The Leafs Prospect Rankings so far

The Leafs Prospect Rankings so far

We are one week into our countdown towards the Leafs top organizational prospect. Right now we seem to be focusing largely on players that are encouraging long shots or potentially worthwhile depth players. Next week we’ll start seeing a few more names that are a lot more of the hit or miss, swing for the fences prospects that haven’t necessarily established themselves yet.
Here’s who we’ve covered so far…
TLN Prospect Rankings: The Honourable Mentions

In the Honourable Mentions we focused on Dmitri Ovchinnikov, Kalle Loponen, and Veeti Miettenen. Here’s some of what what Nick DeSouza had to say about Ovchinnikov:
I personally had Ovchinnikov ranked the highest out of the TLN crew at 14. To many, Ovchinnikov was regarded as a sleeper prior to the draft and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Leafs were the ones to take him. One thing that was surprising though, was the fact that they traded up for the pick, something that we don’t usually see too often by Dubas.
Given that Ovchinnikov has 23 points in 15 games in the MHL, and has appeared in 5 games in the KHL this year, it’s likely we’ll …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ranking All of the Reverse Retro Jerseys

The NHL has spent the last week teasing their new Reverse Retro theme around the league, and with them finally being unveiled today, the internet surprisingly loves and hates every jersey.
So with that, I’ve decided to rank every jersey based on it’s looks and how well it matches the Reverse Retro theme. Who better to do a ranking on something about fashion than me, someone who’s wardrobe mostly consists of band or meme t-shirts, jeans, and cargo shorts? I’ll put them into tiers to separate them out a bit, but this will also be a true countdown, don’t worry.
 
Disgusting (the insult)
31. New York Islanders
They literally picked a more boring shade of blue than what they had on their already boring jerseys. Like, either use the current jerseys with the fisherman logo, or use the current logo with an all orange jersey, those were their only plays.
But hey, if anything sums up the Lou Lamoriello era of Islanders history, it’s a bad jersey that is also super boring to look at.
30. Detroit Red Wings
Look, the Wings (and the Leafs) were in a tough spot with this one because they only …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Pundits are predicting a big off-season for the Blue Jays (and, honestly, anything less would be a disappointment)

The last week of activity has painted a very clear picture of what this off-season landscape is going to look like across Major League Baseball.

To put it bluntly — teams are going to be cheap.
This, of course, is a reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams lost a whole bunch of money last year because games weren’t played in front of live audiences so nobody bought tickets or hot dogs or merchandise at games. There’s also a good chance that fans won’t be at games next season either.
So, after taking a hit in 2020 and planning to take yet another hit in 2021, most owners aren’t going to be interested in committing major dollars to payroll this winter. Simple math.
In the first week of off-season madness, we’ve seen moves that indicate a very frugal winter.
The Oakland A’s didn’t qualify either Liam Hendriks or Marcus Semien. The risk of having to commit to paying either player the $19 million qualification salary in 2021 was enough of a deterrent for the A’s to let two very good players walk to free agency without any draft pick compensation attached to them at all.
The A’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

When Will Hockey Really Be For Everyone? The Mitchell Miller Situation.

This week, a story hit the online hockey space that was unknown to many, though not all, previously. Arizona Coyotes 4th round draft pick (and their first pick of the draft), Mitchell Miller, along with another teenage boy, “was charged with assault and violating the Ohio Safe Schools Act in February 2016” for their absolutely disgusting, egregious, dangerous attack on Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black, developmentally disabled classmate of theirs. Police reports and accounts from Isaiah’s mother document a history of bullying, harassment, and violence that culminated in the incident for which Miller was charged.
The details of the incident, and the history of violence Miller perpetrated against Isaiah, have been thoroughly documented in a number of articles and posts, including the original story linked above. The attempts to contact him have been documented as well. This post isn’t about the details of the horrific incident or the history of racism and bullying, but rather the response in and around the league, highlighting yet again that hockey isn’t really for everyone, and it definitely isn’t for you if your skin isn’t white, you aren’t able-bodied, and you don’t have the financial means to access expensive …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Rapid COVID-19 testing could help bring the Blue Jays back to Toronto

Earlier this week, Mark Shapiro hosted a media availability and mentioned that he’s optimistic that the Blue Jays can play home games in Toronto come 2021.

It was sort of a puzzling statement given the fact there’s no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic and things down south are getting worse and worse by the day. The Canadian government opted to not allow the Blue Jays to play at home in 2020 because of issues with players crossing the Canada-U.S. border. Why would this be different come April?
But, on Thursday, news came out that the federal government is testing a pilot project for rapid COVID-19 testing in Alberta beginning in November.
Currently, travellers returning to Canada from outside the country are legally required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. Beginning on Nov. 2 at the Coutts land border crossing and the Calgary International Airport, travellers will be offered a COVID-19 test upon arrival before proceeding into the required quarantine. If the test comes back negative, they will be able to leave their place of quarantine as long as they commit to getting a second test on Day 6 or 7 after arrival.
If the trial is successful, we would likely …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How has free agency gone so far for the Leafs?

Week one of free agency is coming to a close. The money is gone, but so are the most critical holes in the roster. The path to cap compliance is there, and there generally seems to be a sense of excitement around the Leafs to traditionally comes with the luxury of just looking at the team on paper, but how do we really feel about them? Some of our writers have weighed in on how free agency has gone so far for the Leafs…
Michael Mazzei (@theleafsimo)
Overall, I’m pleased with how the Leafs have done so far in free agency. After Alex Pietrangelo, TJ Brodie was the best defenceman available and adding him was critical in solidifying the depth on the blue line. Kyle Dubas talked about wanting to  make the Leafs tougher to play against, and the additions of both Wayne Simmonds and Zach Bogosian should provide just that and add some valuable veteran leadership in the locker room. I also thought the Leafs did well on their depth signings, with Jimmy Vesey being the most intriguing of the bunch. And the addition of Aaron Dell will help improve the goaltending depth. I still believe they need …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Early Off-Season Stuff: The 40-man, Club Options, Qualifying Offers, and more!

The big talk over the past week since the Blue Jays got shoved out of the post-season by the Rays has been what kind of bold moves the front office can make this winter.

Last winter was highlighted by the addition of Hyun Jin Ryu, who signed an $80 million contract. That decision signalled that the front office was ready to invest in this young team and them taking a massive step forward in this year’s COVID-shortened season certainly validated that investment.
But before we worry about signing Trevor Bauer or trading for Francisco Lindor or bringing Jose Bautista back as a pitcher, there’s a whole bunch of other monotonous early off-season business to deal with. Let’s walk through all of it.
At the end of October, somebody is going to be awarded the World Series in Arlington, and, as per usual, it won’t be the Texas Rangers. It won’t be the Blue Jays either, obviously. So why does this matter? Because one day after the World Series gets awarded is when things start to happen.
Trades can resume the next day, five days later is the deadline for tendering qualifying offers to impending free agents …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ross Atkins says the Blue Jays are open to adding a “super high impact” player. Who might that be?

Last week, Ross Atkins talked to the media about where the organization is headed after the team’s successful 2020 season.

Had this year been normal, the goal would have been for the team to play near-.500 ball and take a step forward towards opening its contention window. The Blue Jays, of course, made the playoffs with a 32-28 record thanks to this year’s expanded post-season format and this young group got a much-needed taste of meaningful, competitive baseball.
So, what’s next? According to Atkins, it looks like the organization is poised to make another major off-season splash.
“I think we are in a position where we could add to this team with talent that is condensed in one player and a super high impact,” Atkins said. “We got to the point last year where we felt like the team was competitive enough to move towards winning, and that was a big part of that decision. We’re going to continue to think about how we can build upon this group, and hopefully it’s both complementary as well as making as making a really high impact.
“We need to think about that not just for 2021, but beyond that …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Brewers designated Justin Smoak for assignment… Should the Blue Jays bring him home?

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays pulled the plug on the Daniel Vogelbach experiment, designating the slugger for assignment after just five plate appearances with the team.

On Friday, Vogelbach was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers, who, in a corresponding roster move, designated our old friend Justin Smoak for assignment.

Brewers DFA Smoak, get Vogelbach, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 3, 2020

This is… a somewhat curious move.
Smoak certainly hasn’t been good in Milwaukee. He’s slashed a .186/.262/.381 line, which is his worst showing at the plate since the 2014 season, the year before he came to Toronto. But that’s still quite a bit better than Vogelbach’s hideous .088/.246/.211 line.
I would assume the play for Milwaukee here is to just grab a younger player in Vogelbach who has the potential to rebound, whereas they probably believe the 33-year-old Smoak is toast.
So, should the Blue Jays bring Smoak home? Could his big, veteran, lefty bat make a difference in the team’s lineup?
Probably not, unfortunately.
The most perplexing part of Smoak’s struggles at the plate this year is his low on-base numbers and his ugly 40 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jake Allen got traded to Montreal — How Does This Affect The Leafs?

The Leafs made a big trade last week, effectively stealing the spotlight from the playoffs by dealing Kasperi Kapanen to the Penguins. The Canadiens then decided they should do the same thing.

The Habs and Blues hooked up on a deal that sends goaltender Jake Allen to Montreal in exchange for a couple of draft picks.

Canadiens acquire Jake Allen and a 7th-round pick in 2022 from the Blues in return for a 3rd- and 7th-round pick in 2020.
https://t.co/eREQ5RDOI0
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) September 2, 2020

At a glance, this is kind of a hilarious move for the Habs because they now have roughly $15 million tied into their goaltending duo.
If Allen is as good as he was in 2019-20 — he posted a .927 save percentage over 24 regular-season games and a .935 save percentage over five appearances in the playoffs — then this certainly gives Montreal a very, very good goaltending tandem. But, still, it’s pretty wild to see a team acquire a backup with a $4,350,000 cap hit when they already have $10,500,000 tied into their starting goalie.
Anyways, enough about the Habs. The real interesting part of this deal is the aforementioned cap hit.
In making …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation