How the schedule details released today impacts the Leafs

The NHL has been working hard all weekend finalizing the details for the 2020-21 season. Today, we’ve been getting a lot of details about key dates for some the biggest events of the season. While some of these could be changed barring any complications with COVID-19, and the politics surrounding it (especially with Canada and the NHL team’s provinces), let’s take a look at some of the important dates for this season.

So, to recap:Puck drop: Jan. 13Trade deadline: April 12End of reg season: May 8Expansion draft: July 21NHL draft: July 23-24Free-agent Frenzy: July 28July 29: LeBrun goes to cottage https://t.co/um2EkAIOc6
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 20, 2020

Training Camp
Based on the current dates, the Leafs will start their training camp on January 3, something Pierre Lebrun reported on Friday. This will be the starting day that most teams will have, while the teams that weren’t in the playoffs in the summer will get a few extra days.
This will give the Leafs 10 days before the start of the season to get their systems in place and figure out their lineup. That will be important because there will also be no preseason games, similar …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Montoyo on Giles: “We called from the bench and he said he was fine.”

Opening weekend was a rollercoaster for the Blue Jays.

The team’s inspiring 6-4 win on Friday brought on some serious optimism about the team’s chances this season. And, as a result, that win and its subsequent optimism made Saturday and Sunday’s back-to-back losses all the more frustrating.
The target of Blue Jays fans’ frustration? Charlie Montoyo.
First, it was Montoyo’s questionable bullpen management that made him the target of criticism. With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth inning, Montoyo opted to bring in mop-up guy Sam Gaviglio to hold the tie. Gaviglio, as you’d expect from a guy who doesn’t have the stuff to pitch in these types of situations, got smacked around, surrendering three runs.
The Gaviglio thing was frustrating because it seemed that everyone other than Montoyo could see that he wasn’t going to thrive in that situation. But, to be fair, this was more ill-advised than it was egregious. There weren’t many options available and Montoyo wanted to see how Gaviglio could perform in a one-inning role. So long as this doesn’t happen again, it …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It really looks like Nick Robertson has fast-tracked his way to the Leafs

Next weekend the Leafs will be playing in playoff games. Call it the “play-ins” or “play-downs” or whatever, but for all intents and purposes, when Toronto goes up against Columbus on August 1st, they’re in do or die mode. Lose 3 of 5 and go home. It’s as important as any other postseason matchup they’ve been in over the last four years.
And here is 18-year-old Nick Robertson, with just ten days until these all-important games get going, taking reps with the Leafs’ main group — looking more and more like a regular part of the lineup.
This isn’t really the way it was supposed to be. If you could plot out the development curve for a typical 2nd round pick, you’d think a year back in the junior ranks followed by a year or two with the Marlies would be the standard path. But for all the ways we’ve struggled with handling the hype around Robertson and his 55-goal OHL season this past winter, it’s looking like he’s going to play games for the Leafs this summer. Otherwise, what are …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Next steps in NHL’s return-to-play planning, players discuss isolation, and more

Over the weekend, the NHLPA voted heavily in favour of accepting a 24-team playoff format in the event the NHL resumes the 2019-20 season later this summer. This is just a very small step forward to getting the league going and there are some large, complicated hurdles left to overcome.

While the 24-team format was passed with a 29-to-2 vote (in which Carolina and Tampa Bay voted no), the next vote, which will be on accepting the details and logistics for a summer playoff tournament proposed by the league, could be more contentious.
Michael Russo, a Minnesota Wild reporter with The Athletic, spoke with Devan Dubnyk, who has plenty of experience representing his teammates on the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board. Dubnyk said that the yes vote was for the 24-team format, and another vote, perhaps one involving as many as 700 players, will be needed to pass through things like logistics, cities, travel, testing, and economics.
“I think it’s really important to start having these conversations with as many players as we can about, ‘Guys, what scenarios are we OK with?’” Dubnyk said. “From what it sounds …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness Bracket is live

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey over the weekend to help build out our bracket for Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness. I think I’ve learned a lot about Leafs Nation in the process, but the main thing is that crowd sourcing led to a pretty solid looking bracket.

The main regional matchups will get underway on Wednesday, and we’ll do our best to keep voting every weekday for the next couple of weeks, but you’ll notice that there are three play-ins on the bracket, and those will get underway tomorrow.
Play-ins
Your Grandpa’s Leafs Region
Frank Mahovlich is awaiting his first round rival, and he’ll be facing off against either Hap Day or Bobby Baun
Hap Day has pretty much filled every role you could possibly ask a player, coach, executive to fill and he’s won in each of those roles.
He goes up against the Stanley Cup legend that is Bobby Baun. Since I was a child I heard the tale of Baun recovering from an injury to return and score the game winning goal for the Leafs, and while it may …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Nick Robertson is on my 2020-21 Leafs Roster and he should be on yours too

Over the weekend Terry Koshan wrote an excellent profile of just how great Nick Robertson has been doing in Peterborough this season. If you haven’t been paying attention the Leafs top junior prospect, I encourage you to give it a read as it may bring you around to where I am, jumping to the conclusion that the best thing for a 19 year old winger is to be in the NHL and fighting for a spot on the 3rd line.
“Despite missing chunks of the regular season — a broken finger in November put Robertson on the sideline for a month, and he then was absent when he was representing the United States at the world juniors — Robertson hasn’t let up on OHL goaltenders, scoring 33 times in 30 games heading into the Petes’ contest in Hamilton on Sunday.”
It’s safe to say that Robertson has found his goal scoring touch, one that was already largely there putting up 27 goals in 54 games during his draft year, but exceeding a goal per game pace is probably a sign that there really isn’t a whole lot left for Robertson to do in the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Predicting the Toronto Raptors All-Star weekend participants

The All-Star weekend is one of the most anticipated dates on the NBA calendar. Are there any members of the Toronto Raptors roster who could feature at the event? This season, the All-Star weekend will be hosted in Chicago, Illinois. Home of the Chicago Bulls, the Windy City will surely provide an excellent backdrop for […]
Predicting the Toronto Raptors All-Star weekend participants – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Nicknames revealed for Player’s Weekend jerseys

Coming up on the third Player’s Weekend, the nicknames for the current Blue Jays roster, that will appear on their jerseys from August 23rd to the 25th, have been released.

#BlueJays jersey nicknames for Players’ Weekend (Aug. 23-25)https://t.co/xUOfpeJoYl pic.twitter.com/kvV32fHMJa
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) August 6, 2019

This will mark the third consecutive three-day period that all of Major League Baseball will be participating in the event that allows players to sport nicknames on their jerseys and put on some stylized equipment, to show some personality in the game.
Other than having some colourful look as years previous, the league decided to go for the “white-out” look and display a very bland and blank template for jerseys. If player’s take advantage of this and take out the Sharpies like they’re unsheathing some creative sword, that would make it a whole lot better.
As for the Blue Jays, an infinite amount of kudos to both Derek Fisher and Jacob Waguespack going with their own names, it takes the true creative spirit to abide to the original.
Some of the more obvious nicknames include Danny Jansen going with “Jano”, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. having something related …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs tried trade talks for Nurse and Slavin, still looking to overhaul defence

Prior to the draft this past weekend, it was floated by a few of the more ‘in-the-know’ Leafs sources that Kyle Dubas and his front office was set up to make a lot of moves in an effort to shed some dead weight and improve the club. Up to four or five trades, some expected. With the Marner negotiation still on at the front of everything, to this point Toronto has completed one deal: The Marleau trade that freed up $6.25-million in cap space at the cost of a first round pick next summer.
But just because the news has still been relatively quiet doesn’t mean the Leafs don’t have something cooking up on the back burner. According to James Mirtle of The Athletic, Dubas is still in search of two real-deal defenders, and of course will have to move out Nikita Zaitsev to go along with whatever moves he makes to get them. There’s still a shakeup coming, it seems.
“They’ve seemingly talked to every team in the league about every defenceman they could plausibly add, including some surprising names such as Darnell Nurse, a former Soo Greyhound whom Leafs GM Kyle Dubas apparently tried …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation