Could the Raptors help create a Toronto WNBA team?

Could the Raptors help create a Toronto WNBA team?

The 2021 WNBA Draft concluded not too long ago, and this was an event where a dozen teams had a shot to improve their rosters immediately. The issue is, several players who play in women’s college basketball don’t end up earning the opportunity to be selected by a WNBA franchise, and none of those draftees […]
Could the Raptors help create a Toronto WNBA team? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jelani Goodridge-Reid / Raptors HQ

Steven Matz was an ace, the bats fall asleep in the nightcap, Blue Jays split double header

That was quite a long day of baseball and we’re back to where we started!

Things worth mentioning…

Steven Matz continues to be extremely good, which was the big thing to draw from today. Matz made his third start of the season in the first game of the double-dip and flirted with a, abbreviated no-hitter, holding the Royals to fuck all until the sixth inning when Nicky Lopez hit a Royals-esque bloop single. Matz would end up going six innings, allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out five. His ERA is 1.47 and the Mets look stupid for giving him to the Blue Jays in exchange for a bag of magic beans.
The Blue Jays put up five runs on Mike Minor and the Royals, led by a Lourdes Gurriel first-inning double, Jonathan Davis’ first dinger (and hit) of the season, which was as big as Lake Ontario, and a bomb from Vlad.

Welcome to the Vladimir Guer-air-show #PLAKATA pic.twitter.com/MK8i9s6qTf
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 17, 2021

The second game was a bit limp-dick after the first, to be honest. Tommy Milone got the start and allowed a couple of runs over two-and-one-third …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Freddie Gillespie proved last night that he is worth a full NBA contract

Toronto Raptors: Freddie Gillespie proved last night that he is worth a full NBA contract

The Toronto Raptors waited far too long to address their lack of size and rebounding, but Masai Ujiri finally capitulated by signing former Baylor star Freddie Gillespie, who spent the earlier parts of the 2020-21 season with the Memphis Grizzlies’ G League affiliate in the Orlando bubble. A double-double machine, Gillespie finally got his shot […]
Toronto Raptors: Freddie Gillespie proved last night that he is worth a full NBA contract – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Welcome to the Toronto Maple Leafs: 2020 Top Pick Rodion Amirov Signs his Entry-Level Contract

 
The long rumoured signing of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top pick in the 2020 draft has finally happened. Winger Rodion Amriov has put pen to paper and signed his entry-level contract this morning. His season in Russia came to an end recently as Tolpar Ufa was eliminated from the playoffs earlier this month. In 39 KHL games this season, the silky winger had 13 points – nine of which were goals – and looked more mature as the season went on, continuing to develop his game away from the puck. He also added three points in five games in the MHL playoffs after joining the junior club for the postseason.
 

We’ve signed forward Rodion Amirov to a three-year entry level contract for the 2021-22 season. #LeafsForever
Details » https://t.co/XMNUb1wVQ5 pic.twitter.com/Pvj7qWGcg9
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 15, 2021

 
To give a quick summation of what Amirov brings to the table, he is one of the best skaters from the 2020 draft class when you take all factors into consideration from speed, edge work, agility and every other aspect of mobility. His ability to generate speed through the middle of the ice with crossovers and quick feet is impressive as it often …

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Author: Tony Ferrari / The Leafs Nation

21 Things To Think About Heading Into The 2021 Season

We’re finally here.

After a long, dark, cold, miserable (save for a few days when the Blue Jays went out and dropped $200 million on players) winter, baseball is back.
The Blue Jays are going to be interesting this year. They made the “playoffs” in last year’s 60-game dash and appear poised to compete for a playoff spot in the normal, five-team format. But while the team is undoubtedly on the upswing, they’re far from perfect, and you could reasonably convince me that they could be a 75-win team or a 90-win team or anywhere in between.
A lot can go right and a lot can go wrong, because that’s baseball, so I’ve gone ahead and put pretty much everything interesting that this team is facing into a nice, easy-to-digest listicle. So here are the 21 things to think about heading into the 2021 season…

Vladdy Breakout SZN
I know it’s an eye-roller to say that so-and-so rolled into spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life, but, holy shit, Vlad Jr. rolled into spring training in really good shape. Vlad has apparently lost something like 40 pounds between last season and this season and that could …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Waiver Wildness: Should the Leafs consider bringing back Jake Gardiner?

Waiver Wildness: Should the Leafs consider bringing back Jake Gardiner?

Remember when the Leafs had Jake Gardiner for a long time and people had mixed reactions about how his time in Toronto went? It is crazy to think that it has only been a year and a half since he packed his bags and became a Hurricane, but he seems to have enjoyed his time there.
It now appears that his tenure in Carolina may be in jeopardy:

Jake Gardiner (CAR) on waivers
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 13, 2021

No, this is not a troll. Gardiner is really being placed on waivers and any team is free to claim him if they so chose, including the Leafs. While the chances of him actually getting picked up are marginal and the reason he’s even on waivers was so he can be placed on the Hurricanes’ taxi squad, he is certainly an interesting player worth looking into and someone that can be serviceable on most teams.
So it got me thinking: should the Leafs even consider bringing him back?
The most obvious benefit of claiming Gardiner is that he would have no trouble getting adjusted to Toronto on account that most of the players are already familiar with him and he is not …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 3 players who need to step up with Pascal Siakam out

Raptors: 3 players who need to step up with Pascal Siakam out

The Toronto Raptors have been overcoming long odds all season long, and the latest news surrounding star big man Pascal Siakam has only made proceedings in a crowded Eastern Conference even more difficult. Siakam, in addition to head coach Nick Nurse and five Raptors assistants, missed Toronto’s win against the Houston Rockets last night. While […]
Raptors: 3 players who need to step up with Pascal Siakam out – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Death, taxes, and the Toronto Maple Leafs blowing a 4 goal lead

The long awaited return of Joe Thornton is here! Jumbo Joe was finally back on the ice and we couldn’t be any more excited. His presence and energy is something that is simply unmatched and you know that both the team and fans were thrilled to see him back in blue.
Coming off a loss against the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs were ready to get back in action and back in the W column. As the puck dropped for the first period against the Ottawa Senators, the Leafs were speedy and had a few really good chances to start. A few shots on Marcus Hogberg but nothing to show for it, yet.
The Senators get trapped with a 3-on-2, and with a pass from Joe Thornton to Auston Matthews, the Leafs made it 1-0 just over 6 minutes into the first. Thornton is back and Matthews is still on fire, what’s new?

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Jumbo is back baby! What a pass! pic.twitter.com/TC08hB0w1R
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 16, 2021

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Less than 5 minutes later the Leafs put some pressure on the Senators and with a pass from Jason Spezza …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Pitching Depth and Roster Building, Part 1: The Big Leagues and Triple-A

The rust, the rust everywhere.

It’s been a very long time since I wrote anything significant about baseball (or really, anything, but let’s not go there) mainly on account of the fact that the narrow niche where I feel I might contribute something that’s not what several others are saying is often related to minor league action and last year there was simply not anything to write about apart from “events” like the miniature draft.
Even the off-season has been achingly slow and I don’t just mean major league player movement but also the usual series of off-season minor league news, players acquired, players departing, players ranked, all suffered to some degree over the lack of an actual season last year. For example, with Spring Training less than two weeks away, we’re only now beginning to see an accumulation of prospect ranking that we can pour over and process.
So rather than begin the blogging season with a primary focus on such rankings I propose to discuss a topic about which we already have a good deal of raw information, though perhaps not all of it – the organizational starting pitching depth. Particularly at the upper …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs

Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs

It’s been a long time since the Toronto Raptors have been at risk of missing the playoffs. Typically at this point in the season, the Raps have solidified themselves as one of the best teams in the conference and are beginning to joust for home-court, but that has not been the case in 2021. For […]
Toronto Raptors: The long road to the 2020-21 playoffs – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kyle Oliveira / Raptors HQ