Roni Hirvonen is the Leafs 12th ranked prospect

To no one’s surprise, Kyle Dubas traded down in the 2020 NHL draft by using the Leafs 44th to acquire the 59th and the 64th overall pick. With the 59th pick, the Leafs drafted Finnish forward, Roni Hirvonen. The TLN consensus ranked Hirvonen in 12th amongst Leafs prospects. I personally was the highest on Hirvonen as I ranked him 6th. For what it’s worth, I strongly considered having him at number five over Mikhail Abramov and could see Hirvonen making that jump into the top five Leaf prospects in my rankings in the future.
After seeing the Leafs hit (what certainly seems to be) a home run with their 2019 second-round pick, Nick Robertson, the expectations for Hirvonen (the Leafs 2020 second-round pick)might be higher than usual. The Leafs are proving that second-round picks are valuable and even though Hirvonen might not progress as fast as Robertson, I do think he has a bright future ahead of him.
Rank – Grade – NHL Readiness
12TH – C – 2-4 YEARS
Position: C
Age: 18
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 170 lbs
Drafted: 2020 2nd round, 59th overall
What kind of player is he?
Like many of the Leafs prospects, Hirvonen’s overall hockey IQ is what drives his game. …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

It looks like Mark Shapiro and the Blue Jays have agreed on a new contract

I don’t think should really come as a surprise, but it looks like the Blue Jays have come to an agreement with Mark Shapiro to remain as the organization’s President and CEO.

Shapiro, of course, joined the organization after the 2015 season on a five-year contract, replacing Paul Beeston. That contract came to an end after this year’s World Series and it always appeared as though the two sides had a mutual interest in carrying on.
I think the fact there was virtually zero talk about a new contract gave an indication that something was going to get done. If there was turmoil or a poor relationship between the two sides and it looked like a deal wasn’t going to get done, we probably would have heard about it. If all things are going well, it’s business as usual.
Anyways, the report of Shapiro apparently having a new deal comes from Ken Rosenthal over at The Athletic. Rosenthal did a post about the New York Mets seeking a new leader for their front office as new owner Steve Cohen let go of the current group who had been working under the Wilpon family.
Rosenthal mentions Shapiro …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The NHL Draft and Awards have been postponed

To the surprise of nobody, a handful of key NHL events have been postponed until further notice. This includes the NHL Scouting Combine, the NHL Entry Draft, and the NHL Awards Ceremony.

The @NHL has announced the postponements of the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine, the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Awards and the 2020 NHL Draft. #NHLCombine #NHLDraft #NHLAwards
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 25, 2020

Just like with everything else involved with the leagues COVID-19 pause, we have no idea when these events will end up taking place, or even if they will. If the 2019-20 season gets completely cancelled, the draft will likely have to take place over the phone and the league will have to do without an awards ceremony. Perhaps they could do some kind of TV-only special.
As I said, this happening really is no surprise. The league is on pause right now until at least mid-May as the United States Centre for Disease Control and Protection has issued a restriction on large gatherings. The goal for the NHL, it seems, is to still carry out everything involved with the 2019-20 season, including playoffs, the draft, and awards ceremony, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Hutchinson placed on waivers

It comes as no surprise, given the imminent return of Freddie Andersen that Michael Hutchinson has been placed on waivers today. And while we all knew it was coming, we’ll look at the logistics of it anyway.

Michael Hutchinson (TOR) has been placed on waivers
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 13, 2020
That stat line for Hutchinson isn’t particularly friendly this year…
And in three games, Jack Campbell is already to have of Hutchinson’s win total as a Leaf this season. So yeah, this move is understandable.
Will he get claimed?
I honestly can’t imagine why he would, unless another team is looking to move one of their NHL goaltenders, and they would rather ride out the year with Hutchinson rather than promote their third string guy. I’d look at a situation like Ottawa, where they are attempting to move Anderson or Detroit if they are looking to move Bernier or Howard, or the Devils if they realize that Hutchinson might be good enough to be their starter.
No matter what, it’s probably not happening.
Hutchinson on the Marlies
Given that the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs recall a defenseman and I recall be excited about him

So this really isn’t any surprise but here it is anyway, Timothy Liljegren has been recalled from the Marlies.

The @MapleLeafs have recalled defenceman Timothy Liljegren from the @TorontoMarlies (AHL).
Cody Ceci is out indefinitely with an ankle injury and will be placed on injured reserve. He will be re-evaluated in one month.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 7, 2020
Liljegren is by far the best right shooting option available in the organization, as well as the top defensive prospect of those remaining on the Marlies, and everything about him coming up makes sense. Not a whole lot of analysis needed. So let’s just jump wildly into the speculation.
Does Liljegren play tonight?
This is probably not the straight forward “YES!!!” answer we want it to be, but in reality it still makes sense. The Leafs haven’t practiced since the Ceci injury, so it’s not like pairing have been tested with Marincin filling a spot in lineup, and Liljegren has played more recently than Marincin, so potentially he’s ready to go. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t see …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays unveil a new take on the classic powder blue uniforms

To the surprise of nobody, the Blue Jays are bringing back the powder blue uniforms, but, there’ll be a new spin on them this time. Rather than rocking a pyjama, v-neck thing, the new alternates will be regular button-up style jerseys like the ones they wear now, but powder blue.

Here’s the set, via Chris Creamer of Sports Logos…

And an up-close look at the new hat…

I’ve always been a fan of the powder blue jerseys, so I’m thrilled the Jays are bringing them back to life. I also dig that it’ll be a buttoned jersey to match the other ones in the set rather than the old-style v-neck thing. I think we all knew that the powder blues were going to come back once it was announced that there was going to be “new threads” but it was hard to say exactly how they would look. They really nailed it, in my opinion.
I’m excited to see how they look on the field rather than on a dim-lit stage.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors Roundtable: Biggest surprise, realistic goals, and more

Who’s been the Toronto Raptors’ biggest surprise? What are realistic goals for this season? Is Pascal Siakam a top-10 player? We asked these questions and more to our Raptors roundtable. The Toronto Raptors have surprised everyone with their play so far this season. Despite their offseason departures, the defending champions are right in the midst […]
Toronto Raptors Roundtable: Biggest surprise, realistic goals, and more – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ

Who Blue Jays fans should cheer for and against in the playoffs

To the surprise of nobody, the Blue Jays ended up on the outside looking in this season. So, just as we have for all but two of the past two-and-a-half decades, Jays fans will be looking for a bandwagon to jump on.

If you say you’re the type of fan who doesn’t cheer for a different team in the playoffs than your own, I don’t believe you. We’ve got to witness playoff baseball twice since the team won back-to-back World Series Championships. There’s absolutely no way that any baseball fan went through all those years without having some kind of active rooting interest in a different team.
Maybe you don’t have an official second team you always pull for, but you’ve surely jumped on a bandwagon. Or, at the very least, you’ve cheered quietly for a team to win because you like a couple of players on the team. Hell, maybe you just like to cheer against teams you hate. All of that is fine.
As I do every fall and will continue to do for the next two decades until we get a couple more ALCS runs I’m going to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays at Yankees 06/24/19 – Odds and MLB Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
While it might come as no surprise that there is an OVER trend when Aaron Sanchez is on the bump for the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Yankees have been less than devastating this season as a heavy home favorite.
The Blue Jays are the +200 away underdog (wager $100 to win $200) with the Yankees coming back as a -240 home favorite (wager $240 to win $100) with a 10.5-run total on the MLB betting lines for Monday at sportsbooks monitored by
The Blue Jays are 2-7 in nine away games this season as a moneyline underdog of +175 or more, and the total has gone OVER in six of those nine contests with two pushes. Interestingly, the Yankees are 10-10 in their last 20 home games as a moneyline favorite of -200 or more.
Blue Jays at Yankees | OddsShark Matchup Report
Toronto is 29-49 on the season, but their last 10 games have had an average total of 11.8 runs, with only two contests finishing with a total under 8. The Yankees, who are an American League East-leading 49-28, are also on a run of high-scoring games, with an average total of 10.8 runs over their last 10 games, only two of which have …

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Author: Nation World HQ / Blue Jays Nation

Jays bounce back from behind and win 3-1 against the Rays

Despite Blake Snell pitching a no-hitter (no surprise) into the sixth, the Rays lost against the Blue Jays because of a two-run double from Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The double gave the Jays a 2-1 lead and the first run for the Jays all game. Including his double, Gurriel Jr. was 1-for-3 and one strikeout.
Snell’s first three innings were nine-up, nine-down with five strikeouts, while Blue Jays starter Clay Buchholz allowed four hits in the same time span and wasn’t able to strike out a batter.
Pannone earned the win the just one inning pitched and Rays reliever Chaz Roe really messed up and earned the loss in just two outs.
Worth Mentioning

At the bottom of the seventh, Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run double to give the Jays a 2-1 lead and their first runs of the game, Smoak and Grichuk were in to score. Smoak was able to hit a zero-out single to right infield and Randal Grichuk was able to hit a line drive double to advance Smoak to third. Chaz Roe came in for Blake Snell that was pitching a spectacular game, and Roe messed it all up for them — earning two runs on …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation