Mark Giordano agrees to a two-year extension with the Leafs

One-third of the Leafs’ major acquisitions at the 2022 Trade deadline will be remaining in Hog Town for the foreseeable future.

We’ve signed defenceman Mark Giordano to a two-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 22, 2022

The Leafs reported that Mark Giordano agreed to a two-year extension that carries an AAV of $800K.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Giordano remains an effective defenceman putting up fairly consistent scoring numbers over the past half-decade and a steady presence on the backend. He is just three seasons removed from capturing his first career Norris Trophy after all.
He was taken by the Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft after spending the first 15 years of his career with the Flames. This past season saw him split time with Seattle and Toronto where he combined to score eight goals, 27 assists, and 35 points in 75 games played.
Giordano was acquired along with Colin Blackwell a day before the deadline in exchange for two second-round picks and a third-round pick.
More from TheLeafsNation.com
The best thing for John Tavares might be to play wing, but that opens up a big hole at center by Jon Steitzer
Maple Leafs and Kyle Dubas ‘need’ Marlies prospects to compete for NHL roster spots next season by Nick Barden
Maple Leafs would be ill-advised to make drastic changes despite yet another first-round exit by Kyle Cushman
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PointsBet Canada has officially launched in Ontario! Get more details right here! …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Getting Jack Campbell ready for the playoffs was top ‘priority’ for Maple Leafs’, now he has to deliver

When the NHL trade deadline came and went on Mar. 21, the Toronto Maple Leafs elected not to upgrade what was seemingly a fragile situation in goal.
Their incumbent starter, Jack Campbell, was in the midst of a massive slide in his performance. Petr Mrazek, signed to three-year, $11.4 million contract to be his support system, also struggled.
“I promise I’ll get out of it,” Campbell said after a particularly poor performance against the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 5. He allowed five goals on 28 shots, but it was the type of goals he was allowing at the time that made you suspect something was wrong.
Later in the month, Campbell suffered a rib injury and he played through it for a few games before the Maple Leafs shut down the goaltender for nearly a month.
The time away appeared to do the goaltender some good. Campbell went a perfect 7-0-0 in April while posting a .915 save percentage, far bette than the sub .900 numbers he had in the previous three months. It was play more reminiscent of the goaltender who was voted to his first NHL All-Star Game this season after a solid first two months of the season.
“Just play …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays trade Anthony Castro to Cleveland for Bradley Zimmer

The Blue Jays have made a trade with Cleveland. No, it doesn’t involve Jose Ramirez.

Heading to Toronto will be outfielder Bradley Zimmer, while right-handed pitcher Anthony Castro goes back to Cleveland in return.

The Guardians have traded outfielder Bradley Zimmer to the Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Anthony Castro.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) April 8, 2022

 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Auston Matthews hits 50-goal mark, Mitch Marner makes Maple Leaf history

The week of the trade deadline was a pretty quiet one for the Toronto Maple Leafs with just two games on their schedule, one at home against the Devils, and one on the road against the Canadiens. They liked their game against New Jersey, as well as their game against Montreal, but left Saturday night upset without the two points given how well they played that night. Fast forward to the next week and Toronto has four games on their schedule, with two against some big Atlantic division teams in the Panthers and Bruins, so the Maple Leafs had to be ready for the week that was ahead.
They opened their week on Sunday night at home in a clash against the Florida Panthers for the first time this season, and following a loss to the Canadiens 24 hours prior, some of us were wondering how this team would come out and perform on the second half of a back-to-back against one of the best teams in the league. Wel …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs trade deadline move everyone is overlooking

Ninety minutes before this year’s NHL trade deadline, Kyle Dubas made a deal with David Poile and the Nashville Predators. The trade was Alex Biega going from the Leafs to the Predators in exchange for everyone’s favourite, future considerations.

TRADE: We’ve traded defenceman Alex Biega to Nashville in exchange for future considerations. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/hGGradEFoK
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 21, 2022

Before you click away, April 1st isn’t until Friday, so no, I am not joking. There is more to this article than just Biega for future considerations, though. This deal could be the Maple Leafs giving Biega a better opportunity to play in the NHL. In Toronto, Biega was probably ninth or tenth on the organizational depth chart on the blue line. This trade also frees up a contract slot for the Leafs to sign NCAA or European free agents. The team has already signed Nick Abruzzese to an entry-level contract and will probably look into doing the same with Matthew Knies whenever his season concludes. Puck Pedia currently has the Leafs at 50/50 professional contracts, but Cap Friendly has them at 47/50. The discrepancy is likely from Puck Pedia including William Villeneuve, Braeden Kressler, and Ty Voit all have ELCs, but are exempt from the 50 contract limit.
Usually, the details from trades that include future considerations never come to light. But I think we can speculate on what the return for Biega might be. Enter Philippe Myers.

News: The Toronto Marlies have acquired defenceman Philippe Myers on loan from the Nashville Predators. #MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/A47XNuFivA
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 23, 2022

A loan is not the same as a trade. Myers …

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Author: Stephen Brown / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs week ahead: Boston, prospect debuts, Campbell?

With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, the Leafs coming off a disappointing loss to Montreal, and a rejuvenating win against Florida, it’s time to set up the next week for the Leafs. March is coming to a close, and we are finally in the last month of the regular season. It’s been a long way to get to exactly where we thought the Leafs would be. Comfortably in the playoffs, but not the top of the Atlantic. Good, but with plenty of room for improvement.
As we start the week, here are some things to keep an eye on this week.
Nick Abruzzese joins the Leafs
Maple Leafs sign Nick Abruzzese to two-year entry-level contract

As first reported by our own Nick Richard, Nick Abruzzese signed with the Leafs this week to a two year entry level contract. The contract also allows for him to burn through the first year if he plays this season, and it appears he almost immediately will as Toronto has him traveling to Boston (presumably not just to use the MLSE jet to move Abruzzese out of his Harvard dorm room.) Abruzzese has had a big year, being the Ivy League player of the year, and playing for the American Olympic team, now he needs to slot into the Leafs’ lineup, and it will be interesting to see what they do.
Abruzzese is a smart player, who can play at both ends of the ice, but he’s going to need some sheltering. The fact that he’s a center, a definite position of need for the Leafs, could see him get his start in that role centering his own fourth line to start, but the Leafs might also want to see what he can do with some sheltered shifts on Tavares’ wing. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Harvard line of Blackwell, Kerfoot, and Abruzzese.
Having Abruzzese join the Leafs straight from college isn’t as debatable of a decision as if the Leafs bring Matthew Knies in …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Petr Mrazek’s bounce back game, Auston Matthews ties career-high in goals

Now that the NHL’s trade deadline has finally come and gone, this is the team the Toronto Maple Leafs will be rolling with for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. After what was a pretty eventful week two weeks ago with Toronto playing four games – including the Heritage Classic – the Maple Leafs only had two games on their schedule this past week. One against the New Jersey Devils, and the other one against the Montreal Canadiens.
They opened their week last Wednesday night at home hosting the Devils in the ‘Next Gen’ game where the Maple Leafs were debuting their new jerseys that featured an all-black look with a little blue as well. The ‘Next Gen’ game was originally supposed to be played against the St. Louis Blues back in December, but due to COVID-19, it was postponed and moved to a later date.
Not only were the Maple Leafs debuting new jerseys, but they also had two newly acquired players – Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell – debuting for Toronto as well. Toronto came out of the gates flying and played another solid game as they picked up a very important win over the Devils 3-2, which put them in …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays solidify their bench with trade for Raimel Tapia

With the trade of Randal Grichuk it’s the end of a mini era for the Blue Jays.

Grichuk was one of the first big Major League acquisitions by this front office that you thought would be a part of the team’s next core. The thought with Grichuk was he had tremendous power and if he could just cut down on the swing and miss and improve his walk rate he could be a very good player and a major part of the team’s core. Those improvements never materialized and he found himself as the fourth outfielder heading into this season.
Grichuk’s skill set doesn’t really work coming off the bench. His strikeout rate has come down quite a bit since his time in St. Louis, but he doesn’t walk or work the count. He’s a good defender, especially in right field, though he is a little miscast in centre. He’s a fine base runner but doesn’t have the blazing speed you would like to have on the bench. He will have an opportunity in Colorado to play every day and in Coors Field with his power could easily eclipse 35 homers.
Raimel Tapia maybe isn’t the player that Grichuk is, but he is a much better fit on this roster. Tapia is quick; his 28.3 feet per second sprint speed would rank second on the Blue Jays behind Teoscar Hernández. He can steal ba …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays trade Randal Grichuk to the Rockies for Raimel Tapia and Adrian Pinto

Let’s be honest, who saw this trade coming?

Randal Grichuk has been traded from the Blue Jays to the Rockies for Ramiel Tapia, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 24, 2022

It was announced on Thursday afternoon that the Blue Jays have traded Randal Grichuk and cash to the Colorado Rockies for 28-year-old outfielder, Raimel Tapia and 19-year-old Adrian Pinto.
Raimel Tapia:
The Rockies are my second team and while Raimel Tapia doesn’t stand out, the 28-year-old is the perfect fourth outfielder. First and foremost, he fits the Jays need of a left handed batter. While he didn’t hit for power, especially at Coors, his career slash line sits at .280/.325/.721 with an 78 wRC+.
Tapia’s wRC+ should be taken with a grain of salt, as the stat is reliant on ballpark factor, meaning that since the 28-year-old doesn’t hit homers at Coors, it takes a hit.
His 2021 was arguably his best season, as he slashed .274/.327/.699, but drastically improved his walk and strikeout rate. While his 7.5% BB% is his career high, he only struck out 13.1% of his plate appearances, down from his career 18.4%.
He is also a spray hitter, as evident by his career total for batted balls. His pull% sits at 31.4%, up the middle at 37.9% and opposite field at 30.7%. This is one reason the Jays looked at Brett Grander a few days ago.
While his career high in home runs sits at 9 in 2019, he did record his highest stolen base total at 20 during the 2021 season.
Furthermore, Tapia registered a 7 DRS in left field during the 2021 season and has improved over the past two seasons. Interestingly, according to the tweet below, playing left field at Coors is like playing centre field in 90% of bal …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Assessing six trade targets that the Leafs did not acquire

The 2022 Trade Deadline is well in the rearview mirror and as the dust settles, we are left with the playoff push that will surely make things interesting the rest of the way.
On deadline day, a total of 33 deals were made with the Leafs only making one minor swap. There are also the two big swaps that saw the Leafs add Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell, while also acquiring Ilya Lyubushkin a few weeks prior and sending Travis Dermott to the Canucks for a third-rounder. It’s clear that Toronto has made some adjustments to their lineup and appears to have made some improvements in areas of concern despite not acquiring a goalie.
While the Leafs did add three new pieces into the fold, there were numerous others that they were connected to but ended up not acquiring either due to a high asking price from the selling club or shifted interest to other targets. A vast majority of these players did find new homes on trade deadline day while a few remained with their original club. It is these players that will be the focus of today’s piece as we access whether or not the Leafs made the right call in not acquiring said players.
For this one, we will be looking at some of the big names that had confirmed repor …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation