Leafs have a new jersey and we hope they never wear it

Let’s start off by saying that the Reverse Retro jerseys by Adidas are overwhelmingly good and this was a great project by the NHL to effectively grab our cash. Now let’s take a look at the Leafs jersey that leaves us wanting…

Woven from the fabric of legends.
Introducing the #LeafsForever adidas #ReverseRetro jersey. Hitting the ice in 2021. pic.twitter.com/FFcAw8DTGt
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 16, 2020

Now, that’s an unfortunate looking jersey. The fact that the Leafs use grey as a means to spice up their bland blue and white colour scheme points to one of the biggest problems with anything th Leafs will be able to accomplish. Secondly, the logo is a Leaf. Unless you are going to go away from it completely, it’s always going to be different shades of underwhelming.
In an attempt to mix some elements, like grey, the cool Ballard era jersey template, and one of the lesser know Leafs logos, we’ve wound up with something one of our writers suggests would be most likely found on the shelf at Walmart.
Here are some of their other thoughts:
Nick Richard: I hate this jersey so much. I really …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

The official start date for Free Agency is November 20, and the Toronto Raptors will have a lot to think about at the Center position. The questions keep accumulating for the Toronto Raptors when talking about who will be their Center/s next season. Serge Ibaka will be looking for a lucrative deal, and Marc Gasol […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

What would a Francisco Lindor trade realistically look like? Is it worth it for the Blue Jays?

Francisco Lindor is going to be traded before the start of the 2021 season.

This obviously isn’t a surprise. Cleveland, a notoriously cheap baseball franchise at the best of times, was never going to hand Lindor the over $300 million contract it would take to keep him around long-term.
After losing a season of ticket revenue, any faint chance of offering Lindor a contract has gone out the window. I mean, back in October, Lindor literally laughed at the idea of Cleveland offering him a big contract, so it was pretty obvious he had played his last game for the organization at that point.
Anyways, according to Bob Nightengale, Cleveland has informed other teams around the league that they intend to trade their All-Star shortstop ahead of the 2021 season…

Cleveland, strapped for money, intend to trade All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor by opening day, several rival teams have been informed. Lindor earned $17.5 million last season and is projected to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration in his final year before free agency
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 5, 2020

If times were normal, we might see Cleveland go into the season with Lindor on the team and try to get a massive haul for him …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The NHL’s all-Canadian Division could be unlikely after new Canada pilot project

The NHL’s all-Canadian Division could be unlikely after new Canada pilot project

The NHL’s 2021 start date is still yet to be seen but there have been some interesting developments throughout the last few days. It started with Vegas Golden Knights owner, Bill Foley, releasing some information on a possible ‘Canadian division’.
“Yeah, but they’re going to be playing in the Canadian division this year.” Said Foley after being asked about facing former Golden Knight, Nate Schmidt, a lot next season.
This sparked many reports and a lot of reaction on social media, but could the possible division be headed on its way out as fast as it was introduced?
On Thursday, the Government of Alberta, alongside the Government of Canada released plans on a pilot project for faster testing on international travellers. The plan states that international travellers will be tested once entering the country and will enter quarantine until the test results come back. If they come back negative, they’re free to leave quarantine as long as they agree to another test six or seven days after arrival into the country.
“The pilot project (..) will help inform decisions on new measures for international travel.” Said Health Canada in an email. The pilot project will begin on November 2nd …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs re-sign Jason Spezza to a one-year extension

With the start of the 2020 NHL Draft mere hours away, the Leafs announced that another roster player will be sticking around for an additional season.

Back for another season!
Jason Spezza has signed a one-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/USYwNk1kY5 pic.twitter.com/d7Zs4frIGN
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 5, 2020

According to the official release, this contract pays Spezza $700 K for the 2020-21 campaign, which is league minimum.
Spezza was brought in last year to provide secondary scoring and veteran leadership, which he has been able to do both in spades. He produced nine goals, 16 assists, and 25 points in 58 games with his hometown team.
While Spezza went scoreless in the playoffs, his biggest impact came from Game 4 where he fought Dean Kukan late in the second period to get his team fired up. His bought helped rally his teammates to go on the improbable comeback later that tied the series.
With today’s announcement, Spezza is the second Leaf to get a contract extension in the past week. A few days ago, Denis Malgin was re-signed to a one-year contract, which was also at the league minimum.
All stats unless otherwise noted are from Hockey-Reference. …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

King in the North: Lundqvist to the Leafs?

Could the end of one era in New York be the start of a new one for Toronto?
Yesterday morning, the New York Rangers announced that they would be buying out the final year of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract, bringing an end to his 15 year tenure with the boys on Broadway. The man they called King Henrik leaves New York with his legacy cemented. He’s the franchise leader in both wins and shutouts, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Lundqvist’s career .918 save% is the best for a goaltender in Ranger’s franchise history, with six of the top ten seasons in terms of wins, and five of the top ten in terms of save% belonging to him as well. He was nominated for five Vezina Trophies (and one Hart), winning the goaltender of the year award in 2012. The Stanley Cup may have eluded him and the Rangers, but his legacy is unquestionable. He’s the best to ever do it for New York, and one of the best to ever do it period.
So naturally, we must ask ourselves…how does this affect the Leafs?
Following an early exit from The Bubble at the hands …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

NHL 20 predicts the rest of Mitch Marner’s career

Mitch Marner has had quite the rough start to the 2020 offseason when it comes to speculation regarding his future. There’s quite a lot of differing opinions circulating around, referring back to his contract negotiations, the subsequent season that followed, and what lies ahead for him in Toronto. In fact, two of my TLN colleagues have written pieces on the subject, which you can check out here and here.
While I could give you my take on Marner’s 2019-20 campaign, I decided to take a different approach. Rather than make some bold predictions that could one day end up on @OldTakesExposed, why not use a video game to give a rough idea of how the remainder of his career will turn out.
Inspired by my good friend Matthew Rodrigopulle, who wrote an excellent piece in a similar style on Nick Robertson, today I am going to simulate Marner’s career in NHL 20!
Before we begin, let me cover some ground rules that I will be following.
I am going to make sure I do not control the Leafs roster at all during this simulation in an effort to keep things fair. Prior to starting, I randomly …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

What’s next for Nate Pearson?

It’s safe to say that the start to Nate Pearson’s big-league career hasn’t gone as planned.

After a great debut in Washington in which he tossed five shutout frames against the defending World Series champions, Pearson has struggled in three consecutive starts. Most notably, his command has been all over the grid, as he’s walked 12 batters across 16 1/3 innings.

Pearson is obviously aware of what the issue is here. Rather than attacking hitters with his elite stuff, he’s trying too hard to paint the zone and aim his pitches for strikes. In his effort to ensure he’s not all over the place, Pearson ends up grooving pitches into the middle of the zone that big-league hitters can feast on.
“I’ve been forcing myself to make these pinpoint pitches from the first pitch and then I get behind in the count,” Pearson said before his start in Baltimore. “It’s all about getting ahead for me right now and filling up the zone.”
On Wednesday, the Blue Jays placed Pearson on the 10-day Injured List with elbow tightness. Though Ross Atkins had a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Takeaways: Toronto Raptors collect massive Game 1 win over Brooklyn Nets

The Toronto Raptors start off their title defense with a first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. Despite being a severely undermanned team, the Nets have been one of the better teams in the bubble but it didn’t take long to see how far apart the defending champs and Brooklyn are, even in such a different […]
Takeaways: Toronto Raptors collect massive Game 1 win over Brooklyn Nets – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Michael Walton / Raptors HQ

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs made me cry

That game, was well, unbelievable. From start (okay, maybe not start) to finish, the Maple Leafs had us, the fans, on edge. It might’ve finally gave me the sense that it may be okay to believe in this team now.
And as much as people think, “oh it was one good four-minute span,” I don’t think you put it that way. They made a statement. In a playoff game, which was also an elimination game.
Here’s my reaction:

From start to finish, this video has a lot of yelling and crying, so be ready. Oh and also, if the Leafs win the series, when should I eat the Carolina Reaper?
Because apparently, now, I have to eat three (which seems like a death sentence to me). All because the Maple Leafs won, and you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation