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

WATCH: Braves organist trolls Reese McGuire by playing “Beat It”

Sorry, Reese, I don’t think you’re ever going to live this one down.

As we all surely know by now, Reese McGuire was arrested back during spring training for allegedly jerking off in a Florida parking lot. McGuire pleaded no contest and was fined $450 after initially being charged with exposure of sexual organs, a first-degree misdemeanour.
Anyways, here we are now, a few months later, and the jokes are still coming in. Last night in Atlanta, the Braves organist played Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It” for McGuire as he came walked up to the plate.

Earlier this year, the Blue Jays’ Reese McGuire was arrested for public masturbation.
Listen to the song the Braves played for his walk-up music last night.
This is literally the greatest thing that has happened all year.
pic.twitter.com/keUBbrwZjV
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) August 7, 2020

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Clarkson Contract was Actually Good in Hindsight

Okay, let me get this out of the way right now: no, I do not actually think the David Clarkson contract was good. It’s not only one of the worst contracts the Leafs have ever signed, it’s arguable one of the worst contracts ever signed, especially in the cap era, and it was pretty obvious that it was going to be, if you were smart enough.
Well, I was not one of those smart people. Let me put you in the mindset of 16 year-old Scott. I was sitting on the couch watching TSN’s Free Agent Frenzy program, excited to see what big names the Leafs would get in free agency fresh off their playoff appearance, and almost beating the Boston Bruins in the first round. They had just lost Grabovski and MacArthur, but also traded for Dave Bolland, who just scored the Stanley Cup winning goal.
The dream, of course, was David Clarkson. Clarkson seemed to be the ideal Toronto Maple Leaf: tough, gritty, and coming off of seasons of 30 goals and 15 in the lockout shortened season (which was a 25 goal pace). Oh, he was also from Toronto, and a born and raised Leafs …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Monday Morning GM: Nikita Nesterov is returning to the NHL. Should it be Toronto?

I can’t think of a less flashy topic to discuss than importing a bottom pairing defender from the KHL, but here we are. And here is what we’re dealing with…
From AllHockey.Ru (google translated):
CSKA President Igor Esmantovich spoke about the transfer plans of the Moscow club, and also said that defender Nikita Nesterov will leave the club.
“We talked with Kaprizov at the end of the season, he said that he would try forces in North America. We are not negotiating with him. They made an offer on Sorokin on June 1. He listened to the proposal with the agent and said that he would make a decision later. CSKA still plans to sign two defenders and a striker.
With Nesterov, the story is interesting. We agreed with him in December, shook hands that he will remain for five years in CSKA. We agreed on the conditions, gave him everything he wanted. But a week ago, he decided for family reasons to go to North America. We thanked him for three years at CSKA and wished him good luck, “Esmantovich said.
So, why does …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Report: The NHL and NHLPA nearing agreement on the Asterisk Bowl

Whether you agree with it or not, whether you think it’s good for the players or not, whether you think they’ll get a week into playing again before shutting down again or not, the NHL is hellbent on giving you hockey this summer and coincidentally recouping as much money as possible.
Pierre LeBrun is reporting that a lot of progress has been made, although it’s debatable whether we close to having anything announced.

Sources indicate the Return To Play Committee has talked throughout the weekend, NHL-NHLPA making progress on a 24-team format. Sources also stressing there’s still work to be done, but clearly the weekend has produced some traction. More talks expected over next day or two.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 17, 2020
The thing is, if the league is going to pull off this 24 team tournament, return all the players to cities to train in, relocate to hub cities, and all the while comply with three levels of government and health authorities in two countries, they probably will need to get that finalized soon.
Toronto seems to be in the running to be a hub city and that potentially makes things a …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Postmortem of an uninspiring trade deadline

If I wrote this at 4PM on Monday I think there would be an entirely different tone to this. The would be a lot more angry about Tyson Barrie not being dealt, and screeching about how high end players shouldn’t be allowed to hit unrestricted free agency when you are a bubble team.
There probably would have been arguments for further dissection of the roster, cutting deeper and showing Kerfoot and Kapanen the door as well, whether the mythical top pairing right shooting defenseman appeared or not.
There would be some rock kicking about how a team that has looked disengaged for the past two seasons has managed to buy itself another playoff run together, but there would have also been some excitement about Calle Rosen coming back, because I’m not a complete monster and I love defensive depth.
IN
OUT
Campbell
Dzierkals
Clifford
Harpur
Lorito
Hutchinson
Malgin
Luchuk
Rosen
Marchment
Salamaki
Moore
Veronneau
Schmaltz
2020 5th Rd Pick
2020 3rd Rd Pick

2021 3rd Rd Pick*
Leaping forward to now
I’m not sure, I’m willing to say, I get what Kyle Dubas did, but I’m willing to say that I understand it.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rielly and Ceci expected to return in March

Some good(?) news for the Leafs tonight, and I think they might have needed it, Morgan Rielly is expected to return in March. Also Cody Ceci will be returning around that time to, so, that is also news.

As we wait for an update on Tyson Barrie, word is that TOR expects both Cody Ceci and Morgan Rielly to return some time in March #SNTrade
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 23, 2020
This takes a lot of the cap relief scenarios off the table for the trade deadline, but the update also points to the Leafs having a number of NHL defense that could warrant moving Barrie or others at the deadline. Also with a return date possible this season, maybe, just maybe, Cody Ceci can be moved in the coming days as well.
As for Barrie, as Zach Laing stated earlier, Barrie did return for the 2nd period, and as I write this he’s been playing incredibly poorly and they might have been better off without him. Ignore that last sentence if you are a scout. Barrie will be a fine addition to your team.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scott Boras’ fractured history with the Toronto Blue Jays

If someone described this scene to you, you might think it was a fever dream. There’s Charlie Montoyo wailing away on a set of bongos while super agent Scott Boras bobs his head to the beat and Hyun-Jin Ryu and his wife wonder what they’ve signed themselves up for.
Everything about the setting seemed made up, but the most perplexing part was the fact that Boras — a man who publicly criticized the Blue Jays organization for the past 34 years — suddenly had a change of heart.
The commission on Ryu’s $80 million contract certainly helped repair a relationship that’s been contentious for over three decades. At one point in time, Blue Jays president Paul Beeston swore off signing Boras clients altogether. Now, the Blue Jays helped the Boras Corporation cross the $1 billion dollar threshold this offseason.
To appreciate how far the Blue Jays’ relationship has come with Boras, one has to look back at how fractured it was from the start.
1985: Boras flies a plane over Exhibition Stadium that says “JIMY – GIVE CAUDILL THE BALL”
Bill Caudill was the very first player that Boras represented in the early 80 …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs loan Aberg, Marincin to the Marlies

Do you think Martin Marincin has some dirt on Kyle Dubas or something? But only a little bit of dirt. Because he’s still sticking around in the organization for the rest of his life, it seems, and will play enough for the Leafs, but not all that much that you seem to even remember if he’s up with the big club.
Anyway, today the Leafs made another move to get rid of both Marincin and Pontus Aberg, loaning them to the Marlies.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Pontus Aberg and defenceman Martin Marincin to the @TorontoMarlies (AHL). #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) December 15, 2019

In ten combined games for the two players, they have a total of one assist. If you’re curious enough about it, you can find more info here:
Aberg doesn’t really seem like much of a fit for this NHL lineup, but still has some useful qualities as an NHLer somewhere. Now on his fifth NHL team in just four seasons, he’s likely something of a AAAA player,  but then again, could still find himself back up with the Leafies if the injury bug hits.
Gonna pretend …

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Author: TLN Staff / The Leafs Nation

The pressure is on

Nobody expected this to happen. Well, I think many of us expected it to happen eventually, but not this early. If you told me back in the summer that Mike Babcock would be the first coach fired in 2019-20, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But here we are now. The Maple Leafs were off to such a shockingly bad start, there just wasn’t time to wait around any more. This team needs to get things together and it needs to happen fast. Thanks to a six-game losing streak, the Leafs are on the outside looking in. American Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and, generally, if you’re outside of the playoffs by that time of year, you aren’t in the dance come April.
There’s one key buck to that trend and the Leafs are hoping they can mirror what that team did. That’s the St. Louis Blues. On this day one year ago, the 7-9-1 Blues fired head coach Mike Yeo and replaced him with Craig Berube. It took the Berube-led Blues a little while to get going, but they did the impossible and went from dead last in the NHL at Christmas …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation