News from the Rink: Auston Matthews held out of practice and the Maple Leafs running with Campbell in net

Never a dull moment lately. Just as the Leafs neared having a full roster to work with with, the biggest hit imaginable strikes, and Auston Matthews will be out, likely for the next five days…

Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and assistant coach Dean Chynoweth will not participate in today’s practice for precautionary reasons.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 3, 2022

Sheldon Keefe said Auston Matthews and Dean Chynoweth both tested positive on their rapid antigen tests but they are awaiting results of their PCR tests.
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) January 3, 2022

There’s a very strong chance that the PCR tests will validate when the rapid tests showed, and we’ll be looking at Matthews out until January 8th. If he’s symptom free and the PCR test results arrive soon enough, that could put him in the game against the Avs on Saturday night. If not, his return will be Tuesday against Vegas. Hoping this stays on the precautionary or asymptomatic side of things for both Chynoweth and Matthews.
With Matthews out, the Leafs ran some new lines at practice…

#Leafs forward lines at practice Jan. 3/22
Bunting-Tavares-MarnerMikheyev-Kerfoot-NylanderEngvall-Kampf-KaseRitchie-Spezza-Simmonds
— David Alter (@dalter) January 3, 2022

Pretty much what you’d expect to see here, as Tavares …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value

Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value

From the moment he was acquired by the Toronto Raptors as part of the Kyle Lowry deal, the assumption has been that Goran Dragic would not stay in Canada for very long. It just didn’t make a lot of sense from either side’s perspective for a 35-year-old veteran looking for one last shot at a […]
Raptors: Goran Dragic’s struggles could hurt his trade value – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Brian Swane / Raptors HQ

This year the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing an 82 game long preseason

Take a moment to think about what a successful season for the Toronto Maple Leafs looks like this year. If the team dominates the regular season, winning the Presidents Trophy and setting all sorts of records but then once again fall in the first round of the playoffs, would anyone consider that a successful year? Even if the team went 82-0 during the season but once again got eliminated in game seven of the first round, would that be considered an achievement or would it only add to the team’s legacy of choking when it matters most?
Similarly, imagine if those same Toronto Maple Leafs struggled throughout the season, finished fourth in their division and barely made the playoffs only to finally slay the dragon and not just advance past the first round but perhaps go on the deepest playoff run this team has seen since The Scorpion King was in theatres. There’s little doubt that it would be seen as by far the most successful Leafs season in the salary cap era, and everyone would soon forget about the struggles of the regular season.
It’s become painfully clear that what happens this regular season doesn’t …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Amazon Prime Video Announces “All Or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs” Premiere

It’s the moment Leafs Nation has been waiting for since the closing seconds of Game 7. Today Amazon Prime announced the premiere date for the highly anticipated and not-at-all pointless “All Or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs” docu-series.
You may remember that back in January, just after the start of the season, it was announced that a documentary crew would be following the Leafs around this season, chronicling their journey through the pandemic-shortened season and eventual rise to the top of the NHL’s North Division (in the regular season), I wonder how it’ll end?
All five episodes of the series will drop on Friday, October 1st and it will notably be narrated by actor, comedian and lifelong Leafs fan, Will Arnett.
Produced by Amazon Studios in association with NHL Original Productions and Cream Films, “All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs will be forever entrenched in history as the first Canadian Amazon Original series to launch.
Take a look at the trailer that was released alongside the premiere date announcement:

I’ll be the first to admit, I had no interest whatsoever in watching this series and my intention was to fully ignore it even happened once it dropped. I’ …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Latest Leafs Rumours to kick start free agency

Here we are. The moment of truth. What will the Leafs team that is finally going to make it past the first round of the playoffs going to look like? Well, that first round victory is a bit of a stretch, as the Leafs are losing Zach Hyman today, and need to find a solid NHL caliber goaltender with about $10M to address four roster positions, at least 3 of which need more than a bandage.
Still, today is about fun, and we should be like GM’s with their owner’s bank account today and not worry about the future.
With that in mind, here is the rundown of the latest Leafs rumours:

Michael Bunting has been linked to the Leafs through logical connecting of the dots, but we can confirm the two sides have been talking and Bunting wants to be a Leaf. Interest is mutual. Unless there is an offer out there that the Leafs won’t match in FA, we expect he will be.
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) July 28, 2021

Our peers at MLHS appear to be breaking another Leafs signing, and it’s the one that we’ve spent some time talking up on this site. Throw …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs officially announce their training camp rostet

The Leafs waited until the last possible moment to share their condensed training camp roster to the world:

The squad
Here’s our roster for Training Camp Fuelled by @GatoradeCanada. #LeafsForever
https://t.co/QErhOtTxbL pic.twitter.com/smlNsXmvcc
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 3, 2021

There are few surprise inclusions and understandable omissions worth noting.
Most of the players the Leafs loaned overseas earlier this year will be staying there. There is no Filip Kral, Kalle Kossila, Denis Malgin or Egor Korshkov, at least not until the Marlies hold their camp.
Included on the list are a number of players on AHL contracts like Scott Sabourin, Rourke Chartier, Tyler Gaudet, and perhaps most intriguingly Justin Brazeau. They might not have a shot at making the Leafs but its probably not a coincidence that Dubas invited players that will play a harder game against his potential NHL regulars.
The Leafs decided on going with 23 forwards and 13 defenseman, along with 4 goaltenders that don’t count towards the 36 player roster limit. It is perhaps interesting that neither Woll or Scott received an invite, but given the short term of the training camp and the reality of the decisions that will be made, I guess they …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Darren Dreger reporting the Leafs still in talks with Pietrangelo

Let’s pretend the salary cap doesn’t exist for a moment and enjoy how this could potentially play out…

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights have spoken to Pietrangelo. Interesting to see who else steps forward.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 9, 2020

While there is a lot of talk about the Leafs being in serious trade negotiations with Florida regarding MacKenzie Weegar, they haven’t lost sight of the big fish free agent, Alex Pietrangelo.
RUMOUR: Leafs interested in MacKenzie Weegar

We’ve talked a lot about Pietrangelo on this site over the past few weeks, but if you are interested in reading up on Pietrangelo, Scott Maxwell has a breakdown on how he’d fit in with the Leafs…
How does Alex Pietrangelo statistically fit with the Leafs?

Additionally we might be hearing from Dubas soon, and that will probaby let us know that nothing is imminent for the Leafs and Simmonds in the big haul for Day One.

Dubas avail at 3:30. Indication, but nothing written in stone, #Leafs are done for the day.
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) October 9, 2020

Of course a lot of things can change quickly, and we’ll see how this plays out.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s time to get hyped for the playoffs

Every moment. Every heartbreak. Every blown lead. Every unclosed series. Every overtime loss. Every Game 7. Every loss in Boston. Every time a head coach didn’t play their star players a lot in a crucial game. Everything, leads to this moment.
Because with every mistake, every heartbreak, all the pain we’ve dealt with, has led to this moment. It’s what makes us grow. It’s what makes us stronger. It’s what makes us become who we are today.
And it makes it so much more worth it when we finally win the damn thing.
Let’s get hyped.

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Donaldson reflects on his time in Toronto: “At the end it hurt”

It’s a moment that we all knew was coming. Josh Donaldson is returning to Toronto and the night will be filled with fond memories of home-stealing and rain-bringing.
With both teams at opposite ends of the World Series-contention scale, the Blue Jays are hosting Donaldson’s new team, the Atlan Braves, for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night. Before the game, the 2015 AL MVP was able to say some words about his time in Toronto and what exactly it meant to him.

Josh Donaldson on last summer #BlueJays
“What probably nags at me most is how my career finished here in Toronto. Not being able to play at the time, trying to fight as hard as I could to get back. It wasn’t working out. How everything transpired was something that was tough”
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 27, 2019

Looking back at the years he spent in Toronto is bittersweet for the third baseman. Finishing a tenure highlighted by dramatic playoff series victories and individual accomplishments by fizzing out due to injuries and never really getting his footing last year, then getting shipped to Cleveland just as he was getting ready to return to major-league action.
It might be …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Let Vladdy play third base until he can’t

From the moment Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set foot at third base during his Major League debut on April 26, the countdown started towards his eventual shift across the diamond. It’s not a question of if the Blue Jays will convert him into a first baseman; it’s when.
Vladdy’s had his fair share of difficulties at third base this season. His spectacular arm has been on display for many throws across the diamond, but his footwork could use some work.
After his latest lower body injury, the masses have already started calling for Guerrero to change positions and shift to first base. A 20-year-old third baseman, abandoning the position where he’s spent less than a full season so far? Right.
It’s a tad premature to pull the parachute on Guerrero’s native position before he’s barely played it. I’m not debating whether he’ll move to first base (he will), but much like giving a young starting pitcher every opportunity before converting them into a reliever, the Blue Jays need to apply the same philosophy here; let Vladdy play third base until he can’t.
Admittedly, Guerrero’s defensive numbers at third base aren’t …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation