Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation?

Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation?

The Toronto Raptors are looking for anyone that is willing to step and assert themselves in what looks likes a very fluid rotation, and they aren’t excluding undrafted free agent Justin Champagnie from that mission. The Raptors might’ve used their three selections in the 2021 NBA Draft on some studs with potential on both ends […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Justin Champagnie earning a role in the rotation? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun”

The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun”

When looking at the teams of old that were so iconic, so unique, that they warranted a nickname of their own, you may think that they need to be one of the most devastating teams in basketball history. Phi Slama Jama, The Bad Boy Pistons, The Showtime Lakers, etc. By that metric, Scottie Barnes and 2021-22 Toronto […]
The Toronto Raptors’ brand new team identity: The “Run-N-Fun” – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Leafs waive Brooks, keep Amadio, and can use some LTIR space

It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you many around Leafs Nation will lose sleep over the possibility of Adam Brooks being claimed off of waivers. A big part of this is because Brooks has found the scoresheet in his limited time with the Leafs and is priced ideally for sliding into the bottom part of the Leafs lineup. Brooks has strong hockey sense, and a willingness to take on whatever role has been asked of him when he’s in the lineup. Those are important qualities and risking depth at center is never fun.
On the flip side of that, the reality is Adam Brooks is absolutely the kind of player that goes on waivers. He’s very much an AHL/NHL tweener at this stage, and Engvall, Semyonov, and Amadio are all around to offer some center depth this year as well. Sending Brooks down on a high traffic waivers day before roster finalization is likely an attempt to sneak him through and Amadio could be waived once the Leafs know Brooks is safe.
That said, Amadio had a solid camp for the Leafs and very well could have beat Brooks out for the final roster …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Burning Question: How many goals will Auston Matthews score this season?

It’s a question that all Toronto Maple Leafs fans want to be answered.
Auston Matthews has been a generational goal-scorer ever since he stepped into the NHL. He can beat goaltenders from any area in the offensive zone. And just when you think you’ve seen everything from the 24-year-old, he surprises you.
Every year, Matthews brings something new to the table. Last season, it was the fact that he had an injured wrist, but was still able to score 41 goals in 52 games. The ability Matthews has to transform his game and put himself in different positions to score was phenomenal.
The 24-year-old knew that if it hurt to shoot the puck, he could instead tip it in.

AUSTON MATTHEWS
ONE AWAY FROM 40! pic.twitter.com/NVM8N5HsBA
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 4, 2021

Matthews, though, is most effective when healthy and can shoot the puck.
I wanted to ask the question: ‘How many goals will Auston Matthews score this season?’ because it’s intriguing. He’ll return to the NHL with a wrist that’s healthy this time around. And if he’s scoring goals at an alarming rate with an injury, I’m curious to see how much he …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs place Michael Hutchinson on waivers

It was announced on Tuesday that the Leafs have placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers. He is expected to be assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL if he goes unclaimed by another NHL team. The decision to waive Hutchinson sooner rather than later should provide the Leafs with time to explore other options ahead of the regular season if he does indeed get snatched up by another team.

Hutchinson (TOR) on waivers today
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 5, 2021

Hutchinson returned to the Leafs on a two-year deal last offseason after his first stint with the Leafs ended unceremoniously with a trade to Colorado. He enjoyed a bounceback season in 2020-21 while filling in for the injured Frederik Andersen and Jack Campell, recording a 2.42 GAA and a .919 SV% across eight games for the Leafs.
Given the injury histories of Campbell and offseason acquisition Petr Mrazek, as well as the lack of goaltenders with NHL experience below him on the depth chart, the Leafs are surely hoping to retain Hutchinson’s services as their third goaltender. If he clears, he is expected to share the Marlies’ crease with Erik Kallgren and Joseph Woll as he remains on standby for the big …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Looking back on this beautiful, unforgettable, heartbreaking season, and looking forward to what’s next

It’s incredibly difficult to summarize the whirlwind that was last weekend — which is only fitting given the weird, confusing, magnificent rollercoaster ride this Toronto Blue Jays team took us all on.

On one hand, it’s absolutely gut-wrenching and heartbreaking that two inferior teams, the Yankees and Red Sox, will be facing off against each other in the American League Wild Card game tonight and the Blue Jays, with their absurd +183 run differential, came up just shy of making it. On the other hand, it’s incredible that this team managed to make its way into the conversation after trudging through four months of living out of suitcases to start the season.
And then, on a more macro scope, this is a very, very young team that navigated a whole wealth of hurdles to find themselves in the mix during the dying days of the season, and, more than likely, it seems the best days are yet to come. But it’s also difficult to ignore the fact that a lot of things also went right for this team and there’s a very real possibility that next season’s roster isn’t a better version of what it …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 50: Welcome to Heartbreak

That wasn’t the storybook finish we were hoping for.

The Yankees rolled into Toronto for what was a playoff-like series at The Dome. Capacity was upped to 30,000 and the Blue Jays had a chance to catch the Yankees in the standings and ultimately put themselves in a position to earn a playoff spot. The table was set.
Unfortunately, it was the Yankees who showed up to play while the Blue Jays didn’t bring their best. The bats were silenced in the first game on Tuesday, Bo Bichette led the team to a win on Wednesday, and then, with a chance to pull within one game of New York on Thursday, Robbie Ray got lit up in the sixth inning and Toronto’s bats couldn’t solve the Yankees’ bullpen the rest of the way.
It was a heartbreaker, a gut-punch, and an energy-sucking loss.
We talked about a bunch of stuff on this episode of BJN Radio, including Bo’s amazing series, Nate Pearson having some good outings out of the ‘pen, and the decision by Charlie Montoyo to keep Ray in the game when it looked like the Yankees had him solved. We also looked ahead to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs return William Villeneuve to the QMJHL

The one thing that has been missing from the Leafs preseason are player cuts and with the stretch between last night’s game and the next preseason game on Monday, it stood to reason that we’d start seeing some cuts and William Villeneuve gets the distinction of being the first.

Defenceman William Villeneuve has been loaned to Saint John (QMJHL)
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 30, 2021

With CHL seasons starting up it makes sense to get Villeneuve back competing as quickly as possible now that he’s had a chance to get a feel for the style and pace of a NHL camp. I’m sure he’s been sent off with a very specific development plan for him, but with a Leafs organization eager to see how he does in competitive situations.
Over the course of September Villeneuve also signed his entry level deal with the Leafs, so there’s no doubt the organization wants to see more of him, and more from him, and developing his skating will likely be a big part of that. The Saint John Sea Dogs season starts tomorrow, and I’m sure they’ll have William in their lineup.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Franchise Hockey Manager 7 predicts the rest of Morgan Rielly’s career

One thing that I both love and hate about the NHL is the ongoing saga of a player in the midst of his contract year. It either gets done rather quickly, drags on for way too long before a deal is reached at the 11th hour, or you get teased of the possibility of an extension only for the player to either be traded or let go at season’s end. It’s stressful, exhausting, and is bound to take up endless hours of debate regarding whether or not said player is worth keeping and what constitutes a fair deal.
This year will once again bring up that never-ending tradition with Morgan Rielly being the main player on the Leafs’ roster whose contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign. It would be foolish to suggest that he won’t be getting paid handsomely since he’s blossomed into a legitimate top-pairing defenceman in the half-decade since he signed the six-year deal. Regardless of whether his future remains in Toronto or he moves elsewhere, there’s no denying that he will be highly valued on the open market with many teams vying for his talents.
But …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

All or Nothing acts as a Leafs fan group therapy session (Some Spoilers)

It’s not often that I get to put my University film studies courses to much use, but getting the chance to take an early look at All or Nothing feels like a brief opportunity to do so. And while the show is beautifully shot, edited, and scored, I’m sure that’s not the content most readers are looking for, and instead you’d like to dissect what the Leafs actually did. I’m going to follow the lead of the article from Nick Barden this morning, and at least try to limit what I share from the series, which I honestly believe is very much a worthwhile watch, no matter how you feel about the Leafs today.
I think it’s important to start with what All or Nothing isn’t. If you are looking for a gritty, unfiltered look behind the curtains of the Toronto Maple Leafs, you’re going to be let down. Nothing in the NHL’s history of partnering on series has ever been that, and All or Nothing isn’t going to be the start. The NHL Chief Content Officer is an Executive Producer on this, and the Leafs were very much involved …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation