Toronto Raptors: A realistic expectation for Fred VanVleet this season

Toronto Raptors: A realistic expectation for Fred VanVleet this season

After getting his well-deserved payday to remain with the Toronto Raptors, the eyes on Fred VanVleet are at an all-time high. Ahead of the new season beginning, we’ll take a look at what the realistic expectation for the undrafted guard is. From the moment soundbites were released of Fred VanVleet’s comments on JJ Redick’s podcast, […]
Toronto Raptors: A realistic expectation for Fred VanVleet this season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kyle Oliveira / Raptors HQ

News and Notes: Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will not re-sign, Joel Ward considered for a coaching spot, and more

Two defencemen without a new contract won’t be getting one from the Leafs this October.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic went on First Up 1050 and revealed that both Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will be testing the free-agent market in a few week’s time.

Pierre LeBrun on First Up 1050: “This won’t shock anyone, I’m not dropping any news here … I was told by a source yesterday that Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci know that they’re headed to market and not re-signing with the Maple Leafs.” #LeafsForever
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) September 30, 2020

This is not a shocking revelation since it appeared to be heading in this direction for the last few months, but I’m sure a bunch of Leafs fans are relieved to hear it nonetheless. Both players were brought in last July 1st with good intentions but neither of them were able to make it work in Toronto.
Ceci was acquired in the Nikita Zaitsev trade and had a tumultuous relationship with the fanbase, most notably frustration over him continuously being paired with Morgan Rielly (although Kyle Dubas did come to Ceci’s defence a lot throughout the season). He produced one goal, seven assists, …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Nick Roberston in, Pierre Engvall out

The return of the NHL season is near, and the Leafs are slowly getting their roster for the play-in round established. During today’s practice, the team made an interesting swap at the forward position on the third line:

Some tweaks to the Leafs top two lines today, as well as D pairings:
Hyman-Matthews-MarnerNylander-Tavares-MikheyevRobertson-Kerfoot-KapanenClifford-Gauthier-SpezzaEngvall
Rielly-CeciMuzzin-HollDermott-BarrieSandin-Marincin
Andersen-Campbell
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) July 21, 2020

Seeing Nick Robertson in a third line role ahead of Pierre Engvall is quite an interesting development, to say the least. Robertson has been making impressive strides early on, including a stint on the top line with Auston Matthews and William Nylander. This is a player that has been hungry to land a spot on the Leafs roster since Day 1 of training camp, and his continued excellence is going to make Sheldon Keefe’s life tougher once it is time to assemble the lines.
If that means Engvall has to sit out, then that is a tough setback for a guy that started his Leafs tenure making impressive strides in his development. He appeared on track to be an effective checking forward on the third line with penalty-killing abilities. But Engvall did struggle to produce offensively prior …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

3 Toronto Raptors That Will Take the Next Step These Playoffs

With the Toronto Raptors getting ready to return to the floor to play some basketball, this is a perfect time for some young players to take another step in their young career. The Toronto Raptors are almost set to return to the NBA season to play eight remaining games and then begin the playoffs. The […]
3 Toronto Raptors That Will Take the Next Step These Playoffs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors will play the Memphis Grizzlies under NBA’s new seeding proposal

The NBA is getting closer and closer to resuming and this means we are getting closer to see the Toronto Raptors finally play again. So there have been strong reports that if the NBA does resume that it’ll return in a 16-team playoff race. So the first seed would play the sixteenth seed, and the […]
The Toronto Raptors will play the Memphis Grizzlies under NBA’s new seeding proposal – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Leafsnation: The Best of March 2020

Inside and no sports, getting used to the new normal; Austin Matthews pursuit of Leafs Immortality; the Leafs should bring P.K. home to Toronto; looking back at the Phil Kessel and Owen Nolan trades; how this years moves work from a CBA standpoint; should the Leafs re-sign Malgin; what’s Dubas saying and more in this weeks Leafsnation Roundup.

Leafs
Austin Matthews pursuit of Leafs immortality (Cam Lewis)
Takeaways from the Dubas interview (Scott Maxwell)
Throwback Thursday: The day the Leafs acquired Owen Nolan (Zach Laing)
A collection of CBA thoughts on the Leafs moves this year (Earl Schwartz)
Revisiting the Phil Kessel trades (Zach Laing)
It’s time to send Rasmus Sandin down (Jon Steitzer)
To re-sign or not re-sign Dennis Malgin? (Jon Steitzer)
Around the Network and NHL
Inside and no sports: Adjusting to the new normal (Jason Gregor)
Top 40 monents: Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals to reach 50 in 39 games (Cam Lewis – Oilersnation)
Report: Flames front runner for college star Colton Poolman (Ryan Pike – Flamesnation)
Players suggest summer NHL playoffs format (Zach Laing)
Breaking down each RFA on the Wings and what the future may hold (Cameron Kuom – Wingsnation)
Jets fail miserably to …

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Author: Nation World HQ / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #62: 5 Things to watch in the Pittsburgh rematch

After getting destroyed by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, aren’t you thrilled the next game the Leafs are playing is against Pittsburgh? YAAYYYYYYY!!!
You could go into this hoping the Leafs are going to make a statement. You could go into this game hoping the Leafs will continue to fight to stay on the right side of the playoff bubble. You could point to how talented this team is, but ultimately, you probably aren’t feeling too confident tonight. That’s probably the biggest issue with the Leafs. Lots of talent, but no certainty of success.
This is the second last game the Leafs play before the trade deadline, at the very least they should be playing to show Kyle Dubas they don’t want the roster blown up.
Lineups

LW
C
RW
Forwards
ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 75.3#27 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.4#3 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 77.7#10 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.44#6 FL1

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.5#15 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 78.7#13 C

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 72.1#86 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.75#5 FL2

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.3#95 LW

FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Rating: 68.3#157 C

KASPERI KAPANEN
Rating: 71.5#99 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.35#30 FL3

KYLE CLIFFORD
Rating: 69.9#125 LW

JASON …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Daily Duce: The 2024 World Series Champions!

Daily?!?!?!

We’re getting into the real ugly, dark, depressing days of winter here, scrouging for baseball-related content, so MLB.com went ahead and fired up a crystal ball and predicted the World Series Champions for the 2020s. 
First, they have the Yankees, fresh off of signing Gerrit Cole to a record-setting contract, beating Alex Anthopolous’ Atlanta Braves, marking the Evil Empire’s first World Series since 2009. They then have New York beating the San Diego Padres in a 1998 rematch, giving them back-to-back World Series wins since the turn of the century. In 2022, MLB.com is predicting a So Cal World Series, with the Dodgers beating the Angels in a world in which Major League Baseball intervenes and forces Anaheim into the playoffs so Mike Trout can finally experience what that’s like.
Then it gets good! The Blue Jays are apparently going to win the World Series in 2024 by beating the Dodgers…
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be 25 years old in October 2024, right in his prime, and all his fellow “Juniors” — Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio — will be ready to take over the AL East. (Until the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: What is Pascal Siakam’s ceiling?

Pascal Siakam just keeps getting better every game for the Toronto Raptors. He does not appear to be finished developing, so just how high is the ceiling on his talent? Pascal Siakam has been a pleasant revelation for the Toronto Raptors and appears to have a high ceiling on his potential. The one remaining Raptors’ […]
Toronto Raptors: What is Pascal Siakam’s ceiling? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Why the beginning of this season is so important for the Toronto Raptors

Getting off to a good start is often a recipe for success. For the Toronto Raptors, it’s a chance to figure out their status as buyers or sellers come the trade deadline. The great parable “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” has never meant nearly as much to anyone or anything as […]
Why the beginning of this season is so important for the Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ