The Toronto Raptors are still in a better long-term position than the Knicks

The Toronto Raptors are still in a better long-term position than the Knicks

The Toronto Raptors learned the hard way that Julius Randle and the New York Knicks are not an opponent to be trifled with this season. In a game that saw Randle shut down Pascal Siakam, a late turnover gave the Knicks a narrow victory as the Raptors continued to push for a high draft pick […]
The Toronto Raptors are still in a better long-term position than the Knicks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix Wednesday, February 24th: The Hab Nots? The Juggernots? The Canadiaint’s?

What a week in hockey! We learned that the sun is Gary Bettman’s nemesis, Henrik Lundqvist defies odds, and the Habs are not, in fact, a juggernaut. We’re also dealing with a Leafs roster full of injuries, and Mike Babcock continues his attempted redemption tour…among other things.
Let’s dive in, eh?
Leafs Lads
The big story with the Leafs right now is how many of them are not playing. The injury list keeps growing, with Jake Muzzin, Joe Thornton, and Frederik Andersen as recent additions. Zach Hyman missed Monday’s game  – a super fun 3-0 loss against Calgary – but looks to be back tonight, thankfully.

Sheldon Keefe on #Leafs injured parties:
Zach Hyman WILL play tonight. Nic Petan out.
Everyone else is still out.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

We’re crossing our fingers and toes that most of these are not long-term, and thankfully it looks as though Freddie, at least, is not:

Sheldon Keefe asked whether Frederik Andersen’s injury is overly concerning, said it “doesn’t look that way” and “from what I’m told, he’s progressing well.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

Also hoping Jack Campbell can get back in the lineup soon, as we’ …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have apparently made George Springer an “aggressive” offer

We learned last week that the Blue Jays and New York Mets are understood to be the two finalists for George Springer, the top outfielder on the free-agent market. We also learned that Springer is looking for a massive contract, one that’s apparently north of $150 million.

On Monday, Jim Duquette of SportsNet New York said that the Blue Jays have tabled an “aggressive” offer for Springer, though it was well below that $150 million figure. He also reported that the Mets and Springer aren’t anywhere close on a deal.
I said over the weekend that dishing out $150 million to Springer, a player on the wrong side of 30 who will probably need to pivot to a corner outfield position sooner rather than later, might not be the best use of Toronto’s financial flexibility. There’s no doubt that he would be a good add to help the team improve immediately, but there’s significant risk of such a contract aging poorly.
Another thing to consider is that Springer and Co. might be using the Blue Jays to simply drive up the Mets’ offer. We have no idea how serious Springer is about signing in Toronto/Buffalo/Dunedin, but all …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Phillies, who say they lost $2 billion in 2020, might be trying to trade Zack Wheeler

Times are tough in Philadelphia.

As we learned back in November, the Phillies had themselves a difficult year financially. Word came out that the team lost $2 billion in 2020 so they’re going to have to tighten things up.
Now, look, if you believe that the Phillies lost $2 billion last year, I would love to take you on a trip to the Sahara Desert to sell you some sand. But the point here is that the Phillies did lose money and they’re doing poorly enough they felt compelled to leak information that they’ve lost a cartoon sum of money to essentially validate the fact they aren’t going to be signing any free agents this off-season.
I’ve already discussed how this could result in the Blue Jays ending up with J.T. Realmuto as their big free-agent splash this winter. Beyond no re-signing Realmuto, though, the Phillies might also be looking to shed the salary of their big free-agent addition from last winter.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Phillies are open to trade talks around Zack Wheeler. This generally wouldn’t be much of a rumour to talk about given the fact teams say they’re …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Daniel Vogelbach era has seemingly come to an end

That didn’t last long.

We learned earlier today that Sam Gaviglio and Brandon Drury were designated for assignment in order to open up room on the roster for the new trade deadline day additions, but, it turns out that Daniel Vogelbach is also on the way out.

#BlueJays announce that Ray and Villar will be active for tonight’s game. Drury/Gaviglio DFA’d, as we already knew, and Waguespack has been optioned to the alternate training site.
— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) September 1, 2020

Vogelbach was acquired from the Marlines for cash just last week. He got five plate appearances as a Blue Jay and managed to get on base in just one of them. There was really no way that he, Vlad Jr., Rowdy Tellez could co-exist on a roster.
Robbie Ray’s spot on the 40-man opened up when Travis Bergen was sent out the other way and Gaviglio and Drury getting DFA’d opened up room for Stripling and Villar. Before that, Thomas Pannone was DFA’s for Vogelbach, and Trent Thornton was moved to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Taijuan Walker.
But I’m not 100 percent sure about DFAing …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What to expect from Denis Malgin this summer

Who? Is he a Leaf? Still?
Once I double checked, I learned that Denis Malgin played eight games for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. Neat.
Malgin’s time with the Leafs involved averaging just over 10 minutes a game, picking up zero points, and taking three shots. That’s not really a lot to make a case for Malgin doing much of anything with the Leafs in the playoffs. Malgin is an undersized winger on a team that has no shortage of undersized wingers, other than roster depth it’s hard to make a case for Malgin as a factor in the playoffs for the Leafs.
By the numbers

So yeah, not a whole lot that sticks out as Malgin being a replacement level player. There isn’t much offense. There isn’t much defense. Malgin joins the group of Aberg, Brooks, and Petan, who played a few games for the Leafs but failed to do anything too noticeable. And really the story of Malgin’s time with the Panthers wasn’t that different.
What we’ve seen so far
Again, he’s played eight games with the Leafs. What we& …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL players propose pushing playoffs back to August-September, draft and free agency back to October

On Monday, we learned about a rumoured playoff format that would see 24 teams in the big dance, with eight teams getting byes to the second round and the other sixteen playing in a play-in round.

According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, this format would involve three-game playoff series, allowing it to fit into a smaller window of time while also not leaving anybody out who was in the race for a playoff spot. Apparently, this is the preferred route of NHL executives.
On Tuesday, according to Frank Seravalli on Insider Trading, some of the league’s top players came together to come up with their own idea of how the league should move forward…

Though it doesn’t involve a specific playoff proposal, the players are suggesting that the league get rolling again in early July with a training camp before finishing the 2019-20 regular season in late July. That would then leave August and September for the standard month-and-a-half long playoffs with the draft and free agency coming in October. Finally, the 2021-22 season would begin in November.
If this were the plan, it would be easiest just to scrap the remaining 2019-20 regular-season games. As …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors mailbag: Bench questions, potential trades, and Pascal Siakam’s most improved case

A few weeks into the season, we’ve learned a lot about the Toronto Raptors. But there are many areas still unanswered. We took to Twitter and Facebook to answer your biggest questions in this week’s mailbag. After seven games, it’s hard to be anything but happy with the Toronto Raptors performance so far. They’re 5-2, […]
Toronto Raptors mailbag: Bench questions, potential trades, and Pascal Siakam’s most improved case – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ