Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency?

Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency?

If you’ve been out of the loop, you’re at the right place for your Toronto Raptors free agency news. The 2020 NBA free agency is upon us. It officially starts on November 20 at 6 pm Eastern time. The Toronto Raptors will have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, and what they do […]
Toronto Raptors offseason preview: How do they handle free agency? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

What will the Leafs reverse retro jersey look like?

There are few times the NHL gets something right. The early days of the Winter Classic, the bubble approach to the Return to Play this summer, and now we might be able to add fun jerseys to that list. The teases and leaks we’ve seen from other teams so far have been encouraging, but that leaves us with an important question, what will be done for the Leafs?
Based on the image above, we can assume two things.

It will be based on the 1970 jersey design.
It will be blue, with either white or grey accents.

The first is appealing because the Leafs haven’t done much with the Ballard era jersey design, likely because of its connection to the Ballard era. The second, at least for me is decidedly less appealing since it’s the same colour scheme we’ve had since the beginning of time. It might not exactly lend itself to a fun design.

Rather than focus too much on what it will probably look like, we’ve asked the writers of The Leafs Nation to tell us what they want the Leafs reverse retro jersey to look like. Remember to tell us who got it …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Mikheyev applies for salary arbitration and that’s probably a good thing

Ilya Mikheyev has chosen to exercise his right to salary arbitration, and at a quick glance this seems to be a mutually beneficial thing for both Mikheyev and the Leafs.

Mikheyev (TOR) files for arbitration
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 10, 2020

For Mikheyev the decision to go the arbitration route could provide him with a swifter path to unrestricted free agency and a much more competitive contract. Going this route also guarantees the Leafs will have to accept the arbitrators decision. That also gives Mikheyev a bit more leverage in negotiations with the Leafs if they are worried about a high value awarded.
For the Leafs, they find themselves where they could potentially head into arbitration on a player with a very short NHL resume as Mikheyev was injured most of last season. There is a good chance the award will be low. There’s also the fact that arbitration makes Mikheyev ineligible for offer sheets, not that there is any worry of that in the NHL anyway. The trade off is the Leafs giving Mikheyev term now would benefit them more in the long run.

Dubas last night on Mikheyev: “With Ilya, he is going to be an arbitration case potentially …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs trade targets: Defencemen

The Leafs defensive unit, particularly the right side, has been a source of concern for what seems like forever. This offseason will be no different as Kyle Dubas looks to revamp his blue line once again. Last summer saw him trade for Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci – two players that failed to stabilize the group – and while there will be options to pursue in free agency, Dubas will likely look to the trade market once again in search of solutions for the Leafs defense.
There have been countless names thrown around in recent weeks and months, and today we’ll dive a little bit deeper into some of those players and their potential fits as trade targets for the Maple Leafs.
Aaron Ekblad – 24 years old – RHD – 6’4″, 215lbs
If Dubas decides to go big game hunting, there might not be a more perfect fit for the Leafs’ needs than Aaron Ekblad. The hulking right handed defenceman can play big minutes in all situations and led the Panthers with just under 23 minutes of ice time per game. He established a new career high with 41 points in just 67 games this past season, and that …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Game 1 vs. Columbus Edition

That’s right, everybody’s least favourite column is no longer weekly during the playoffs. Instead of every Friday, I’m now going to be doing it after every playoff game, so that you all know exactly what I’m thinking going into the next playoff game, because I know you all care about my opinion.
The Leafs had a fine showing in Game 1 of the playoffs, but unfortunately for them, one bounce went for Columbus, and it was basically over. It was certainly disappointing, but the series is far from over.
We made their worse goalie look good
While this may seem like a bad thing, because it means that the Blue Jackets worse goalie shut us out (which is bad), but on the bright side, it means he’s probably going to be playing for the rest of the series.
That bodes well for the rest of the series, as Elvis Merzlikins has been the better goalie of the two this year, and probably should have gotten the Game 1 start.

Player
Save %
5v5 dFSv%
GSAA
GAR

Merzlikins
0.923
0.2
10.56
11.8

Korpisalo
0.911
-0.23
4.76
6.9

Andersen
0.909
-0.59
-6.04
9.8

Merzlikins is significantly better than Korpisalo in every regard, and while …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

I’m not sure if this Stanley Cup will mean more, but it definitely won’t mean less

I’ll preface this by saying the NHL is right now in midst of what I think is the most crucial period of this potential restart, and if they mess it up, everything goes to pot. The ongoing training camps all over North America should make people uneasy about what could happen in the next two weeks, especially considering some of the extreme hot spots in the southern States. Why this stage of the league’s attempt to get back on its feet wasn’t centered in the two hub cities as well, I’ll never know. But this is where we are, and all we can do is hope everyone gets into their bubbles safe and hassle-free. From there I think things get easier.
The league has been on shutdown so long I almost forget what it’s like to argue about sports, but one constant discussion point that’s circled this potential restart is whether or not this upcoming playoff will be “legit” for lack of a better term. In other words, will there be an asterisk next to the Cup winner due to these strange circumstances? Is it going …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

The Clarkson Contract was Actually Good in Hindsight

Okay, let me get this out of the way right now: no, I do not actually think the David Clarkson contract was good. It’s not only one of the worst contracts the Leafs have ever signed, it’s arguable one of the worst contracts ever signed, especially in the cap era, and it was pretty obvious that it was going to be, if you were smart enough.
Well, I was not one of those smart people. Let me put you in the mindset of 16 year-old Scott. I was sitting on the couch watching TSN’s Free Agent Frenzy program, excited to see what big names the Leafs would get in free agency fresh off their playoff appearance, and almost beating the Boston Bruins in the first round. They had just lost Grabovski and MacArthur, but also traded for Dave Bolland, who just scored the Stanley Cup winning goal.
The dream, of course, was David Clarkson. Clarkson seemed to be the ideal Toronto Maple Leaf: tough, gritty, and coming off of seasons of 30 goals and 15 in the lockout shortened season (which was a 25 goal pace). Oh, he was also from Toronto, and a born and raised Leafs …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

What do the changes to the 2020 MLB draft mean for the Blue Jays?

There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the sport of baseball right now, but the nearly finalized agreement between MLB and the MLBPA is bringing clarity to a few key issues. One of the questions I was most looking forward to clarity on was “what happens with the draft?” We now have an answer!

The 2020 MLB draft will be shortened to 5 rounds (with the ability to extend to more rounds) and will take place some time in July. The expectation is that the earlier baseball can resume, the more likely MLB is to expand the draft, possibly to 10 rounds. Further, Ken Rosenthal has provided clarity on teams spending limits. “The signing bonuses will remain at 2019 levels for the next two years. The bonuses typically rise by about 3 percent, based upon increases in industry revenues.”
 Given this, we can determine what the Blue Jays will have to spend on the draft, using slot money from 2019 and projecting it on the 2020 draft order.
Five-round Draft
Pick 5 $6,180,700
Pick 42 $1,771,100
Pick 78 $793,000
Pick 107 $543,500
Pick 137 $306,800
Total: $9,694,300
10-round Draft
Pick 5 $6,180,700
Pick 42 $1,771,100
Pick 78 $793,000
Pick 107 $543,500
Pick 137 $306,800
Pick 166 $306,800
Pick 196 $239,000
Pick 226 $188,900
Pick 256 $160,300
Pick 286 $148,400
Total: $10,737,700
Here are some stray thoughts and questions I have following MLB’ …

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Author: brendonkuhn / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs feeling the heat, but could they do some selling at the deadline?

It’s crunch time for the trade deadline right now, with the usual prelude of minor deals trickling in these past couple days leading up to Monday when the bigger names get moved around. With that comes a lot of insider previewing, and most notably today the 31 Thoughts podcast gave their full league rundown of each team, with Elliotte Friedman weighing on what they might be exploring over the weekend.
Let’s just get right into it, because there are some interesting potential movables and even a spicy take regarding the Leafs in here.
Regarding the Leafs potentially being sellers:
“If I am Kyle Dubas I am not chasing for this year…”
“You don’t have a lot of your picks – you’ve traded picks to get Campbell and Clifford; What do you think you could get for Tyson Barrie?”
Friedman goes on to mention Vancouver and Calgary specifically as potentially having interest in Barrie, but I have a hard time seeing the Leafs moving on unless they have another card (Subban?) already in the shuffle.
There was also a bit of talk about how, in general, the Leafs are …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Brandon Drury avoids arbitration with a one-year deal

With the arbitration deadline right around the corner, the Blue Jays have come to terms with one of their three unsigned players, inking Brandon Drury to a one-year deal worth $2.05 million.

Brandon Drury gets 2.05M, avoiding arb. #jays
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 9, 2020

Friday at 1:00 pm ET is the deadline for teams and players to submit suggested salary figures for 2020 ahead of arbitration. Now that Drury has a deal in place, the Jays only have closer Ken Giles and starter Matt Shoemaker as unresolved cases.
Drury was projected to make $2.5 million in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumours, so the Jays will ultimately get him at a slightly cheaper price than expected. Giles is projected to make $8.4 million and Shoemaker $3.8 million.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation