Matthew Knies has told the Maple Leafs that he’s returning to college

It looks like we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the Matthew Knies and Toronto Maple Leafs era to begin.
According to Elliotte Friedman, Knies has let the Maple Leafs know that he’s choosing to go back to school for another year to pursue the National Championship.

Matthew Knies has informed TOR he will return to Minnesota next season. Unfinished business, chance to win it all with the Gophers.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 14, 2022

Kyle Dubas and Knies reportedly met yesterday — a week after his season came to an unfortunate end in the Frozen Four. But don’t worry, he still wants to be a part of the Maple Leafs organization.

Knies’ advisor, Matt Federico, says that TOR has no reason to be concerned about his future with the organization
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 14, 2022

With the 19-year-old returning to school, we’ll have to wait until next year to see Knies in a Maple Leafs jersey.
More from TheLeafsNation.com

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Knies contract watch, Robertson running hot, Leafs sign Ellis & Rindell by Nick Richard

Kerfoot has had a more consistent role this year, but still remains the Leafs’ Swiss Army Knife by Jon Steitzer

Breaking down five of the best goals from Matthews’ historic season with the Maple Leafs by Nick Barden

POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIOPointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get a $25 free bet just for signing up right here! …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Giving Petr Mrázek more opportunity will only make the Maple Leafs better

It looks like Petr Mrazek is starting to find his game in the Maple Leafs net and that’s a very good sign.
After a groin injury which kept him out of the lineup for two months, the 29-year-old is starting to gain some run way.
Toronto should allow him to keep gaining it.
When you look at the Maple Leafs’ goaltending situation, you have two netminders who are good when playing in consecutive games. Jack Campbell did it for most of the season when Mrazek is out and now he’s doing it with Campbell’s time off.
It’s not the best decision to keep Campbell out of the lineup, but allowing Mrazek to get comfortable makes that decision worth it.
“I’m feeling every game better and better,” said Mrazek after Monday’s game against Carolina. “The last few weeks, we did a lot of work with Steve Briere. I think the things we are doing are showing in a game, so I’m happy with how the things have progressed.”
The 29-year-old has won his last four games, all while putting up a strong .925 save percentage in that span. …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Maple Leafs win against McDavid-less Oilers team

It looks like Leon Draisaitl isn’t a player you can build a winning team around.
The Edmonton Oilers came into Toronto already on a four game losing streak, and it went from bad to worse as Connor McDavid tested positive for COVID-19, and left a team already struggling to score without their best player. The Leafs didn’t exactly bring their A game either, but it was still more than enough to beat a struggling Oilers team with a 4-2 win.
Three Stars
Third Star: TJ Brodie
Brodie didn’t have the strongest performance tonight, with just a 47.06% CF% and 53.27% xGF% at even strength, but he at least deserves a star just for adding to his goal streak, and scoring more goals in the last three games than he has in his Leafs career up to this point.
Second Star: Ilya Mikheyev
While the entire third line was a dominant force possession wise with a 70.59% CF% and a 61.37% xGF% at even strength, but Mikheyev gets the shoutout for the goal and looking more and more like the Mikheyev we knew in his rookie season.
First Star: William Nylander
He got one of his goals taken away tonight, but Nylander had a couple assists tonight, had a 58.82% CF% and a team leading 83.59% xGF% at even strength, and just the overall consistent force he’s bee …

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The North Division needs to be a last resort for NHL

As the NHL looks inward on decisions for postponed games, I thought I’d look into the idea of whether or not they should bring back the North Division.
The Leafs have ten games remaining against Canadian teams. Three vs. Montreal and two against Ottawa and Vancouver. Only one against each of Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
If the NHL returns to the format from last season, teams in Canada could play against each other while each country gets a handle on the Omicron variant.
It makes a lot of sense — until it doesn’t.
The easy part would be re-scheduling later and making the North Division a reality right now. The NHL would have those remaining games played in the perspective countries. Then, default to the regular format once cases drop.
There would need to be three schedules made for that, though. One for the Canadian teams, American teams, and then one for everyone once we return to normal.
At this point, it would be safer to do that. Yet, it’s much more challenging to plan.
Looking at it from an outside point of view, I doubt the NHL wants to go back to that. Remember, it’s not …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The December 23rd Leafs game has been postponed and the Olympic decision is looming

So it looks like the Leafs are on Christmas Vacation, such as a COVID Christmas Vacation exists.

The @NHLPA and @NHL have agreed to postpone cross-border games through Dec. 23.
A full list of NHL postponements to date can be found here: https://t.co/PfY1NKP3ZR pic.twitter.com/oePGmBLpKo
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 19, 2021

The NHL is closing all cross border games, which impacts the Leafs game on December 23rd against the Blues. Given that this was going to be the Next Gen game, an event targeted at getting kids to the game, the fact that it is being postponed is probably being met with a mix of relief and disappointment, as it’s an unfortunate thing to shutdown, but is definitely not suited for a largely unvaccinated audience.
As for the Olympic part of the equation, I think we can see the way this is going, and the decision to not participate is probably the way both the NHL and NHLPA are leaning, but with the rescheduling of games, and the Olympics being an important part of the NHLPA’s CBA ask in the last negotiation, there will need to be some labour related logistics that …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Mitch Marner not in warmups for Leafs vs. Wild

Mitch Marner not in warmups for Leafs vs. Wild

It looks like MItch Marner is out of tonight’s game vs. the Minnesota Wild.

No Marner for TOR. Rielly & Kase taking warmup
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 4, 2021

Marner left practice early on Friday after colliding with Jake Muzzin. Earlier this morning, Sheldon Keefe listed Marner as a game-time decision.
This is how the Leafs lines shape up without Marner in them.

#Leafs line rushes during warmup vs. #MNWild Dec. 4/21
Bunting-Matthews-SimmondsKerfoot-Tavares-NylanderEngvall-Kampf-KaseRitchie-Spezza-Anderson
Rielly-BrodieMuzzin-HollSandin-Dermott
Campbell (starter)Hutchinson
— David Alter (@dalter) December 4, 2021

It seems as though Morgan Rielly and Ondrej Kase will be in tonight. Another note is that Joseph Woll is out, and Michael Hutchinson will backup for Jack Campbell.
Puck drop is at 7 PM ET.

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Nate Pearson has been activated from the Injured List and will join the Buffalo Bisons

It looks like Nate Pearson’s next step to returning to the Blue Jays will be with the Bisons.

According to the team, Pearson has been activated from the 10-day Injured List and has been re-assigned to the Alternate Training Site. Pearson will be joining the Triple-A Bisons as they head north to Trenton, where they’ll be playing their home games this season.
Pearson has been throwing simulated games at the Alt Site over the past week and a bit as he builds himself back up after missing virtually all of spring training due to a groin injury. He’ll likely make a couple of starts at Triple-A, and, if all goes well, he’ll be back with the Blue Jays in a couple of weeks.
The most optimistic timeline that I’ve seen for Pearson is that he could be back when the Blue Jays face the Oakland A’s in Dunedin this week, though that seems fairly unlikely. I would imagine the team wants him to make at least a couple of starts for the Bisons given the fact his most recent sim game at the Alt Site was only “3-4 innings.” As with George Springer, it’ …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The New York Yankees have acquired Rougned Odor

It looks like we’re going to be seeing a whole bunch more of Rougned Odor.

According to Jeff Passan, the Yankees are acquiring Odor from the Rangers and Texas wants to move on from him so badly that they’re eating the majority of the $27 million left on his contract.

Texas is expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Rougned Odor, who’s on his way to the Yankees, per sources. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million next year and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 6, 2021

Odor, of course, had been designated for assignment prior to the start of the 2021 season after a mediocre spring training followed up a disastrous 2020 campaign. In 38 games last season, Odor slashed a .167/.209/.413 line with an outrageous 47-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Things have generally gone poorly for Odor since he signed his six-year, $49.5 million contract extension after what appeared to be a breakout season in 2016. He slashed a .267/.305/.487 line between 2015 and 2016 and was a key part of the Rangers’ offence those seasons (you know, the ones who lost in the ALDS back-to-back) but completely cratered after that. Between 2017 and 2020, his OPS dipped to .697 …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs’ goalie injury woes continue as Andersen ruled out in the short term

So it looks like it’s going to be Jack Campbell’s net for the next little while, and given how he’s played this season I don’t think anyone is too upset by that aspect of today’s information from Sheldon Keefe:

Keefe says Andersen remains day-to-day, but that he shouldn’t be expected back for seven to 10 days.
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) March 24, 2021

Frederik Andersen has been dealing with a nagging lower body injury since he was last out (as per Kristen Shilton), and has been attempting to play through it. In those seven games since he’s returned have been some of the worst hockey we’ve seen from Andersen, as he’s posted an .872 save percentage in that time, and the Leafs have only picked up 2 wins in the 7 games he’s played (6 of them were starts, but Andersen was also the deciding goaltender in his strong relief effort.) Andersen had a slow start to the season, but had rebounded for a strong stretch in February. Still inconsistency has been the only consistent thing about Andersen, and the Leafs should take this opportunity to let him heal and come back ready to play pain free.
That could …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays sign David Phelps, DFA Shun Yamaguchi

It looks like the Shun Yamaguchi era is over.

The Blue Jays designated the swingman for assignment on Wednesday night and announced that they had claimed Joel Payamps off of waivers from the Red Sox.

ROSTER MOVE: We’ve claimed RHP Joel Payamps off waivers from the Red Sox.
To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Shun Yamaguchi has been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/SLpYEjaglg
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 11, 2021

Ending the Yamaguchi experiment isn’t all that big of a surprise. He had a rough time in 2020, posting a 8.06 ERA over 17 appearances, and while there’s some hope he could rebound in a normal season with a normal spring training, the fact Yamaguchi can reject an assignment to the minors makes him a difficult obstacle on the 40-man roster.
I can’t imagine anybody will claim Yamaguchi and take on his $3,175,000 salary, so the Blue Jays are more than likely going to be on the hook for that.

As @Feinsand reports, #BlueJays have signed right-handed reliever David Phelps to a big-league deal, per source. They’ll be making another roster move this afternoon.
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) February 11, 2021

And, on Thursday morning, the Joel Payamps era came …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation