Leafs place Mike Amadio on waivers and what that means for your weekend

The Leafs have placed Mike Amadio on waivers. This probably isn’t bothering you. He was at best adequate in the preseason, and the three games he played in this year are generally met with “really, Amadio played in three games?” That meaning he wasn’t particularly noticeable.

Amadio (TOR) on waivers
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 29, 2021

Now for what that means. With Ilya Mikheyev on LTIR, there isn’t any cap relief that can come from sending Amadio down. The Leafs do have an approximate buffer of around $850k to use on a player recall, provided they simply choose to keep Michael Hutchinson up with the Leafs after Petr Mrazek is activated, effectively ending the emergency recall of Hutchinson. Personally I can’t think of any reason why they’d keep Hutchinson around, but stranger decisions have been made.
Once Amadio clears (and I assume he will), the Leafs could simply choose to keep him around, but he’s likely bound for assignment with the Marlies. Giving them some flexibility on who to recall. The obvious name at this point would be Kirill Semyonov who has done well in the AHL, and doesn’t require waivers this year and can …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Mike Commito talks to TLN about his new book, Hockey 365, The Second Period: More Daily Stories from the Ice

If you follow Mike Commito on Twitter (and if you don’t, why not?) you probably know him as the hockey history guy. Every day he shares really cool, sometimes well known and sometimes lesser known, “on this day” moments from the history of hockey. And if you follow him on Twitter, you probably know that he turned some of those moments into an incredible book – Hockey 365: Daily Stories from the Ice.  
And maybe you also know that tomorrow, September 28th, the second volume, Hockey 365, The Second Period: More Daily Stories from the Ice, will be available for purchase (and if you didn’t, now you do.)
But what you might not know is that Mike has TLN to thank for launching his hockey writing career!
…Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But Mike does have a bit of history (pun intended) with TLN, and I was lucky enough to speak with him about how he got started writing about hockey, how he brought his two passions together, the books, and his hopes for future projects.
I first asked Mike to tell me and our TLN readers about how he got started writing, and tweeting, hockey history. It was …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Should the Leafs become a slower team?

As much as Mike Babcock was criticized in his time in Toronto, one thing we can all agree on is when the team finally took off after the Matthews lottery, they were a team that played with a ton of pace. Hell, even in the year they finished in dead last, they were at least quick to get to the puck, even if they couldn’t do anything with it.
Now it’s been a year since Babcock was fired, and Keefe will finally get his (sort of) full camp and a new season to start fresh with a group he and Kyle Dubas no doubt talked a lot about over the break. It became clear toward Babcock’s last few months that the team was no longer interested in his style. But something that seems evident in hindsight, at least to me, is that the Leafs under Babcock were probably never really made to play with a torrid speed he established. And with their makeup now, I’d argue that’s even more true.
It’s tough to define fast and slow in hockey. You could argue a team that suffocates the other and limits games to 2-1 affairs …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

What’s changed in the year since Babcock’s been fired?

It’s the first year anniversary of the Mike Babcock firing. It’s a special day, and we owe much thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury for it, but also Mike Babcock for being such an uncompromising prick that he refused to change even when all signs pointed to him failing in his role.
Not coincidentally this also marks the one year anniversary since Sheldon Keefe took over the Leafs, and I decided to have the TLN writers weigh in on what has changed the most in the past twelve months for the Leafs.
Mark Norman
The Leafs played 47 games under Keefe this season. Comparing Keefe’s first 47 games to Babcock’s last 47 games shows us that Keefe’s teams slightly outshot (+0.7 SF%) and out-attempted (+0.9 FF%) Babcock’s teams, while Keefe received better 5v5 shooting (8.9% to Babcock’s 8.0%) and basically the same 5v5 goaltending (0.913 vs Babcock’s 0.914). Where things greatly diverged is in expected goals (a shot quality metric): the Keefe-coached Leafs had 53.6% of the expected share of goals while Babcock’s Leafs had 49.8% of that share. The eye test bears this out: under Keefe the Leafs were encouraged to be creative with the puck (within reason) rather than playing scared of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs winning pace, playoff chances, and why winning out West would be wonderful

Earlier this year Mike Babcock took heat for saying the Leafs should pick up six points in every five games, and that was his measure for success. He took a lot of heat for it, especially considering at the time, the Leafs were in consideration for possibly winning the division, Presidents trophy, and I’m sure if I put in a few minutes of research, I could find a few hockey men who had predicted the Leafs to win the cup. The six points in five games would put the Leafs on pace for a 98 point season, but just how are they doing in comparison to that target now?

Well, we can see where Mike Babcock didn’t do so hot, and bottoming out at zero points in five games really shows that by his own metric, he had to go. As for Keefe, well, his late November through early January heater is what has given him a significantly higher number, but since January 12 he hasn’t had a whole lot of success of staying above the six point benchmark either. Starting goaltender injuries, as well as injuries to three defensemen will do that to you, not …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Can the Toronto Raptors survive their injury crisis?

In this week’s episode, Hunter is joined by Mike Bossetti to discuss the impact of the Toronto Raptors’ most recent injury news. It seems like we’ve mentioned it 100 times already this season. But, here we are again…the Toronto Raptors are going to be missing some key pieces in their rotation for a period of […]
Can the Toronto Raptors survive their injury crisis? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors Podcast: Recent offensive struggles continue

In this week’s episode, Hunter is joined by Mike Bossetti to talk Kawhi Leonard’s return, the Toronto Raptors offensive struggles and where the team sits at the top of the league. The most anticipated Toronto Raptors game of the year has come and gone. Kawhi Leonard returned to the city he won a championship for […]
Toronto Raptors Podcast: Recent offensive struggles continue – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Are the Toronto Raptors coming back down to earth?

On this week’s episode, Hunter is joined by Mike Bossetti to talk about a possible Tristan Thompson trade, whether or not the Toronto Raptors should give Fred VanVleet the bag, and if the Raptors coming back down to Earth. The Toronto Raptors had their worst week of the season thus far going 1-2 with a […]
Are the Toronto Raptors coming back down to earth? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors Podcast: How real are the Toronto Raptors?

In this week’s episode, Hunter Surphlis and Mike Bossetti talk about the most recent news and numbers from the Toronto Raptors. Should they trade for DeMar DeRozan? Is Pascal a real MVP candidate? And more. The Toronto Raptors are shaping out to be one of the best teams in the NBA. They’re top five in […]
Toronto Raptors Podcast: How real are the Toronto Raptors? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Hunter Surphlis / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs Post-Game #25: 5 Takeaways from Something Special

Say what you will about Mike Babcock the person — and a lot of people have done exactly that following his dismissal on Wednesday — but the past two games have revealed in unflinching detail just how much the ex-coach was holding this Maple Leafs team back.
My goodness, folks. How did we let this go on for so long?
The schedule is now into late-November, and the Leafs currently sit outside of a playoff spot, coming fresh off a coaching change over 20 games into their season. Typically, that’s when the practice fights begin to go down — a necessity if this team is actually prepared to follow the 2018-19 Blues blueprint (Bluesprint? I dunno, something to think about) most expect them to.
And yet, this team looks positively giddy.
Jason Spezza straight-up broke out into uproarious laughter on the bench during Thursday night’s slump-busting victory. Auston Matthews got as hyped for Tyson Barrie’s first goal of the season as Bill Murray did for Michael Jordan’s dunk that saved the entire earth in Space Jam. John Tavares declared a midseason road win in freakin’ Arizona as the start of “something special” before dropping F-bombs like a guy who just …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation