Toronto Raptors 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Toronto Raptors 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here! 2020 has been pure madness, but now is the time to make sure all the Toronto Raptors fans you know are happy. The sleigh bells are about to start ringing. I know, you’re probably thinking that you haven’t even started cooking the turkey yet… but the holidays wait for no one. […]
Toronto Raptors 2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nathan Cunningham / Raptors HQ

FanGraphs has lofty projections for the 2021 Blue Jays

Looking for reasons to feel optimistic? Well, here you go!

Over at FanGraphs, the Steamer projections for the 2021 season have been released and they’re quite bullish on the Blue Jays.
For those who are asking ‘what’s a Steamer?’ it’s FanGraphs’ projection system based on past performance and typical ageing trends. Obviously, Steamer projections don’t all necessarily come true, but it’s widely regarded as one of the most accurate predictors in the industry.
Steamer has 10 (!!!) different Blue Jays with a wRC+ higher than 100 (meaning 10 hitters are projected to be above average). Some interesting notes…

Steamer really believes in Vladdy. He’s projected to slash a .299/.373/.528 line and his projected 144 wRC+ is seventh in baseball, tied with Ronald Acuna Jr. and right behind Freddie Freeman. That kind of breakout from Vladdy would be fantastic.
Though Vladdy is projected to be Toronto’s most productive hitter, Bo Bichette is being projected as their best all-around player. Steamer has Bo producing a nice 119 wRC+ while also being a plus defender, coming out at a team-high 4.1 wins above replacement.
Steamer has also bought into the Alejandro Kirk hype. It’s projecting Kirk will produce a 123 wRC+ over 52 games. It also …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, October 28th: Babies, Fur Babies, and Instagram Madness

Happy Wednesday, gossip hounds. If you’re here, it likely means you either have a sense of unwavering loyalty to yours truly, or you too need a break from the real world to focus on the mundane, trivial fun of hockey gossip and drama.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Leafs Lads (and Ladies, and Fur Babies)
Our boys in blue were all over Instagram this week cuddling their furry loved ones. First up, this adorable picture of Morgan Rielly and little Zoë, shared by Tessa Virtue on her IG stories:

This picture of Mo and Zoë is Tessa’s favorite on her phone right now and I’m not okay pic.twitter.com/KPqS701UwT
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 27, 2020

It’s her favourite, and it might be ours too.
Then, we have our adorable backup goalie Jack Campbell, aka cat dad extraordinaire:

We must protect Jack Campbell at all costs pic.twitter.com/PRufpirALe
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 27, 2020

Love those furry friend pics!
Finally, quick shout out to the newest Leaf goalie, Aaron Dell, and his fiancee Nicole, who recently made the move to Toronto. Nicole has been documenting it on IG stories, and if you don’t yet …

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Author: MerOutLoud / 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

The Leafs Nation Guide to Draft Day

It’s finally here. A day filled with expectations that anything is possible, but given the NHL’s recent track record, a day much more likely to be formulaic, with each team making a somewhat predictable selection and our big moments will consist of teams moving up or down a couple of picks in exchange for a second or third round pick. It still will have some excitement. It will still be a chance to have numerous new trade rumours dumped on us. It will still set the table for free agency. It’s fun, but maybe our expectations need to be lower.
In advance of this day we’ve put together a ton of draft related content on TLN since the Leafs return to play was cut short. And if you are looking for something to pass the time until the draft or feel the need to be brought up to speed, this is the post for you. Enjoy the link dump.
First of all, here are the picks the Leafs own:
Toronto Maple Leafs picks set for 2020 NHL Draft

Our own Mark Norman put in work to build a Consensus Ranking out of all the draft rankings. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Taking a look at the trades you want the Leafs to make

Here at TLN we’re all about keeping it fresh, and that’s why we thought we’d mix things up a little and rather than look for questions, we decided to ask for some trade proposals for us to evaluate this week. We received so many trade proposals that we’ll likely be splitting the mailbag in two, and addressing some more of the trade proposals later this week.
The lesson that should have been evident even before this exercise is that trade proposals are inherently bad. We go into them addressing the Leafs needs, the Leafs cap situation, and with our own ideas for what comes next. So naturally we are as harsh on your proposals as you are on ours when we post our speculation articles. So without further adieu, here’s what we received…

Nylander for McAvoy
— Rose (@StUziRoRo) August 30, 2020

Brian: This honestly feels like a move that makes sense for both teams that neither team would do. Value doesn’t feel too far off, but I don’t think the Leafs are eager to trade a 30 goal scorer to their closest division rival (who are …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Trade Deadline Eve Notes: Andrelton Simmons, Lance Lynn, Freddy Galvis, and more!

Well, here we are. The trade deadline is under 24 hours away, and, just as we all expected at the beginning of the season, the Blue Jays are 18-14 with a playoff run on the horizon.

The team has already made a couple of additions, acquiring Daniel Vogelbach and Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners, but Ross Atkins has said that he expects to be active ahead of Monday’s deadline. So, who else could the team bring into the mix?
The obvious place to add would be the starting rotation. Bringing in Walker gives the rotation some more depth, but it’s still a pretty shaky group behind him and Ryu. Trent Thornton is done for the season, Matt Shoemaker’s return from injury will help, and we don’t know if Nate Pearson will be starting when he returns or if he’ll be used as a multi-inning guy out of the ‘pen as we’ve seen with Thomas Hatch and Anthony Kay.

My latest on the @MLB Trade Deadline. Great to join the @MLBNetwork Showcase Game and work with @scottbraun and Buck Showalter today! https://t.co/UX6KlG6mE5
— …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The case for trading Nylander is entirely based around one thing

Here at TLN we’re still very much pissed off following the outcome of the qualifying round. And while there is a strong case to be made about the Leafs having an incredibly talented roster, and a forward group that should make Toronto one of the top teams in the league, the fact that they were handled quite easily by an underwhelming Columbus lineup speaks to a need for a change of direction.
Toronto sports fans are naturally going to cite the trading of DeMar DeRozan as a necessary step in putting the Raptors over the top. It certainly worked. And it also hasn’t really held the Raptors back now that DeRozan and Leonard aren’t around. While hockey certainly works differently than basketball, it has made Leafs fans more open to not necessarily treating the top four group as untouchable.
On this site that has meant exploring the idea of trading Mitch Marner, both in the form of ditching Marner, and the argument for keeping him (and essentially the core) around for another year. The results on Marner were again pretty divided when the TLN crew examined who should be on the chopping block. For …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

I ate the Carolina Reaper because the Leafs scored a goal

So here we are — eight days since the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the NHL qualifiers.
And surprisingly, I’m still here making Leafs videos, but this video was not one I wanted to make.

lol if the Leafs score in the second period i’ll eat the carolina reaper in a be-leaf video
— Nick Barden (@Nickbarden) August 4, 2020

I tweeted this in the second period of game two of the NHL qualifiers against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 30 seconds after I hit tweet, Auston Matthews deflected in a Zach Hyman pass and the rest was history.
Until now, where I actually eat the World’s Hottest Pepper. Yes, I’m crazy.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Separating emotion from reality in another lost season for the Leafs

Well, here we are again. Lamenting another disappointing finish to a Leafs season in which they failed to live up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon them.

The repeated failures are enough to wear on anybody that cares about this franchise, whether it be the die hard fan base or the people within the organization. Hockey is an emotional game for all parties involved and it’s only natural to have emotional reactions to what happens on the ice in any given moment.
All the reasons we love this sport and love this team are the same reasons it can hurt so much when things don’t go our way, and reacting to those ups and downs is what being a sports fan is all about. But it can’t be that way for the people entrusted with running the organization, namely Kyle Dubas.

If you’ve been scrolling through social media at all since the Leafs season came to an end, you’ve seen fans offer up just about every member of the current roster as some sort of sacrificial lamb in their fantasy trade proposals. An argument can be made for moving almost …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation