3 Toronto Raptors trade targets from the 2019 NBA Draft

3 Toronto Raptors trade targets from the 2019 NBA Draft

The Toronto Raptors may look to improve this team at the trade deadline, but they likely won’t make a move unless they can bring on a player that adds value to this team beyond the current 23-23 season. They would be better off rolling the dice on a young player instead of adding a veteran […]
3 Toronto Raptors trade targets from the 2019 NBA Draft – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Sizing up the American League East: The Boston Red Sox

This is the second article in the series “meeting the AL East teams.”
This article will be focused on the Boston Red Sox. Unlike the lowly Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox are a solid team looking to build off a performance that saw them reach the ALCS in 2021. Let’s take a look at the project position player lineup, according to FanGraphs.

Christian Vazquez (Catcher)
Kevin Plawecki (Catcher)
Bobby Dalbec (First Baseman)
Enrique Hernandez (Second Baseman)
Xander Bogaerts (Shortstop)
Rafael Devers (Third Baseman)
Christian Arroyo (Utility)
Triston Casas (First Baseman)
While Vazquez doesn’t produce great offense, he finished 2021 with a 5 DRS and is a career 40 DRS catcher. Unlike Baltimore, the Orioles actually have an MLB catcher. In contrast, Plawecki had a DRS of -3, however had a slightly above average wRC+ of 102. In the shortened 2020 season, that wRC was 134, which is very good, albeit in a small sample size.
Bobby Dalbec is a serviceable 1B with quite a few holes in his game. The 26-year-old had a slash line of .240/.298/.792 with 25 home runs. However, Bobby had an incredibly high K% of 34.4%, which was actually down from his 42.4% in 2020. He’s a right hander with pop, which is perfect for Fenway, but he could realistically be upgraded.
The Red Sox received quite a few players in return for Mookie Betts, one of these players being 30-year-old Enrique Hernandez. The second baseman had a good 2021 owning a slash line of .250/.337/.786. He chipped in 20 home runs as a second baseman an …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Making the case for the Raptors not trading Chris Boucher

Making the case for the Raptors not trading Chris Boucher

This season there has been a whirlwind of trade rumors surrounding the Toronto Raptors, and no member of the team has been included in trade talks more than Chris Boucher. The Montreal native started the season ice cold, though he’s found his groove lately. With a mixture of a tradeable contract, lack of output, and […]
Making the case for the Raptors not trading Chris Boucher – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Matthew Eichhorn / Raptors HQ

TLN Three Stars: The Isles were too busy still not needing Tavares to win the game

For the fifth time on this six game road trip, the Leafs took a 3-1 lead.
For the first time on this six game road trip, the Leafs did not blow that 3-1 lead.
Sure, they had the games in Vegas and St. Louis where they scrapped out a win in spite of blowing a lead, but this time, they took the lead, and they didn’t even have to worry about adding to it, as they one 3-1.
Now, this is against an Islanders team that struggles offensively, so it’s not exactly a tall order. But, it can admittedly get very distracting for the Leafs in that building, as you have to deal with so many fans crying about Tavares screwing over the team four years ago, despite the fact that they’ve gone further in the playoffs every year since so far. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of living in someone’s head rent-free.
Three stars
3rd Star: Morgan Rielly
Rielly had a solid night on the blue line, controlling play with a 58.63% CF% and a 67.15% xGF%. He also assisted on Mitch Marner’s shorthanded goal and had a great shot for a goal of his own.
2nd Star: Pierre Engvall
Engvall continued to prove to the Leafs that he shouldn’t be the one leaving that third line, as he finished the night with a team …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Two Chicago Blackhawks players that the Leafs should be interested in that aren’t Dylan Strome

The Nation Network’s own Frank Seravalli reported this week that Chicago could be interested in moving some of their pieces this week, except for Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Seth Jones:

Frank Seravalli says on SN650 that Kane, Toews, and Seth Jones are the only untouchables for CHI. If you want to take a run at trading for anyone else, they’ll listen.
— Editor in J (@Account4hockey) January 20, 2022

This is good news, because those might be the only three Chicago players I’d have no interest in bringing into the Leafs.
Obviously, Chicago looked at their standings position, behind everyone in the Western Conference except the Coyotes and the Kraken, and said:

We’re going to look into the players on Chicago we would like to see as Maple Leafs. I’m smart enough to know now that I have no business making trade proposals; I’m very bad at them, and so are most NHL GMs. Instead, I’m only going to look at good targets and bad targets on Chicago, and leave the bad trade proposals to the people who get paid to do them badly.
Executive Summary
Speaking of NHL GM’s, if we pretend that I was hired by Dubas & Co. to examine the Blackhawks for trade targets, here’d be my high level summary:
Yes please
Brandon Hagel
Alex Debrincat
That’d be fine, but don’t over do it
Erik Gustafsson
Dylan Strome
Kirby Dach
Henrik Borgstrom
Dominik Kubalik
No thank you
Calvin DeHaan
Riley Stillman
Philip Kurashev
Caleb Jones
Jujhair Khaira
Ryan Carpenter
Please, God, no
Tyler Johnson
Reese Johnson
Connor Murphy
Jake McCabe
Mackenzie Entwistle
For the details of how we got here, let’s make that deep dive I promised.
Identification Stage
Let’s look at the Blackhawks as a team overall and see if we can pick …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Picking apart this awful Blue Jays and Yankees trade suggestion

Disclaimer: This article is for fun. What I’ll be putting on blast is the idea of the tweet itself, not the man behind it. While the idea is dumb, that doesn’t make the man behind the tweet stupid, dumb or any other mean word. If you decide to ratio him, make sure that it’s in a playful manner, because being a meanie on Twitter isn’t cool.

The tweet heard around the Baseball World:
Do you ever just read a short form media post and figure that the world is actually burning? Well, then you know the feeling I had when I woke up this morning and read this tweet.

First and foremost the Yankees have to fix this shortstop situation. Why is this still a thing?! The fact that they do not have a franchise shortstop to man the position still blows my mind. Isn’t this the same organization Derek Jeter aka “The Captain” played 20 straight… pic.twitter.com/irfMJDn8M5
— Xavier Scruggs (@Xavier_Scruggs) January 18, 2022

Not a big issue, right? I recently worked on an article that went through each AL East team’s infield, and while Gio Ureshela should not be a starter, he suffices as a utility player. However, the Yankees have one of the worst infields in the East and with Gio Urshela starting at short, that is a position needing of an upgrade.
Instead of going down the usual path of “oh, let’s just spend half a billion dollars on [insert player name here]”, Xaiver decides to tweet that the Yankees should look for a replacement through trade. His suggestion? Well, read below

Bo Bichette and Bobby Witt Jr. #eXamineIt and Get it done. Let me know what you think! pic.twitter.com/5A6V3suD7j
— Xavier Scruggs (@Xavier_Scruggs) January …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

What exactly will Jack Campbell’s next contract look like?

One of the biggest offseason topics for the Leafs this year is Jack Campbell’s pending UFA status, and whether or not the Leafs can afford to extend him beyond this year. Goalie contracts are always tough to predict, considering how unpredictable the position can be, and even harder to figure out if they’ll be worth said deal because, again, it’s an unpredictable position.
This is an even bigger case with Campbell, because he has such a unique situation tied to where he is right now. Prior to the 2020-21 season, Campbell had just 64 NHL games to his resume. He’s more than likely to double that total in just these past two seasons where he’s established himself as a starting goalie, as he’s already played in 50 games in that span, and with half of the season still to go, he should get at least 14 more barring injury.
While we’ve seen plenty of goalies come from out of nowhere to become elite goalies, more often than not, those players are on the younger side. Juuse Saros and Andrei Vasilevskiy are pretty good examples of this, with just 79 and 40 games respectively in their career before breaking out as elite starting goalies. But, Saros wa …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

PHF Weekend Review: Toronto dominating Buffalo at hockey in the PHF too

As the Toronto Six get back into action this weekend, it was a weekend full of goals and celebrations for Toronto.
After some roster shakeups earlier in the week, and the weekend prior’s games being postponed, the Six had every excuse to be a little bit flat this weekend. They chose instead to dominate their opponents, the Buffalo Beauts.
Saturday’s game
Here was Toronto’s lineup for the game:

Lineups for this afternoons matchup! pic.twitter.com/RrpRoq6aiX
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 15, 2022

And Buffalo’s:

Here is todays #Beauts lineup against the Six! #FortBeaut #PHF : @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/pGWaQIb7eb
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 15, 2022

In the first game of the weekend, the first action for the Six players since 2021, Toronto came out strong early with a 3-0 lead. Rookie Leah Marino started it off with her second goal of the season on a great primary assist by fellow rookie Stephanie Sucharda:

Leah Marino gives the Toronto Six the early lead! pic.twitter.com/Rl30hE2hvc
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Less than 4 minutes later, the team’s superstar Mikyla Grant-Mentis picked up a loose puck from a shot block by, I think, Saroya Tinker, and blows by Buffalo’s defence to beat Carly Jackson for what was called an unassisted goal:

Grant-Mentis because of course she did! 2-0 Toronto Six! pic.twitter.com/C01jQMNKAQ
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Then, about 5 minutes before the end of the first, Toronto’s first ever draft selection Amy Curlew roofs her first goal of the season on a slick backhand, cleaning up a bit of a mess in front of the net. This goal comes with very well-earned assists by Natalie Marcuzzi, who rejoined the team recently, and captain Shiann Darkangelo:

Amy Curlew with a wicked backhander top shelf! pic.twitter.com/OPDMFC21d9
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Into the second period, Beauts goalie Carly Jackson tries to put pressure on Meagan Beres as she tries to cap off the 3-on-2 rush, the puck slides past Jackson and it looks like Stephanie Sucharda taps it into the net, but the goal was credited to Beres (Sucharda still gained an assist on the play). The team gave her a “1st goal” puck so perhaps that will get changed. Take a look and see who you think scored it:

The Toronto Six are putting on a show for the viewers on TSN 4! pic.twitter.com/nsVTIydEqu
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That was all the action for this 2nd period. Into the 3rd period, Toronto’s Taylor Day got one, then Buffalo followed up with one to make it 5-1, but Toronto squashed any hope of a comeback pretty quickly with Leah Marino‘s second goal of the night, and six goals on the night for the Six:

Leah Marino scores again and the Six have six! pic.twitter.com/GCpzxPKkpn
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That’s how the game would end, with the Six taking down the Beauts 6-1. Here were the 3 stars for the game:

Sunday’s game
Toronto’s lineup was unchanged except for Tera Hofmann getting her first start with Toronto:

Congratulations to @TeraHofmannnn who gets her first start as a member of the #T6 pic.twitter.com/NifhfOxh4N
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 16, 2022

And Buffalo made a few alterations after Saturday’s crushing defeat:

Here’s todays lineup against Toronto Six!! #LetsGo #FortBeaut #PHF: @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/AGrBqGP2aq
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 16, 2022

You would think that it would be difficult to follow up such a dominant performance with another one, but the Six did exactly that.
After the Beauts opened the scoring, assistant captain Emma Woods with this bar down snipe on the powerplay:

Emma Woods goes bardown on the power play! pic.twitter.com/pqxLHJFJIL
— PHF (@PHF) January 16, 2022

Toronto scored another one on the powerplay, and then the Beauts scored a couple on Toronto to make it 3-2 at the end of the 1st.
Those would be the last goals Buffalo would score this weekend, as the Six ran the show for the remaining two periods. First, Emma Woods got her second of the night, then it was Brooke Boquist finishin …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Late goal from Mikheyev gives Leafs win in chaotic 6-5 game

This game had it all. An Auston Matthews “controller died” defensive performance on a goal. A sick faceoff play goal. A blown 3-1 lead. Timothy Liljegren’s first goal. A brutal goal allowed from Jack Campbell. Matthews reaching 10 straight road games with a goal. Ilya Mikheyev scoring from the corners. Jordan Binnington allowing six goals. Terrible officiating. Even Morgan Rielly wasn’t satisfied with the entertainment value and took a penalty with six second left to make it close. It wasn’t one of their prettier games, but the Leafs were the better team, and you can’t deny that it was a fun one. And the fact that the Leafs escaped it with with the win makes it even better, and ended the Blues 13 game home point streak as well.
TLN Three Stars
3rd Star: Timothy Liljegren
He was one of the best defenseman in the game for the Leafs possession wise, with a 68.8% CF% and 62.8% xGF%, all while playing just his second game in over a month and doing so against top competition alongside Jake Muzzin. Oh, and he finally got his first NHL goal with an absolute bullet of a one-timer for what was the go-ahead goal at the time.
2nd Star: Mitch Marner
Marner played his first game since returning …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The case for and against the Leafs reacquiring Phil Kessel

Earlier this week, Frank Seravalli released an updated trade targets list and he included a player that needs no introduction to Leafs fans: Phil Kessel.
Few players in team history have garnered quite a mixed reputation amongst the fanbase the way he did in the six seasons he donned the Blue and White.
His talent was undeniable, highlighted by him scoring 394 points in 446 games as a Leaf and leading the team scoring every season he played in Toronto. But he arrived with lofty expectations stemming from the trade that brought him to Toronto in exchange for two first-round picks that became Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton.
The Leafs only made the playoffs once throughout his stay, and a large portion of the blame for the constant losing fell on him because of his perceived lack of work ethic. Because of his high-profile role, he was forced into the spotlight where he looked completely out of his element and flabbergasted. So by 2015, he was shipped off to the Penguins where we would go on to win two Stanley Cups, thus closing the chapter on a wasted six years with one of the most gifted snipers in NHL history.
The reputation surrounding Kessel in Toronto has not gone away, even despite him proving to be a key component on a Cup-winning team. But a lot has changed in nearly seven years since the last time he played for the Leafs and this raises two questions. Does it make any sense to bring him back? And if so, should they?
The case for
As stated before, the value that Kessel prov …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation