Some bold predictions for the Leafs heading into a busy week

As we kick off a post about bold predictions, it seems necessary to dump some very cold water on our expectations for this week. While it seems the Leafs are likely to make a move of significant substance, it is probably going to be that one move and maybe some accompanying filler. Nothing we heard from Dubas on Monday alludes to him scorching the earth and trading the core. While there seems to be an understanding that the Leafs can find money, finding money for Pietrangelo still seems like an uphill battle, and to some extent it seems we’ve all accepted that and downgraded our hopes.
Still with a 1st round draft pick in play, and seemingly at least one more roster player having to be moved no matter what, opening it up to the TLN contributors on what comes next seems like a good idea, and frankly our predictions are as good as anyone else’s.
Nick Richard (@_nickrichard)
Kyle Dubas trades up in the first round
Dubas’ strategy of trading down during the draft to recoup additional picks is well documented. He was making the calls when the Leafs traded down twice, out of the first round …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

We’re Still Here, Asking For More From the NHL

24 days ago, I wrote this post about what white fans and members of the media could do to demand more from the NHL and its players on the subject of Black Lives Matter.
Today, we’re asking the same questions.
After yesterday’s historic events in the NBA and later the MLB, hockey fans wondered how the NHL would respond. The answer was: they wouldn’t. Not in any meaningful way.
Before I go any further, I urge you to read this open letter to the NHL by Matthew Henriques. And then read this great post from Omar over at Pension Plan Puppets.
As white fans, we aren’t the conveners here. We aren’t the leaders, or the ones starting the conversation. But we are the ones who have to carry it. Who have to shoulder the burden, and do the heavy lifting. Yes, still. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Our privilege necessitates it.
In my post a few weeks ago I encouraged fans to put pressure on the media to ask the important questions of white hockey players and coaches. We did, and it worked. The media are asking. But the answers are disappointing.

Here’s @ …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Is Laurence Gilman a potential fit for the Coyotes job?

For once when asking a question in the header of a post, the answer isn’t no. Unfortunately Leafs fans probably should want the answer to be no, as keeping Laurence Gilman is likely the better outcome for the Leafs.
Yesterday it was announced that John Chayka has left the Coyotes organization. An interesting story unto itself, summarized well by Craig Morgan:
The reasons for that termination are in dispute, however. One NHL source said Saturday that during the NHL season’s pause, Chayka asked the Coyotes for permission to pursue another “another professional opportunity” that was not with another team and had sought his release from the organization about six weeks ago.
But another source said Sunday that this account is not true, and that stance was later corroborated by another league source.
“John Chayka is a liar and a quitter,” the source said.
Getting away from the tire fire that continues to be the Arizona Coyotes, I found myself again looking for the all important “How does this affect the Leafs?” angle, and that has presented itself in the case that can be made for Gilman as the potential replacement …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Cody Ceci this summer

Let’s get the obvious joke out of the way first, and answer the post title with “not much.” Good we’ve covered that off. It’s not going to stop the hilarious replies on social media, but we’ve officially acknowledged you and we can move on.
The reality of the year for Cody Ceci is that is was always doomed to failure. He was the necessary return for the Leafs unloading the Nikita Zaitsev contract and at best people accepted him as a necessity of that. Of course Ceci didn’t win any new fans when Mike Babcock insisted on using him on the top pairing with Morgan Rielly and played him in situations beyond his ability with a partner who didn’t really give him much defensive zone support.
Under Keefe is was a different story for Ceci, and playing roles and situations more fitting of his abilities with partners that made sense for him resulted in a bit of a rebound. And now heading into the playoffs were the defensive defenseman legend takes shape, perhaps we can now expect more from Ceci. I’m kidding, this is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Monday Morning GM: Does trading Alexander Kerfoot in the offseason make sense?

Today we’re kicking off a new weekly post on TLN where we second guess the decision making of Kyle Dubas and/or make completely unsolicated suggestions on what he should do. How is this different than any other post? Well, we’ve given it a name and a day in the week we’ll consistently run it. Expect to see more of these popping up in the next little while, and of course we welcome your feedback on which ones hit or miss the mark for you.
About a month ago Sportsnet ran a post suggesting a player on each team that is likely to get traded. While Kapanen, Johnsson, and even Travis Dermott were suggested as options, the name they landed on was Alex Kerfoot:
The Nazem Kadri trade just didn’t work out for the Leafs and they’re likely to let Tyson Barrie walk to UFA. That would leave only Kerfoot behind from the trade, but even he could be a candidate to move on in the off-season. Toronto is facing a cap crunch so there are a few possibilities — and, no, we’re not including William Nylander here. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from perfect Week 16

Week 16 saw the Toronto Raptors post a fourth straight week without a loss, injuries unable to slow the champs down. With players needing to step up, who made the top five performances list this week? Another week, another perfect record. This seems to be the norm these days for the Toronto Raptors, as they […]
Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from perfect Week 16 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

Should the Leafs consider trading Morgan Rielly?

If this post is going to make you upset, please keep reading. If it isn’t, please keep reading and then send me a note of agreement when you’re finished. I’ll appreciate it.
Yes, I’ll say it: The Leafs should consider trading Morgan Rielly. I’d go a bit further and speculate they’ve already talked about it. They wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this under the premise of “All players should be available and open to evaluation on the trade market”. While that might be partly true, or you may personally believe in it, I still think Rielly in particular is a player this front office would target as needing a lot of discussions in regard to what they want to do with him in the future.
There’s a chance that future is now, or not far down the road. The Leafs have decisions to make on how they want their blueline to look, and Rielly likely isn’t untouchable. He shouldn’t be.
There& …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from a perfect week 14

Week 13 saw the Toronto Raptors post another perfect 4-0 record as they faced off against a mixture of easy and difficult opponents. Which performances stood out the most from this four-game slate? This week ended heartbreakingly. Not because of anything the Toronto Raptors did, but because of the death of one of the greatest […]
Toronto Raptors: Top five performances from a perfect week 14 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Top Five Performances From 3-0 Week 13

Week 13 saw the Toronto Raptors post a perfect 3-0 record as they welcomed several players back to the lineup. Which performances stood out the most? The Toronto Raptors have had arguably the worst luck in the NBA this season when it comes to injuries. Just when one player would return, another would get injured […]
Toronto Raptors: Top Five Performances From 3-0 Week 13 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

Waivers & You: A quick look at how waivers may shape the Leafs roster

In a post earlier this week about the first round of roster cuts I touched on the fact that waivers open earlier this week on September 20th (Friday) and no matter how you slice it, the Leafs are going to need to dump a number of players on waivers, the range of numbers we should be able to establish somewhere a bit later down in this post, but for now we’ll just say there will be a lot of Leafs on waivers and there’s a chance some of them won’t make it to the Marlies.
Yesterday Earl Schwartz discussed how the Marner contract locks the Leafs in at likely being only able to carry one reserve player, presumably a defenseman, but we’ll see how that shakes out. Given the proximity of the Marlies to the Leafs, carrying one at all is unnecessary half the time, and having one guy on the road is a comforting safety net. Not using the full 23 man roster is nothing new to the Leafs.
In camp, the Leafs are presently sitting at 54 players, 50 of who are active and 4 who are injured and likely don’t factor into this situation yet. The …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation