Who will be Canada’s best NHL team next season?

The All-Canadian division looks to be a sure thing and with that comes predicting the best and worst teams.
Every NHL club has made significant moves that have altered their team in some way, shape or form. The question is, whether it changes their team for the good, or the bad. We will have to wait and see what happens for that but we can still try and predict who Canada’s top team is.
Here are my predictions and who I think will be the best and worst teams in the inevitable All-Canadian division. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Six name Gary Soper as assistant coach for inaugural season

It looks like the Toronto Six have hired their first assistant coach.

NEWS: We have named Gary Soper as an assistant coach for the upcoming season
Gary is a Hockey Canada scout and a former Whitby Jr Wolves head coach.
: https://t.co/heASTPTdxG pic.twitter.com/CKeSaeQAWl
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) October 29, 2020

Soper joins Head Coach and President, Digit Murphy, on the bench for their inaugural season in the NWHL.
“This is a great opportunity to get involved with the first NWHL team in Canada,” Said Soper on the Six’s Website. “I am confident with the ownership and the entire management team on their commitment to developing professional female hockey in Canada.”
The newly hired assistant coach spent five years, from 2009 to 2014, with the Whitby Jr. Wolves and led the team to two straight PWHL championships. He’s also been a regional scout in the GTA for Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Program since 2013.
“Gary brings an invaluable wealth of hockey knowledge to the Six,” said President and Head Coach, Digit Murphy, “As a Hockey Canada scout, he has watched many of our players develop over the years and will bring insight into how to maximize the talent …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs prospects looking to shine at the World Juniors this Christmas

It looks like Edmonton will be back for Hub City 2: Electric Boogaloo.
A Hockey Canada press release announces the tournament will get underway on Christmas Day, a day early than the usual Boxing Day start:
For the first time since 2005, the IIHF World Junior Championship, a holiday hockey tradition, will get underway on Christmas Day. Three games highlight the opening-day schedule before Canada’s National Junior Team begins defence of its gold medal against Germany on Boxing Day.
Hockey Canada and the host committee, on behalf of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), unveiled the full tournament schedule Monday. All 28 games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta., from Dec. 25, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021.
While most Leafs fans will default to cheering for Canada, there’s little doubt that our eyes should be elsewhere as well. The Leafs representation in the tournament is going to be decidedly Finnish and Russian, and while Nick Robertson could be the big focal point, Bob McKenzie is hinting that he might not be attending…

Zegras stayed in ANA to work out/skate there as did Kaliyev in LA and Robertson in TOR. Turcotte is in Germany, where he’s been assigned to play by …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Where the Leafs roster (and cap hit) is at today

As much as it pains me to say, the Leafs roster looks essentially done. There’s a chance that we see some minor moves involving Justin Holl, Travis Dermott, or possibly Pierre Engvall, but it seems that the deck chairs have adequately been shuffled, and even though this doesn’t look like a top tier team in the league, they are decidedly better than last year and may be capable of pulling off some surprises.

LW
C
RW
LD
RD
G

Hyman ($2.25M)
Matthews ($11.634M)
Marner ($10.893M)
Muzzin ($5.625M)
Brodie ($5M)
Andersen ($5M)

Tavares ($11M)
Nylander ($6.927M)
Rielly ($5M)
Holl ($2M)
Campbell ($1.6M)

Vesey ($900k)
Kerfoot ($3.5M)

Lehtonen ($925k)
Bogosian ($1M)

Simmonds ($1.5M)
Boyd ($700k)
Spezza ($700k)

The above roster leaves $4.185M of cap space, with Mikheyev, Dermott, and Anderson still needing to be signed. Presumably Anderson could be in the AHL, as could Boyd, and others like Malgin, Robertson, Barabanov, or Korshkov could be there in their places, but it doesn’t do much to shake that fact that there is no way of making it fit without team friendly deals by Dermott and Mikheyev, and at least dropping Holl or Dermott. There is also the fact that Mikko …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays’ series against the Phillies this weekend has been postponed

It looks like the Blue Jays will have this weekend off.

Charlie Montoyo announced that the team will not be travelling to Philadelphia, where the team was scheduled to play a three-game series with the Phillies, as all three games have been postponed.

#BlueJays Charlie Montoyo:
“We’re not going to Philadelphia. Those games have been postponed.”
If they can work out in Washington, they’ll stay there.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 30, 2020

Originally, it was reported that there would be no game on Friday and the teams would instead play a doubleheader on Saturday and then the series-finale as planned on Sunday. But, today, a Phillies coach and a clubhouse attendant tested positive for COVID-19, so correct play here is to postpone the games this weekend. The Phillies, of course, played the Marlins last weekend, who had a major outbreak on their team.
There’s no word yet on what the Jays will get up to this weekend. They want to stay in Washington and share the facilities in Nationals Park, but we don’t yet know if they’ve been given the green light. The Nationals also don’t have …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Say hello to the Toronto Blue Jays of Pittsburgh

It looks like the Blue Jays have found their home for the 2020 season.

According to Hazel Mae, the Jays will play their “home” games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh as they’ll share the facility with the Pirates.

Can confirm the Blue Jays have been told they will be calling PNC Park “home” this season per MLB source. @longleysunsport was first to suggest Pittsburgh as option.
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) July 22, 2020

Originally, Toronto’s fall-back nets seemed to be Dunedin and Buffalo. The former was crossed off due to the volume of COVID cases in Florida and the latter was an issue because the facility wasn’t up to snuff. Ultimately, the Jays wanted to play in a Major League facility with all the bells and whistles that come along with it.
Pirates general manager Ben Cherington, who had spent the previous few years working in the Blue Jays organization, was a key point of contact as the two sides worked together to find the Jays a home.
“The reality is that we need the Blue Jays to play in order for all of us to play,” Cherington told Chris Adamski …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Chase Anderson is unlikely to be ready for opening day

It looks like there’s an opening in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation.

Veteran Chase Anderson, who was named as one of Charlie Montoyo’s pencilled-in starting pitchers to open the season, has suffered an oblique strain and it’s unlikely that he’ll be ready for opening day.
Before Anderson got hurt, Montoyo said that his rotation would feature Hyun-Jin Ryu, Anderson, Tanner Roark, and Matt Shoemaker, with Trent Thornton, who led the team in innings pitched last season, leading the pack for the fifth spot. Now, with Anderson out, there’s room for another one of Toronto’s young starters to grab a spot.
Nate Pearson’s name obviously jumps out, given the fact he’s probably already Toronto’s second-best starter behind Ryu. But, as I explained yesterday, Pearson won’t be ready to pitch at the Major League level until at least a week after the regular season has started. It would be a pretty big surprise to see the Jays not do the service time manipulation dance with Pearson at this point.
There are plenty of options to compete for the final …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

RENAUD LAVOIE REPORTING THAT TORONTO AND EDMONTON ARE THE HUB CITIES

IT’S NOT AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BUT IT’S SOMETHING…

Really looks like Edmonton and Toronto for hubs cities. No big issues with the safety protocol, but you know how it is, the devil is in the detail. If the NHL and NHLPA have a CBA extension, we’ll have some hockey this summer. If not, it will be difficult. That’s my understanding
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 30, 2020
It looks like safety beat out fun and Edmonton is in as the Western hub city, while Toronto has seemed to be a virtual lock this entire time. Given the situation south of the border this seems to be the safest way to ensure that all the games get played.
As for the second part of that tweet, getting the CBA situation figured out is no small task and could still leave us waiting a significant amount of time for any kind of announcement on what comes next. While the CBA talks have progressed relatively quickly, the devil is often in the details, and that is what is being figured out now.
Assuming this is what happens, this is hockey returning in the safest possible way …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Baseball is back, it seems

Whether the players like it or not, it looks like there’s going to be a baseball season this summer. Well, something resembling a baseball season.

On Monday night, the long, ugly back-and-forth labour battle between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association appeared to be on the verge of ending. Despite push-back from the players (and no deal signed by the PA), MLB is going forward with plans for a 60-game season.
The goal for MLB is to have players report for “spring” training on July 1 and to have a season started by late-July.

Source: Owners plan to implement 60-game season once union responds to two questions posed in statement. https://t.co/6Erj1jLpfK
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 23, 2020

The PA didn’t vote in favour of MLB’s last offer, which featured a season that they deemed to be too short and pro-rated salaries. The big sticking point for the players, though, was voting in favour of that deal would have also resulted in them waiving their ability to file a grievance.
It seems inevitable the PA will file a grievance against the league for negotiating in bad faith throughout …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Guide on ALL teams the Toronto Raptors need to avoid in NBA Group Stage

Looks like the NBA will try to copy the World Cup’s formula of group stages. But what does that mean for the Toronto Raptors. The World Cup means something special to everyone, whether you’re a hardcore soccer fan (or football if you’re in Europe) or a casual fan. It’s a time where nations and cultures […]
Guide on ALL teams the Toronto Raptors need to avoid in NBA Group Stage – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ