Every Toronto Maple Leafs connection at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

In an alternate universe, we would be in the midst of a wild week of roster announcements and debate surrounding the NHL’s return to the Olympics. While we still won’t get to see the likes of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, or Nathan MacKinnon at the Olympics for now, the upcoming Games still provide a high profile event that sees a lot of familiar names competing for their country.
For the Toronto Maple Leafs, that means a mix of current prospects and former players all heading to China over the next week. For some prospects, it will be their introduction to the fanbase on a grand stage. Then you have the former players, some of which will bring back fond memories of past teams, and others will have you going “oh I remember him!”
To get you set for the men’s tournament that begins on February 9, here is every player with a connection to the Toronto Maple Leafs competing at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The Current Prospects
Easily the most notable group of players attending the Olympics is the group of current Leafs prospects that will be representing their country in China. There will be three “true” Leafs prospects at the Olympics, with an additional two whose NHL rights still belong to Toronto.
Many fans …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: The Ty Voit show continues, Veeti Miettinen heating up, Ian Scott returns

It was once again a busy week in the Toronto Maple Leafs system as the Marlies continue their long road trip, the Growlers finally got their 2022 schedule underway, and one more prospect is heading to the Olympics. In addition to all the news, there were a few marquee performances to get to, so let’s dive right into things in the latest Leafs Prospect Roundup.
Ty Voit | C | Sarnia (OHL)
Ty Voit’s Sarnia Sting faced off against the Owen Sound Attack twice over the weekend, and oh was it ever an eventful pair of games.
In the opening game of the weekend, Sarnia found themselves down 2-0 in the second period. On the penalty kill and in danger of going down 3-0, Voit capitalized on a pinching Owen Sound defender to score his 10th goal of the season and cut the deficit in half.
Then came the bad. Just a couple of minutes after this goal, Voit was on the receiving end of a nasty late hit from Mark Woolley. Voit would miss the remainder of the second period, but somehow managed a return for the third. Woolley received a major penalty for the hit and was subsequently suspended indefinitely, pending full OHL review on the play (standard procedure for a play s …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Sizing up the American League East: The Baltimore Orioles

Last week, I wrote an article about which team in the AL East has the best starting rotation. In a series of five articles, we’ll cover each of the AL East team’s position players, starting with the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the free agency period isn’t finished yet. It is entirely possible that the Jays sign Kris Bryant or trade for Jose Ramirez once this dumb lockout is over, so this article may be revised if that is the case. Furthermore, all projected lineups in this series will be brought to you by Fangraphs’ depth chart.
The Bad Birds of the East are going to be bad once again. I’m starting with them because it gives a chance for my editor to use the Oriole trash can picture. Speaking of trash, let’s talk about the Oriole infield. Below is the projected infield for the 2022 Baltimore Orioles.
Jacob Nottingham (Catcher)
Anthony Bemboom (Catcher)
Ryan Mountcastler (First Baseman)
Trey Mancini (Backup First Baseman)
Rougned Odor (Second Baseman)
Ramon Urias (Shortstop)
Kelvin Guiterrez (Third Baseman)
Jorge Mateo (Utility)
Adley Rutschman (Catcher)
I hope Oriole fans are happy with another first overall pick! Nottingham has played only 53 games in the MLB and has hit below the Mendoza Line for his career. His defense is okay, but not more than average. Bemboom’s career is pretty much the same story. However, Rutschman will likely make his debut in 2022, we’ll get to him later.
Aside from Adley, Mountcastle is the only shining spot in the infield for the Orioles. He had a slash line of .255/.309/.796 with 33 home runs. This led to him finishing sixth in rookie of the year voting. If Mountcastle can build off his impressive second rookie season, he could be one of few bright spots for the team.
On a more serious note, it is nice to see Trey Mancini back in baseball. Sho …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays 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

Maple Leafs Weekly Thoughts: Return to the ice and Ritchie clearing waivers

It’s been an interesting week for the Toronto Maple Leafs after going 17 days from mid-December to early January with no games because of multiple postponements. In this week’s edition of Maple Leafs weekly thoughts and notes, we’ll try to tackle some of the highlights and take a closer at a few ongoing situations.
NICK RITCHIE
It was announced Friday afternoon that Ritchie had cleared waivers after being sent down the day before. Although, with Mitch Marner and Pierre Engvall being placed in the NHL’s COVID protocol on Friday, Ritchie likely finds his way back into the lineup Saturday night in Colorado. If Ritchie wants to fire up the redemption tour, that’d be cool. It started last Saturday night when the Maple Leafs took on the Ottawa Senators in another edition of the battle of Ontario. This was the first time all season that the Leafs had all of their forwards healthy and available to them. As a result, Nick Ritchie was made a healthy scratch.

Who you got scoring our first goal of 2022? #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Aak0I0zKvb
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 1, 2022

The Maple Leafs had been in a position basically since the beginning of the season where they were going to have to trade or send down someone because as it sat, they would have been over the salary cap with a 22 man roster and everyone healthy. But because of injuries to Ilya Mikheyev, Petr Mrazek, and Marner they were able to gain short-term cap flexibility through LTIR and kick that can down the road. The likelihood of Ritchie getting claimed was probably very low. He has one goal in 30 games this year and is signed to another year after this at a cap hit of 2.5M where his actual salary increases from 1.7M to 3.3M. With Ritchie having cleared the Leafs are free to call him up and send him back down whenever they need him over the next 30 days. This allows them to keep Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren on the roster in the meantime. So, the Leafs have once again bought themselves some more time without losing any organizational depth.

After Ritchie cleared waivers the Leafs would have just over 300k in cap s …

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Author: Stephen Brown / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Cavaliers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 26

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Cavaliers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 26

The Toronto Raptors started last week with tons of momentum after some impressive wins, but the league’s health and safety protocols have ravaged this roster. The latest Raptors odds aren’t looking very promising after names like Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and Pascal Siakam were sidelined. What should’ve been a very enticing matchup against the Cleveland […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Cavaliers Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 26 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors mock draft: Toronto takes supremely athletic point guard

Raptors mock draft: Toronto takes supremely athletic point guard

The Toronto Raptors spent nearly a week off due to COVID-19 outbreaks both internally and externally, and that pause gave the Raptors mock draft experts plenty of time to cook up additions for a potential lottery team lacking in both frontcourt and backcourt depth. The Raptors appeared to do a very good job of finding […]
Raptors mock draft: Toronto takes supremely athletic point guard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Mark Shapiro is Already the Greatest Leader in Blue Jays History

News broke this week that Rogers and the Blue Jays have decided that the most feasible path forward for the Rogers Centre is to renovate the stadium for a quarter of a billion dollars rather than attempt to build a replacement.

This latest development means that in just six years since first coming to Toronto in the Fall of 2015, Mark Shapiro, the President of the Blue Jays, has done (or is in the process of doing) everything that could have possibly been expected of him when he signed his original contract. Both on and off the field, Shapiro has taken a team that was aging in its roster, baseball & business operations, and facilities, and has revitalized them all to ensure that the team as a whole has a bright future. I think it’s important to look at each individual aspect and examine how well everything has turned out, because for all the flak he got when he took over the job, Shapiro has firmly cemented himself as the best all-around executive the Blue Jays have ever had.
Roster
Much has been written about the current Blue Jays team, and if you’re reading this, you know that the …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: World Juniors begin this week, Ty Voit signs, two streaks snapped

It was a slow week of games for Toronto Maple Leafs prospects as teams reach their holiday break, but there was plenty of news to go around.
Before we dive into the roundup, be sure to check out my full Leafs prospect rankings from last Thursday. I ranked every prospect in the organization, from #1 through to #34, giving an update and thoughts on each prospect. With the prospect rankings in your second tab for future reading, let’s dive into this week’s roundup.
World Juniors (Roni Hirvonen, Topi Niemelä, Matthew Knies)
We’re days away from the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships getting underway and three Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will feature for two strong teams.
Leafs fans, prepare to become Team Finland fans over the next two weeks. Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemelä return to the team looking to lead their country to a medal. Hirvonen, a hero in last year’s tournament when he scored the game-winning goal against Sweden to knock out their arch-rivals, was named captain over the weekend. Niemelä will serve as an assistant, the tournament’s reigning top defenceman award winner.

Leafs prospect Roni Hirvonen will be Finland’s captain at the world juniors, according to …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 stars from week nine of the season (December 5-11)

After ending week eight with an overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Toronto Maple Leafs held one of the hottest records in the entire NHL of 15-2-1 in their last 18 games dating back to October 27th where they picked up a very important overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks after dropping four straight. Well, they didn’t have to wait long to try and get back into the win column after that Wild loss because they were in Winnipeg the next night to play the Jets, and boy, what a game that was.
The Maple Leafs opened up the week with a very weird and very out-of-control game that ultimately got so out of hand that the referees literally had no idea what they were doing out there. This game was hard to watch for multiple reasons given that Toronto was very sloppy and didn’t really help out Joseph Woll in the net in any way. That and the fact that this game had big hits, wrestling in the corners, and even a couple of fights, not to mention a couple of suspensions and fines after the game had concluded. I shouldn’t have to explain myself …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation