Marlies News and Notes: Sabourin signs, Bracco departs

You know it’s a slow news day when we’re putting together Marlies roundups, but here we are. This is life a week after free agency, and hopefully this isn’t how we roll for the foreseeable future. I guess beggars can’t be choosers and Marlies news is better than nothing, so here we go.
First up…

News: We’ve signed forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
Details >>
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 16, 2020

Does that name sound familiar? Here’s why…

Yes, the Marlies brought in the guy that Auston Matthews mocked at the beginning of last season. That should make for an interesting training camp meetup, but it’s doubtful they’ll cross paths too often as Sabourin is on an AHL deal and will be on the Marlies rink as soon as it opens up.
Sabourin gives the Marlies a little toughness as well, which is interesting that added it, after bringing back Rich Clune yesterday.
Toronto Marlies re-sign Rich Clune to one-year AHL contract

Sabourin is also coming off a season with a rather serious injury from a poorly placed hit.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ranking The Free Agent Goalies On Everything BUT On-Ice Performance

Friends, if you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I have a bit of a goalie thing. I love goalies. (almost) All goalies. They’re weird, and intense, and flexible, and fun.
This off-season is showing us an unprecedented number of free-agent goalies. Each time a new name enters the mix, my heart rate picks up a bit.

The NHL doing it’s best to make my dream of an almost entirely goalie Leafs roster a reality.
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) October 8, 2020

I was told I had to rank my “is for me?” goalie list:

we’re gonna need an “Is for me?” goaltender rankings from you.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 8, 2020

So here we go. My ranking of the free agent goalie list, going off of available information right now, and totally based on my personal opinion of these goalies and nothing analytic at all.
I’m using this list:

The available goalie market right now is pretty insane.
• Henrik Lundqvist• Braden Holtby• Corey Crawford• Anton Khudobin• Jacob Markstrom• Thomas Greiss• Cam Talbot• Jimmy Howard
Certainly isn’t making the Golden Knights job of shopping Fleury any easier.
— Jesse Granger (@ …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: The 3 most disappointing Draft Picks of all-time

Do you know what’s scary? Looking at the list of players your team could’ve drafted and realizing the actual player drafted was a complete bust. The Toronto Raptors do have a few of those… With the Toronto Raptors officially in the offseason, and the spooky month of October getting closer. There is no better time […]
Toronto Raptors: The 3 most disappointing Draft Picks of all-time – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix: The Latest in Hockey Drama

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! Time to check in on the drama and gossip around the league. This week was a bit quieter than last, but we do have some interesting tidbits to peek at.
Coach’s Corner
The coaches made headlines this week, and not in a good way. First, we had Alain Vigneault boldly proclaiming he has no idea what’s going on in the world:

“I really have no idea what’s going on in the outside world.
“I’m working 20 hours a day.
“I guess I’m a hockey nerd and that’s what I’m doing right now.”
– Alain Vigneault when asked about some of the postponements across sports in wake of the Jacob Blake shooting
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) August 27, 2020

and then walking it back:

Flyers HC Alain Vigneault issues statement after getting backlash for not knowing what was going with Jacob Blake impact
“I never bothered to check & ask what was going on… I was guilty of that, I was totally focused on our next game. I am for equality and social justice”
— Jeff Skversky 6 …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays announce 30-man roster for Opening Day

We don’t know where our home is going to be, but we know our roster.

The Blue Jays announced their 30-man roster for Opening Day on Friday, per the team’s Twitter account…

There are only a few surprises, none of which are really major.
Nate Pearson isn’t on the roster, but he’ll be travelling with the team on its Taxi Squad. So, as soon as his service time has been manipulated, he’ll “join” the team. Also on the Taxi Squad is Ryan Borucki, which suggests that he isn’t going to be the Jays’ fifth starter off the hop. One (or both?) of Anthony Kay or Thomas Hatch, who are on the 30-man roster, will presumably be Toronto’s fifth starter until Pearson gets added.
A.J. Cole and Brian Moran, two non-roster invitees to spring training, have been selected to the active roster, meaning they need to also be added to the 40-man roster. Cole, who had a pretty strong showing in Cleveland last year, seemed like a lock to be added, but Moran is a bit more of a surprise.
I had …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ken Giles says he would be “all ears” if the Blue Jays want to talk about a contract extension

We know that Ken Giles is going to be the Blue Jays’ closer this season. But, beyond that? It’s anybody’s guess.

According to Keegan Matheson of MLB dot com, the Blue Jays haven’t talked to Giles, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career this winter, about an extension yet. Giles went on to add that he would be “all ears” if the Jays wanted to talk about making a deal.

Ken Giles says that there hasn’t been any talk of an extension with the #BlueJays lately, but that he’d be “all ears” if that happens.
Giles, who turns 30 on Sept. 20, is 60 games away from free agency.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 15, 2020

Back in 2018, Giles was acquired from Houston as a reclamation project as he had fallen out of the Astros’ closer role. Giles has rebounded since coming to Toronto as his 2019 season was the best of his career. He picked up 23 saves, posted a 1.87 ERA across 53 innings, and struck out 14.1 batters per nine innings.
So the Giles reclamation project went according to plan, but …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: How to fix the draft lottery

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Scott, this topic is almost two weeks old now, it’s not relevant anymore. Well, let me be the first to say that I know, I’m just an idiot and forgot to do this one last week.
Regardless, this year’s lottery was a controversial one to say the least, as a lot of fans of really bad teams were mad that the first overall pick went to a playoff team, and that an elite team already loaded with offensive talent, like the Penguins or Leafs, could end up adding Alexis Lafreniere to their team.
And it’s deserved criticism. As Leafs fans, we can consider ourselves lucky that we were one of two last place teams to keep the first overall pick in this new lottery system. In fact, since this new system was put in place, only three teams that finished bottom three (2016 Leafs, 2018 Sabres, 2020 Sharks/Sens) actually retained their original pick, and only four (those three and the 2019 Devils) actually won any of the lottery picks. More often than not, it punishes bad teams for being too bad. It does encourage more parity in …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Nick Robertson this summer

As we all know by now, just over a year ago with their only pick in the 2nd round of the 2019 NHL draft, the Maple Leafs selected undersized, goal-scoring winger Nick Robertson. Robertson was rated as a first round talent by many, myself included, and was considered to be a really good pick at the time by many draft analysts. Fast forward to today, and the teenage Robertson is slated to be joining the big club for the NHL playoffs.
Like many of his biggest supporters, I expected Robertson to have a breakout season, but I don’t think anyone (myself included) saw one of this magnitude on the horizon. Robertson led the OHL in goals this past season, racking up 55 goals and 86 points in just 46 games. He finished fourth in the entire OHL in points per game, beating out every OHLer drafted ahead of him last June (save for Connor McMichael). Robertson also starred at the World Juniors, scoring 5 points in as many games while playing on Team USA’s top line.  This breakout year had led the Leafs to include him on their taxi squad, and this has many fans wondering if the 18-year-old winger …

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Author: 51Leafs / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Six unveil their jerseys and become the best dressed Toronto team

I know this is a controversial take, but I am not particularly a fan of the Leafs uniforms. I find them plain and boring, and beyond tradition they don’t have a whole lot going for them.
That’s why I’m probably excited about the unveiling of the Toronto Six jerseys which have a definite personality to them…

6 is usually our number but today good things come in 3’s
Home ➙ Away ➙ Alternate
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) June 26, 2020
As much as I would have loved to see a gold jersey, these are damned good. And while you might take issue with the Senators colour scheme, really that is the only thing that isn’t objectionable about the Ottawa Senators, so let that go.
The design to put a design on the white jersey is a particularly good idea, as are the stripes on the arms. I’m not normally a fan of white jerseys but this one is solid.
Going with the Canadian flag shoulder patch to celebrate being the only Canadian team in the NWHL is also a strong move.
In closing. We approve, now bring on …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Staturday: Less is more when it comes to Cody Ceci

I guess you don’t really need to see the numbers to know that the lower the playing time the better off the Leafs are when it comes to Cody Ceci. At the close of the 2019-20 season we will finally be down to the target number of zero minutes and the cruel twist of COVID is that while many of us were hoping to be done with Ceci by now, we’re going to be spending the summer with him.
Nevertheless, he’s a Leaf for now, and that’s not ideal, but it’s interesting to see how Sheldon Keefe might have cracked the code on Cody. It seems like a pretty simple one, and it’s to stop playing him like a top pairing defenseman, and put him on the third pairing as much as possible.
Under Mike Babcock, Cody Ceci’s most frequent partner in every single game played until Babcock’s dismissal was Morgan Rielly. There were two games where he tried Ceci with Muzzin in shutdown situations, but even in those games his primary partner remained Morgan Rielly. Not to throw Babcock completely under the bus …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation