3 Raptors trade targets on rebuilding Eastern Conference teams

3 Raptors trade targets on rebuilding Eastern Conference teams

The Toronto Raptors could go the entire offseason without completely flipping the roster upside down in a crazy trade, but that doesn’t mean that Masai Ujiri will sit on his hands and stare at a wall in June and July. Plundering the rest of the Eastern Conference could be a solid way to help build […]
3 Raptors trade targets on rebuilding Eastern Conference teams – 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-Kings trade will help Toronto get the No. 4 overall pick

This Raptors-Kings trade will help Toronto get the No. 4 overall pick

The Toronto Raptors are currently without a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, meaning that they will need to get creative if they want to make sure that they can add a player who can move the needle. If he is seriously considering a seismic trade, Masai Ujiri needs to get the Sacramento Kings […]
This Raptors-Kings trade will help Toronto get the No. 4 overall pick – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs’ Kyle Clifford to have a hearing for Game 1 Boarding call (Simmonds fined)

It’s just not the playoffs without the Department of Player Safety getting involved. Kyle Clifford made sure they had a chance to get involved in the Leafs series early.

Toronto’s Kyle Clifford will have a hearing today for Boarding Tampa Bay’s Ross Colton.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 3, 2022

Here is the hit in question…

Kyle Clifford has received a major and game misconduct for boarding on his hit on Ross Colton. #LeafsForever | #GoBolts pic.twitter.com/HS4FKaQYjh
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 2, 2022

As mentioned in the Sportsnet tweet, Kyle Clifford had the in-game book thrown at him already with being assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct. The lack of Clifford didn’t really slow the Leafs down, and killing off his five minute penalty seemed to be the spark that energized the Leafs as well. That said, it was a pretty dirty hit and the fact that he’s got a call today isn’t really surprising.
The Department of Player Safety will likely consider some of the time served given that it was a game misconduct in the first period. The DoPS also tends to be slightly more lenient in the playoffs, and Colton was able to stay in the game, so who knows what he’ll get. With the Leafs it never seems to just be a fine.
Clifford missing a game opens the door for Jason Spezza to come back into the lineup, something that many Leafs fans wanted in the first place. With the potential for some escalation in the hitting clean or otherwise, the Leafs might end up missing Clifford though. Although it’s not like they had him for much of Game 1 either.
Additionally, Wayne Simmonds picked up a fine for his part in the scrum with the Lightning…

Toronto’s Wayne Simmonds has been fined $2,250, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for Unsportsmanlike Conduct during last night’s game against Tampa Bay.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 3, 2022

If the Simmonds fine (along with the Maroon and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL Department of Player Safety needs to address lack of consistency after Matthews suspension

The Maple Leafs will be without Auston Matthews for the next two games due to a suspension handed out by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
On Sunday afternoon during the Heritage Classic, Matthews got into it with Rasmus Dahlin behind the play. The two were giving each other shots and eventually, Matthews cross-checked the Swede in the neck/head. Both were assessed cross-checking penalties but still shook hands after the game finished.

pic.twitter.com/O6jjyPqfi1
— Tony X (@soIoucity) March 13, 2022

“It’s just battling in front of the net,” said Matthews after Sunday’s game in Hamilton. “I felt like I kind of rode up his shoulder. His shoulder pad kind of rolled up a little bit, but I haven’t really seen the replay. But, I mean, that’s hockey, it gets competitive out there, guys are physical and trying to compete.”
Just over three hours after the festivities at Tim Hortons Field came to a close, the NHL said the 24-year-old would have a hearing for the cross-check on Monday. It was less than 24 hours after the incident and the NHL handed Matthews a two-game suspension.
“While we acknowledge Matthews’ argument that this is not a cross-check meant to harm or injure his opponent, it is also not a routine motion to box out an opponent or to gain body position.” The NHL Department of Player Safety said in their release. “This is a high forceful cross-check that makes contact with an opponents neck with sufficient force to merit supplemental discipline.”
This ruling has a lot of criticism attached to it due to the lack of consistency from the Department of Player Safety. Not eve …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors must consider trading Khem Birch for shooting in offseason

Raptors must consider trading Khem Birch for shooting in offseason

The Toronto Raptors are currently leaking coolant without Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby in the lineup, as their absence is forcing some of their less-heralded bench players to step into advanced roles. Khem Birch has been thrust into the starting lineup, and the results have been very discouraging. Since January 14, Birch is averaging just […]
Raptors must consider trading Khem Birch for shooting in offseason – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

A look at who owns what draft pick and how it affects the Leafs

I think it goes without saying at this point in the Leafs’ existence the priority for the team is winning a playoff round (or heaven forbid, two) over worrying about who they’ll draft next. It’s because of that we probably don’t need to sweat the small stuff like the Leafs owning fewer picks than any other NHL team in the 2022 draft. It’s also probably okay that with only three picks owned at this point that number could be reduced to one or two (but definitely not zero thanks to the conditions on the 7th round pick from the Menell trade.)
The Leafs also hold their first six picks from the 2023 draft, and those too will serve them well in the coming days, especially in the final hours of free agency. And there is always the possibility that the Leafs could be making some additional moves (read: trade Dermott) that might net them an additional pick or two along the way as well. And of course, there’s always the offseason and Toronto can recoup what they have given up along the way (in theory.) So in short, it’s too soon to be crying over draft picks.
The Leafs draft pick situation aside, I wanted to tak …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What’s next for Josh Ho-Sang?

Josh Ho-Sang is returning home without a medal in his pocket, and now the discussion shifts to whether he rejoins the Toronto Marlies or if an NHL team comes calling.
Prior to the Olympics, the 25-year-old fielded a lot of questions about his NHL future, saying he’d want to have a discussion with Maple Leafs GM, Kyle Dubas, before he made any move to a NHL team.
“I have the utmost respect for Toronto and for me, I think that, I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done and I would definitely take that into consideration, very, very heavily.” Said Ho-Sang prior to the Olympics. “Even if I got an offer from another team, I would like to have a respectful conversation with Kyle [Dubas], thanking him and discuss it with him before I would accept anything because like I said, I have so much respect for that man and what he’s done for my hockey career, and I’ll never forget it.”
It was a three-point campaign for Ho-Sang at the Olympics. When I looked at the way he played, I wasn’t all that surprised. The 25-year-old played just as good as he has with the Marlies.
The Olympics are always the difficult event where teams try to come together so quickl …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 59: How are the owners and players going to find a middle ground?

We’re stuck in the dog days of winter without any good news.

Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association haven’t met since the lockout started at the beginning of December and it doesn’t appear as though they have any plans to do so in the coming days. The Blue Jays have told their players not to rush to make accommodation plans for spring training in Florida, so it’s safe to assume there won’t be a resolution to this battle anytime soon.
For our first podcast of 2022, we took a look at how the owners and the players could find a middle ground on the major labour issues that have led to this lockout. We looked into free agency, control years, the playoff format, and even into the wet and wild world of relegation! We then tried to get some positive vibes in the mix by looking back at our favourite moments from 2021.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Olympics could be an excellent ‘where are they now’ of former Maple Leafs

The Olympics are decidedly less fun to watch without NHL players, or junior players, or really any players that we still have some vested interest in. The idea of staying up until 4am in order to watch a high stakes Spengler Cup isn’t for everyone, nor should it be. You need your sleep.
If you do decide to stay up for it, or even more questionably decide to record Olympic hockey, there will still be some Leafs content for you, or at least former Leaf content.
Here are some of the Leafs “Greatest Misses” that could be representing nations at the Olympics.
Latvia
Martins Dzierkals (Latvia) 23 pts in 33 gp in Czech ExtraLiga
Remember this savvy 3rd round pick who seemed destined for a middle six wing position on the Leafs? Whatever happened to him? Well, he didn’t pan out and went to Europe. He’s now one of the top scorers in the Czech ExtraLiga, and on Latvian team that doesn’t have a lot of places to look for offensive upside, Dzierkals will probably fit in with a largely Dynamo Riga driven lineup.
Germany
Marcel Muller (Germany) 20pts in 31 gp in DELKorbinian Holzer (Germany) 7pts in 19 gp …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey?

Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey?

The Toronto Raptors went into the season without a ton of height on the roster, as no player on the roster was listed as taller than 6-9. Pascal Siakam can only do so much when it comes to protecting the rim. They could change that unfortunate reality if they decide to add Purdue center Zach […]
Should the Toronto Raptors draft a massive Canadian in Zach Edey? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ