Toronto Raptors: 3 positive takeaways as we look forward to 2021-22

Toronto Raptors: 3 positive takeaways as we look forward to 2021-22

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing with just four teams left, but for the first time in eight years, the Toronto Raptors will not figure into the equation as to who is the best team in the Eastern Conference or the NBA. On the surface, it appears to be a lost season and a […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 positive takeaways as we look forward to 2021-22 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Leafs sign NCAA Free Agent Alex Steeves

We are now in NCAA Frozen Four season, which overlaps the NCAA season most of us pay closer attention to, free agent signing season. The Leafs like to dip their toes in that water every year looking for a free wallet, and here’s their latest attempt…

We’ve signed forward Alex Steeves to a three-year entry level contract for the 2021-22 season.
Details » https://t.co/f8MS3Ejlc9#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/PZNbFxY2SV
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 28, 2021

So our prospect experts will have a lot more on Alex tomorrow, but we’ll give you the high level overview now.
The 21 year old forward who played for Norte Dame put up 32 points in 29 games this season, including 15 goals. He’s 5’11, 185lbs, and a junior. He’s from New Hampshire, and this was his second strong season of offence after putting up 28 points in 36 games last season.
His contract starts next season, so he’ll get the full three years of development in the Leafs system to see what they can turn him into.
We’ll have a lot more on Steeves tomorrow, but now it’s nice to see the Leafs giving us a few more wildcards …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Reinforcements arrive for Maple Leafs battle against the Flames

After four much needed days off, the Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action tonight, taking on the Calgary Flames in the first-half of a two-game set. Wayne Simmonds makes his return to the lineup tonight and Jack Campbell will be backing up Freddy Andersen.
Good Health
A rare four-day break for the Leafs seems to have done wonders for the team. Wayne Simmonds is now back from a broken wrist, Jack Campbell’s nagging injury seems to have subsided for now and reports indicate Auston Matthews’ wrist injury is doing a lot better.
This 56 game season truly is a grind, the Leafs have another four day break after this two-game set with Calgary, and then are playing every other day for more or less the rest of the season.
Having everyone back from injury will also allow Sheldon Keefe to slot guys back into their appropriate spots. Alexander Kerfoot is back centering the third line and Pierre Engvall is now on the fourth line. Both performed admirably when called upon to play higher up in the lineup.
Alex Galchenyuk Era
Tonight will be Alex Galchenyuk’s first game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Sheldon Keefe is giving Galchenyuk a …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Keep or waive these 4 players on the roster fringe

Raptors: Keep or waive these 4 players on the roster fringe

Recently, Raptors Rapture examined four players the Toronto Raptors should pursue or pass in the trade market. This time the Raptors’ roster is getting examined as we review four players that they should either keep or waive. The trade deadline is March 25th, and the Raptors’ management may need to clear cap space and or […]
Raptors: Keep or waive these 4 players on the roster fringe – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Leafs look to have another strong game against Canucks

Going into their four day break, there were many concerns that the Leafs performance was a bit deceiving do to their xGF numbers and reliance on the power play for their offense. But after a bit of rest and a strong game against the Canucks that saw them dominate for all three periods, there’s a bit less concern.
We saw a pretty entertaining first game in this three game series against the Canucks, as all the Leafs big guns showed up, highlighted by Matthews’ two goals and Marner & Nylander’s three point games. But there was no bigger story than Jason Spezza’s hat trick, which I bet you probably didn’t have on your bingo cards for this season.
The Leafs look to continue this strong play from the big guys and the depth players tonight, while the Canucks look to put an end to a three game losing streak. Of their six wins, only two of them have come against teams with an above .500 record, while three of them have come from the Senators. They’ll be looking to get a win against one of the few competitive teams in the division.
Lineups
Toronto Maple Leafs



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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Grading the Maple Leafs’ draft and free agency signings

So, here we are. Four days after free agency and seven days after the NHL draft. Are you having fun yet?
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a few key additions during free agency along with drafting a great bundle of prospects. It’s been an interesting yet different free agency, but one that I can say the Maple Leafs succeeded in. Bringing in toughness and adding a few defenders, it looks like Toronto is moving closer and closer to contention.
Yet I still don’t believe they’re done yet.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

#Intrigue Could Johnsson or Muzzin play in Game 5?

The Leafs picked a historic win in Game Four, and hockey history says don’t mess with a winning lineup. That being said, there were 56 minutes of hockey that weren’t going great before things took a positive turn for the Leafs, and perhaps they could use some help tonight.

The @MapleLeafs have activated forward Andreas Johnsson from injured reserve. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) August 9, 2020

Jake Muzzin is out of quarantine inside the NHL bubble and skated this morning.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 9, 2020

So, yeah, those are some good players to have at the Leafs disposal in an all or nothing situation. The question remains, who stays in and who comes out?
Arguably those answers would be pretty easy too, and Marincin and Mikheyev would come out, as Marincin is Marincin and Mikheyev hasn’t been particularly good in against Columbus. Watching a game might not be a bad idea for him.
As interesting as adding Johnsson and Muzzin would be, we just know what we’ve seen from those two tweets and certainly Sheldon Keefe isn’t letting it be known what he is planning.
Nothing like a little pregame intrigue before …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Five Takeaways from the Leafs exhibition game vs Montreal

It’s been over four months and I must say, it’s great to have hockey back.
Last night, the Leafs took on the Montreal Canadiens in a pre-season game. Despite it being July, the game was competitive and both teams looked good in stretches. In general, it’s tough to take too much away from one “exhibition game” but with that said, this was the first and only tune-up before the playoffs start. Sheldon Keefe and the Leafs needed to be in playoff mode, which gives us reason to find value in the different things we noticed.
Here are my five takeaways from the 4-2 victory for the Leafs. 
1. Nick Robertson belongs in the NHL
Two of the biggest questions heading to this game: Will Nick Robertson look like he belongs in the NHL despite being 18 years old? And more importantly, will he look like one of the Leafs’ best 12 forwards? My answers: Yes, and yes.
Robertson didn’t score but he was noticeable on many of his shifts thanks to his work ethic off the puck.
This clip below was probably his most memorable. It was expected that Robertson would …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Madness: Final Four

It’s safe to say the voyage to the Final Four to determine the greatest fan favourite Leaf has gone exactly as expected. Sundin, Matthews, Bower, and Clark are all names you’d expect to see here. Beating out Gilmour, Sittler, and Keon to do so wasn’t a particularly easy thing to do, but here we are.
We have one multi Stanley Cup winner, but he’s the only cup winner on the list. In fact, Bower is the hardware King of the group, as he also has a pair of Vezinas to his name.
Mats Sundin leads the way with the most All-Star appearances, and has a Mark Messier Leadership award to his name. Both he and Bower are also in the Hall of Fame, so there’s that too.
Wendel Clark is a two time All-Star and one of three first overall draft picks on the list, one of two with the selections being made by the Leafs. Like Matthews, he had a great pace for hitting 50 goals, but never got there, making Sundin officially the only 50 goal guy left in the bracket.
As for Matthews. Well, the story isn’t …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs re-sign Jake Muzzin for 4 years

Buzzing for four more years!
Jake Muzzin has signed a four-year extension. #LeafsForever
Details >> https://t.co/lIkeg622wr pic.twitter.com/3zyPXdHiDY
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 24, 2020
We knew it was coming and now it’s here. At the price we were promised for the term we were promised.
Muzzin has been the Leafs best defenseman south of the center line for the past year, and that’s probably not something they could easily walk away from, even it comes with significant dollars and term for a 31 year old defenseman.

This extension includes $16.8 million in signing bonus. https://t.co/GCqEYnFfgp
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 24, 2020
As we can see, there is a ton of signing bonuses, which will probably help the Leafs trade him after that last bonus is paid, but also likely makes the contract pretty buyout proof. As bizarre as it seems to be looking at how to get out of a contract on a good player, that’s pretty much the nature of how any contract on a 30+ year old needs to be.

Jake Muzzin’s extension in TOR includes a no-movement clause for next season before converting …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation