Raptors preseason star Ishmail Wainright signs contract with Suns

Raptors preseason star Ishmail Wainright signs contract with Suns

One of the most interesting parts of the Toronto Raptors‘ preseason schedule was their decisions at the back-end of the roster, as players like Ishmail Wainright, Isaac Bonga, and Sam Dekker were fighting to snag one of the last remaining spots on the roster. Ultimately, the former Baylor star couldn’t make the cut. Despite some […]
Raptors preseason star Ishmail Wainright signs contract with Suns – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 3 areas where Toronto is already better than last year

Raptors: 3 areas where Toronto is already better than last year

The Toronto Raptors went 3-2 in the preseason, dispatching the Washington Wizards ahead of their season-opening matchup back in Toronto on Wednesday night. Considering how lethargic this team looked at the tail end of last season, the energy provided by the likes of Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby was palpable. This team looked ready to […]
Raptors: 3 areas where Toronto is already better than last year – 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: Best and Worst case scenarios for the guards

Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the guards

The Toronto Raptors have started off the preseason 2-2, as their combination of youth and length has been too much for the Rockets and 76ers to handle. This is going to be a team that lives and dies on the perimeter with their guard play. The Raptors might not have Kyle Lowry on the roster […]
Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the guards – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

The Leafs seek redemption as a new season opens with a playoff rematch

Preseason is finally over and the dawn of a new Leafs season is upon us. Now freed from the constraints of the all-Canadian North Division, the Leafs will take on all 31 other NHL teams this season, but the theme of this season is redemption. It is about finally rising above the middling results of seasons past and truly achieving something, so it’s only fitting that the Leafs open the season against the bitter rivals who eliminated them back in May, and in the process, handed them their most embarrassing set of losses in franchise history. I am of couse talking about the Montreal Canadiens.
And much like their last meeting with the Habs, the Leafs will be missing one of their top-two centers as Auston Matthews continues to work his way back after wrist surgery. And they may have to play without a top-3 scorer in the league as Mitch Marner is a game-time decision after an incident at practice yesterday.

Sheldon Keefe said Mitch Marner will be game-time decision, but had a positive morning with optional skate
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 13, 2021

Despite playing without the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner, the Leafs are icing a deeper, more …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Waiving Freddie Gillespie had to happen after bad preseason

Raptors: Waiving Freddie Gillespie had to happen after bad preseason

The Toronto Raptors ended their preseason with a very impressive victory against the Washington Wizards, and that game was of extra significance to players like Freddie Gillespie, Sam Dekker, and Isaac Bonga, as these non-guaranteed players were fighting for space on the Opening Night roster. Gillespie looked like a lock to secure one of those […]
Raptors: Waiving Freddie Gillespie had to happen after bad preseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Ilya Mikheyev will be out at least eight weeks with a broken hand

While the Leafs were able to end their preseason on a win, they also saw one of their key forwards go down with a hand injury. It looked bad at first glance and now we know how long the Leafs will be without Ilya Mikheyev.

Sheldon Keefe said Ilya Mikheyev will have surgery on a broken thumb and will miss a minimum of eight weeks
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 11, 2021

Late in the first period of Saturday night’s game, Mikheyev was knocked to the ice by Senators defenceman Dillon Heatherington and appeared to have landed hard on his hand. He went to the bench in serious discomfort and was ruled out for the rest of the game at the beginning of the second period. As you can see from the clip below, he landed awkwardly on the ice and his hand hit the surface in an uncomfortable manner.
It’s a tough break for Mikheyev who has previously had injury problems with his hands in the past, with the most notable being a gruesome injury back in December 2019. He is coming off his sophomore campaign where he produced seven goals, 10 assists, and 17 points in 54 games while going scoreless in …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Kurtis Gabriel and Alex Biega placed on waivers

With the preseason nearing its end, the Leafs further slimmed down the roster by placing two skaters on waivers this afternoon.

Kurtis Gabriel (TOR) and Alex Biega (TOR) among those placed on NHL waivers today.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 9, 2021

This is a news that I kind of expected to happen but was surprised it took them this long to go through with it. Both players were likely bound to begin the season with the Marlies, yet they impressed enough to warrant a higher priority on the call-up list in the event one or both will be needed.
Kurtis Gabriel quickly endeared himself to the fanbase with his online personality and his physical play style on the ice. He laid a few big hits and got into a few fights, which is what you would expect from a modern-day enforcer. Gabriel was therefore placed on waivers due to him not being an everyday player in the NHL, but could be of value down the road. He’s definitely earned a second look in my eyes.
Meanwhile, Alex Biega was quietly providing  value as a seventh defenceman with a bit of snarl to his game. Sheldon Keefe spoke highly of his leadership …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Today: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Prediction, Pick, TV for Oct. 9

Raptors Game Today: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Prediction, Pick, TV for Oct. 9

The Toronto Raptors’ chances of going undefeated in the preseason were slim to start with, and that grandiose dream was officially ruined by the rival 76ers, as a road trip to Philadelphia uncovered some of the flaws and issues with this roster. The latest Raptors odds aren’t expecting a bounce-back game tonight. Toronto doesn’t have […]
Raptors Game Today: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Prediction, Pick, TV for Oct. 9 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Now is not Nick Robertson’s time, but it will come

If you’ve been paying attention to the Leafs preseason and training camp (first, congrats, you’re braver than most) you’ve probably noticed that Nick Robertson has been a little on the underwhelming side. That’s not to say he’s been bad, but given his showing in the development camp preceding the Leafs camp the expectations were high, and Robertson didn’t really do enough of anything to establish himself ahead of Ritchie, Bunting, Mikheyev, Kerfoot, or even Engvall or Simmonds. That’s why yesterday’s news didn’t really come as too much of a surprise…

The following players have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL): F Mikhail AbramovD Joseph DuszakD Noel HoefenmayerD Teemu KivihalmeF Jack KopackaF Jeremy McKennaF Nick Robertson
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 5, 2021

Now the fact that a player that just turned 20 last month failed to make a NHL team isn’t going to be too shocking to most people. At this point Robertson (impressively) has only 6 regular season NHL games, 4 post season NHL games, and 21 AHL games to his name in his professional career. That’s not a ton of pro experience, and him having to put in a bit more work is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Late goal from Amadio gives the Leafs another preseason win in Ottawa

For the second game in a row, we got some preseason action from the Leafs’ “best of the rest”, as the highlights of the roster featured Justin Holl and Alexander Kerfoot, while all the players on the fringes battled it out for the remaining spots in the lineup.
Unlike last game, the competition wouldn’t be quite as easy, as they’d be up against most of the Ottawa Senators NHL lineup. I mean, it’s still pretty easy, just not as easy as their AHL lineup like last time.
Not surprisingly, this group managed to hold their own, never really finding themselves hemmed in by Ottawa, and keeping the score close despite lacking the obvious finishing talent. From a long term perspective, it’s not a bad thing to have practice with if the Leafs get a couple injuries from the big guns. They kept it close and competitive, and capitalized on their chances when they got them.
The scoring didn’t open until the second, when Pierre Engvall of all people got a power play goal with a really nice shot. He also managed to get another shot off like that later in the period, but no goal …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation