2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks

2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks

With the Milwaukee Bucks doing all they can to get Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign the super-max this offseason, the Toronto Raptors should start looking at other potential targets from the 2021 free-agent class. The Milwaukee Bucks are breaking the bank and mortgaging the future to bring in Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s requested reinforcements. After their moves for […]
2021 free agent targets for the Toronto Raptors if Giannis re-signs with the Bucks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Michael Hutchinson 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Leafs certainly are making sure they don’t find themselves in the awkward situation of having Michael Hutchinson as their backup goaltender again. The way they are ensuring that is by bringing back Michael Hutchinson as their fourth string goaltender.
The press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a two-year, two-way contract. The contract carries an NHL average annual value of $725,000.

Hutchinson, 30, split his 2019-20 season at the NHL level between the Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche and had a 5-9-1 record, posting a 3.47 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage. In four appearances for the Avalanche during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he was 2-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Hutchinson also appeared in four games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) during the 2019-20 season and went 3-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. In 127 career NHL games between Winnipeg, Florida, Toronto and Colorado, the Barrie, Ontario, native is 51-52-14 and has a 2.80 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Hutchinson was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.
So, there’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays’ controversial pitching strategy works out, but the bats couldn’t solve Blake Snell and the Rays’ bullpen

The Rays, man. There’s a reason they were the No. 1 team in the American League. Tampa takes Game 1 by a score of 3-1, meaning the Jays are suddenly facing elimination on Wednesday.

Things worth mentioning…

The pitching was the big story in today’s game, so I’ll start with that. Rather than using their ace, Hyun Jin Ryu in Game 1, the Jays opted to roll with Matt Shoemaker. The plan had to do with the fact Shoe had plenty of success against the Rays in his career and Ryu is better on an extra day of rest. The Shoemaker part of the plan worked to perfection as the veteran was amazing through three innings, scattering just a couple of hits. But that was the end of the line for Shoemaker as the Jays opted to bring in Robbie Ray. How did you feel about that, Shoe?

Not great! Ray came in and promptly allowed Randy Arozarena to smack a triple, causing concern that we were in store for a Ray meltdown. Arozarena would end up scoring on a wild pitch (one that Danny Jansen probably should have come up with) which gave the Rays a 1-0 lead. But …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nick Nurse (The Magician) does it again for Toronto Raptors with small-ball lineup

Game 6 was a must-win for the Toronto Raptors, and they did so in the fashion they have never done before. Playing with no traditional center in the lineup. When people watch magicians do tricks they are left in awe. When you watch the Toronto Raptors play playoff basketball, you are filled with trepidation. However, […]
Nick Nurse (The Magician) does it again for Toronto Raptors with small-ball lineup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Auston Matthews could win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Friday, as NHL will reveal award winners this week

On Saturday, the NHL announced that they will be revealing the winners of the 2020 NHL Awards once a day, starting on Sunday, Sept. 6, through the Conference Finals.
Winners will be announced on NBC Sports, Sportsnet and TVA Sports during their pregame windows through the Conference Finals. Eight awards will be given out once a day for eight days throughout the Conference Finals.
Of the award finalists, Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews is particularly a name to note. He is currently one of the finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is the annual award given “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” The winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy will be revealed on Friday, Sept. 11.
After the initial eight awards are handed out, the remaining five awards (the Calder Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, James Norris Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Vezina Trophy), will be revealed at some point in a 30-minute program during the Stanley Cup Finals.
 
Below is the complete schedule for all the awards, along with their finalists.
Sunday, Sept. 6
King Clancy Memorial Trophy ( …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

The PTBNL heading to the Mariners in the Taijuan Walker deal will reportedly be a Top-30 prospect in the Blue Jays’ system

The Blue Jays announced on Thursday that they had acquired Taijuan Walker from the Mariners in exchange for either cash considerations or a player to be named later.

According to MLB analyst and insider Jim Bowden, the Blue Jays will be sending a prospect ranked in the top-30 of their system to Seattle to complete the deal. Further, Joe Doyle, a Mariners-based minor-league prospects writer has suggested that it appears it’ll be a position player.

According to multiple sources involved on both sides of the #BlueJays #Mariners trade of Taijuan Walker….the #Mariners will receive a top 30 prospect from the #BlueJays in the trade.
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) August 27, 2020

It sounds as though the player headed back to the #Mariners in the Taijuan Walker return will be a position player.
— Joe (@JoeDoyleMiLB) August 27, 2020

This isn’t overly surprising. Walker was one of the better names on the rental starting pitcher market and, given the fact MLB has doubled its playoff field this year, way more teams are going to be buying than selling.
The benefit of building such a deep farm system is that it gives the Blue Jays the ability to buy-in on a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

NHL finds zero COVID-19 cases in bubbles

The NHL says they have found zero cases of COVID-19 within their two bubbles.

NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/bjPuANz8Sq
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 3, 2020

A total of 7,013 tests have been conducted between when teams arrived on July 26 and August 1st.
NHL teams brought with them a 52-person travelling party to the bubble and daily COVID-19 testing is done on everyone involved.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

3 Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ Dominant Win Against the Lakers

The NBA resumed for the Toronto Raptors last night, and they did not disappoint whatsoever. The Toronto Raptors went up against the juggernaut Los Angeles Lakers for their first game in the NBA Restart. Despite going up against two potential All-NBA First Team players, the Raptors managed to nail a dominant victory over the best […]
3 Takeaways from the Toronto Raptors’ Dominant Win Against the Lakers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Louis Pavlakos / Raptors HQ

NHL finds two COIVD-19 cases in traning camps

The NHL says they have found two positive cases of COIVD-19 in training camps.

The league kicked off training camps July 13th and between that day and the 17th, 2,618 tests were conducted on over 800 players.

NHL statement on COVID-19 testing results: pic.twitter.com/C137laTvbH
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 20, 2020

Both players who tested positive have self-isolated and are following CDC and Health Canada protocols.
The league, which is handling all injury reporting for teams, says they will not be providing information on identify of the players or clubs.
Edmonton Oilers defenceman Caleb Jones spoke out this week confirming he tested positive for COVID-19.
Through the NHL’s phase two the league found a total of 43 cases in players both in and outside of camps.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Where does Mikko Lehtonen slot in on the Maple Leafs blueline?

Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced they had signed the highly coveted Mikko Lehtonen to a one-year entry-level contract. The native of Turku, Finland had recently terminated the final year of his contract after a breakout season with Jokerit of the KHL to pursue his NHL options.
Cam Lewis has the initial scoop on the Lehtonen signing here.
When word first broke on May 1st that Lehtonen had become a free agent, it was widely reported that the New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens were in heavy pursuit of the 26-year-old Finn. That the Leafs jumped to the front of pack and were able to land Lehtonen speaks volumes to the team’s positive reputation with European free agents and to Jim Paliafito and his ability to continuously unearth these free wallets for the team.
In this post though, I wanted to take a closer look at Lehtonen’s game and try to identify what he brings to the table and where he might slot in next season.
The stats
First, let’s take a look at Lehtonen’s boxcar stats dating back to the 2014-15 season, when Lehtonen became a full-time player …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation