Leafs doing “due diligence” on Linus Ullmark

The Leafs aren’t looking for a goaltender, you know, except for when they are absolutely calling teams looking for a goaltender.

Elliotte Friedman on WGR550: Toronto has called Buffalo asking what their plans are with Ullmark in case they need to add a goalie. Talks not serious yet, due diligence in case news on Andersen is bad.
— J (@Account4hockey) April 1, 2021

Elliotte Friedman joined Craig Rivet and Andrew Peters on their radio show in Buffalo to drop this little tidbit that the Leafs are interested in Linus Ullmark, the $2.6M, soon to be UFA, goaltender with a .920 save percentage in Buffalo this year. Yes, .920 in 15 games for a team that has just 7 wins on the season.
How Ullmark fits into the Sabres season, and their bizarre 18 game losing streak is interesting given that he had the last win before the streak began, lost in overtime the following game, and was injured for the majority of the month of March. He then lost in his first game back, but put up a .917 save percentage in that return, lost in overtime the following game, and picked up the win to end the streak on the strength of him having a .969 save …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays release 26-man roster (and Taxi Squad), Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have been designated for assignment

The Blue Jays have finally let us know who’s going to be the team to kick off the season.

The roster features 14 pitchers and 12 position players…
Pitchers: Hyun Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Steven Matz, Tanner Roark, T.J. Zeuch, Ryan Borucki, Tyler Chatwood, Rafel Dolis, Tim Mayza, Julian Merryweather, Joel Payamps, David Phelps, Jordan Romano, and Trent Thornton.
Players: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vlad Jr., Joe Panik, Marcus Semien, Rowdy Tellez, Jonathan Davis, Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel, Teoscar Hernandez.
Taxi Squad: Riley Adams, Travis Bergen, A.J. Cole, Santiago Espinal, Tommy Milone.
Panik and Mayza needed to be added to the 40-man roster, so the team has designated both Breyvic Valera and Reese McGuire for assignment. The former comes as no surprise at all and the latter seemed inevitable once we learned yesterday that the team had gone out and acquired a veteran third-string catcher in Juan Graterol.
I would imagine that somebody takes a flyer on McGuire who is certainly good enough to be a glove-only backup catcher at the big-league level. Regardless, Kirk is the better player, and this move that prioritizes winning over asset management proves where the Blue Jays are at …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Grapefruit Notes: Robbie Ray continues to dominate, Vlad Jr. is hitting everything, and more!

I know spring training stats should be taken with a grain of salt, but Friday’s win over the Tigers was one of those games that gets you really, really excited for what could happen this season.

Things worth mentioning…

Yet again, we’re sitting here and talking about how great Robbie Ray pitched. Ray tossed five-and-one-third innings against the Tigers and allowed just one earned run on hour hits and one walk while picking up seven strikeouts. All told, he’s thrown 13 2/3 innings this spring, has allowed three earned runs, and has 18 strikeouts. The really exciting part of Ray’s start was his uptick in velocity, as he was hitting 97 miles-per-hour after throwing five innings of work. Again, it’s spring, and it’s the Tigers, who are ass, but there’s certainly merit to the optimism around how Ray looks heading into the season. We could be seeing something along the lines of 2017 Ray here.
The other Big Star of the day for the Blue Jays on Friday was Vlad Jr., which has been a common theme throughout Grapefruit play. Vlad went three-for-three, smacking three singles at 86.5 mph, 98.8 mph, and 101.1 mph on the afternoon. Through 20 at-bats this spring, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs give up three goals in third period and lose to Jets – Rate That Leafs Game

I really don’t know what to say about this game. It was not good. At all.
The entire team could’ve played better in this one and the referees could’ve done a better job at calling the game. Alas, the Maple Leafs lose 5-2 to the Jets. They get three of six possible points against Winnipeg in this three-game series.
Frederik Andersen was a big talking point again in this one, where he allowed five goals. Some he could’ve saved, some he wasn’t to blame for. However, if he keeps following down this path, there could be questions regarding what the Maple Leafs should do right now. Heck, those questions are being asked by the fans right now.
I’m still deciding myself what to do in this situation, but a lot of people have made up their mind. I talk a little bit about it in my video, and here it is. Enjoy.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block?

Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block?

The Toronto Raptors know they need to find some young backcourt help in order to help them prepare for the post Kyle Lowry era, and Masai Ujiri tagged San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn as a potential savior after using the 29th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on the Mountain West Player of […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

This Raptors-Hawks trade could send John Collins to Toronto

This Raptors-Hawks trade could send John Collins to Toronto

As the Toronto Raptors know all too well from their battles this season, the Atlanta Hawks are not to be trifled with, as the inside-out combination of John Collins on the interior and Trae Young on the perimeter has the Hawks playing some exciting, up-tempo basketball as they compete for a postseason spot. However, contrary […]
This Raptors-Hawks trade could send John Collins to Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Introducing the new The Leafs Nation podcast: Channel 6ix!

You know what the internet needs? Another podcast.
Wait, no. You actually do need this podcast, because despite having a number of podcasts that go up on our site already, we’ve decided that we needed to have a super official site podcast that specifically involves contributors to this site, and deals with the content you regular see here.
It’s in that spirit we bring you Channel 6ix: A Toronto Hockey Podcast.
Hosted by Mer (@meroutloud) and Jon (@steitzerjon), we are hoping to bring you two podcasts a month featuring TLN contributors discussing their areas of expertise and appearing in roundtable panels. We’re also going to be bringing in guests to speak our their experiences in hockey and tapping into their knowledge and passion for hockey as well.
To launch our new podcast we’ve put together an Episode Zero. It’s your chance to hear about how Mer and I came to become Leafs fans, our plans for future podcasts, and we even managed to find time to talk some hockey as we recapped the Toronto Six debut in Lake Placid, a look at the rivalry with Montreal, and what to make of the Leafs injury situation. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Joe Thornton to miss “some time” after collision – Rate that Leafs game

You know, Tyson Barrie returning to Toronto — I thought it would be a good night.
It wasn’t.
The biggest story in this game for the Maple Leafs was the referees. Two botched calls — one of them leading to Leon Draisaitl scoring the game-winning goal. It may have also been the Leafs lack of offense, which was mostly invisible in this game.
Or maybe it was the now 19 penalties they’ve gotten in the last five games, which is actually second in the league. To cap the night off, Joe Thornton was injured on a hit from Josh Archibald and after the game, Sheldon Keefe said he’d be out for “some time.”
Do you want to see yelling? Well, I do that to the referee’s in this video. And no, I don’t get fined. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs win their one-and-only pre-season game

I know, I know, the Maple Leafs didn’t play a pre-season game, but it was technically a win. Toronto had two teams facing off against each other labelled as “Team Blue” and “Team White”. If I had to be honest, it was actually a lower scoring game than I thought it would be.
But alas, it was a great game. Some incredible showings from William Nylander, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and even Nick Robertson. As I’m writing this, it’s almost 12:00AM on January 10th, which means — only three more days until real NHL hockey.
I, personally, am not ready. But hopefully this video helps you get ready for the season and I hope you enjoy this new series that will be after every Maple Leafs game.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Does the Mets’ acquisition of Francisco Lindor make the Blue Jays the frontrunner for George Springer?

As we know, the New York Mets made their first big splash of the Steve Cohen era, acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland in exchange for a collection of magic beans.

This was obviously really, really disappointing for Blue Jays fans, as many of us had assumed that Lindor would soon end up a Blue Jay. Now that we know that isn’t going to happen, it’s on to the next one.
We’ve heard reports over the past few weeks that the Blue Jays and Mets are the two finalists for George Springer, the top outfielder on the free-agent market. Given the fact the Mets just added a significant amount of payroll with Lindor and Carrasco, logic would indicate that the Blue Jays are now the frontrunner for Springer.
Over at SportsNet New York, Andy Martino points out that the Mets are aiming to stay below the $210 million luxury tax, meaning they’re not likely to sign Springer…
With Lindor on board, the Mets are less likely to sign Springer. Here’s why: The team will not exceed the $210 million luxury tax threshold this offseason. We’re not sure where the notion came from that money …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation