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

Toronto Raptors: How fair is the Pascal Siakam for Brandon Ingram trade package

In a recent bleacher report, they discussed blockbuster trades for every team. Is a Siakam for Ingram trade at all plausible for the Toronto Raptors? Pascal Siakam has become the face of the Toronto Raptors franchise over the years. His story from winning the G-League, to winning the most improved player of the year and […]
Toronto Raptors: How fair is the Pascal Siakam for Brandon Ingram trade package – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Stroman denies reports of possible contract extension

After last night’s report from Andy Martino of SNY, regarding the Blue Jays potentially signing Stroman to an extension if they don’t find the desired trade return, the starter took to Twitter to respond to a certain tweet.

That’s news to me. Lol
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) July 26, 2019

It clearly takes two sides to agree to a contract. Even if the reports are true and that Ross Atkins and the Blue Jays’ front office is telling teams wanting to acquire Stroman before the July 31 deadline, that they will just sign the pitcher to an extension if the trade demands aren’t met, they still need to actually do the whole “re-sign Stroman” thing.
Earlier reports coming directly from Stroman has been that the team hasn’t approached him about a new contract that will keep him in Toronto beyond his free agency eligibility after the 2020 season.
This might be the most obvious negotiation tactic that the public and most likely other teams, can directly see through and will try to play tough when it comes to what they’re willing to give up for the 28-year-old All-Star.
From where everything stands now, this will most likely go right …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

It looks like Vlad won’t be making his Blue Jays debut on Tuesday

What a tease. Despite a report coming from Hector Gomez out of the Dominican Republic that Vlad Jr. would be called up to make his Major League debut on Tuesday, other reports have indicated that won’t be the case.

Ben Nicholson-Smith tweeted out yesterday that the Blue Jays are still working through the timing of when to call up Vlad Jr. and he figured the date would end up being Friday’s series opener against Oakland. Apparently, the team wants to get him into multiple games in a row in Buffalo before bringing him up to Toronto, for the sake of monitoring his health. Given the weather in Buffalo, the Bisons haven’t been able to play more than two games in a row in over a week.
There’s also the whole Leafs Game 7 thing on Tuesday. While logic would suggest that it’s ideal for the Jays to have Vlad debut on a day with another major sporting event happening in order to take the pressure off of him, the team is owned by a major telecommunications company. They could view Vlad’s debut as a major boon for ticket sales and viewership, in which case avoiding …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation