Mitch Marner wants the world and a $15-million qualifying offer

The pressure is on. Teams are starting to get together and preparing for the 82 games that are ahead of them in less than a month, but some prime young stars are still on the sidelines as restricted free agents. Apparently, some of them don’t want to accept a historic long-term deal for their hometown team.

What’s holding up the Marner and Boeser deals? Should the NHL shrink their exhibition schedule? @FriedgeHNIC talks all that and so much more in the season premiere of 31 Thoughts.
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— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 10, 2019

In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts — where all the juicy details and some new information is always expected — he provided a wealth of detail in how the negotiations between the Leafs and Mitch Marner are currently going.
It is impossible to write or talk about Marner without offending someone, so here is my attempt at a bias-free take: It’s tense and personal. My belief is Toronto is willing to go to an $11-million AAV, but only if he signs for seven years. I’d heard both sides might agree to two years — then let arbitration sort it out — but a few …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Raptors vs. Bucks Game 6 Thread: Updates, TV info, and more

We don’t want to put too much pressure on things here, but a Raptors win tonight in Toronto would send the team to their first NBA Finals. Can Milwaukee respond? Let’s watch. It’s an unfortunate reality for the Raptors, but this likely represents their very best chance to get to the NBA Finals. They have a 3-2 lead on the Milwaukee Bucks, they’re coming off a huge Game 5 win on the road, and they’ve got an insane number of fans in Toronto ready to cheer them on to a win. I don’t want to lead with the negative here, but somehow ending up back in Milwaukee for a Game 7 would — and let’s not sugarcoat things here — be bad.
Fortunately, all of the energy and momentum is heading in Toronto’s direction right now. It’s said a playoff series doesn’t truly begin until one team wins on the road, and the Raptors decisively struck first. It’s how they find themselves in this situation, despite being down 0-2 off the jump. Ironically, while it was once felt that the Bucks’ depth would be the key to burning the Raptors out, it is …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Game 4 Analysis: The Raptors have solved the Magic

The Raptors continue to put the pressure on their overmatched opponent, the Orlando Magic. And for their efforts, they’ve taken a 3-1 series lead. It’s feels routine, but it’s a nice change for Toronto. As it turns out, this series has settled into a nice rhythm for Toronto. The Raptors have a commanding lead, have blown the Magic out in two of their three wins, and have started clicking on all cylinders. For any other two-seed, this would be a matter of course. For the Raptors, it feels like a nice change.
Now, there have been some common trends in the series so far. Let’s quickly touch on them here, as there’s not much more to learn from this series if it continues as it has for Toronto. And there’s no reason to think it won’t.

Lowry’s Turn Again

Kawhi Leonard got all the individual accolades from Game 4, and they were well deserved. He dominated to the tune of 34 points on only 21 used possessions, and generally filled up the box score, leaving the Magic with no answer.
Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, put up a measly nine points, on 14 used possessions (thanks to an …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ