Toronto Raptors: Someone found an insanely rare Pascal Siakam basketball card

Basketball cards collectors will be coveting this Toronto Raptors Pascal Siakam card Basketball cards collectors and Toronto Raptors fans everywhere are going to be extremely jealous of one particularly lucky Raptors fan who got his hands on a rare piece of Pascal Siakam memorabilia. Calling it his “grail”, one Reddit user got a booklet insert […]
Toronto Raptors: Someone found an insanely rare Pascal Siakam basketball card – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Josh Wilson / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet or Norman Powell as the shooting guard?

There are significant issues to address this off-season for the Toronto Raptors. One problem is what to do at the starting shooting guard where Fred VanVleet is a free agent, and Norman Powell has two years left on his contract. A significant question the Toronto Raptors need to address is whether Fred VanVleet or Norman […]
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet or Norman Powell as the shooting guard? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Matt Shoemaker says the Blue Jays could face a hurdle signing free agents due to COVID-19

This is going to be a weird off-season.

The COVID-19 landscape will have ramifications on the entire league and this winter’s free agency class will certainly feel it. Many teams will be reluctant to spend big dollars in free agency this year due to the fact that owners lost a whole bunch of cash by not having fans in the seats.
From a Blue Jays’ perspective, they’re going to have to work around the uncertainty of not necessarily knowing where they’re going to play next year. Matt Shoemaker went on Sportsnet’s The Good Show on Wednesday and spoke about the challenges the organization will likely face…
“If COVID-19 is still a factor … that could play a huge aspect in anybody coming to Toronto, and hopefully it doesn’t,” Shoemaker said on Sportsnet’s “The Good Show” on Wednesday. “I think in general, before this season, everybody loves coming to Toronto when they play them on the road.
But I think it’s semi-tough for people to go to Toronto over a picking a different team in a regular season because some people are intimidated about going over the border.
“If Toronto wants you and they want …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Joe Thornton to the Leafs?

It’s been eight months since this site really committed some time to the notion of Joe Thornton being a Leaf. We were pretty sure it was going to happen at the trade deadline, and when it didn’t I don’t think any of us assumed it would be gone forever.

Joe Thornton and the Maple Leafs reportedly have “some mutual interest” in free agencyhttps://t.co/A8ptAPuKua pic.twitter.com/AYY3b6tkEd
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 13, 2020

Fact of the matter is, now might be the best time to revisit it. It’s painfully clear the Sharks aren’t going to be good next year. It’s painfully clear that Joe Thornton can’t exactly ask for much, and would have to fall into the Spezza to Simmonds range of salary, and it’s painfully clear that both sides have been interested in making this happen. So now it’s time to explore if this is a Good Idea or a Bad Idea.

GOOD IDEA!
Well, unless there is something seriously wrong with you, there’s a good chance that you are somewhat of a fan of Joe Thornton. Or a fan of what Joe Thornton …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Behind The Net Podcast Episode 45: Offseason Review (ft. Nick Richard)

In this episode, Matthew Rodrigopulle and I are joined by Nick Richard, a fellow writer for TLN. We discussed the Leafs performance at the draft, what they have in the players they got, why they might have chosen not to move down, and any hidden gems in the draft to keep an eye on. We also went over the Leafs offseason moves via trade and free agency, what each player could provide to the team, if there are any other moves coming, and projecting the lines going into 2020-21. Afterwards, Matthew and I go over the NBA Finals, the NFL Week 5 results so far, and make our predictions for the ALCS and NLCS.
Where you can listen
Spotify

Apple Podcast
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/episode-45-offseason-review-ft-nick-richard/id1488383354?i=1000494615321
Relevant Links
https://jhanhky.substack.com/p/tj-brodies-blueprint
Toronto Maple Leafs 2020 NHL draft recap

Nick’s Twitter: @_NickRichard
Follow Us on Twitter
Michael Mazzei: @TheLeafsIMO
Matthew Rodrigopulle: @Matt_Rodrigo_
Thanks for listening!
 

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

LeafsPR does us dirty and announces Denis Malgin’s loan agreement

News is news, and on most days in the offseason this would be fine, but on draft day, in a week that includes free agency, and all those other fun things that go along with it, this was a tad underwhelming.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Denis Malgin to Lausanne HC (Switzerland) #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 6, 2020

Malgin, who is from Switzerland, will be driving up the road to play for one of the Swiss teams while he waits to return to North America. This is a great situation for him, as well as the Leafs, as the Swiss League might be one of the better options talent wise for AHL/NHL tweeners at the moment.
The Lausanne team features former Leaf/Marlie Josh Jooris, and few other recognizable names in Mark Barbiero, Brian Gibbons, and Cory Conacher. Probably a sign that the team will be somewhat competitive.
As noted the other day, the Leafs have lent out Mikko Lehtonen, Kristians Rubins, Egor Korshkov, and Filip Kral, along with having prospects like Mikko Kokkonen, Pontus Holmberg, Filip Hallinder, and others playing overseas at the moment.
It certainly doesn’t hurt Malgin, a player that shows some promise and as a 23 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Behind the Net Podcast Episode 44: Plan B

In this episode, Michael Mazzei and I discuss the latest rumours surrounding the Leafs, who they target if Alex Pietrangelo isn’t available, and who they may draft at 15th overall. We also predict the first five picks of the NHL draft, where we think some of the big free agents will go, and a rumour surrounding Marc Gasol’s future. Later in the show, we go over the 2020 NBA Finals, the MLB Playoffs, and the NFL Week 4 results to that point. We conclude the episode by redoing the 2017 NBA Draft and answering listener questions.
Where you can listen
Spotify

Apple Podcasts:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/episode-44-plan-b/id1488383354?i=1000493679542
Follow Us on Twitter
Michael Mazzei: @TheLeafsIMO
Matthew Rodrigopulle: @Matt_Rodrigo_

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

I regret to inform you that I’m back on my Taylor Hall to the Leafs BS

Taylor Hall doesn’t play defense. This is a fact. A heartbreaking one because the Leafs need defense. The Leafs still would need to find a way to address that need, but the solution isn’t Taylor Hall. That doesn’t mean that Taylor Hall shouldn’t be a target for the Leafs in free agency, because last time I checked, Taylor is a damned good hockey player, one who can make Toronto better, and one that allows Toronto to explore different options via trade later on.

Sources say the Arizona Coyotes are shopping the rights to Taylor Hall.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 5, 2020

So that’s the catalyst for my Taylor Hall bullshit this morning. It’s become clear that he’s not sticking around Arizona (no real surprise) and he’s going to hit free agency on Friday. I wouldn’t say that shopping for his rights is a particularly good idea unless Toronto wants to dump some salary in the process of acquiring him or simply feel that having 11 picks in the draft this year is too stressful.

Chris Johnston on Headlines says Taylor Hall will entertain 1 or 2 yr deals.
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) October 4, 2020

While I’m …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The idea that the Leafs could revive Brandon Montour’s career and why we’re obsessing over reclamation projects

It’s a bit of a running joke in our twitter mentions at this point. Every aged, underperforming free agent that comes available there seems to be a TLN article asking if the Leafs should be in on them. I get it, you’ve seen that story before. It’s also less than a week to free agency and we’ve had a month of nothing to do but think about how the Leafs need to improve. The reality is that even as a very talented team, the Leafs have proved time and time again that talent isn’t going to carry them as far as we want them to go. Roster changes are needed.
The truth behind roster changes being needed brings us to the truth that leads to us exploring the lesser players that are available. The Leafs aren’t exactly sitting on a ton of cap space at the moment. In fact their cap space disappears very quickly once you potentially sign Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev. It’s at best around $5M the Leafs have to work with unless they are making some other changes we don’t know about. That’s why we shop the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Oh man, Teoscar Hernandez is expected to miss “serious time” due to injury

This isn’t good.

The day after losing an infuriating, heartbreaking game in Boston, it appears the Blue Jays will be without their best hitter for an extended period of time.
Per Rob Longley, Teoscar Hernandez is expected to miss “serious time” due to an undisclosed injury. There’s an MRI scheduled for today, so we’ll find out exactly what’s up with Hernandez later on.
This certainly comes out of the blue given the fact that Hernandez had a big game yesterday, going three-for-five with a homer and three runs driven in. I didn’t notice Hernandez nursing anything during the broadcast at all, so this really does come as a shock.
Hernandez has undoubtedly been the Blue Jays’ best hitter this year, and arguably their MVP (Hyun Jin Ryu would be the other guy in that conversation). He’s currently slashing a .308/.358/.637 line and his 14 homers is right up at the top of the league with names like Mike Trout and Fernando Tatis Jr.
After Sunday’s series finale in Boston, the Jays will start a difficult stretch of their schedule in which they play the Yankees 10 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation