Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Toronto Raptors basketball is much closer than we think (23 days), and there has yet to be any real talk of a starting lineup yet. The Toronto Raptors roster is pretty much set in stone — at least we think it is. Apart from at the Center position, the Raptors starting roster is not all […]
Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Joseph Woll is the Leafs 11th ranked prospect

Much like just about any goalie in professional hockey, Joseph Woll is a question waiting to be answered. There’s a deep desire among the fanbase for him to do well thanks to the endless potential of his name. The fact he’s a Maple Leafs prospect at the most valuable position in the sport is just icing on the cake. 
After spending three years as a starter at Boston College, Woll joined the Marlies last season and is now expected to be among a group of four goalies battling it out for third on the Leafs depth chart. One of the lead storylines heading into training camp will be whether Woll can outduel fellow netminders Ian Scott, Aaron Dell, and Michael Hutchinson for priority on the depth chart. Possibilities are endless for the young American goalie who could find himself on the Leafs taxi squad, platooning in the AHL, starting in the ECHL, or if we’re all lucky – being loaned to the DEL’s Berlin Bears where he can lay claim to hockey’s greatest nickname by becoming the Berlin Woll.
Rank – Grade – NHL Readiness
11TH – B – 2-4 YEARS
Position: G
Age: 22
Height: 6’4
Weight: 203 lbs
Drafted: 2016 3rd round, 62 …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Who can replace VanVleet if he signs elsewhere?

Toronto Raptors: Who can replace VanVleet if he signs elsewhere?

As much as the Toronto Raptors would love to keep Fred VanVleet next season, we must come to the realization that there is a possibility that the signs elsewhere. If you take a look at the Toronto Raptors roster, it is evident that they are in a very good position to compete for many years. […]
Toronto Raptors: Who can replace VanVleet if he signs elsewhere? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeremy Wilks / Raptors HQ

Where the Leafs roster (and cap hit) is at today

As much as it pains me to say, the Leafs roster looks essentially done. There’s a chance that we see some minor moves involving Justin Holl, Travis Dermott, or possibly Pierre Engvall, but it seems that the deck chairs have adequately been shuffled, and even though this doesn’t look like a top tier team in the league, they are decidedly better than last year and may be capable of pulling off some surprises.

LW
C
RW
LD
RD
G

Hyman ($2.25M)
Matthews ($11.634M)
Marner ($10.893M)
Muzzin ($5.625M)
Brodie ($5M)
Andersen ($5M)

Tavares ($11M)
Nylander ($6.927M)
Rielly ($5M)
Holl ($2M)
Campbell ($1.6M)

Vesey ($900k)
Kerfoot ($3.5M)

Lehtonen ($925k)
Bogosian ($1M)

Simmonds ($1.5M)
Boyd ($700k)
Spezza ($700k)

The above roster leaves $4.185M of cap space, with Mikheyev, Dermott, and Anderson still needing to be signed. Presumably Anderson could be in the AHL, as could Boyd, and others like Malgin, Robertson, Barabanov, or Korshkov could be there in their places, but it doesn’t do much to shake that fact that there is no way of making it fit without team friendly deals by Dermott and Mikheyev, and at least dropping Holl or Dermott. There is also the fact that Mikko …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The case for trading Nylander is entirely based around one thing

Here at TLN we’re still very much pissed off following the outcome of the qualifying round. And while there is a strong case to be made about the Leafs having an incredibly talented roster, and a forward group that should make Toronto one of the top teams in the league, the fact that they were handled quite easily by an underwhelming Columbus lineup speaks to a need for a change of direction.
Toronto sports fans are naturally going to cite the trading of DeMar DeRozan as a necessary step in putting the Raptors over the top. It certainly worked. And it also hasn’t really held the Raptors back now that DeRozan and Leonard aren’t around. While hockey certainly works differently than basketball, it has made Leafs fans more open to not necessarily treating the top four group as untouchable.
On this site that has meant exploring the idea of trading Mitch Marner, both in the form of ditching Marner, and the argument for keeping him (and essentially the core) around for another year. The results on Marner were again pretty divided when the TLN crew examined who should be on the chopping block. For …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays escape The Trop with a split

Given how much of a cursed hellhole The Trop is and the amount of bad experiences we’ve had there at the past, coming out of there with a split in a four-game series is a huge win. Take it and run.

Things worth mentioning…

To be honest, heading into it, this really didn’t look like a game the Blue Jays would win. They were starting Tanner Roark against Blake Snell, Tampa Bay’s ace. But Roark was OK for the Jays, going five innings and scattering three earned runs. You always like for your starter to go six, but Roark was good enough and gave the Jays a chance to win on Monday.
The offence predictably didn’t get much going off of Snell (two runs over five-and-two-thirds) but they worked him hard enough that he wasn’t able to go deep into the game. That was key because it meant the Rays had to dig into their broken-down, taxed bullpen. In the seventh inning, Santiago Espinal drew a two-out walk off of Edgar Garcia, who then handed the ball over to Aaron Loup. Cavan Biggio would reach base on catcher interference ( …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Chopping Block Roundtable Part One: Which Leafs Players Should Go?

Understandably, Leafs fans are spending much of the off-season discussing which players might be useful bargaining chips in a trade, with the hope that some of the deficits on the roster can be built up. This will likely be an in-depth topic for The Leafs Nation team over the next little while, and some of the chatter has already started.
To help kick things off, I challenged my colleagues by throwing out a bunch of names of current Leafs players, with the question: Would you trade the following player during the off-season. If yes – for what kind of return? If no – why not?
I’ve pulled together the players that got the most attention. See where team TLN stands on trading certain Leafs, below.
Zach Hyman
Mer: I can’t believe I even put him on the list. That’s all.
Michael: It pains me to write this, but Zach Hyman might be the player that could net Toronto the top four defenceman it desperately needs. He is coming off a season where he was on pace to score 34 goals, 26 assists, and 60 points despite missing the first month and change because of injuries. Those …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays will debut their new powder blue uniforms tonight

Finally, after a much longer than anticipated wait, the Blue Jays will debut their sort-of-brand-new-but-also-throwback powder blue uniforms tonight when they host the Miami Marlins in Buffalo.

Tomorrow: Our debut in #NEWBLUE pic.twitter.com/XE8tmHI35l
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 10, 2020

I imagine the plan all along was for the team to debut the powder blues at their home opener. Of course, due to COVID-19, everything got flipped on its head and the team had to wait a few weeks to finally have their home opener at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. I don’t think that rocking the powder blues for the first time at the home team in Washington would have been particularly memorable.
Anyways, it’ll be nice to see the powder blue uniforms back in the mix. It’s a controversial look among fans, but, personally, I think they look great. I actually prefer the old V-neck look the team used to use back on Flashback Friday in the late-2000s, but it makes sense that they want to streamline the uniform with all of the other ones in their catalogue.
 
 
 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Breaking Down Columbus’ Goaltending

For as much as we hear about how teams need to Grind It Out and Dig Deep © in order to win in the playoffs, more often than not, series are won and lost on the backs of goaltending. Run into a hot goaltender (Jaroslav Halak with the Habs in 2010 against the Capitals being the most famous example) and your time in the playoffs may come to a frustratingly quick end, regardless of how well you may have played.  For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the question of who to start for the postseason is a no brainer. Despite his struggles this season, Toronto’s net belongs to Frederik Andersen, just as it has for the previous three postseasons. Unlike those postseasons however, there is no clear indicator who will oppose him.
After four seasons of minimal playing time, the Columbus Blue Jackets started the year with Joonas Korpisalo as the heir apparent to Sergei Bobrovsky, after the two-time Vezina Trophy winner opted to leave for Florida in free agency. Korpisalo performed admirably in his first season as a starter, posting a .913 save percentage in his first 32 games (31 of them starts) before he was forced to undergo knee surgery …

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Author: briancrd / The Leafs Nation

Friedman Speculates on Jujhar Kharia to the Leafs, and the Joe Thornton rumours won’t go away

Rumours aren’t going anywhere. And much like those of us on this site, insiders know that you can get a lot of eyes on their coverage by connecting the Leafs to players. Are we going to stop covering it? No. Are they going to stop with Leafs rumours? No. I just thought at some point being up front about the grain of salt required on any and all things we hear was a good idea.
Anyway, here is rumour #1…

Friedman wonders if TOR rekindles their interest in Jujhar Khaira; Stauffer connects Khaira to BOS.
(Oilers Now)
— Rocky Hockey (@akaRCN) February 21, 2020
Khaira has been connected to the Leafs for as long as he’s been in the league. Though he is wildly inconsistent, at his best he can be a strong complimentary player anywhere in the bottom six forward group, and he certainly adds a lot of toughness people say the Leafs need. The bonus is that he can play hockey when he wants to, as well. There isn’t going to be much of a price tag on him, so I’m intrigued if anything comes of this.

Friedman lists DAL, BOS & …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation