Apparently MLB and the players have agreed on a 14-team post-season format

There isn’t much good news to report from Major League Baseball’s ongoing labour negotiations with the Players’ Association.

Thursday’s meeting apparently only lasted for 15 minutes, which obviously indicates that the two sides are nowhere close to reaching a conclusion. If MLB and the Players don’t reach an agreement within the next week, it’s very likely that the start of the regular season could get pushed back and games could get postponed or canceled.

MLB opening day in jeopardy if no CBA in the next week
At least 4 wks needed for spring training. So by March 3rd. And 1 wk needed to ratify CBA / get visas for int’l players / travel staff & gear / set final off-season business in motion. So that’s Feb. 24. A week from today.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 17, 2022

Well, fuck! That isn’t ideal!
Anyways, in more interesting news, the league and the players have apparently agreed on one thing, which is a 14-tear post-season format. The word comes from Craig Carton, who *checks notes* is “an American radio personality best known as the co-host of the Carton and Roberts sports radio program on WFAN in New York City.”
This is a blue checkmark talk-radio guy out of New York, so we can take the news with a grain of salt, but…

MLB playoff format is set fans gonna love it – 7 playoff teams per league – Team with best record gets bye and goes to Div Series – Top remaining Div Winner picks opponent from the 4 wild card teams and plays best of three all games at home – Then the 3rd Div winner does the same
— Cra …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Report from the Rock: Top prospects called up but team keeps rolling

Welcome back to the second in-season Report from the Rock, the column of news and notes from the team at the top of the ECHL standings, the Newfoundland Growlers. I’m a day late on this one, so we’ll cover the stories that have come out of games 6-11 in this edition, let’s dive right in.
On Friday, the Toronto Marlies called goaltender and early-season MVP Keith Petruzzelli up to the AHL, I wrote about him and what the call-up means here, if you’re so inclined to check it out. Add that in to the recall of Noel Hoefenmayer last week and suddenly the team is without some of the bigger names in the prospect pool who have been honing their skills here in the ECHL.
I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, both call-ups are extremely well-deserved, as both Hoefenmayer and Petruzzelli had vastly outplayed the competition in their games as Growlers. However, while Petruzzelli’s call-up was also made in necessity due to the injury in net for the Marlies, I’m not sure if the early season call-up is the best move for the development of these players. Is Hoefenmayer …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: Growlers undefeated through first five games

Welcome to the first in-season Report from the Rock, we’ll be recapping the headlines from the Newfoundland Growlers’ first five games of the 2021-22 season and analyzing some key members of the squad to keep an eye on.
As you see in the headline, the biggest story coming out of Newfoundland is that the team hasn’t lost a single game so far and a big part of that is the reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Month, Keith Petruzzelli, who put up two 35-save performances in his first appearances with the club. The 22-year old added a third win last night in the home opener to start off the month of November on the right foot.
Taking a look at the skaters now, forwards Zach O’Brien, Ryan Chyzowski and Marc Johnstone, as well as defencemen Noel Hoefenmayer, Brennan Kapcheck, and captain James Melindy have appeared in all five games, which is impressive considering the minutes these players have logged and the fact that the team’s opening road trip included games on three consecutive nights.
O’Brien has picked up right where he left off when the Growlers’ 2019-20 season ended, he’s a point-per-game player so far …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: News and notes for the upcoming Newfoundland Growlers season

Welcome to the first ever Report from the Rock, The Leafs Nation’s comprehensive coverage, news and notes about the Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ll be taking on the role of TLN’s chief Growlers correspondent for the upcoming season, and hope you’ll all follow along on this journey and enjoy the ride.
Two big pieces of news to touch on this time, so let’s dive right in.
On May 11th, just a few days before the Leafs embarked on the journey towards the most embarrassing playoff collapse in franchise history, the Newfoundland Growlers’ social media accounts announced a long-awaited update. The Newfoundland Growlers will end the longest offseason in history on October 21st against the Trois-Rivieres Lions, a new expansion team that has signed an agreement to become the Montreal Canadiens ECHL affiliate.
The full Growlers schedule for the 2021-22 season can be found here, but here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights:
The Growlers will play a 72 game season that will feature 6 homestands of 6 games each. Many of these homestands will feature feature three games in three nights, so for any of you out in the …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Midseason Awards

Keeping in the spirit of last week’s report cards, I figured right now would be a great time to look back on the first half of the season and appreciate the performances we’ve gotten from players this year.
But, this one isn’t going to be solely Leafs focused. In fact, there’s a good chance there won’t be any Leafs mentioned in this article, but it’s not the worst idea to see what is happening elsewhere in the league too, especially as playoff time gets closer.
I’ll be focusing on the major individual awards (I don’t really want to pick the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award if I’m being honest), and I’m only going to give my winner as opposed to a full ballot, although I may mention a few other names in there who were close.
Anyways, let’s get started.
Hart Trophy Winner: Connor McDavid
Auston Matthews made it a slightly interesting conversation to start the season, and Patrick Kane will probably get some votes because he got a lot of points on a bad team, but McDavid is the only obvious winner here. He’s on …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

RUMOUR: Korshkov to sign in Russia

There is a report out of Russia this morning that Egor Korshkov will be returning to play in the KHL for the 2020-21 season.

According to @sport24_ru the Russian forward Yegor Korshkov is going to sign a contract with @hclokomotiv in #KHL. Lastly, he played for @MapleLeafs in #NHL. #LeafsForever #hockeytwitter
— vorky (@vorkywh24) July 26, 2020

Let’s start with the necessary grain of salt required for any report out of Russia. The track record is spotty at best, and it’s important to remember that Korshkov has both an agent in Russia and North America, and it is also possible that this is a bit of posturing.
The fact that this news is coming less than a day after Korshkov not making the Leafs playoff roster isn’t much of a surprise either. And while we don’t know what is happening with the AHL as of yet, most of the European leagues seem interested in starting back up on schedule. This could mean Korshkov plays sooner, and more in 2020-21, while the Leafs would still retain his rights.
That right retention is the point where I’m comfortable in calling some BS on …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It turns out the Blue Jays won’t be playing in Toronto this season

Despite a report on Thursday that stated that the Blue Jays had been granted permission to play their home games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, it appears as though their request has been denied.

Breaking. The federal government has rejected the Blue Jays plan to play in Toronto for the upcoming season.
— David Cochrane (@CochraneCBC) July 18, 2020

On Thursday, Lisa MacLeod, a Member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament, said that the government had given the Blue Jays the green light to play in Toronto. Shortly after that, the organization stated that they had not yet been given clearance from the Canadian Federal Government.
Ultimately, the federal government denied the Blue Jays’ request due to the amount of cross-border travel that it would require.
“Unlike preseason training, regular season games would require repeated cross-border travel of Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opponent teams into and out of Canada. Of particular concern, the Toronto Blue Jays would be required to play in locations where the risk of virus transmission remains high,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said.
Toronto is set to be one of the NHL’s two hub cities (along with Edmonton) for …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What we know about MLB’s 60-game sprint: A lot of AL East games, the 60-man taxi squad, universal DH, and more!

Baseball is back! The Players’ Association has agreed to report to training camps for July 1 with eyes on a possible start date as early as July 23 or 24. The season will be 60 games, which represents Major League Baseball’s shortest schedule since 1878.

So, what is this 60-game sprint going to look like? Here’s what we know so far…

Teams are going to be playing geographically-based schedules in order to limit necessary travel. 10 games will be played against each divisional rival, meaning 40 of the Blue Jays’ 60 games will be against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles. The other 20 games will be played against the corresponding interleague division. So, in Toronto’s case, the National League East.
With that in mind, the Jays are certainly in tough when it comes to their schedule. The only sub-500 teams (based on their 2019 record) the Jays are set to play in the shortened season are Baltimore and Miami. The Red Sox being worse this year than they were last year could help, but this will still certainly be an uphill battle for the Jays.
Despite plenty of talk about expanding the post-season field, as of right now, the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry is a better Point Guard than Kyrie Irving

Bleacher Report has put Kyrie Irving ahead of Kyle Lowry on their top 15 point guards list. But how can a point guard that makes his team worse be ahead of one who makes his team better? While we patiently wait to hear what the NBA’s plan is to return to the NBA, people keep […]
Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry is a better Point Guard than Kyrie Irving – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

NHL announcement on second phase of return to play expected by end of week

A report from The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta and Dennis Bernstein states that the National Hockey League is expected to make an announcement in regards to the second phase of its return to play plan.

The announcement, Pagnotta said, is expected to include details on the activation of that second phase.

The NHL is expected to make an announcement by the end of the week with details on the activation of Phase 2, league sources tell @DennisTFP and I.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 3, 2020

The second phase includes the opening of practice rinks for small, voluntary group workouts on and off the ice involving no more than six players. They will be expected to maintain physical distancing at all times.
Surgical or non-surgical face masks will be expected to be worn at all times other than while exercising.
In late May, the league released the details of their return to play plan that included information on:

Travel to the Club’s Home City
Testing for Infection and Antibodies
Temperature/Symptom Check
Education Session
Pre-Participation Medical Evaluation
Symptomatic Persons During Phase 2
Permitted Activities
Permitted Personnel
Social Distancing, PPE, and Other Safety Measures
Personal Safety Precautions
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Activities …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation