Could Spurs draft rumors restart Jakob Poeltl talks with Raptors?

Could Spurs draft rumors restart Jakob Poeltl talks with Raptors?

The Toronto Raptors are going to try everything they can to add a center that can rebound and defend at an excellent clip. They might not have to look very far to find that new addition, as San Antonio Spurs big and former top 10 draft pick Jakob Poeltl could come back for a second […]
Could Spurs draft rumors restart Jakob Poeltl talks with Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Bruce Brown could steady Raptors’ backcourt in free agency

Bruce Brown could steady Raptors’ backcourt in free agency

If the Toronto Raptors are going to improve any single position in the 2022 NBA offseason, going after a backup guard who can alleviate some of the pressure that Fred VanVleet has shouldered would be a very prudent option. Stealing Bruce Brown from the Brooklyn Nets would be ideal. Brown has been in the NBA since […]
Bruce Brown could steady Raptors’ backcourt in free agency – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Breaking down the Toronto Maple Leafs organizational depth chart heading into the offseason

After a few weeks with little of note going on in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, we’re nearly at the busiest part of the hockey calendar. In about three weeks, we’ll have qualifying offer deadlines, the entry draft, and free agency in quick succession to fill our appetite for Leafs news.
For now, though, we remain in a waiting period as the Stanley Cup Finals approach with not much to say regarding the Maple Leafs in terms of news. That means it’s the perfect time to get everyone up to date on where the organizational depth chart stands heading into the 2022 offseason, what areas still need to be addressed, and what to expect to come down over the next month and a half.

For starters, all unrestricted free agents have been already removed from the depth chart to give a proper view as to where things stand and what needs to be accomplished.
Beginning at the NHL level, there is a lineup that can be produced with in-house options already that would be NHL quality for the opening of the 2022-23 season. That being said, we can fully expect some pieces to shift around and additions to be made. While restricted free agents Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase are useful pieces that I’m sure the Maple Leafs would like to keep around, both are arbitration-eligible and could cause some hurdles depending on what they are asking for. Engvall is very likely to stick around, but Kase’s combination of injuries with his arbitration case could result in the Leafs looking to non-tender him as we near the qualifying offer deadline.
Elsewhere at forward, Pontus Holmberg temporarily fills in at 4C with a lack of other options currently under contract, but this is an area that will almost certainly be addressed. Holmberg is an intriguing prospect coming off of a strong year in Sweden but could use time in the AHL to adjust to North America prior to filling in a fourth-line role in the NHL.
On defence, the Leafs have a strong group already compiled. The Leafs have five NHL quality defencemen under contract, plus Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren who are RFAs. Though we could still see movement here if someone such as Justin Holl is traded, defence is the aspect of the roster where there is likely to be the least amount of change.
That brings us to the goaltending situation. Petr Mrazek remains on the depth chart for now, but with his poor play and injury troubles l …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

How do the Leafs incumbents measure up to the goaltending market

The Leafs are going to be aggressively dipping their toes into the waters of the goaltending market this summer, but should they? The answer definitely seems to be yes. Taking a look at five goaltending measures from last season it’s clear there are some options out there that the Leafs might want to explore.
The numbers used are from Moneypuck and goaltenders needed to play in at least 16 games to be on the list. There are 67 goaltenders in the league who met that criteria and are ranked.
Goals Saved Above expected/60
Eric Comrie
0.603
2nd
Darcy Kuemper
0.387
7th
Ville Husso
0.346
8th
Matt Murray
0.163
18th
Scott Wedgewood
0.046
27th
Braden Holtby
0.032
29th
Jack Campbell
-0.049
36th
Alexandar Georgiev
-0.234
49th
John Gibson
-0.265
50th
Marc-Andre Fleury
-0.321
54th
Petr Mrazek
-0.668
64th
Kevin Lankinen
0.945
66th
Consider this first table your introduction to three truths.
Jack Campbell is decidedly middle of the pack.
Petr Mrazek is consistently at the bottom.
Eric Comrie is worth the look in the 1B position.
Save % Above Expected
Eric Comrie
0.012
2nd
Darcy Kuemper
0.007
7th
Ville Husso
0.006
8th
Matt Murray
0.003
20th
Scott Wedgewood
0.001
26th
Braden Holtby
0.001
28th
Jack Campbell
-0.001
37th
John Gibson
-0.004
47th
Alexandar Georgiev
-0.004
50th
Marc-Andre Fleury
-0.005
52nd
Petr Mrazek
-0.013
65th
Kevin Lankinen
-0.018
66th
These numbers are very much a mirror of what is seen above. Interestingly, they might be making a case for Matt Murray, a goaltender speculated on recently, and showing that John Gibson doesn’t represent any improvement over Jack Campbell. This might change in later graphs, but Alexandar Georgiev is beginning to look like a reclamation project rather than a potential starter. Is a reclamation project the way the Leafs will want to start off working with a new goaltending coach?
Wins Above Replacement
Darcy Kuemper
3.49
5th
Ville Husso
2.26
9th
Eric Comrie
1.72
14th
Matt Murray
0.53
24th
Scott Wedgewood
0.27
27th
Braden Holtby
0.11
30th
Jack Campbell
-0.39
39th
Alexandar Georgiev
-1.14
47th
Petr Mrazek
-1.94
56th
John Gibson
-2.38
61th
Marc-Andre Fleury
-2.94
64th
Kevin Lankinen
-4.77
66th
If you are wondering why Mrazek took the jump here, it’s because this isn’t a rate stat. This is based on time played, which makes Comrie’s results even more impressive. I don’t know how much of Fleury and Lankinen’s numbers on being in Chicago, but at this point I’d hope that even with Fleury being a recent Vezina winner, he’s probably established himself as too much of a risk for the cost that will be associated with him.
High Danger Unblocked Shot Attempt Save %
John Gibson
0.830
2nd
Ville Husso
0.742
12th
Eric Comrie
0.727
19th
Darcy Kuemper
0.713
24th
Matt Murray
0.712
26th
Braden Holtby
0.707
27th
Jack Campbell
0.676
40th
Alexandar Georgiev
0.671
43rd
Kevin Lankinen
0.650
50th
Scott Wedgewood
0.648
51st
Marc-Andre Fleury
0.630
58th
Petr Mrazek
0.595
63rd
Here’s where you really get at the heart of the Leafs …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 83: How the Royals have fallen off a cliff since 2015, what we can expect from Gabriel Moreno, and more!

That looked like it was going to be an all-time spanking but then, since it’s Kansas City, things went a little goofy.

The Blue Jays won their first two games of the series by scores of 8-0 and 7-0 and then came out with a chance to sweep and laid an egg. Yusei Kikuchi got rocked and couldn’t get out of the first inning and the bullpen has a tough time with the mess.
Two out of three ain’t bad but it’s hard to be all too thrilled with anything less than a sweep of arguably the worst team in baseball.
With Tyler away, me and BK talked about the Royals series and how they’ve fallen off a cliff since 2015. That led us into a random tangent about prospects that were traded away and a 2019 draft do-over. We also talked about when Gabriel Moreno will get called up and if we might see him join the team in Detroit.
NOTE: We finished recording this roughly 20 minutes before the Moreno news dropped! Amazing timing!!!
You can listen to the episode here…
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Using stats to try and find hidden draft gems

Two things I am not going to pretend to be: the first is a scout. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to watch as much junior hockey as I’d like let alone also check out European hockey. As much as I love the draft, I’ve learned to form my opinions based on the numbers and the opinions of writers that I’ve come to trust.
The second thing I’m not is a statistical prodigy. I like numbers. I use numbers. I know the value of numbers (and their shortcomings), but I’m not putting together anything overly complex. I like simple straightforward adjustments.
That’s why last year I put together my draft “Hunter Score”. Unlovingly named for Mark Hunter, the Hunter Score is an adjustment on points per game and goal differential that adjusts for birthday, position, size, league, and draft year to give (in theory) an all things being equal score.
Here’s the brief writeup from last year:
The NHL Draft: Consolidated Rankings, Where the Leafs sit, and introducing the Hunter Score

The main thing I’m hanging my hat on is the fact that Hunter Score tipped me off to the breakout year from Olen Zellweger, and think we’ll only see him go on to bigger things in the coming years. Arguably I think the best usage is still when combined with some traditional scouting that will account for how the player achieves their results. If they have an identifiable skill set that makes it clear they can repeat these outcomes at a higher level, that’s what we’re hoping to see. Still, I think balanced numbers are a good place to start and that’s what I’m doing here.
Below are the top first year draft eligible players based on their Hunter score, and next to it is either their consolidated draft ranking from Elite Prospects or their …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Jason Spezza has retired and will join the Leafs front-office

A day that many Leafs fans were going to be saddened by has come, as Jason Spezza has announced his retirement as a player.

Jason Spezza announced today his retirement from the NHL after 19 seasons. He will be joining the Maple Leafs’ front office effective immediately. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 29, 2022

 
In addition to his retirement as a player, Spezza announced that he would immediately be joining the Leafs’ front office as Special Assistant to GM Kyle Dubas. So while he will no longer be able to help his team reach new heights on the ice, he will do his best to help them off the ice.
The former second overall pick of the 2001 NHL spent the final three seasons of his career with his hometown team, where he recorded 31 goals, 49 assists, and 80 points in 183 games played. Spezza also registered six points in 17 career playoff games with the Leafs. Having also played for the Senators and Stars, he finished his career with 995 points in 1248 regular-season games (five points shy of the 1000-point milestone) and 76 points in 91 career postseason games.
Despite starting his tenure with a controversial healthy scratch, his passion and commitment to the Leafs never wavered, going as far as threatening retirement if claimed off waivers by another team early in the 2021 shortened campaign. It’s no wonder that Spezza will be remaining part of the organization after hanging up his skates.
While he was unable to hoist the Stanley Cup as a player, Spezza still has a chance to help his boyhood team return to the mo …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Three teams the Leafs should consider making a trade with this summer

There is no question that the Leafs are going to be in for quite an eventful offseason.
While the Big Four pieces and the upper management are likely to remain intact for the 2022-23 campaign, there will likely be some changes to the lineup to result in a slightly different-looking group. A portion of the roster that played in Game 7 against the Lightning may not be part of the organization once the dust settles on Free Agent Frenzy and the last big moves are made. Changes mean moves will be made by Kyle Dubas over the summer to try and put the Leafs in a prime position to make a deeper postseason run for the first time in nearly two decades.
Toronto has a number of directions in which they can take the team and a few intriguing pieces that could be swapped out to bring in a new batch to change the Leafs’ makeup and identity. Guys like Alex Kerfoot, Jake Muzzin, Justin Holl, and Petr Mrazek could find a new home in the weeks ahead. Whether it is to clear room for someone within the organization, acquire an established player, or create some cap flexibility, the Leafs have so many possibilities for …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Debating “Leafs should run it back” vs. “It’s time for a change”

This debate isn’t going to go away. It won’t go away this offseason, and it’s likely to run in future offseasons as well, but given the strong regular season and how close the Leafs came against the Lightning, there is strong support for running it back. At the same time, it’s been six years with this core, and while they’ve been improving in most years (save for the two COVID shortened ones) there are limits to the number of improvements a team can make when you have $48M committed to 5 players or $58.6M to 7 players if you want to include Muzzin and Brodie in this equation too. It seems that something has to give in that group of seven if the Leafs want to try to upgrade.
Normally when we do these roundtables, I feel like we run the risk of a lot of groupthink, but even the responses that chose the middle ground offer some different takes we don’t normally see. That’s probably a sign that this debate is going eventually lead to a Leafs fan Civil War. For now, here are the responses to Should the Leafs “run it b …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23?

Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23?

The Toronto Raptors knew they were going out on a bit of a limb when they made Scottie Barnes the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and Dalano Banton their second-round draft choice. Taking these players showed a commitment to Masai Ujiri’s preferred style of basketball and emphasis on player development. Barnes immediately […]
Raptors player review: Will Scottie Barnes leap forward in 2022-23? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ