Leaflets: Hooray for Kadri, what’s going on in Winnipeg and the market for Muzzin

We’re officially in the NHL offseason and it feels good to say that. It’s been a long season. It’s July 1st on Friday, we need some time off from games and we need to get our rosterbation on. First, I feel like we need to start with celebrating one of my favourite former Leafs, Nazem Kadri.

“For everyone that thought I was a liability in the playoffs you can kiss my ass.”
Nazem Kadri says it all after hoisting the #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/8FAIFhT9Bq
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) June 27, 2022

Kadri was the scapegoat for first round playoff losses back when the Leafs scapegoated instead of just saying they believe in everyone. He has always been a favourite target of the Department of Player Safety, and for whatever reason, the Leafs decided they didn’t need a star player on a $4.25M contract, away he went. (Reminder: you can still like Kyle Dubas and acknowledge this was a bad trade.)
Fast forward to last night and a player who was a fan favourite for many of us got his moment, got his celebration, and also got his chance to throw all the playoff liability talk back in the faces of so many people who doubted him. He deserved that moment and I’m glad he got it. Hopefully, now that he came back to finish out the Cup Finals with a broken thumb Kadri won’t have to suffer through people questioning his work ethic or whether he cares about his team.
Now that Kadri has his win and he’s off to free agency, is it too much to hope the Leafs bring him back? Well, the quote above probably makes that a hard thing to do, but I want to remain optimistic. I won’t look at the salary cap situation that will 100% remind me of how difficult that would be to happen, but so much of what has been missing from the Leafs in the past few seasons is exactly what Kadri brings and there’s a reason why h …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Artur Akhtyamov is in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean a signing is imminent

You know it’s June because we’re scrambling to report on the sighting of a late-round goaltending prospect visiting Toronto with his agent.

Keep Calm and Be-Leaf… Toronto meet your goaltending prospect of the future Artur Akhtyamov! #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/mxRXY87XCR
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) June 26, 2022

Now, this is wonderfully vague and noncommittal. This could be a player (who last time we checked) is under contract in the KHL next season just visiting the city of the team that holds his NHL rights. He could be laying down the groundwork for coming over to Toronto next season and wants to visit the Leafs facilities, meet with player development folks, and probably visit Canada’s Wonderland. It stands to reason that he’d be doing a lot of that with his agent, who is also likely acting as his interpreter a lot of time. (Also Dan Milstein looks like he’d be fun to spend a day with at an amusement park.)
There is of course the other option, the one that we all had our minds go to first, and that is the possibility of Akhtyamov signing. That’s tougher because of the whole KHL contract things, but to say the state of communication between the NHL and KHL is strained at the moment is an understatement. Here’s basically where they are at for honouring contracts:
“We will have only limited contractual information regarding players who are currently or last played in the KHL,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in the memo.
In order to sign a player from the KHL, the interested NHL team must inquire with Central Registry to inquire if the last information available from the KHL demonstrates that the player is on an expiring K …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Nick Nurse says Scottie Barnes is already looking better

Raptors: Nick Nurse says Scottie Barnes is already looking better

The Toronto Raptors were able to reap the benefits of a Rookie of the Year performance from No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes last season. After going back and forth with Evan Mobley, Barnes and his unique style of play won the day and pushed ahead. He’ll be a fixture in Toronto for years to […]
Raptors: Nick Nurse says Scottie Barnes is already looking better – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Lakers must realize Raptors won’t trade Gary Trent Jr. to them

Lakers must realize Raptors won’t trade Gary Trent Jr. to them

The Toronto Raptors knew they were getting a stud when they acquired Gary Trent Jr. in the Norman Powell trade, but even they had to be taken aback by how quickly he improved. Not only is Trent a deadly scorer and shooter, but his defensive improvement was nothing short of astonishing. In need of some […]
Lakers must realize Raptors won’t trade Gary Trent Jr. to them – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 aging veteran free agents Raptors could sign on short-term deal

3 aging veteran free agents Raptors could sign on short-term deal

The Toronto Raptors were a very young team in 2021-22, as Goran Dragic and Thad Young were the only two players on the squad who were older than 30. Despite that abundance of youth, Nick Nurse was able to win 48 games and get this team to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. […]
3 aging veteran free agents Raptors could sign on short-term deal – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors rumors: Toronto wants to sign Thad Young in free agency

Raptors rumors: Toronto wants to sign Thad Young in free agency

The Toronto Raptors were a bit more robust on the bench in the second half of the 2021-22 season than they were in prior months, and the performance of Thad Young had a ton to do with that. He was exactly the type of selfless veteran mentor that a young squad needed. After acquiring him […]
Raptors rumors: Toronto wants to sign Thad Young in free agency – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors rumors: Fred VanVleet expected to discuss extension

Raptors rumors: Fred VanVleet expected to discuss extension

The Toronto Raptors were led by a three-headed monster of Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, All-NBA dynamo Pascal Siakam, and All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet. Masai Ujiri will need to find a way to make sure all of these players end up fairly compensated for their efforts last year. VanVleet, who became the first […]
Raptors rumors: Fred VanVleet expected to discuss extension – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

This Raptors-Suns Deandre Ayton-OG Anunoby trade is a win-win

This Raptors-Suns Deandre Ayton-OG Anunoby trade is a win-win

The Toronto Raptors were very successful with Pascal Siakam at the center position in the regular season, but the flaws in going so small started to be exposed as the season progressed. If Toronto makes a seismic trade in the offseason, expect centers to be prioritized. One name that Toronto should get in the offseason […]
This Raptors-Suns Deandre Ayton-OG Anunoby trade is a win-win – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Pirasanth Gunasekaram / Raptors HQ

With the Rangers win tonight, the Leafs draft position is finalized

After the Leafs were handed their traditional first round game seven disappointment, the interest in the entry draft increased. With Carolina, Calgary, Florida, and Colorado all sitting ahead of the Leafs in standings, the best case scenario was for those four teams to be upset and for the Leafs to see their draft position increase from 28th overall to 24th overall. The best case scenario wasn’t realized (thanks Colorado) but it came pretty darn close, and we can now officially say the Leafs will be picking 25th overall in the first round.
The other picks the Leafs hold (Jet’s 3rd and their own 7th) aren’t going to be 100% finalized until after June 1st, and will be dependent on if Minnesota signs Filip Johansson. If he doesn’t sign, the Wild are entitled to a compensatory draft pick for not signing their first rounder, and that will move all other picks back one after pick 56. So that basically means the Leafs 3rd round pick (previously the Jets pick) would be either 78th or 79th overall, and th …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Kyle Lowry struggling in playoffs makes Raptors trade look better

Kyle Lowry struggling in playoffs makes Raptors trade look better

Some Toronto Raptors fans were living vicariously through Kyle Lowry during the 2021 NBA playoffs, as seeing the greatest player in franchise history slip a ring on his finger with the Miami Heat could’ve taken some of the sting of an early playoff exit away. Not only did Lowry fail to make the Finals, but […]
Kyle Lowry struggling in playoffs makes Raptors trade look better – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ