Looking at the Leafs competition in an All Canadian Team Division

More and more it seems like there will be an all Canadian team division this season. That could be fun. Canada’s team in Canada’s division, what’s not to love? Well, there might be some stuff, like Oilers fans, Canucks fans, the second hand sadness when the Leafs need to go on the long bus ride to Winnipeg.
As a refresher, here’s how those Canadian teams finished last season:

W
L
OL
PTS
RW
RGREC
RGPT%

EDM
37
25
9
83
31
31-25-15
0.542

TOR
36
25
9
81
28
28-25-17
0.521

WPG
37
28
6
80
30
30-28-13
0.514

VAN
36
27
6
78
27
27-27-15
0.5

CGY
36
27
7
79
25
25-27-18
0.486

MTL
31
31
9
71
19
19-31-21
0.415

OTT
25
34
12
62
18
18-34-19
0.387

At a first glance the main takeaway should be that none of the Canadian teams did particularly well. The Oilers put together the 9th best record in the league last season while playing in a criminally easy division. A division that the Canadian division would inherit three teams from.
Throw in the fact that the Senators were one of the worst teams in hockey, and the Habs made the cutoff for the return to play strictly for the television ratings, and we’re given a division that has maybe two legitimate playoff teams last season (that quickly underperformed in the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Bogosian by the numbers

Few things are more scary than the idea of looking at Zach Bogosian’s numbers. Zach Bogosian wasn’t brought in for his numbers. He was brought in to be an affordable tank. An unmovable force in front of the Leafs net. He’s here to satisfy our desire for punishing hits at the cost reasonable outlet passes. Bogosian is here to make us nostalgic for “to the line but not out” but also to put on a shot blocking clinic. At least that’s what we’ve been told. Maybe he’s more than that. Let’s take a look.
An overview

So, those hits weren’t as significant as advertised. Bogosian averaged just over a hit per game last season, with 30 hits in 27 games, playing around 17 minutes a night. His shot blocks were also right at the 1 per game level, with 27 during the regular season. In the playoffs, Bogosian upped his hitting with 44 hits in 20 games, but was still just at 19 blocked shots. He had increased playing time with 17:40 minutes averaged per night.
Interestingly enough, Bogosian might have been better statistically in the playoffs, as his 59.3% CF% at even strength was the highest of the Lightning defensemen.
Time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Let’s review all 3 years of LeBron James in LeBronto era

After winning his fourth championship in more of a floor general role, it’s time to review each series the Toronto Raptors and LeBron James battled against each other and see the various styles LeBron had. Whether you like him or not, there is no arguing that LeBron James is one of the greatest players the […]
Toronto Raptors: Let’s review all 3 years of LeBron James in LeBronto era – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

NHL announces eight more players test positive for COVID-19

The National Hockey League has announced eight more players have tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 4,934 tests were conducted on over 600 players that took part in phase two activities with a total of 30 tests coming back positive — a spike of seven cases since the league’s last batch of testing was announced on July 6th.

NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/lAkEQJ0B8N
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 13, 2020

Beyond phase two protocols, the league identified one additional case of COVID-19 in a player bringing that total to 13 cases.
The league said all players who tested positive were/have been in self-isolation and were/are following CDC and Health Canada protocols.
As the league transitions to the start of phase three and training camps, the league says they will continue to give regular updates on the number of tests administered to all players and the results. The NHL will not be providing information on the identity of the players, or club they play for.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Top Leafs Outside the NHL: #7 Jeremy Bracco

Bracco is one of the more interesting names on this list. He’s long been considered one of the better offensive options in the system for the Leafs, excelling as a playmaker and power play specialist, but he hasn’t really evolved his game in any meaningful way that would encourage the Leafs to give him a look in the NHL. He’s coming off an interesting year that included a trade request and then an extended personal absence from the team and now as a 23 year old pending restricted free agent, the Leafs will have to make a decision on what they are going to do with Bracco.
In 2015 the Leafs started off the evening right by drafting Mitch Marner. Then we were treated to a bizarre run of picks which led to Mathew Barzal, Travis Konecny, Kyle Connor, and Brock Boeser all sliding in the draft. The Leafs were scheduled to pick at 24 and would have been able to select Travis Konecny. The Leafs wanted Travis Dermott so began trading down. In their deal with the Flyers for the 24th overall pick they’d use to select Travis Konecny, the Leafs picked up the 61 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Mark Shapiro says the Blue Jays are “exploring” extensions for the young core. What would those look like?

With more and more young stars signing long-term extensions before reaching their arbitration years, eyes have turned to the Blue Jays’ front office and how they plan to handle their young core. Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Cavan Biggio just broke into the league last year, but it isn’t out of the question to start talking about long-term contracts.

Mark Shapiro appeared on Writers Bloc with Stephen Brunt and Jeff Blair on Sportsnet 590 on Tuesday and this was one of the topics the trio discussed.
“That is a strategy which (has been) a very big part of my career,” said Shapiro. “And it’s something that we believe strongly in.
“Whether we do anything or not, I would assume we’ve explored it or are exploring it with every one of our young players that we have a strong belief are gonna be good players here for a long time.”
Back when he was with Cleveland, Shapiro was involved with signing Corey Kluber to a long-term extension before he was able to reach arbitration for the first time. After two full seasons in the Majors, Cleveland and Kluber agreed …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs re-sign Jake Muzzin for 4 years

Buzzing for four more years!
Jake Muzzin has signed a four-year extension. #LeafsForever
Details >> https://t.co/lIkeg622wr pic.twitter.com/3zyPXdHiDY
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 24, 2020
We knew it was coming and now it’s here. At the price we were promised for the term we were promised.
Muzzin has been the Leafs best defenseman south of the center line for the past year, and that’s probably not something they could easily walk away from, even it comes with significant dollars and term for a 31 year old defenseman.

This extension includes $16.8 million in signing bonus. https://t.co/GCqEYnFfgp
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 24, 2020
As we can see, there is a ton of signing bonuses, which will probably help the Leafs trade him after that last bonus is paid, but also likely makes the contract pretty buyout proof. As bizarre as it seems to be looking at how to get out of a contract on a good player, that’s pretty much the nature of how any contract on a 30+ year old needs to be.

Jake Muzzin’s extension in TOR includes a no-movement clause for next season before converting …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs re-sign F Pierre Engvall

Pierre Engvall will be around for two more years as the Toronto Maple Leafs announced an extension for the forward Wednesday morning.

Engvall, 23, put pen to paper on a deal that will see him make $1.25-million this year and next.
In 35 games this year, the former 7th-round pick from the 2014 draft has scored seven goals and seven assists.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Leafs goalie shopping, Kapanen & Johnsson as trade bait, and another defenseman to consider

Hells yeah, it’s time for more trade rumours. And we’re here to make sure you get the maximum mileage out of every throwaway piece of speculation that comes out of an insider’s mouth.
We’ll start in with the most recent development, and that’s the doubling back around to a backup (starter replacement?) goaltender as a priority.
Siegel believes it will be close as to whether the Leafs will make the playoffs with Andersen, while any prolonged absence without an upgrade behind him could leave the Leafs on the outside looking in. He notes it may prove costly to acquire help, but asks whether the team can afford not to. He adds the position has been a weakness for the Leafs throughout the season with No. 3 option Kasimir Kaskisuo owning just one career NHL start.
Two goaltenders are currently listed on the TSN Trade Bait board in Alexander Georgiev of the New York Rangers (No. 17) and Robin Lehner of the Chicago Blackhawks (No. 23).  TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported last month that the Maple Leafs were among the teams to have inquired on Georgiev, who …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs send Tyler Gaudet back to the AHL

Let’s not make this into more than it is. Gaudet was recalled by the Leafs to be on the roster when the team went on the road to Nashville, where he played last season. This is what we’ll come to recognize as the “Reverse Babcock” where the team actually treats players decently. With the team returning home from this mini-trip, he’s back to the Marlies.
Given his big league salary of 700k on the two-way contract, I’m sure Gaudet appreciated the few days of NHL pay. Well done, everyone.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Tyler Gaudet to the @TorontoMarlies (AHL). #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 30, 2020

 

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation