Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 3: A Return to Optimism After a Difficult Week for the Blue Jays

What a strange week that was!

After taking two-of-three from the Yankees to kick off the season, the Blue Jays rolled into Texas and we all just assumed they would plow through the Rangers, as the history of that rivalry would suggest. That didn’t happen. After that, the Blue Jays went “home” to host the Angels in Dunedin and dropped the first two games of the series to extend their losing streak to four games. Thankfully, the Blue Jays ended the weekend on a positive note with a 15-run Saturday and a well-timed rain-out on Sunday that saved us from having to watch Tanner Roark pitch to Mike Trout.
We welcomed Brendon Kuhn, everybody’s favourite out-of-the-blue news-breaker, to the podcast to go over the week that was, touching on the lows, such as Bo Bichette’s struggles at short and the team’s ugly strikeout numbers, and reaching for the highs, such as Steven Matz’ hot start and Robbie Ray’s return bumping Tanner Roark to the bullpen.
We finished off by looking ahead at this week’s series against the New York Yankees, which will put two teams who haven’t exactly lived up to expectations thus …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, November 11th: Double Feature!

Welcome back, gossip hounds. Apologies for taking an unexpected week off last Wednesday, but the real-life post election drama for this U.S. resident was a bit too overwhelming to focus on the more lighthearted hockey drama and gossip. Appreciate your understanding.
But that means we can load up a bit this week on the fun and entertaining things happening in and around the league. We’ve got some Halloween costumes, some cute pets, and some Twitter drama to look at! Let’s jump in, shall we?
Leafs Lads (and Ladies – and Babies and Pups?)
Leafs captain John Tavares and his adorable family, including pregnant wife Arynne, kicked off the Halloween season with these heartwarming family photos:

It’s a farm themed halloween for the Tavares family.. picked out for Jace’s love of farm animals, especially ducks !
Wishing everyone a safe and #HappyHalloween pic.twitter.com/SYjYCTHBDx
— JohnTavaresFDN (@JohnTavaresFDN) October 31, 2020

Cutest farm animals ever!
Elsewhere, most lovable goalie ever Jack Campbell babysat the Leafs’ newest baby (okay, fine, rookie) Nicholas Robertson. They enjoyed a cozy movie night in together:

Anyways Jack Campbell and Nick Robertson are hanging out watching movies together. pic.twitter.com/uc4BAmyhOz
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) November 3, 2020



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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Marlies sign Riley McCourt

Kyle Dubas wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity to bring in an OHL overage defenseman who went undrafted this week.

#Marlies have signed D Riley McCourt to a two-year AHL contract. The 20-year-old was fifth in OHL scoring among defencemen last season with 62 points in 63 games for Flint. #Leafs
— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) October 8, 2020

So that’s a lot of points for the 5’11 defender. And it savvy move by the GM in adding him. While the deal is an AHL one, you can likely expect to have McCourt spend most of his season in Newfoundland for the Growlers.

SEASON
TEAM
LEAGUE
GP
G
A
TP
PIM
+/-

2014-15
 Niagara North Stars U16 AAA
SCTA U16
8
0
0
0
0

2015-16
 Niagara North Stars U16 AAA
SCTA U16
33
9
11
20
20

 Ridley College
CISAA
6
1
7
8
6

 Ridley College
MPHL
2
0
0
0
0

 St. Catharines Falcons
GOJHL
2
0
1
1
2

2016-17
 Ridley College
CISAA
3
0
1
1
4

 St. Catharines Falcons
GOJHL
42
10
22
32
54

 Hamilton Bulldogs
OHL
9
1
0
1
6
2

2017-18
 Hamilton Bulldogs
OHL
26
1
8
9
12
-2

 Flint Firebirds
OHL
30
4
9
13
16
-11

2018-19
 Flint Firebirds
OHL
47
6
26
32
36
-38

2019-20
 Flint Firebirds
OHL
63
18
44
62
44
-4

data from eliteprospects.com

Odds are this won’t be the last deal we see like this in the coming days. Restocking the AHL/ECHL rosters might not be a priority, but it’s something that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Mitch Marner this summer

Editor’s note: Today we are kicking off our new series taking a look at the current state of the Leafs roster and each player’s season so far. Based on what we’ve seen we’re trying to put together or best guess at how they’ll fare in the play-in against Columbus and if we’re lucky, the playoffs beyond that. We’re kicking off this morning with the always interesting Mitch Marner.
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost a year removed from the Mitch Marner contract debacle. Something that I’m most of us would happily never wish to go through again, and with a few years of having Marner, Matthews, Nylander, and Tavares locked into their deals, we can relax. Except there still might be some lingering buyers remorse on $40M worth of contracts for four players in a salary cap world that won’t see those numbers budge for the next few season. At least they are all good players.
Mitch’s regular season ride was a wild one. His 1.13 point per game pace was nearly identical to his 1.14 point …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Top Leafs Players Outside the NHL #10 Mac Hollowell

Taking overagers in the draft has never been my thing. It’s a bad philosophy to have as a blanket rule, but generally there is a lot of appeal in getting players with more development time available, and many of those overagers will still be available as free agents the following spring.  Now, my personal drafting preference really isn’t the point of this post, except to acknowledge that in the particular instance it might have put me on the wrong side of history as Mac Hollowell seems to be developing nicely.
Hollowell is another player that is undersized by pro hockey standards, as he’s only 5’10 and 170 lbs. He’s not going to be an intimidating, bruising defensemen, and while I can appreciate the need for smart physical play on the blueline, Mac Hollowell’s skillset is important as well, and having a smart capable puck moving who can quarterback powerplays, and drive offense from the blueline.
Hollowell came to the Leafs via the Soo Greyhounds, a team that both Dubas and Keefe have plenty of familiarity with and there’s something to be said about going with a player you …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best and worst-case scenario for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Toronto Raptors are taking a risk on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson; but there are ways that Hollis-Jefferson can live up to his signing and, simultaneously, remain as a contributor in the NBA. Four years into Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s career and we’re still unsure of what he brings to the table. In fact, he might be unsure of […]
Toronto Raptors: Best and worst-case scenario for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Andrew Hughes / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Goals for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

The Toronto Raptors are taking a shot on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. In what areas can Hollis-Jefferson improve to make his stop worthwhile? The Toronto Raptors took a chance on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the upcoming season with a one year, 2.5 million dollar contract, which sets up Hollis-Jefferson to be a free agent at the end of […]
Toronto Raptors: Goals for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Andrew Hughes / Raptors HQ

Leafs Place 4 on Waivers, Send Down 7 to Marlies

The roster is taking form and some exciting names are still a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs just days away from the opening to the 2019-20 regular season on Oct. 2.
Rasmus Sandin, Egor Korshkov and Timothy Liljegren are some key prospects that are still with the NHL squad heading into the game against the Ottawa Senators. Some are more guaranteed to make the team than others — Sandin essentially forcing his way into the discussion.

Leafs announce alterations to training camp roster.
Details:https://t.co/cnFczwNuJZ
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 28, 2019

With this remaining roster, the Leafs had to place four skaters on waivers and send down a total of seven to the Marlies that did not require waivers.
Defencemen Ben Harpur and Jordan Schmaltz are currently on waivers, while forwards Pontus Aberg and Tyler Gaudet are there as well. The latter played themselves out of the lineup with some poor decision making and inability to play at the speed the Leafs want. While the forwads were impressive, there is just simply not enough roster spots to give out to players on the bubble like Aberg and Gaudet.
Forwards Darren Archibald, Jeremy Bracco, Rich Clune, Adam Brooks, Hudson Elynuik, …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors offseason preview: Serge Ibaka

We continue our exit interview by taking a look at Serge Ibaka. How did he perform last season? What can he improve on? What will his role with the Toronto Raptors be next year? NBA Champion Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors. Doesn’t that sound just right? The 10-year veteran has had quite the bumping […]
Toronto Raptors offseason preview: Serge Ibaka – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Koby Palimaka / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Marc Gasol offseason preview

We continue our offseason preview by taking a look at Marc Gasol. How did he perform last season? What can he improve on? What will his role be next year? Marc Gasol could be gearing up for one of the final seasons of his career, let alone the Toronto Raptors. Seeing Pau Gasol sign up […]
Toronto Raptors: Marc Gasol offseason preview – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Geethan Viswathasan / Raptors HQ