Winners and Losers after Raptors sign Juancho Hernangomez

Winners and Losers after Raptors sign Juancho Hernangomez

The Toronto Raptors got in one last free agent signing at the eleventh hour before training camp starts. Juancho Hernangomez, who is known for his role in Adam Sandler’s “Hustle” as Bo Cruz, signed with Toronto on a one-year contract after spending 2021-22 with the Utah Jazz. Hernangomez is likely going to compete for a […]
Winners and Losers after Raptors sign Juancho Hernangomez – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

Around the Atlantic: Breaking down each team’s notable additions and exits

It has now been five days since NHL free agency began and teams around the league are starting to take shape. There are several new faces in the Atlantic division and a few notable exits. The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings were the most active teams. Both look to be much improved. The Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres don’t appear to be ready for a playoff push, but the rest of the division should be in contention. Here is a look at how each team has fared since free agency opened. (Trades and free agent acquisitions have been included.)
Florida Panthers
Notable additions: Nick Cousins (C/LW), Rudolfs Balcers (LW), Marc Staal (D), Eric Staal (C/LW)
Notable exits: Claude Giroux (C/RW), Ben Chiarot (D), Mason Marchment (LW)
Losing Claude Giroux was inevitable, they simply didn’t have the cap flexibility to keep him. The exits of both Ben Chiarot and Mason Marchment create holes in their roster but over last few seasons, depth players have consistently shined in the Panthers system. In Cousins they get a solid defensive forward with experience. Balcers isn’t a physical player, but he is responsible in his own zone. He scored a career high 11 goals in 61 games last season on a San Jose Sharks team that struggled to produce offence. Playing on a third …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Rating the Leafs offseason (so far)

“It’s not even a week into free agency, why are rating the offseason already?”
A legitimate question conjured up reader, I’m glad you asked. While it’s still relatively early in the offseason, we’ve seen the draft go by as well as the most critical early days of free agency, it’s very easy to have an opinion at this point and you’ve probably been subject to a lot of them on social media. The intention here is to not only identify our 1-10 rating of the Leafs offseason so far, but weigh in on how Kyle Dubas and the Leafs could improve their score with us.
So let’s get started.
Mark Norman
(This was written before the Jarnkrok signing. That probably brings it to a 5.)
I think it’s a 3 out of 10 thus far. Taking into account that it was unlikely the Leafs were going to bring in A-listers because of their cap situation, I don’t think you could even call Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Adam Gaudette, Jordie Benn, or Victor Mete B-list options. And while, sure, they may provide some positive value, these feel like the type of moves you make in the second week of free agency, not the first two days. My excitement for these moves pales in comparison to my excitement about Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase last summer, even with knowing how Ritchie played out.
On the goaltending …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A crowded Leafs blueline means that someone could soon be traded

The 2022 Free Agent Frenzy has only been three days old and the Leafs have made a number of signings already. But besides the addition of Ilya Samsonov, most have been depth additions or fringe players on low-risk deals.
Two more players were given such contracts when the Leafs nabbed Victor Mete and Jordie Benn to identical one-year deals on Thursday night. Regardless of whether they get NHL action or not, it is clear Kyle Dubas wants to ensure his team has its bases covered for each position.
Related:
Leafs add Jordie Benn and Victor Mete as defensive depth
As a by-product of these signings, the Leafs now have eight NHL defensemen under contract along with Rasmus Sandin, who was given a qualifying offer but remains unsigned. Simply put, there are too many bodies on the blueline and something has to give or else someone won’t be getting much playing time.
Surely, this means a trade will soon follow, right?
Let’s start by crossing off the players who are unlikely to be dealt. Morgan Rielly’s new contract is set to kick in and is their best defenceman, he’s not going anywhere. Mark Giordano just signed a two-year deal so it’s unlikely he gets dealt so soon, especially since he provided a ton of value. TJ Brodie has been an integral piece on the blueline for the past two years and is also staying put. And Timothy Liljegren is not getting dealt because he has made impressive strides …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Keep expectations low: A Toronto Maple Leafs story

It’s free agent frenzy time. There are going to be some new Leafs today but when looking at top free agent lists, you can pretty much scroll to the bottom to see who the Leafs will be targeting.
Toronto is no place to make moves on the big names in free agency, and that is a bit of a mixed blessing as the more popular the player the more likely you’re looking at a scary cap hit or scary term. It might mean things are boring, but that beats a Mike Komisarek or David Clarkson redux.
The key driver for the day is the salary cap situation and here it is with the key vacancies in the lineup:

I’ve been incredibly generous with the placement of Nick Robertson in the top six and the Leafs should be looking for someone who has a bit more top six potential than leaning into the third line vacancy, but ultimately the Leafs are looking at bottom six forwards, another goaltender, and needing to figure out both space for Sandin in the lineup and under the cap.
If there is a big splash coming, it’s probably going to be in net and that’s where the Leafs appear to be connected to most this morning:

Hearing Ilya Samsonov is headed to TOR
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) July 13, 2022

Goalie market: expecting Campbell (EDM) & Kuemper (WASH). Good time to be a backup/1B also. Word is STL in on Thomas Greiss and SEA on Martin Jones. TOR among teams doing due diligence on Kevin Lankinen and Ilya Samsonov — looking at all goalie options.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022

Obviously the idea of taking a 25 year old, former 1st round pi …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Watch the Daily Faceoff Show Free Agency Special here!

It’s day one of free agency and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Toronto Maple Leafs get up to today.
Earlier, we outlined five bargain-bin free agents that could make sense for the Leafs to sign. You can read that story here.
Will the Leafs take a stab at P.K. Subban? Sam Steel? Curtis Lazar? We don’t expect the Leafs to be extremely active today, but they should be in the market to improve their overall depth with a smart, low-risk signing.
With Jack Campbell expected to join the Oilers and plenty more signings coming down the pipeline already, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk, along with plenty of guests are here to give you all the info and smart analysis you need!
You can watch the Daily Faceoff Show Free Agency Special livestream here:

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Author: David Quadrelli / The Leafs Nation

TLN Free Agency Live Blog: Reacting to moves all around the NHL

Happy free agency day, everyone!
It is shaping up to be a massive day in the NHL as per usual, with major names set to become unrestricted free agents at 12 pm EST. The Toronto Maple Leafs are also set for a big day with important moves to come to address the backup goaltending position and forward depth.
The newest updates will come at the top of the page!
11:15 am EST
Josh Manson re-signs in Colorado
Manson transitioned seamlessly into the Avalanche system and provides them with a bit of a different look to balance their defence group. Four years at $4.5M is a reasonable number and he’ll be a great match with any of their left-side defencemen over that term. Nice piece of business for Chris McFarland and Joe Sakic.
Pavel Zacha traded to Boston for Erik Haula
Zacha wanted out in New Jersey and the Bruins needed some more forward options, especially with Brad Marchand out to start the season. Zacha can play either centre or the left wing and should slot into Boston’s third line. Zacha is an RFA.
Erik Haula will likely slide into New Jersey’s 3C role. He has one year remaining at just $2.375M, coming off of a 44 point season that’s a really solid pickup for the Devils.
For New Jersey, after buying out Janne Kuokkanen and now trading Zacha, …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes, Evgeni Malkin stays home and Matt Murray to the Leafs

Free agency is set to begin in less than 12 hours, and everybody is wondering where will Johnny Gaudreau end up. While Gaudreau is the most exciting unrestricted free agent to hit the market since John Tavares, there are several other intriguing players available in all price ranges.
We have also seen a few high profile trades in the past seven days and plenty of rumours surrounding other quality players who could be on the move.
Free Agency
As mentioned above Gaudreau is the top unrestricted free agent available. After eight seasons in Calgary, he has informed the Flames organization that he will not be returning. It has been reported that this is solely a family decision. Gaudreau would like to move closer to home as he is expecting a baby.
The New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers have been the most common destinations linked to Gaudreau and it seems both the Devils and Islanders are prepared to offer him long-term deals north of nine million per season.
Philadelphia is the closest geographic location to where Gaudreau grew up and his childhood team. They also have his close friend and former college teammate Kevin Hayes locked up for four more seasons. However, they do not currently have anywhere near enough cap space to …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Staff Picks: Who we like for the Leafs in free agency

Here we are on the eve of free agency, and 25 hours away from the madness truly beginning. It seems like the last chance for us to weigh in on who are targets are before we start justifying who was actually signed. That’s why the question posed to the TLN writers this week is, “Who is your free agent target and why?”
Dylan Strome by Michael Mazzei
I believe the Leafs should focus their efforts on the non-tendered RFAs that are set to hit the open market, and the top choice for me is Dylan Strome. He has been making strides in his game despite Chicago mishandling him and barely giving him consistent playing time. The underlying metrics imply that he is a solid player and is more than deserving a a permanent roster spot, but Chicago apparently doesn’t think the same way and did not give him a qualifying offer. He should come at a reasonable price and would be a solid addition to the middle-six both this coming year and going forward given that he is right in the middle of his prime. He could be a hidden gem in free agency this summer and he is my choice for top target for the Leafs to acquire on July 13.
Eric …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Monday Rumour Recap: Latest on Murray, Kase, Campbell, and others

The start of free agency week hasn’t exactly gotten off to a slow start. There seem to be plenty of rumours either around the Leafs, Leafs adjacent, or potentially impactful to the Leafs. So here’s a brief recap of what is out there to get you caught up.

I’m told there’s some solid framework elements between the @Senators and @MapleLeafs however the potential completion of this deal is largely dependent on the comprehensive up to the minute medical due diligence by TML on Matt Murray’s health . @espn @NHL #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) July 11, 2022

This is obviously the big one to watch for Leafs fans, and it seems that the deal is essentially good to go and the Leafs doctors and front office are just deciding how good they feel about Matt Murray’s health. It never seems like an encouraging step, but better they do this and make their decision on complete data.
It’s very likely the Leafs will get around 50% salary retention for Murray. It also seems highly likely that the deal is going to be tilted largely in a Leafs direction for taking on this risk.
Here’s some more on Matt Murray from yesterday:
Friedman: Matt Murray talks intensifying between the Leafs and Sens

Hearing #Leafs will not be issuing a qualifying offer to Ondrej Kase, making him a UFA.
I’d expect Pierre Engvall will be qualified, but not 100% confirmed yet.
Not expecting many other surprises. #Canes plan to qualify Ethan Bear.@DailyFaceoff
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 11, 2022

Kyle Dubas has previously stated his intention to qualify Pierre Engvall, but was on the fence about Kase. It appears his mind has been made up and Kase will hit unrestricted free agency. Kase is very much a player the Leafs will double back on when he isn’t arbitration eligible, but the idea of locking into an arbitration ruling on an injury riddled player like Kase would be difficult.
Still no word on the remaining Leafs RFAs.
From the 32 Thoughts Podcast: Campbell likely to Edmonton, Kuemp …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation