Marlins in Buffalo.

Tomorrow: Our debut in #NEWBLUE pic.twitter.com/XE8tmHI35l
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 10, 2020

I imagine the plan all along was for the team to debut the powder blues at their home opener. Of course, due to COVID-19, everything got flipped on its head and the team had to wait a few weeks to finally have their home opener at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. I don’t think that rocking the powder blues for the first time at the home team in Washington would have been particularly memorable.
Anyways, it’ll be nice to see the powder blue uniforms back in the mix. It’s a controversial look among fans, but, personally, I think they look great. I actually prefer the old V-neck look the team used to use back on Flashback Friday in the late-2000s, but it makes sense that they want to streamline the uniform with all of the other ones in their catalogue.
 
 
 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Yet another late-game heartbreaker as the Blue Jays drop a winnable series in Boston

Mitch Moreland finally got his revenge for Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. His two-homer game was the difference against the Blue Jays in the rubber match as the rest of the Red Sox managed just two hits.

Things worth mentioning…

I had hoped heading into the series that facing the Red Sox and their abysmal pitching would help bring the Blue Jays’ bats to life. That didn’t happen. The team managed just eight runs in the three-game series, which is an even lower output than the 3.12 runs-per-game they had rolling into Boston. When you’re facing Ryan Weber, Zack Godley, and Boston’s create-a-player bullpen, that isn’t ideal.
On the positive side, we saw some nice offensive flashes from some key players in Toronto’s lineup. Vlad Jr. had his best series of 2020, picking up four hits, a couple of walks, and a double. He’s now 7-for-21 in August with four extra-base hits. Bo Bichette also had a solid series, hitting a homer in Game 3 while picking up doubles in the first two games. The issue is lower in the order, where Randal Grichuk, Travis Shaw, and Rowdy Tellez haven& …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nate Pearson has arrived, Ken Giles is injured. What does that mean for the Blue Jays’ pitching staff?

The day is finally here. Nate Pearson, Toronto’s No. 1 prospect and one of baseball’s most exciting young arms, is set to make his Major League debut.

Pearson’s presence will be a big boost to the Blue Jays’ rotation, which has looked very solid after one trip through the order. It’s important to temper expectations for rookies, no matter how much talent they have, but Pearson certainly boasts the stuff to hit the ground running as a top-of-the-rotation arm.
The first time through, Toronto’s rotation tossed 22 innings, allowing just six earned runs on 18 hits and nine walks while collecting 19 strikeouts. Now, imagine Hyun Jin Ryu bouncing back to form after a rusty first start and adding Pearson, who immediately steps in like an ace, to the mix.
Dare to dream!
Anyways, now that Pearson is up, the Jays have a normal five-man rotation. He’ll kick off Toronto’s second go through the rotation, with Ryu and Matt Shoemaker scheduled to follow after him and Trent Thornton and Tanner Roark still pencilled in as the fourth and fifth starters. That’s a pretty formidable group.
Another …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What to expect from the field this summer

We’ve finally come to the end of our What to expect this summer series. This final post will cover the remaining players we haven’t touched on, some of who still have the potential to find their way onto the Leafs expanded roster.
This series has also given us the opportunity to introduce you to a number of new TLN writers who have joined us over the past month. I’m equally excited about the lineup we’ve built here as the one the Leafs are icing, and I’m excited to show you want we can do in the Return to Play as well.
So without further adieu, here are the remaining players that could find their way onto the Leafs playoff roster…
Tyler Gaudet
Gaudet was probably the biggest surprise on the training camp invite list, and might be the biggest long shot to make the Leafs roster as well. A former Soo Greyhound under Dubas and Keefe, there is no doubt that his familiarity was an asset, as well as the fact that he is a strong defensive forward that provided the Leafs top six with a bit more of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays settle on playing in Buffalo

The hunt is over. The Blue Jays finally have a home.

Though it wasn’t the team’s first (or second, or third, or fourth, or…) choice, the Jays will play the majority of their home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo this season.
The team appeared set to share PNC Park with the Pirates this season, but that plan was nixed by the State of Pennsylvania. It was the same deal with Camden Yards in Baltimore, as the Orioles were cool with sharing their facility with the Jays, but the State of Maryland said no.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the Blue Jays the thumbs up this morning, so there won’t be any last-minute changes this time.

It’s official! Toronto Blue Jays to play home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo https://t.co/kAtK6NsLR5
— WGRZ (@WGRZ) July 24, 2020

The team has also issued a statement, confirming that they’ll be playing the majority of their home games in Buffalo.

Blue Jays To Stage Majority Of 2020 Home Games In Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/BxlV7cgieJ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 24, 2020

Obviously, this isn’t ideal for the Blue Jays. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation