NHL 21 predicts the rest of William Nylander’s career

It seems that every other day on social media, part of the fan base shares a post about how they really want the Leafs to trade away William Nylander. Each time that happens, his name pops up on the trending tab and the other half of the fans that recognize his value moans and groans about it happening yet again. I lean towards keeping the eighth pick in the 2014 NHL draft on the team and believe his presence helps the Leafs out a ton, even though it looks like he’s “not trying.”
So instead of complaining for the millionth time that not everyone in the fanbase agrees on Nylander’s importance to the team, I decided to turn this into an opportunity to look into the glass ball and see how his career will turn out according to EA Sports. That’s right, we’re doing another career simulation!
I last did this two months ago by simming Mitch Marner’s career with NHL 20 (spoiler alert, he turned out alright). Since that article has come out, a new game was released and I knew it would soon be time to do another one of these articles.
For those who …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs rumoured to have interest in Darnell Nurse, is he worth considering?

The other day I happened to catch James Mirtle on The Lowdown with Lowetide on TSN 1260. (around 15:40 mark) A lot of the conversation is about the Leafs looming roster overhaul this offseason, and the consensus opinion that there is no way that Dubas is close to done. Of course the shifted to defensive needs for the Leafs. And how the Kasperi Kapanen move freed up both cap space and gave them a future asset to flip for a player they need now. Given that it’s an Edmonton radio station, whether or not the Oilers are a fit for a trade came up as well.
Around the 29 minute mark in the audio (linked above) we get the catalyst for why we’re talking about this and that’s the “I know the Leafs like Nurse” quote from James Mirtle.
Seemingly that’s not a whole lot to go on, but let’s look at who Darnell Nurse is. Nurse is a player that both Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe could not be more familiar with. And while I can appreciate that at some point the Leafs might want to consider acquiring players that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs change up the lines for their last scrimmage

The Leafs, along with the other 11 Eastern Conference teams, will soon be heading into the bubble with the play-in round near. For their final scrimmage before the move, they made some adjustments to their scrimmage lines.

Team White:Nylander-Matthews-HymanEngvall-Kerfoot-KapanenAgostino-Brooks-Malgin
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 23, 2020

Given that Team Matthews was extremely stacked for the first few scrimmage games, it makes sense why the lines were balanced out for the last tune-up. Even still, there are a few lines here that look intriguing.
It’s not the first time they have been paired at camp, but the Nylander-Matthews-Hyman line gets back together. The three have shown chemistry over the last few seasons so it makes sense why Sheldon Keefe went back with this trio.
John Tavares and Mitch Marner are reunited, with Ilya Mikheyev joining them to make a solid line. Tavares and Marner meshed well together during the 2018-19 campaign and Mikheyev was having a fine rookie season before an injury sidelined him for months.
Pierre Engvall returns to the projected third-line alongside Alexander Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen. Meanwhile, Nick Robertson now slots in with Jason Spezza and Kyle Clifford. While Robertson has made great improvements …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

A deeper look at the Blue Jays’ 60-man roster and which prospects might actually make their way into a game

The Blue Jays, along with all of the other teams, announced their 60-man roster yesterday.

This roster represents the pool of players who can be selected to be on the team’s 30-man active roster at the start of the season, who can be called up to the active roster during the season, who can be carried around on the team’s three-player taxi quad, which prospects can participate in the organization’s off-site minor-league training camp (in Buffalo, for the Jays), and who can be traded at any point before the Aug. 31 deadline.
Levi Weaver, a reporter covering the Texas Rangers, received clarification on the logistics of roster movement this season from Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels.
A non-40-man roster player can only be removed from the 60-man roster if they’re released. A 40-man-roster player can be removed from the 60-man roster, but they would be subject to waivers first. There’s a special Injured List for players who have COVID-19 in which case that player wouldn’t count against the 60-man roster while they’re sick.
But, when that player returns, anybody added to the 60-man roster …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the NBA’s New Emerging Duo

Some things are just meant for each other, like peanut butter and jam, s’ mores at campfires, and more importantly for the Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. The duo has taken the Toronto Raptors season by storm and has emerged as a top duo in the league, whether it’s on the court or in the […]
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the NBA’s New Emerging Duo – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Jordan Romano is back with the Blue Jays

Just as Travis Bergen — the other pitcher plucked out of the Rule 5 Draft from the Blue Jays system — is returned to Toronto, Jordan Romano is coming back to the big leagues after an injury stint.

Jordan Romano will join the Bluejays here tonight. Ken Giles departs on paternity leave.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) August 22, 2019

Romano, 26, will be joining the Blue Jays in Los Angeles tonight, as they try to prevent the sweep against the Dodgers.
The Canadian reliever was a 10th-round pick by the Blue Jays back in 2014 and has steadily risen throughout their system until being selected by the Texas Rangers last December. He never appeared for his new club, but has since been able to keep a steady diet of strikeouts, whether it be with the Triple-A Bisons or the Blue Jays.
He has pitched a total of 37 and 2/3 innings for the Bisons, where he has been able to strike-out 53 batters and walk 14, while keeping a 5.73 ERA. Not the best run prevention ever, but some juicy totals when it comes to punching hitters out.
In his short 5 and 1/3 innings with the Blue Jays, it’s more of the same. He’s been able to strikeout 11 major-league hitters in that …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Jake Gardiner might still be waiting for the Leafs to make room for him

There’s no other way to put it: The Jake Gardiner situation is a weird one. The (maybe former) Leafs’ defenceman, coming off a season that was derailed a bit by injury but still impressive hasn’t signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent. He’s just… sitting there.
But why? There have been some who’ve pointed to his injury this past spring as the key reason, while others believe he actually has a handshake deal with a team looking to clear up other business. Oddly enough, it’s usually his hometown Minnesota Wild that get tossed around in those rumours.
As far as I can tell, however, there doesn’t appear to be anything cap-wise stopping the Wild from signing Gardiner today if they want to. That’s why it’s always been in the back of my mind that the Leafs are still in on this for some bizarre reason, especially since I don’t believe his time missed this past season is enough to scare other teams away from offering him a decent long term deal.
I just don’t know how it looks if the Leafs really are still in this. Not that Gardiner …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Leafs and Kings talking Patrick Marleau trade

Among other trade rumours involving the Leafs as of late, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings are reportedly talking about a trade involving Patrick Marleau heading to LA.

Hearing the Leafs and Kings have talked about a potential Patrick Marleau trade. Obviously there’s the Todd McLellan connection there for Marleau so he might waive. But as of now I don’t think the two teams have found a fit. Kings would need to unload a contract or two as well…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 31, 2019

Holy mama.
Carrying a $6.25-million cap hit for next season before he heads to free agency or retirement, the Leafs are approaching a cap crunch with Marner, Kapanen and Johnsson all needing new contracts this summer.
Depending on the return, this would most likely be done to free up some space to re-sign those players or just provide some cap flexibility.
Marleau scored 16 goals and 37 points in a full 82-game season last year, averaging his lowest time-on-ice since the 2001-02 season.
Originally brought in with the glow of veteran presence ooziing from every pore of his body, the former San Jose Shark has caused some patience to be lost among fans. Especially with …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

The Lowry and Gasol playoff shirts are here — get yours today!

The Raptors are in the Finals and two of the bigger reasons why are none other than Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol. Thanks to BreakingT, we’ve got more ways to celebrate: t-shirts! The NBA Finals are here! Setting aside everything else, that means more chances to watch Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors. And do you know what else it means? More t-shirts!
Thanks to BreakingT, we’ve got two more shirts on offer today. The first relays a sentiment Raptors fans well know. The second is a hold over from a different era. Both have a place on this latest edition of the Raptors team as they’ve made their way through the 2019 NBA Playoffs — and Finals.
Get your Kyle Lowry Over Everything t-shirt here
Get your Grit Grind Gasol t-shirt here
For a closer look:

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Hot Takes From the Farm: Week Six

Other than following the adjustment made by promoted players, the past week was on the whole one relatively lacking in newsworthy highlights. But we’re almost three weeks into May which means the monthly end points can serve as a starting point for looking for trends in performance.
Look no further than Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. He literally peaked (so far of course) on the last day of April and hasn’t had a multi-hit game even once in May. His OPS was a ridiculous 1.178 in 12 April games, it’s been .506 in 15 May games. Has anyone told these guys the calendar end-point is completely arbitrary? And then there’s Anthony Alford. He almost perfectly nailed the calendar split. His BA bottomed out at .131 on April 27. He went 1 for 4 on the next day, his last game in April, and has so far hit .250 for the month of May. His May OPS is .762, up from an embarrassing .499 in April. Reportedly he’s put a good bit of work into fixing flaws that crept into his swing but he’s not up to Top Prospect production levels yet so it’s a work in progress still. But at least that 12 game 1/37 slump is …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation