What would you do Wednesday: The way too early Leafs line combinations

What would you do Wednesday: The way too early Leafs line combinations

How’s it going everyone? Finally getting some rest after a busy week of TSN notifications and checking twitter last week? Good news, we’re in the dog days now. And until we get the excitement of a new contract for Denis Malgin, we should probably plan on a much more quiet month from the Leafs.
With that development, I thought I’d bring back a TLN Classic this week in the form of What would you do Wednesday. We’re not interested in telling you what we think, we’re interested in taking the pulse of Leafs land, and now that there are a ton of new Leafs to work with, let’s get a look at those way too early line combinations you’ve been working on. Don’t pretend you haven’t done it or that you’re above making line combinations. We’ve all done and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Why not share them with us in the comment section and subject yourself to the ridicule of the internet? It’s a good time. Frankly the abuse fuels me.
The stipulation we’re putting on this is, work with what they’ve got. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

John Axford has been traded to Milwaukee for cash

The dream of John Axford going from the studio to the pitching mound with the Blue Jays in one season is now dead.

The team announced on Monday that the veteran righty had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for cash considerations.

#BlueJays announce they’ve traded John Axford to the Brewers for cash
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) August 2, 2021

Though he hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018, the year he was with the Blue Jays and then got traded to the L.A. Dodgers, Axford performed quite well for the Triple-A Bisons. Through 11 2/3 innings, Axford allowed just one earned run on three this and three walks while striking out 15.
The challenge for Axford is the Blue Jays’ 40- and 26-man roster crunch.
Given he’s on a minor-league deal, the Blue Jays would have either had to DFA somebody or move somebody to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Axford. The team designated Joel Payamps, Nick Allgeyer, T.J. Zeuch, Jonathan Davis, and Tyler Chatwood in the month of July and it isn’t easy to find another name to cut in favour of a 38-year-old pitcher who may or may not be effective.
The …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Josh Axford has been traded to Milwaukee for cash

The dream of John Axford going from the studio to the pitching mound with the Blue Jays in one season is now dead.

The team announced on Monday that the veteran righty had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for cash considerations.

#BlueJays announce they’ve traded John Axford to the Brewers for cash
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) August 2, 2021

Though he hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018, the year he was with the Blue Jays and then got traded to the L.A. Dodgers, Axford performed quite well for the Triple-A Bisons. Through 11 2/3 innings, Axford allowed just one earned run on three this and three walks while striking out 15.
The challenge for Axford is the Blue Jays’ 40- and 26-man roster crunch.
Given he’s on a minor-league deal, the Blue Jays would have either had to DFA somebody or move somebody to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Axford. The team designated Joel Payamps, Nick Allgeyer, T.J. Zeuch, Jonathan Davis, and Tyler Chatwood in the month of July and it isn’t easy to find another name to cut in favour of a 38-year-old pitcher who may or may not be effective.
The …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Oh boy, the Yankees have acquired Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo

The New York Yankees are going all in.

On Wednesday, the team acquired slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers in exchange for a fairly underwhelming package of prospects. Today, they continued adding to their lineup, acquiring Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs.

Source confirms: Anthony Rizzo headed to Yankees. First: @JackCurryYES.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 29, 2021

New York’s season has been a nightmare so far. The team sits 53-48 after getting smashed by the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 14-0 on Thursday afternoon. They’re nine games back of the Boston Red Sox for the division and they’re three games back of the Oakland A’s for the second wild-card seed.
The team’s struggles have largely come down to a pretty limp-dick offence as this year’s rendition of the Yankees looks nothing like the scary lineup we’ve seen in previous years. New York has the sixth-fewest runs per game in baseball, ahead of only the Cardinals, Marlins, Mets, Rangers, and Pirates.
Adding both Gallo, who has a .223/.379/.490 slash line, and Rizzo, who has a .248/.346/.446 slash line, is obviously a game-changer for New York’s righty heavy lineup, which had previously featured Rougned …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Meet the Sellers: Kansas City Royals

Going into the All-star break, the Kansas City Royals are clear sellers.

Coming into the season, they were considered a dark horse in the AL Central after some interesting offseason signings. They went out and signed OBP king, Carlos Santana, and traded for then Boston outfielder, Andrew Benintendi, while having a solid young nucleus. They were expecting a big jump this season from some of their young minor league arms. Guys like Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Kris Bubic and Daniel Lynch have not been able to repeat successful minor league numbers. Instead, the Royals sit at the bottom of the division with a 36-53 record. 
The Royals have some interesting pieces potentially on the block. One of which has struggled mightily this season but is a great buy-low candidate. They also have an ace that has put up terrific numbers this season before he hit the IL. Moreover, they have a reliever with closing experience. That reliever used to be elite, is struggling this season, but is coming off a solid campaign in 2020.
Here are some players that would fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Brad Keller
This would be a perfect buy-low opportunity for the Jays. He has had his …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Should the Toronto Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan?

Should the Toronto Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan?

The Toronto Raptors are going to be in a position this offseason to make big decisions on the makeup of their roster going forward. There are some big names who could be available once free agency opens. They include one of the best players to ever pull a Raptors jersey over his head, DeMar DeRozan. He […]
Should the Toronto Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

The Leafs spent a lot to get Nick Foligno, so they should try and keep him

The 2021 trade deadline is going to be remembered in many ways for Leafs fans. It was a time where they pushed their chips to the centre of the table and tried to go all-in on a team that was on track to win their division. They used that opportunity to fine-tune the edges and bring in enough depth to help prepare for what should have been a lengthy playoff run.
And it will best be remembered for a blockbuster move they did and did not make.
Toronto’s big slash at the deadline was acquiring former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno for a hefty price that included a first-round pick being shipped off to Columbus. Not even a few hours after this trade went down, the biggest prize available went to Boston as the Bruins snagged up Taylor Hall for a roster player and a second-round pick.
At the time of the trade, I was critical of the decision to go with Foligno instead of Hall because the best course of action was to provide as much offensive depth as possible and there aren’t many opportunities to acquire a former Hart Trophy winner at a reduced price (because the …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: The awards this year were… actually good?

I’m not going to lie, I was 100% banking on the awards giving me some kind of spicy content to churn out for this week’s column, because the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association almost always messes it up in some regard every year. Draisaitl getting the Hart trophy last year, the big-braining to not vote for McDavid in 2017-18, the “giving them their due” era with the Norris trophy in 2015-16 and 2016-17, there’s always something that goes wrong.
But, not this year surprisingly, even though there were quite a few layups for that this year, and some of the awards going into the big night had some very weird votes. Really, the only award that have a problem with is Lou winning GM of the Year for the second year in a row, but let’s be honest, it’s voted on by other GM’s and executives, so it’s 100% the old boys club just giving their cult leader a pat on the back. Still, it was all in all a good year, so let’s take a bit of a deeper dive into some of the awards from the big night.
Jack Adams Award
This …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn should look to Mike Conley as a role model

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn should look to Mike Conley as a role model

The Toronto Raptors looked as if they were going to rue the day they drafted San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, but the young stud and April Rookie of the Month has turned things around in a major way. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see […]
Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn should look to Mike Conley as a role model – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Leafs are wasting a prime opportunity and they only have themselves to blame

The Leafs are wasting a prime opportunity and they only have themselves to blame

“It was 3-1.”
That is going to be the latest in a series of mocking phrases directed towards the Leafs if they cannot win Game 7 on Monday night. And with this being the fifth year of the Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander era, their chances are not looking good based on their past history.

The Leafs have lost 7 consecutive possible close-out games, across five different series, since May 13, 2013. @NHLNetwork @SNstats @FAN590
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 30, 2021

Since the Leafs defeated the Senators in Game 7 of their 2004 first-round matchup, they have played in seven games with a chance to advance to the next round. They have lost all seven of those games, which is tied for the second-longest losing streak in NHL playoff history. There is no sugarcoating this: it’s simply unacceptable to be this inept at closing out a series.
Because of this unparalleled amount of failure, people will often look for reasons as to why things unravelled for all the world to see. One of the most common reasons fans go to is the team simply lacks “killer instinct” and it’s easy to see why.
The most famous example is in 2013 where they chocked away a 4 …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation