Joe Panik will be on the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster

To the surprise of nobody, Joe Panik will be travelling north remaining in Dunedin with the Blue Jays when the team breaks camp.

The #BlueJays have told Joe Panik he’s made the team, but won’t make roster move to get him on 40-man until opening day roster is set, team says
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 26, 2021

Panik, who is currently at spring training on a minor-league deal as a non-roster invite, will reportedly be added to the 40-man roster within the next few days.
There’s no word yet on Francisco Liriano, who’s also at camp as a non-roster invitee. Both players have opt-outs on their minor-league deals before the end of spring training so they can have a chance to stick elsewhere if they don’t crack the Blue Jays roster.
Again, it’s no surprise that Panik has made the team, given the Blue Jays seemed to like him in the backup infielder, utility role last year. Santiago Espinal might be the better player but he’s better off playing every day in Buffalo while Panik’s long-term development as a player isn’t a priority for the organization. I would imagine that Breyvic Valera gets designated for …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Mitch Marner is living up to his contract value – Rate That Leafs Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the best team in the North Division and that’s a fact. After another win against the Calgary Flames, they improve their record to 6-2-0. Mitch Marner leads the NHL in points, alongside Connor McDavid with 12. And Auston Matthews has four goals in seven games.
Even better though — the Toronto Six have won their first game in franchise history defeating the Boston Pride 2-1. Goals from Brooke Boquist and Mikyla Grant-Mentis pushed them over the top after a close game against a tough team.
To top off the night, Jake Muzzin flipped the puck at Matthew Tkachuk. It had some incredible sauce, which Tkachuk was not happy about. After getting into a scuffle, he would head off the ice slamming the bench door and other things in front of his Flames teammates.
Nature is healing. I hope you enjoy my latest Rate That Leafs Game video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

From math to Maverick: Getting to know new Blue Jays signee Zac Cook

On a sizzling afternoon in North Texas, Zac Cook cruises down I-35 on his way home from practice with the Texas Stix, a team for whom he coaches. Wearing a pair of orange-tinted sunglasses and a black Stix hat, he’s relaxed and proud, even if the sports he loves is in disarray at the professional level.
Despite the ongoing issues surrounding MLB’s labour negotiations, Cook is feeling relieved and optimistic about his own future. Five days ago, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent. Regardless of what is going on now, with the global pandemic or otherwise, he’s a professional baseball player.
“Being a free agent has a new meaning now,” Cook, 22, told Blue Jays Nation. “I’m still happy with the opportunity I’ve been given and the way the team has received me, even being a free agent sign.”
On the day of the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, he was in Oklahoma City, Okla. coaching with the Stix. On Sunday, teams were allowed to start signing undrafted free agents, which they did with immense efficiency.
Immediately, he got a bunch of calls …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Top Leafs Outside the NHL: #6 Egor Korshkov

A year(-ish) into playing in North America it seems that it’s finally possible to have a bit of a discussion on Korshkov on his own merits rather than making it about the circumstances in which he was drafted. What we’ve learned from his five and a half months of AHL hockey is that Korshkov likely has a future in the NHL, and possibly in the very near future.
Korshkov had a strong AHL rookie season putting up 16 goals in 44 games, numbers that are beyond anything he accomplished in the KHL. Korshkov also added 9 assists, and finished 7th on the Marlies in points, and 3rd on the Marlies in goals. The catch to all this is that Korshkov played only 44 games, and his injury issues from Russia seem to have come with him.
Perhaps the most encouraging stat from his time with the Marlies is that Korshkov had 2 short handed goals, leading the team. Korshkov has thrived in that shorthanded role throughout his career, and could be one of the key factors in bringing him to the Leafs sooner rather than later.
From the Summer Prospect Rankings:
The best case scenario for Korshkov is that he …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Could the Toronto Raptors beat a full strength Team Canada?

Who’s the best team North of the Border? If the Toronto Raptors faced off against a full-strength Team Canada, who would you take? The Toronto Raptors won an NBA championship, ranking them as the best “professional” team in the world.  Yes, they lost their best player in Kawhi Leonard along with starting shooting guard Danny […]
Could the Toronto Raptors beat a full strength Team Canada? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Go Paolo / Raptors HQ