Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe

Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe

The Toronto Raptors have placed an emphasis on player development over the last few years, and the Raptors two-way contract pipeline has helped Nick Nurse make another permanent addition to the roster in the form of Yuta Watanabe. The Japanese forward made an impact as a defender due to his long arms and boundless injury. […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 two-way players who could be the next Yuta Watanabe – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell’s Top 5 moments as a Raptor

Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell’s Top 5 moments as a Raptor

Goodbye Norman Powell. Sometimes when a player leaves, the fanbase can tell right away that they’re going to miss him. DeMar DeRozan is a prime example, but it even happens with non-all-stars.  Serge Ibaka never sniffed the all-star game, but as soon as he walked to go to the Clippers the entire Toronto Raptors community […]
Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell’s Top 5 moments as a Raptor – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

NHL announces enhanced COVID-19 protocols

The National Hockey League and its player association has announced a new set of COVID-19 measures aimed at enhances what’s already in place.

The league said they will be in place until at least Feb. 28 as they continue to monitor their implementation and effectiveness.
The measures, which were announced and took effect yesterday, will see more testing, stricter quarantines, better masking and the utilization of player tracking, amongst other things.
A pilot project utilizing data from the player tracking system has been launched to work to measure the manager and degree of interaction between players as an enhancement to the contact tracing process.
“The goal of this project is to more precisely determine which people should be considered for enhanced monitoring and/or quarantine based on close contact with potentially infected Players,” they said.
Additional POC testing for U.S.-based clubs 
Furthering current testing protocols, the league will be adding point of care rapid testing to be administered on game days to all players, club personnel and on-ice officials that work in or around the benches during games. If a positive test is returned, the individual will be immediately isolated per league protocols. The league said they are …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors mine another hidden gem with Stanley Johnson

Toronto Raptors mine another hidden gem with Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson is the latest unheralded player to bring value to the Toronto Raptors, adding another success story to one of the league’s best developmental organizations. By their very nature, under-the-radar, low-cost additions whose star has faded and stock has fallen are unlikely to achieve much. Most such acquisitions fall by the wayside with little […]
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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Daily Duce: Trevor Bauer meets with the Blue Jays, Socrates Brito signs with the Yankees, and more!

Daily?!?!?!

We’ve got a new player to add to the ‘the Blue Jays have checked in on _____’ list. It’s Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.
While the Blue Jays have been linked to virtually everyone this winter, Bauer’s name hasn’t been mentioned anywhere near as often as fellow top-tier free agents like George Springer, DJ LeMahieu, and J.T. Realmuto. I know there’s been speculation around Bauer being a sensible fit for the Blue Jays, who badly need starting pitching help, but this would be the first tangible link between the player and the team this off-season.
On New Year’s Eve, Bauer posted a video on his Twitter account mentioning that he had a call lined up with the Blue Jays in which he was chatting with pitching coach Pete Walker and the organization’s high performance department.
Bauer is an interesting case. He’s undoubtedly the top name on the free-agent market for starting pitchers this year and he’s a player the front office would be familiar with given Cleveland traded for him when Mark Shapiro was still there. But beyond his success on the mound in 2020 and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs By the Numbers: Denis Malgin

He might just be the best player you forgot the Leafs had. Denis Malgin appeared in just 8 games for the Leafs last season, but there was a time when the 2015 4th rounder was making a name for himself in Florida. More accurately, he was distinguishing himself from Evgeni Malkin. The 2015 draft was a strong one for Switzerland, with Timo Meier going 9th overall and Jonas Siegenthaler in the 2nd round. Still it was Malgin who broke into the NHL first as a 19 year old, with 10 points in 47 games.
Malgin made two appearances for Switzerland at the WJC before being joining the Panthers, tying for the team lead with 7 points in 6 games in 14-15 and leading the team outright the following year with 9 points in 6 games. The diminutive winger was also a teammate of Auston Matthews on the ZSC Lions before coming to North America.
Denis Malgin’s number is 192
That’s how many NHL games Malgin has played to date, and he’s not turning 24 until January. There is no guarantee he hits the 200 milestone this season, at this point it is still unclear if Malgin will remain in Switzerland or if he’s Toronto-bound. My intuition says the former, …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Travis Boyd

Did you know the Leafs have a player named Travis Boyd? Some of you answered yes, but others this might be a reminder of one of the depth signings that occurred in the craziness that was the first few days of free agency. Boyd might lack the flash or the name recognition of players like Simmonds, Brodie, Thornton, or even Bogosian, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play an important role on the 2021 Leafs. Perhaps it’s a little obvious given his depth position on the Leafs, but…
Travis Boyd’s number is 13.
We’ll boldly assume that the goal for Boyd this year is to be the team’s 13th forward. I’m sure ideally he’d like to slot in as the 4th line center, but looking at the depth in front of him, 13th forward should be ambitious enough for him.
Boyd did pretty well last year in his 24 games played for the Capitals last season. He picked up 10 points in 24 games, which isn’t too shabby for a fourth liner, and averaged 11:45 of ice time in the games he dressed. The problem seemed to be with getting him into the lineup, a challenge he …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him

Pascal Siakam is a player that is good in nearly every aspect of the game for the Toronto Raptors. Although shooting was never one of those fortes, Siakam has shown he can be one of the league’s best players when he shoots the three at an efficient rate. Pascal Siakam, to the surprise of many, […]
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s success will go as far as his shooting takes him – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Hockey community rallying around 15 year old with serious injury

Anthony MacDonald is a 15 year old hockey player from Nova Scotia who suffered an unfortunate and very severe head injury on the ice earlier this week. Anthony happens to be the son of a friend of mine, so this is personal to me and to The Leafs Nation team. The outpouring of support so from the hockey community has been overwhelming and heartwarming. The GoFundMe page has been shared by hundreds of people, including some prominent members of the hockey world such as Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, and David Amber.

Anthony is a young hockey player who needs our help. If you’re able to, click on the link below. Our thoughts are with Anthony and his family. https://t.co/WMRpw3V3Pt
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 12, 2020

Anthony is currently being cared for by the incredible doctors and nurses at the IWK in Halifax, but his family is sure to incur many unexpected expenses during his recovery and the days ahead, which is the last thing they should have to be concerned with at this time. I, along with Anthony’s loved ones, would greatly appreciate any support you might be able to provide in this very difficult time. …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: VanVleet shares his free agency plans on JJ Redick’s podcast

Toronto Raptors: VanVleet shares his free agency plans on JJ Redick’s podcast

It’s always fun when a Toronto Raptors player reflects his thoughts on the team and himself. If you haven’t heard. Toronto Raptors guard, Fred VanVleet, has appeared on The Old Man and the Three (JJ Redick’s podcast). He shares his journey to the NBA, thoughts on the bubble, and most importantly what he is prioritizing this […]
Toronto Raptors: VanVleet shares his free agency plans on JJ Redick’s podcast – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ