What you need to know about Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mac Hollowell

What you need to know about Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mac Hollowell

Who doesn’t love NHL debuts?
We’re getting one with Mac Hollowell, who’s expected to man Toronto’s third line against New Jersey later tonight. With Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin out long-term, and no clear timeline for T.J. Brodie, the Leafs called up Hollowell and Victor Mete from the Marlies, with Hollowell skating with Jordie Benn on the third pairing during Tuesday’s practice.
It’s a long time coming for the 24-year-old, who made his AHL debut with the Toronto Marlies during the 2019 playoffs, with many of his defensive partners earning call-ups ever since.
Hollowell didn’t take any shortcuts to the NHL. He was drafted in the 12th round in 2014 by Kyle Dubas and was taken by the Leafs four years later as an overager. He played a fifth year with the Greyhounds before turning pro in 2019, where he helped fill a role on Toronto’s blueline during the playoffs. Hollowell then split the year between the AHL and ECHL, with him proving he was too good to be spending time with Newfoundland.
Hollowell was waived prior to the start of the season, but he’s been precious to the Marlies ever since. …

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Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation

The Dodgers are reportedly making a run at Aaron Judge, the Yankees have apparently offered him a $337 million deal

With the Los Angeles Dodgers opting to non-tender Cody Bellinger, rumours are now swirling that they’ll try to sign the top name in free agency to fill the void in their outfield.

According to Jon Heyman of The New York Post, the Dodgers “will make a run” at Aaron Judge this winter…

Word going around now is Dodgers will make a run at Aaron Judge. Logical with $100M now off the books with Bellinger, Kimbrel, Anderson, Heaney, Price and 2 Turners off the roster. Needs include SS, 3B, SPs, RP and now OF.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 19, 2022

The Dodgers have handed out massive contracts in the past couple of years. They traded for Mookie Betts in February of 2020 and re-signed him in July of that year to a $13-year contract worth $365 million and they inked Freddie Freeman in free agency last winter to a six-year contract worth $162 million.
Are they willing to spend the cash necessary to bring yet another star player out west? And how much would that cost them? According to Ramon D. Carmona, a news producer from the Dominican Republic (he was quote-tweeted by Hector Gomez, a reasonably reliable source), the Yankees have offered Judge a contract worth $337 million…

According to @carmonatv, the #Yankees offered a $337 million contract to Aaron Judge. https://t.co/ykXcFPueYf
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) November 19, 2022

Right before the start of the season, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman came out and said that Judge had declined the team’s seven-ye …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Goalie splits with Murray back, Making roster space, hooray for defense: Leaflets

Goalie splits with Murray back, Making roster space, hooray for defense: Leaflets

Thanks to a Sunday battle with a stomach bug I’ve decided to tackle this week’s Leaflets a day late. I’m sure you didn’t notice, but generally my collection of half thoughts goes up Monday morning instead of Tuesday. If there is one reader out there going “WHERE ARE MY LEAFLETS?” this update is for you.
That’s enough preamble, let’s get to the half thoughts.
Don’t overwork Murray
If there is a time and place to overwork Matt Murray history has taught us that it is in the playoffs. And history has also taught us that keeping him healthy enough to get to the playoffs will be a challenge too, so despite his price tag and despite the fact that he in theory is the better goaltending option compared to Erik Kallgren, I’d hope the Leafs are cautious about easing him into their lineup.
We already know that Murray will be the starter for the Leafs tonight, and while Samsonov was at practice on Monday, his return hasn’t been announced either. That possibly means seeing more of Erik Kallgren than we …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

For the nostalgic Blue Jays fan, Vol. 3: Eric Sogard

With a 67-95 record, not many good memories came from the 2019 Toronto Blue Jays. Outside of the debuts of Vladdy, Bo, and Cavan Biggio, Jays fans were forced to watch Buddy Boshers pitch meaningful innings and Trent Thornton lead the team in starts.

However, the Blue Jays turned an offseason minor league signing into a solid leadoff hitter for the first half of the season. That man was Eric Sogard.
Sogard spent six seasons in Oakland from 2010 through 2015, as well as two years in Milwaukee prior to his time north of the border. The veteran utility man was part of the Oakland A’s during their three consecutive years of making the playoffs from 2012-2014, making him teammates with future Blue Jay Josh Donaldson.
Sogard’s glove was valued more than his bat, as he was able to play a variety of positions, but his batting average hovered around the mid to early .200s.
Nicknamed “Nerd Power” because of the goggles that he wore every game, Sogard was inked to a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December of 2018. He was relegated to Buffalo to start …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on

3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on

The Toronto Raptors started the offseason with more aggression in free agency than most years. Knowing that he had to ensure the core of an already thin rotation had to be retained, Masai Ujiri wasted no time in making sure that the club’s vets were signed and the team’s needs were met. The Raptors brought […]
3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

A Blue Jays fan’s guide to the rest of the playoffs – who’s still in the mix?

With the Yankees winning yesterday, the matchups for the ALCS and NLCS are set. Since Blue Jays faithful are forced to watch four teams not named Toronto fight it out, here are some names that might sway you toward an interest in a team winning the World Series.

Houston Astros
Aledmys Díaz – Diaz was traded to Toronto before the 2018 season from the St. Louis Cardinals. Toronto gave away JB Woodman, but it’s safe to say that the Blue Jays won this deal. Diaz turned out to be one of the better hitters in Toronto’s lineup in 2018, hitting 18 homers and 55 RBIs. More importantly, Diaz saw a lot of action at third base, mainly due to Josh Donaldson missing most of the season with injuries.
In November of 2018, Diaz was traded to the Astros for Trent Thornton. Diaz has been a very nice piece for Houston. Over four seasons with the Astros, Diaz has totaled 32 home runs and 129 RBIs while batting .255.
Although the 2018 season was forgetful for many Jays fans, Diaz’ contributions should be acknowledged by many, and it’d be worth cheering him on for the rest of the playoffs.
Yuli Gurriel – Despite having no affiliation to the Toronto Blue Jays, Gurriel is the older brother of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., the current left fielder in Toronto. They have both made their mark by h …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

3 important lessons learned during 2022 Raptors preseason

3 important lessons learned during 2022 Raptors preseason

The Toronto Raptors are finally done with their 2022-23 preseason schedule, and they can bask in the relative glow of a 3-2 record. Toronto beat the rival Celtics twice, both of which required overtime, while dominating the Jazz by 32 points in Edmonton early in the preseason. While the Raptors certainly have more positives to […]
3 important lessons learned during 2022 Raptors preseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Make or Break: the 2022-23 Leafs goaltending primer

Make or Break: the 2022-23 Leafs goaltending primer

The NHL season is finally upon us, and with it, another season of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey begins.
Among the fans of this team, I’m sure that there have been a variety of approaches to this season. Many will be back, as interested as ever, analyzing the opening lineup and consuming all of the content that they can get their hands on. Others may be feeling apathetic about it all. And who could blame them after yet another first-round disappointment?
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’ve been at least mildly engaged with the team and their moves during the off-season. It certainly has not been a summer without intriguing storylines. While most of the moves made during the summer are interesting individually, they have all been colored by one theme: this is Kyle Dubas’ last shot. Notably, Dubas, with one year left on his contract, has not been given an extension as General Manager of the Leafs. Rightly or wrongly, every move made since the Game 7 loss to Tampa Bay will be seen to have a very direct impact on the job security of Dubas.
This brings us to goaltending. The most notable roster moves for the Leafs this summer were in the crease. Fan-favor …

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Author: Colin Hunter / The Leafs Nation

3 nightmare scenarios that would ruin the Raptors’ season

3 nightmare scenarios that would ruin the Raptors’ season

The Toronto Raptors are entering the 2022-23 season with tons of promise. Scottie Barnes should get better, Fred VanVleet is coming off an All-Stars season, and Pascal Siakam remains one of the best players in the league. The vibes in Toronto are good right now. While there are plenty of reasons for optimism, the Raptors […]
3 nightmare scenarios that would ruin the Raptors’ season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs offer up a present to the Habs in the season opener: Muzzy’s Muzings

Leafs offer up a present to the Habs in the season opener: Muzzy’s Muzings

The first of 82 is in the books.
And with that, rest assured, I have many thoughts to share on tonight’s game —especially after whatever the hell that was.
With that in mind, following most Leafs games this season, depending on when I want a night off to play NHL 23 or something, I’ll be offering my post-game thoughts/musings.
So, let’s get to it:

Leafs lose. Home opener tomorrow.
What needs to change for tomorrow? 👇 pic.twitter.com/IBPNW5v6Br
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) October 13, 2022

 
Burlington native Josh Anderson notched the game winner with 19 seconds left in regulation as Toronto fell to Montreal, 4-3, in the season opener. The last five minutes of the game was comparable to the final call at your favourite establishment; frantic, wild, and unneeded. Sean Monahan gave the Canadiens a 3-2 lead with 2:30 remaining before William Nylander responded on a breakaway just 40 seconds later. That set the table for Anderson’s heroics; his 11th goal in 28 career outings against his hometown Maple Leafs. Also, shoutout to Cole Caufield. He was a monster potting two goals while mustering five shots on goal. The sniper now has 24 goals in 38 total games under Martin St. Louis.

Memo to NHL teams: If you really want to shut down Cole Caufield, hire Dominique Ducharme.
— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) October 13, 2022

 
Eight of the last 10 season openers between Toronto and Montreal have now been decided by one goal. The Canadiens have won four in a row against the Leafs at the Bell Centre.
Muzzy’s Muzings:

New year, same tea …

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Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation