Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021

The NBA Eastern Conference is stronger than ever. Who are the Toronto Raptors strongest Eastern opponents for this upcoming season? The Toronto Raptors indubitably took a step back in free agency. Re-signing Fred VanVleet was a huge move for this organizations future. The losses of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, on the other hand, will surely be felt. […]
Toronto Raptors biggest Eastern Conference foes for 2021 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup

Toronto Raptors basketball is much closer than we think (23 days), and there has yet to be any real talk of a starting lineup yet. The Toronto Raptors roster is pretty much set in stone — at least we think it is. Apart from at the Center position, the Raptors starting roster is not all […]
Predicting the 2020-2021 Toronto Raptors starting lineup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Bogosian by the numbers

Few things are more scary than the idea of looking at Zach Bogosian’s numbers. Zach Bogosian wasn’t brought in for his numbers. He was brought in to be an affordable tank. An unmovable force in front of the Leafs net. He’s here to satisfy our desire for punishing hits at the cost reasonable outlet passes. Bogosian is here to make us nostalgic for “to the line but not out” but also to put on a shot blocking clinic. At least that’s what we’ve been told. Maybe he’s more than that. Let’s take a look.
An overview

So, those hits weren’t as significant as advertised. Bogosian averaged just over a hit per game last season, with 30 hits in 27 games, playing around 17 minutes a night. His shot blocks were also right at the 1 per game level, with 27 during the regular season. In the playoffs, Bogosian upped his hitting with 44 hits in 20 games, but was still just at 19 blocked shots. He had increased playing time with 17:40 minutes averaged per night.
Interestingly enough, Bogosian might have been better statistically in the playoffs, as his 59.3% CF% at even strength was the highest of the Lightning defensemen.
Time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs have re-signed Ilya Mikheyev to a two-year, $3.29 million deal

Less than 24 hours removed from their scheduled arbitration hearing, Ilya Mikheyev and the Leafs agreed to an extension.

Soup’s back on the menu for two more years!
Ilya Mikheyev has signed a two-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/awTa3TDZff pic.twitter.com/0QhV48B46p
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 20, 2020

His agent, Dan Milstein, first broke the news on Twitter with a photo of a young Mikheyev.
The terms of the deal were reflective of the arbitration rules, given that players heading for a hearing usually get no more than two-year contracts. It’s at a cap hit they are happy with and, most importantly, he will be exempt from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft next year.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev have received qualifying offers from the Leafs

Less than 24 hours after the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft ended, the Leafs made the expected move of retaining two key players that were RFAs.

Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott have received qualifying offers from the #leafs ahead of today’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, as expected.
Mikheyev’s camp expects to resume contract talks after the draft.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2020

This is a decision that I’m sure a lot of you expected to see but it is still relieving nonetheless. Mikheyev’s party has confirmed they will resume negotiations after the draft is finished and while Dermott’s camp hasn’t mentioned their plans, my best guess is that they will likely do the same thing.
Prior to a wrist injury that kept him out of the lineup for months, Mikheyev scored eight goals, 15 assists, and 23 points in 39 games. Dermott missed the first part of the season and managed to produce four goals, seven assists, and 11 points in 56 games played.
The number of Leafs RFAs the team has to deal with was shortened following today’s announcement. Denis Malgin was given a one-year extension less than a week ago and Kyle Dubas revealed yesterday that the team has …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays will debut their new powder blue uniforms tonight

Finally, after a much longer than anticipated wait, the Blue Jays will debut their sort-of-brand-new-but-also-throwback powder blue uniforms tonight when they host the Miami Marlins in Buffalo.

Tomorrow: Our debut in #NEWBLUE pic.twitter.com/XE8tmHI35l
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 10, 2020

I imagine the plan all along was for the team to debut the powder blues at their home opener. Of course, due to COVID-19, everything got flipped on its head and the team had to wait a few weeks to finally have their home opener at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. I don’t think that rocking the powder blues for the first time at the home team in Washington would have been particularly memorable.
Anyways, it’ll be nice to see the powder blue uniforms back in the mix. It’s a controversial look among fans, but, personally, I think they look great. I actually prefer the old V-neck look the team used to use back on Flashback Friday in the late-2000s, but it makes sense that they want to streamline the uniform with all of the other ones in their catalogue.
 
 
 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

From bad to worse: Toronto Maple Leafs to give 13th overall selection to Carolina Hurricanes

Less than 24 hours after the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the organization has taken another loss.

The club was one of eight with a chance to select first overall in this years entry draft but failed to get the right draw. With the New York Rangers winning the right to draft Alexis Lafreniere first overall, the Leafs were bumped down to the 13th overall spot.
However, as a condition on the first-round pick sent to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Patrick Marleau salary dump, the Leafs will forfeit the selection.
Due to the condition, the only way the Leafs would’ve held onto the pick was if they selected in the top 10. Nonetheless, the trade and loss to the Blue Jackets becomes an even tougher pill to swallow.
The Leafs first selection won’t be until the second round and the team holds 10 overall picks in the draft.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays select Austin Martin with the fifth-overall pick

Well, that went better than expected! With the fifth-overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft, the Blue Jays selected Austin Martin, a multi-position player from Vanderbilt.

According to Keith Law, Martin is the best player available in the draft, so this is a massive win for the Jays to snag him at number five. After Spencer Torkelson went to Detroit with the first pick, both Baltimore and Miami went off the board, leaving the Jays with Martin.

Law says he hears the Jays will take Martin. “An enormous home run. Blue Jays fans should be over the moon. I think they get the best player in the draft.”
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) June 10, 2020

Martin slashed a .377/.507/.660 line for Vanderbilt this year over the course of 16 games before the season was killed due to COVID-19. Perhaps most impressive, Martin struck out only twice in 69 plate appearances. Very nice.
Coming into the draft, Martin was ranked No. 2 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 list, so, again, it’s incredible the Jays were able to snag him where they were drafting.
The best pure hitter in the 2020 Draft, Martin has tremendous feel for the barrel and makes consistent hard contact with a short, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: MLB and MLBPA working on finding solutions

Daily?!

Tomorrow should be Opening Day.
Rather than sitting here in anticipation for Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his first start as a Blue Jay and for Bo and Vlad and Biggio to take the next step in leading this exciting, young team forward, we’re sitting here in purgatory, wondering not when, but if we’ll get to watch baseball this year.
Right now, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association are working through an array of difficulties that have come from the COIVD-19 shutdown. Things of note…
The biggest labour-related issue for both sides is service time. Right now, a full season of service time for a player is  172 days. Obviously, if there aren’t 172 days in this season, a player won’t be able to accrue a full year of service time, which is a major issue for the PA. MLB has agreed to alter service time in the event of a shortened season, but there’s no solution yet for the worst-case scenario, which is a cancelled season. MLB and the MLBA have agreed to table the discussion around a worst-case scenario until that actually happens. The …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The NBA suspends their season while the NHL chooses to sit on the fence.

There are plenty of things bigger than sports. We like sports, that’s why the people on this site write about sports, but things like public health and ensuring a pandemic doesn’t move swiftly through the population is one of those things that are significantly more important than the Leafs playing against the Nashville Predators as scheduled Thursday night.
The NBA seems to get this, and they opted to put their season on hiatus. The NHL responded with…

National Hockey League Statement Regarding Coronavirus: https://t.co/AKrmh8ao4F pic.twitter.com/PZ7dQBbGVB
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
Now, there’s a very good chance that the next 24 hours the NHL will follow suit or at the very least the season will continue but without fans attending the games, but there is no guarantee of that.
The fact is for a league like the NHL that is so reliant on gate revenue, the suspension of games might be the favourable option. The NHL already plays well into June, would having hockey in July be too big a deal?
For now we wait. And the best way to pass the time is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation