Hyun Jin Ryu and Teoscar Hernandez (and Ryan Tepera???) got MVP votes

The winners of the American and National League Most Valuable Player Awards were announced on Thursday.

In the AL, Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox took home the MVP after a huge season offensively. Abreu slashed a .317/.370/.617 line with 19 homers and a league-leading 60 RBIs in the middle of Chicago’s potent lineup.
Elsewhere in the AL, two Blue Jays got some consideration further down the ballot. Teoscar Hernandez got a ninth-place vote and six tenth-place votes while Hyun Jin Ryu, who finished third in Cy Young voting, got an eighth- and tenth-place vote.
Here’s the AL’s breakdown…

2020 AL MVP: José Abreu, White Sox
Full voting details: https://t.co/xNqRHmqYa7 pic.twitter.com/v3txx8ZSaw
— BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) November 12, 2020

Over in the National League, Canadian Legend Freddie Freeman won MVP by a pretty wide margin, beating out Mookie Betts, who the Red Sox decided last winter they were too cheap to pay.
The best part of the NL’s ballot? The fact that Ryan Tepera (yes, that Ryan Tepera) earned himself one tenth-place vote.

Ryan Tepera got an MVP vote pic.twitter.com/VKuikKVAnh
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) November 12, 2020

I have no idea why this happened! Tepera had …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Will Nick Robertson play with the Toronto Maple Leafs next season?

Will Nick Robertson play with the Toronto Maple Leafs next season?

Nick Robertson’s situation is likely the most interesting of everyone on the team. It’s likely every hockey league will start in February and with the 19-year-old unable to play in the AHL, his future remains a mystery.
Many leagues could be willing to change some rules to support teams and their prospects. And even already, some NHL teams have sent players to Europe to play and to have somewhere to compete. Could the Maple Leafs send Robertson there? It’s always possible but do remember the World Juniors are coming up and he will likely play in it.
The most interesting of the leagues is the OHL, where there could be no body-checking next season (I still believe that’s unlikely). Could Robertson play there? Sure, but I don’t know if that’s in the Maple Leafs’ interest.
So then where will he end up? Watch this video and you’ll find out:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Both Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker “love it in Toronto [Buffalo???]”

I mentioned yesterday how the Blue Jays’ largest, most glaring issue this off-season is the team’s starting pitching depth.

Hyun Jin Ryu is the team’s ace but there isn’t much, if any, certainty after that. And, to be honest, Ryu himself isn’t even all that much of a certainty given his history with injuries. Nate Pearson will hopefully take a step forward, Tanner Roark will ideally not be totally useless, and somebody from the group of T.J. Zeuch, Tom Hatch, Anthony Kay, Trent Thornton, and Julian Merryweather will ideally grab a starting spot and run with it.
That’s a lot of ideally and not a lot of that will absolutely happen. So, long story short, the Blue Jays need to find some starting pitching depth this off-season.
Maybe some of those starters are already here?
According to Pete Walker, Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, two of Toronto’s trade deadline additions who are set to hit free agency, both loved it in Toronto.

Pete Walker: Robbie loves it in Toronto and Taijuan loves it in Toronto. You hope that helps moving forward in potential negotiations. #BlueJays #BaseballCentral
— Alex Seixeiro (@alexfan590) October 6, 2020

I assume this …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

LeafsPR does us dirty and announces Denis Malgin’s loan agreement

News is news, and on most days in the offseason this would be fine, but on draft day, in a week that includes free agency, and all those other fun things that go along with it, this was a tad underwhelming.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Denis Malgin to Lausanne HC (Switzerland) #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 6, 2020

Malgin, who is from Switzerland, will be driving up the road to play for one of the Swiss teams while he waits to return to North America. This is a great situation for him, as well as the Leafs, as the Swiss League might be one of the better options talent wise for AHL/NHL tweeners at the moment.
The Lausanne team features former Leaf/Marlie Josh Jooris, and few other recognizable names in Mark Barbiero, Brian Gibbons, and Cory Conacher. Probably a sign that the team will be somewhat competitive.
As noted the other day, the Leafs have lent out Mikko Lehtonen, Kristians Rubins, Egor Korshkov, and Filip Kral, along with having prospects like Mikko Kokkonen, Pontus Holmberg, Filip Hallinder, and others playing overseas at the moment.
It certainly doesn’t hurt Malgin, a player that shows some promise and as a 23 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors should look to trade up in the draft to select Isaac Okoro

With most teams now focused on the upcoming draft. Isaac Okoro is one player above everyone else who would fit perfectly with the Toronto Raptors. For the Toronto Raptors, the season ended in a slight disappointment. The team just didn’t have enough firepower to overcome the Boston Celtics. Regardless, after being written off by many […]
The Toronto Raptors should look to trade up in the draft to select Isaac Okoro – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ

Did the Tyson Barrie experiment fail?

Last summer was one of the most active off-seasons in a while for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Kyle Dubas.
The first major move on July 1st was sending Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev and Michael Carcone to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 third-round pick. Some may have thought that would be the only big move that Dubas would make.
But just under 12 hours later, he would trade Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen and a 2020 third-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and a 2020 sixth-round pick.
It was a move that fans thought would shift the organization forward, but to some, it has now set the Maple Leafs a few steps back.
In Toronto, Barrie didn’t have the best season — but it wasn’t as poor as some suggest. Obviously, everyone is now comparing it to Kadri’s blowout playoff tenure, where he has 11 points in eight games with the Avalanche. Yet with the Maple Leafs, Barrie did his best before they were eliminated by the Columbus Blue Jackets two weeks ago.
The hardest part for 29-year-old was in the beginning of the season, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Because of course that happened: Columbus erases three goal deficit on Dubois hat trick

After one of their most dominating and complete performances of the entire season, the Maple Leafs were looking to push Columbus to the brink of elimination on Thursday night.
First Period
In an encouraging trend, the Maple Leafs came ready to play from first puck drop. Most noticeable at the start was Auston Matthews, who over the span of his first shift had a zone entry, a shot that was blocked that resulted in a Cody Ceci chance in the slot, a beautiful back-check, and a blocked shot of his own. Throughout the series we’ve seen Matthews coming low in the defensive zone to support his defencemen and that first shift was a great illustration of his 200-foot play this postseason.
Speaking of coming to play, the fourth line of Kyle Clifford, Jason Spezza and Pierre Engvall created havoc and chances seemingly every time they hit the ice. On that line’s first shift of the game, Engvall carried the puck around the perimeter of the zone and threw it into the crease, where it bounced around and couldn’t be found by CBJ netminder Joonas Korpisalo. Clifford and Spezza were in the mix jamming away …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Legend and Folk Hero, Eddie Shack passes away

Sad news out of Leafs land this morning, as one the most beloved ambassadors of the Toronto Maple Leafs passes away. Eddie Shack has passed away at the age of 83.

Nothing speaks to the player more than the song written about him. While Eddie Shack was a player that always belonged to my father more than to me, my father would often speak to Shack’s hard working nature, his love of the game, and the fact that he was a guy who would show up every night. He would be the Leafs deterrent to teams like the Big Bad Bruins, and Broad Street Bullies, and that only added to his legend.
A four time Stanley Cup Champion, including a cup winning goal to his name, a three time All-Star, and despite scoring 20 or more goals for five different teams, it’s hard to imagine Shack as anything but a Maple Leaf, and that’s partially why the Maple Leafs recognized him as the 68th Greatest Maple Leaf of all-time in their centennial season.
On behalf of everyone at The Leafs Nation, our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of Eddie Shack. A true …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hopes of the Leafs picking first overall remain alive

First off, congratulations to the NHL for landing on the most interesting outcome for a change. My goodness, I might have been starved for hockey content, but the NHL draft delivered on everything I hoped it would.
Here is the draft outcome…
8th pick Buffalo Sabres
7th pick New Jersey Devils
6th pick Anaheim Ducks
5th pick Ottawa Senators
4th pick Detroit Red Wings
3rd pick Ottawa Senators
2nd pick Los Angeles Kings
1st pick TBD
GO TBD!!!
According to the NHL, the eight teams that lose the play-in round of the playoffs will all have an equal opportunity to be selected 1st overall, the Leafs, who have a top ten protection on the pick they sent to Carolina have a shot at that pick, but otherwise will not find their way into the top ten in this draft. Presumably the Hurricanes will be cheering for the Leafs in the play-in round.
I’m not sure if that is what I want, and think the Leafs have a good chance of making a go of it in the playoffs, but if you want to read about why this wouldn’t be a bad thing, check out Scott …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors can make it back to the NBA Finals

The Toronto Raptors are the most under the radar defending champs in NBA history. But don’t let that fool you, the Raptors are a legit threat to make it back to the Finals this season. The NBA and the Toronto Raptors season is set to resume on July 31. Teams will play eight regular-season games before […]
The Toronto Raptors can make it back to the NBA Finals – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ