It still might be too soon for the Maple Leafs to move on from Justin Holl

Can and should the Maple Leafs move on from Justin Holl this summer?
Nobody can see into the future, not even GM Kyle Dubas. But when they signed the now 30-year-old defenceman, it wasn’t clear where both Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren would be in their development.
Usually when a trade article like this is made, it’s usually because of a players bad play during the season. However, Holl had a fairly good regular season and playoffs.
Throughout the year, he found himself in and out of the lineup, rotating with Liljegren and Travis Dermott on the third pairing. It seemed like Rasmus Sandin had locked up a full-time spot, until he suffered an injury prior to the NHL trade deadline.
Once it became clear that Sandin wouldn’t return for a while, and with Dermott being traded to Vancouver, a free spot on the defence opened up. That opening was beside veteran defenceman Mark Giordano.
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe continued to go back and forth between the two of Holl and Liljegren before ultimately giving the role to the 30-year-old after Game 2 against the Lightning.
Holl stayed in for the remainder of the playoffs, but wasn’t an important piece, only playing 84 minutes over the five games. He was valued for his good pe …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs couldn’t find their offence against the Sabres in an ugly loss

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Justin Holl put it best on Tuesday when he spoke to reporters about playing against a team that isn’t destined for the postseason like the Buffalo Sabres.
“Sometimes, we play down to their level.”
That’s what happened against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday in a 5-1 loss.
Unlike some embarrassing defeat the Maple Leafs have had this year — like the one against the Montreal Canadiens nine days prior where Keefe hoped that would act as a wakeup call —  the Leafs didn’t muster anything at the Sabres’ net.

 
“In terms of how we played with the puck, we were really careless and didn’t have much happening,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said.  Offensively, we were abysmal. All four lines.”
Toronto’s top line accounted for their only goal when Michael Bunting and Mitch Marner assisted on Rasmus Sandin’s tally in the first period.
That was the only highlight for the 21-year-old.
Playing on the right side of the team’s top pair with Morgan Rielly, Sandin was on the ice for three of Buffalo’s five goals.
‘No disrespect to them or anything, but I think that’s a team we should beat,” Sandin said after the game. “We just weren’t prepared the right way. It’s something we need to get better at.”
Keefe poured cold water on trying Sandin up with Rielly on his off side in the future but also felt the team’s overall play was poor that the young defenceman shouldn’t be the focus on the game.
“There were some things there where the focus would be on him, some of the mistakes around the goals, it’s a complete mess around him,” Keefe said Saind. “The three forwards on the ice, his partner, th …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Can Raptors reunite Justin Champagnie with his brother in Draft?

Can Raptors reunite Justin Champagnie with his brother in Draft?

Brooklyn-born twin brothers Justin Champagnie and Julian Champagnie appeared to be destined to enter the NBA together despite their divergent college choices. While Julian chose to stay local at St. John’s for one more season, Justin chose to capitalize on his standout career at Pitt and earn a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors. Julian […]
Can Raptors reunite Justin Champagnie with his brother in Draft? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Nets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 14

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Nets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 14

The Toronto Raptors were a Justin Champagnie tip-in at the buzzer away from winning five straight home games, as they have successfully made up ground after a poor West Coast road trip. Unfortunately, the latest Raptors odds don’t make it seem like they’ll pick up their fifth win in six tries. Toronto will head to […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Nets Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 14 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Seravalli sees Leafs’ Holl as likely to be on the move

Justin Holl’s name is reportedly still in the Leafs’ trade discussions.
Rumours began earlier this season when the 29-year-old was scratched. Timothy Liljegren, Rasmus Sandin, and Travis Dermott were the three players in the rotation at that moment. Holl played in the Leafs’ 8-3 win over Colorado, but his name is still in trade talks.
That’s according to DailyFaceoff’s own, Frank Seravalli.
4. Justin Holl
Right Defense, Toronto Maple Leafs
Age: 29
Contract: 1 more season at $2 million AAV
Scoop: Goaltender Petr Mrazek is inching closer to a return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup, having recently returned to practice with the team. That means the Leafs will need to clear some cap space in order to activate Mrazek off LTIR. Kyle Clifford is one easy transaction. But the Leafs will need to shed more than that. There are other ways, including waiving Wayne Simmonds or trading Nick Ritchie. Since Timothy Liljegren has played himself into an everyday role, the Leafs have had interest in both Holl and Travis Dermott, but Holl is older and earns more – in a role that’s not commensurate with his pay.
I can see the two sides of this problem. The Leafs will need cap …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Justin Verlander has re-signed with the Houston Astros

Justin Verlander didn’t accept the qualifying offer, but he’s sticking around in Houston.

Ben Verlander, Justin’s brother, posted on Twitter on Wednesday night that the two-time Cy Young winner is re-signing with the Astros.

IT’S OFFICIAL@JustinVerlander is signing with Houston Astros!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) November 17, 2021

According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is worth $25,000,000 in 2022 with a player option for a second year worth the same amount of money. That’s obviously a lot more than the $18,400,000 that Verlander would have made if he accepted Houston’s qualifying offer.
The Blue Jays were reportedly among the teams who were in the mix for Verlander early this winter, which came as no surprise given the team attended his throwing session in Florida earlier this month.
Verlander, who turns 39 years old in February, has pitched only six innings over the past two seasons. He finished second in Cy Young voting in 2018, won the award in 2019, started opening day for the Astros in 2020, got injured, missed the rest of the season, had Tommy John, and wound up missing all of 2021 as well.
The thing that made Verlander an attractive option was the fact he wouldn’t command a long-term …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Top 20 Leafs #12: Justin Holl

TLN Top 20 Leafs #12: Justin Holl

A fun fact about Justin Holl is that he is one of the most likable guys on the Leafs, and nobody really knew until the league shut down and he started hosting weekly virtual Leaf to Leaf segments on Instagram live. As someone who prides herself on knowing the players’ personalities, I was disappointed in myself for not knowing this sooner but delighted to learn about it.
But being a lovely and entertaining human off the ice does not always translate to on-ice success. And Justin Holl has swung from everyone’s hero (shutting down Connor McDavid) to everyone’s scapegoat. What do we know about Holl on the ice? Well. We know that he has improved season after season, and has put in the work to move up the Leafs lineup and played heavy minutes in a shutdown pairing with Jake Muzzin last season.
TLN staff are also divided on Justin Holl, and while he ended up at number 12, he ranked anywhere from 9th to not even ranked by one member of the team. He had some highlight reel moments last season, and some major blunders, but overall he showed improvement over the prior season. In the 2021-2022 season …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Justin Bieber releases a musical ode to the Maple Leafs

Justin Bieber releases a musical ode to the Maple Leafs

Big time Leafs fan Justin Bieber has released a song dedicated to our boys in blue! It’s well documented that the Biebs is a Leafs fanatic, and good buddy of players like Auston Matthews. Check out the song that Bieber calls “a love letter to the Leafs” below:

A love letter to the @MapleLeafs. Special thanks to the Leafs and the @NHL #HoldOn https://t.co/1uB0buLl3r
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 10, 2021

The collab you didn’t know you needed.#LeafsForever x @justinbieber #HoldOn @NHL pic.twitter.com/KtkmEkaKcr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 10, 2021

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Justin Holl

Justin Holl is a true feather in the cap of the Leafs organization when it comes to finding talent, developing players, and helping them reach their top potential. After being plucked from Chicago’s ECHL affiliate, the former 2nd round pick put in three years of solid work with the Marlies, and found his way to the NHL.
Holl didn’t seem to be a favourite of Mike Babcock, which is somewhat amusing given that we now know that Holl will do anything and everything asked of him, and after a frustrating long journey to the NHL, Holl had a solid season for the Leafs and earned himself a tidy little 3 year contract paying him $2M a season.
Through injuries and a complete lack of right shot defensemen last season, Holl found his way onto the second pairing for the Leafs, and developed a level of familiarity with Jake Muzzin, and that leads us to Holl’s number.
Justin Holl’s number is 4. The biggest question for him in 2021 is whether he can hold on to his spot in the Leafs top four.
Jumping from a situation where Holl was healthy scratched in all but 11 games to a situation where …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Justin Holl leaves Maple Leafs practice bloody

Justin Holl left the ice midway during the Maple Leafs team practice on Wednesday after sustaining an injury, Kristen Shilton reported.

Justin Holl has been bloodied during battle drills, and is departing practice.
William Nylander skated over to Holl as he received medical attention to make sure he was okay.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

According to TSN’s Mark Masters, Holl’s injury was sustained in his mouth. This is an unfortunate blow for the Leafs as opening night of the playoffs inches closer. The Leafs have been hoping for a healthy blue line heading into play after a long season and pause. Holl has had an impressive season this season, solidifying his spot on the Leafs blue line under Sheldon Keefe’s helm. Playing 68 games with the Leafs this season, his addition has been nothing short of beneficial for an otherwise rather thin defensive core. Heading into Wednesday’s practice, Holl was slotted alongside Jake Muzzin on the Leafs second pair.

#Leafs lines/pairs appear unchanged from yesterday:
Hyman-Matthews-MarnerNylander-Tavares-MikheyevRobertson-Kerfoot-KapanenClifford-Gauthier-SpezzaEngvall
Rielly-CeciMuzzin-HollDermott-BarrieSandin-Marincin
AndersenCampbell
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 22, 2020

Injuries sustained during training camp isn’t something new for the Leafs, as Zach Hyman …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation