Belief in the current group was No. 1 for Mark Giordano in re-signing with Maple Leafs

Mark Giordano could have made more money by signing with another club.
But having grossed well over $60 million in salary over the course of his NHL career, the Toronto-native opted to stay home by signing a two-year contract worth $1.6 million on Sunday with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And while the lure of being home was a major factor in agreeing to terms, he made it clear several times that his belief in the team’s ability to contend for Stanley Cup was the top reason for signing in Toronto.
“First and foremost, I believe that this team is a contender and that was my first thought,” Giordano said in a Zoom conference with reporters on Monday. “But then all the rest that comes with it, me being from Toronto and it being a really good opportunity for my family.”
Giordano had his eye on becoming a Maple Leaf ever since it became clear that his previous team — the Seattle Kraken — were not bound for the playoffs. He was ultimately traded to the Leafs on Mar. 20 along with forward Colin Blackwell in exchange for a pair of second-round draft picks and a third-round draft choice.
In 20 games with the Maple Leafs, Giordano scored two goals and had 12 points. He fit in well on th …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

3 contenders who could lure Thad Young away from Raptors return

3 contenders who could lure Thad Young away from Raptors return

The Toronto Raptors made a very risky maneuver when they gave up a first-round pick for a 33-year-old player having his worst season in Thad Young. It took all of a few weeks for the Raptors to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they got one over on the San Antonio Spurs. Young […]
3 contenders who could lure Thad Young away from Raptors return – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads”

Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads”

The Toronto Raptors made arguably the best draft-day move in franchise history during the 1998 NBA Draft. In a draft that featured big names like Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Mike Bibby in the Top 10, Toronto managed to land a franchise cornerstone in the mercurial Vince Carter. Carter was taken with the No. 5 […]
Vince Carter details crazy Raptors draft story on “Knuckleheads” – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors

Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors

The Toronto Raptors made history when they finally used a draft pick on a Canadian-born player in Nebraska point guard Dalano Banton. Masai Ujiri could make it two years in a row with some new players from up north by adding Andrew Nembhard after a solid season with Gonzaga. Nembhard, an Aurora native who started […]
Canadian Andrew Nembhard offers value, versatility for Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Another Maple Leafs Game 7: See you on the other side

Here we are. We’ve made it. Game Seven between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.
How are you feeling?
Tonight can either be spent hugging your loved ones and people on the street as the seconds tick down to a Maple Leafs win, or it can end like the last nine elimination games have — in defeat.
The closer we get to puck drop on Saturday night, the larger the nerves get. This game won’t only be watched by Maple Leafs and Lightning fans, but every fan in across the hockey universe. This game is massive.
Every player on the Maple Leafs must be on the top of their game because the Lightning are going to come out just as hard. Tonight will be a tsunami of emotions for everyone — win or lose.
It’s the Maple Leafs’ biggest game in a very long time.
The lines
Both teams will enter Game Seven with the same lineups they had on Thursday night.
If you missed the game, or missed what the lineup looked like, here’s how the Maple Leafs’ lines shape up ahead of Saturday night’s do-or-die game.

#Leafs line rushes during morning skate May 14/22
Bunting-Matthews-Marner Mikheyev-Tavares-KerfootNylander-Kampf-EngvallSpezza-Blackwell-Kase Extra: Clifford, Simmonds, Anderson
Rielly-LyubushkinMuzzin-BrodieGiordano-HollSandin-Liljegren
Campbell KallgrenMrazek
— David Alter (@dalter) May 14, 2022

If you’re wondering what any of the Maple Leafs had to say prior to Game Seven, it’s all very encouraging. Each of the players and Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe are exc …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Looking at the legacy of Leafs legend Patrick Marleau

Patrick Marleau’s retirement announcement made me reflect on a couple of things. First, how old I truly am. Marleau was one of the few players in the league who were older than me. I am old. That truth hurts and this was yet another reminder of that.
The other thing I reflected on is far more relevant to a Leafs site, and that was Marleau’s time in Toronto. The time that would have been more fondly remembered if it wasn’t for his contract. That contract should be Lou Lamoriello’s legacy, not Patrick Marleau’s. Marleau was essentially as advertised. If the contract was 3 years totaling $6.25M instead of 3 years of a $6.25M AAV, no one would be conflicted over Marleau.
When Marleau signed, I was on vacation in Canmore, AB, ironically a sometimes home of Patrick Marleau. The news came in and while the contract warranted some pause, I found myself truly excited that Marleau was a Leaf. Marleau coming to Toronto meant a significant change in Toronto. A player who was looking to play on a cup contender decided that Toronto was the place to do it. The money was certainly also a factor, but not …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target

Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target

The Toronto Raptors made history when they used a draft pick on Nebraska point guard Dalano Banton last year, as he became the first Canadian player to be drafted by the league’s sole franchise in this country. Could they follow suit by taking Leonard Miller in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft? Miller was regarded as […]
Top Canadian high schooler Leonard Miller might be Raptors target – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Should Adrian Griffin leave the Toronto Raptors for the Lakers?

Should Adrian Griffin leave the Toronto Raptors for the Lakers?

Masai Ujiri has made it very clear that the Toronto Raptors are not going to let coach Nick Nurse take the head coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers. Rob Pelinka quickly pivoted and found an alternative, as LA has set their sights on Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin. After Ujiri confirmed that teams have […]
Should Adrian Griffin leave the Toronto Raptors for the Lakers? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Gosuke Katoh designated for assignment as Blue Jays add pitcher Casey Lawrence to the roster

The Blue Jays have made a pair of roster moves in order to add right-handed pitcher Casey Lawrence to their active roster.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Vasquez was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo in order to clear room on the 26-man roster, while utility guy Gosuke Katoh has been designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
This is sad news for Katoh, who quickly became a fan favourite in Toronto. After spending nearly a decade in the minors, Katoh cracked the Blue Jays out of spring training. Katoh picked up his first-ever big league hit in a game against the Boston Red Sox last week and his teammates embraced him afterward in an incredibly heartfelt moment.

Lawrence has an underdog story of his own. The Blue Jays signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2010 and he finally made his debut with the team in 2017. Lawrence spent some time with the Seattle Mariners, pitched in Japan in 2019, and returned to the Blue Jays as a minor league free agent in 2021 where he would split time with Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A New Hampshire.
In 22 1/3 innings for the Bisons this season, the 34-year-old Lawrence has a sparking 2.82 ERA and has 18 strikeouts compared to five walks.
He’s been used mostly as a starter over the past two years so Lawrence will be able to provide Toronto some length out of the bullpen. Given the way Yusei Kikuchi has pitched so far this season, that might be necessary on Wednesday night.
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bluelines: Once more unto the breach

It’s playoff time. WOOOOOOOOOOO!!! We finally made it. I feel like I’m going to spend the next few hours running through walls in anticipation.
Leafs are the game one favourites at -125
Here we are living in a world where the Leafs are the favourites against the current two time defending Stanley Cup Champions. Something had to go right to get here, but it’s a close one with Tampa paying +105 if they win.
A look at the Leafs playoff futures:

Maple Leafs Playoff Futurespic.twitter.com/TrVnS229HO
— PointsBet Canada (@PointsBetCanada) May 2, 2022

These are some real tall orders and definitely getting ahead of ourselves, but personally, I don’t mind dipping my toes in the water on that Tavares bet with a small amount of coin. With the Matthews line drawing a lot of the tough pairings, and Tavares has proven himself to be a clutch performer in the past, I don’t mind trying hoping for the best on this one.
The Leafs and Lightning both at +1000 to win the cup
Where the Leafs show a slight advantage is in the Eastern Conference matchup. The Leafs are a +500 to win it, and the Lightning a +525. The Leafs are second to the Panthers (+200) in that regard, and are tied with the Lightning for 4th best odds to win the cup.
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIOPointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get a $25 free bet just for signing up right here! …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation