A.J. Cole has signed in Japan

A.J. Cole won’t be back with the Blue Jays next season.

The veteran righty has reportedly inked a one-year deal worth $840,000 with the Tokyo Swallows of Japan’s NPB.
Cole signed as a minor-league free agent with the Blue Jays back in November of 2019 and was an effective arm for the team during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He was again brought back on a minor-league deal for 2021 and got off to a great start, allowing just one earned run in eight innings, but his season got derailed due to injury.
Cole dealt with neck tightness and an oblique strain and only wound up pitching 20 innings in total, eight in the big leagues and 12 in the minors.
There was some thought that Cole could join the team on another minor-league deal but it isn’t surprising to see him take a decent bag of cash and a more guaranteed role in Japan.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

False Alarm! George Springer won’t make his debut on Tuesday

It turns out today won’t be the start of Springer Season after all.

Though there had been plenty of indication that today would be the day that George Springer finally makes his Blue Jays debut, that won’t be the case. Apparently, Springer ran at TD Ballpark in Dunedin Tuesday morning and his quad is still not back at 100%.

Multiple sources: George Springer will NOT make his #BlueJays debut tonight.
He ran at TD Ballpark earlier and the quad is still not 100% yet. Plenty more on #BlueJaysCentral at 6:30p.
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) April 27, 2021

As much as this sucks, it really is better that the Blue Jays are taking things slowly with Springer and ensuring that he’s all good to go before bringing him back. It would really be awful if he came back a little bit too early and nicked or aggravated something and had to go back on the Injured List for another few weeks shortly after finally making his debut. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.
That said, this is obviously really disappointing as we had all built ourselves up for today finally being the day. At this point, I’m not going to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays A affiliate Vancouver Canadians set to head south of the border for start of season

The Vancouver Canadians won’t be starting their season at the storied Nat Bailey Stadium this summer.
The Canadians, who were the Jays Class A short season affiliate from 2000-2020 before being promoted to High-A this year, will start their inaugural season in the new six-team High-A West League south of the border.
The C’s will play home games in Hillsboro, Oregon to begin the new season, the club announced Monday morning.
“The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club is still hopeful to open our gates at Nat Bailey Stadium to welcome our great fans back to the ballpark in 2021. The health and safety of our fans, players, and staff continues to be our top priority. As an organization, we are working through plans to execute a safe return to Nat Bailey Stadium in addition to providing an alternative option for the games to be played. We are committed to sharing any updates with our fans as they become available.”
In previous years, the C’s season was only 76 games long, and the games were consistently sold out. Going to a game at the Nat on a hot summer day has become a staple for many Vancouver residents. With the higher …

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Author: David Quadrelli / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs add Ian Scott to their taxi squad

I guess it won’t be a quiet few days in Leafs land, as the day has already seen the departure of Travis Boyd, but with every departure comes a new beginning, and that new beginning is the arrival of Ian Scott.

Goaltender Ian Scott has been reassigned to the @MapleLeafs taxi squad.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 22, 2021

So, the good news here is that Ian Scott is healthy enough that he can now practice and hang out in the Leafs pressbox. The other shoe that still needs to fall is what does Ian Scott being on the Leafs taxi squad mean besides the fact they want to keep Woll on the Marlies for the time being.
Well, it could mean that Andersen is hurt enough to be going on the injured reserve.
It could mean the Leafs want Hutchinson to go down to the Marlies and get in some games.
What it means is this year and taxi squads continue to be weird, but interesting and we’ll have to wait patiently to see why this happened.
 

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 most valuable NBA Top Shot Highlights in history

Toronto Raptors: 3 most valuable NBA Top Shot Highlights in history

I won’t pretend to fully understand the emergence of NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens) as a form of cryptocurrency, except to say that it has created a booming industry that the NBA Top Shot online marketplace is reaping the rewards of. Who knew there was such demand for owning Toronto Raptors social media posts and YouTube videos? […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 most valuable NBA Top Shot Highlights in history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

It’s waivers SZN, and there won’t be any shortage of Leafs players being waived in the coming days. Today’s waivers player was a fairly predictable one.

Large group on waivers today. Among them Backes (ANA), Bracco (CAR), Petan (TOR).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 8, 2021

So, ignoring the other two for a minute, we’ll focus on Nic Petan, the Leaf who will is likely facing a demotion to the Marlies in the near future.
Petan being put on waivers relatively early in the process is probably being done as somewhat of a favour to Petan, giving him a chance to be claimed by another team and find an opportunity. It’s still doubtful he’ll get claimed, but for a player that has been looking for an opportunity in the NHL after being on the bubble in both Winnipeg and Toronto, this is another chance for the Leafs to try and do right by him.
Petan’s future is either likely to involve the Marlies or he’ll clear waivers and the Leafs will trade him for someone else’s AHL property or future considerations to allow him an opportunity but not having to deal with waiving him …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, December 2nd: Kane You Believe It?

Hello there drama fiends. I won’t lie, your author took a Twitter break and wasn’t super aware of the latest happenings until last night, when our TLN blog daddy Jon told me to check out what had been happening with Evander Kane the last few days. So, everyone, while there are a few other little tidbits to touch on first, we will of course be diving deep into the Kane situation(s).
But first, as is custom, we check in on how our Leafs lads are doing.
Leafs Lads (and Ladies)
Mitch Marner and the Marner Assist Fund will be hosting a stream-a-thon later this month raising money for families in need this winter. I caught a screengrab on Instagram, so be sure to check that out!

Elsewhere, Tessa Virtue and Morgan Rielly are preparing for the holidays, which includes a stocking for each of them and their adorable pup:

Doggie Christmas stockings for the win! #TessaVirtue pic.twitter.com/6rZVGBwcKs
— Ann Ice2 (@icetalking2) December 2, 2020

To be honest our Leafs have been a bit quiet this week, so I’m sure they’re all resting up to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and possible training camp. Speaking …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will not re-sign, Joel Ward considered for a coaching spot, and more

Two defencemen without a new contract won’t be getting one from the Leafs this October.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic went on First Up 1050 and revealed that both Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci will be testing the free-agent market in a few week’s time.

Pierre LeBrun on First Up 1050: “This won’t shock anyone, I’m not dropping any news here … I was told by a source yesterday that Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci know that they’re headed to market and not re-signing with the Maple Leafs.” #LeafsForever
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) September 30, 2020

This is not a shocking revelation since it appeared to be heading in this direction for the last few months, but I’m sure a bunch of Leafs fans are relieved to hear it nonetheless. Both players were brought in last July 1st with good intentions but neither of them were able to make it work in Toronto.
Ceci was acquired in the Nikita Zaitsev trade and had a tumultuous relationship with the fanbase, most notably frustration over him continuously being paired with Morgan Rielly (although Kyle Dubas did come to Ceci’s defence a lot throughout the season). He produced one goal, seven assists, …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

“Sports are the reward of a functioning society”

The Blue Jays and Red Sox won’t play their game as scheduled tonight.

This started on Wednesday night, when the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic agreed to a wildcat strike, in which both teams walked out on their playoff game. The decision was made in protest of the shooting of James Blake, a 29-year-old African American man who was shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Shortly after, all of the NBA and WNBA games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed as the players opted to sit out in protest. The wave spread to Major League Baseball, as the Angels and Astros, the Reds and Brewers, the Mariners and Padres, and Dodgers and Giants all opted to sit out.
Tonight, the protest continues. All of the NBA, WNBA, and NHL games on the schedule along with multiple MLB games, including the one between the Blue Jays and Red Sox, have been postponed.
This is a historic move of action by these professional athletes. What began as a protest by San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick four years ago has now blown into a full-on movement.
I am not going to stand up …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Dmytro Timashov is a Toronto Maple Leaf. It’s Important to Remember How Impressive That Is

History won’t look back on December 5th, 2018 as a day to write home about, at least from a hockey perspective. To most, it was another slate in a long and winding season. Forgettable, really. But for those who attended the Toronto Marlies’ game that night, and watched the Providence Bruins hand Toronto a 5-0 defeat on home ice, the putridity of that loss lingered for a while.
December 5th, 2018, then, was a low point for all Marlies involved — Dmytro Timashov being chief among them. It didn’t seem that way at first, though.
Timashov’s start to the 2018-19 AHL season was, statistically speaking, cause for optimism. After two moderately ho-hum years mixed with the occasional flash of brilliance, Timashov entered that early-December contest with 14 points 22 games, a points-per-game pace of 0.63 that set him on course for a career-high. Four months later, Timashov would eventually achieve his new personal best. But for all of his box-score improvements, the on-ice product seemed relatively unchanged.
Timashov still grappled with stark inconsistency. It appeared unshakeable, even. A terror in the possession game one night, Timashov would then outright vanish for the three that followed, driving those who were enamoured with his ability …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation