Five of the best Toronto Maple Leafs-themed gifts to get this holiday season

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a gift to, or from, one of your loved ones that was Toronto Maple Leafs-themed, would it?

It’s two days before Christmas — I know — but if you’re a last-minute shopper like me, or still haven’t found the right gift for someone you’re buying for, this could be the perfect article for you.
Some of these gifts can be found at multiple sports stores, and some are just found at Real Sports Apparel, online or in-store.
Either way, these are the best gifts that I found for that special Leafs fan in your life.
(Click on the photo of the gift if you’re interested in seeing more information.)
Borje Salming ALS Patch

This is the perfect gift to get any Maple Leafs this holiday season.
If you have a friend or family member who has a jersey, you can buy this patch for them. It comes in at $19.99 and would be an incredible stocking stuffer or little gift for that special person this holiday season.
And guess what? All net proceeds will be donated to ALS Action Canada, “Canada’s only ALS patient-led nonprofit organization building a movement to ensure urgent, equitable access to promising therapies for Canadians living with ALS; more and better clinical trials for ALS therapies throughout Canada; and increased federal and provincial investment in ALS research.”
Even if that friend or family member doesn’t have a jersey, this patch is a nice little memento to have for keepsake.
Matthews 60-goal net twine puck

Who wouldn’t want a piece of history?
This puck has a snippet of twine in it from Auston Matthews’ 60th goal, scored on April 26th, 2022 in Toronto against the Detroit Red Wings.
The puck comes in at $79.99 at Real Sports Apparel and could be the perfect gift for the diehard fan, or for someone who enjoys memorabilia. And hey, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Examining the Shapiro Era Trades, Part two: The Losses

As a team, you will have your losses here and there. 

On Saturday, we looked at the 19 trades since the Mark Shapiro era started that was considered a win by voters on Twitter. Today, we’ll look at the “losses”
Just a few notes before we begin:
Yes, Shapiro doesn’t make the trades, but they likely run through him. Not just that, but when Mark Shapiro was brought in, so too was Ross Atkins. Hence why I call it the “Shapiro era”.
Secondly, I don’t think most of these were actual losses. So I’ll give my reasoning and context as to why I thought otherwise. Let’s start with the first ever trade of the Shapkins era.
The Liam Hendriks trade:
Fun fact, this is the only trade in any of these articles for which Ross Atkins wasn’t the General Manager.
The Jays traded reliever Liam Hendriks for Jesse Chavez. In 2015, Hendrik had a 2.92 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 64.2 innings pitched. With the Jays in 2016, Chavez had a 4.57 ERA and 4.82 FIP in 41.1 innings pitched. He was later traded to the Dodgers in exchange for Mike Boslinger. On paper, it definitely looks like the Jays lost this trade, but let’s look at the context.
Context:
When we think of Liam Hendriks, we think of one of the best closers in the MLB to this day (and a standup guy). This wasn’t always the case, however. While his ERA and FIP sparkled in 2015, it was by far his best up to that point. Between 2011-2018, Hendriks had a 4.72 ERA and 3.91 FIP in 406.1 innings pitched.
In his first three seasons in Oakland, he had a 4.01 ERA and 3.24 FIP. Fun fa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The King Of The Multi-Hit Game Is Back

In the immortal words of Peter Drury: “Close your eyes and it’s like he never went away…”
Bo Bichette is back. Well, kind of.
His 222 wRC+ in the month of September is only bested by Aaron Judge’s mark of 286. That said, he’s also had one of his worst defensive months to date, with a -2 OAA and several bad mistakes in the field to go along with that. That isn’t even mentioning how, at the plate, Bichette is a bit of a streaky player. Between September 1st and September 14th, Bichette had a wRC+ of 329. But between September 15th and September 29th, he’s fallen back to Earth with a merely decent 105 wRC+.
However, on the whole, he’s absolutely dominated pitchers in September. Thus far in September, he’s racked up 16 multi-hit games, basically one every second day. Here are his multi-hit games, by month:
April: 5 multi-hit games
May: 11 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
July: 6 multi-hit games
August: 8 multi-hit games
September: 16 multi-hit games
While September is clearly his best month thus far, months of 11 or even 8 multi-hit games are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Aaron Judge has been having just about the best hitting season anybody’s seen since Bonds, and his numbers stack up very similarly!
April: 7 multi-hit games
May: 9 multi-hit games
June: 8 multi-hit games
Ju …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation

Trades, Targets, and Toughness (Part 2 of our Leafs Reader Poll)

We’re back for day two of our look at your responses to the Reader Poll. Day one focused largely on contracts and opinions of Keefe and Dubas. Today we shift to that middle ground of trade bait and roster needs before closing this series out tomorrow with a look at the players and how successful they will be this year.

We’re starting off with one of my favourite questions and that is who could be moved in season. I’m sure it seems odd that I included two newly acquired goaltenders, but that comes down largely to the fact that if one or both are a bust, will the Leafs move on? Or at the deadline, will the Leafs want to move one in order to afford roster strengthening moves elsewhere? I feel I need to explain that one a bit, as the other candidates seem far more straightforward.
Not surprisingly Holl and Kerfoot are at the top as the present situation dictates that one of them looks to be out in order to afford Rasmus Sandin. Muzzin is a bit of wishful thinking, but he would likely be the best bet for the Leafs to move if it wasn’t for his full no trade clause at the moment. I guess it’s always a safe bet that the Leafs are looking to trade their first, and we’ll see below if you think that’s a good idea.

I want to start by saying that I’ve come to terms with the fact that Nylander probably should be traded at some point between now and his free agency period. I’m not sure I want it this year. I can appreciate the appeal of a potential top-four right-shot defenseman, but am decidedly less enthu …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Recapping the Leafs prospects at the World Juniors

A wise man once said to me, “you can help your stock at these tournaments but you can’t really hurt your stock so much.” that was Nick Richard. Smart guy. He was paraphrasing Gord Miller, but Nick gets credit for saying it to me and I largely agree with it.
I don’t think Leafs Nation needs a summit on the state of Matthew Knies after not dominating at development camp and then going goalless at the World Juniors. His stock may not have risen much this summer, but that doesn’t change that he’s a top prospect in the organization and there is still plenty to be excited about.
On the other side of things, Roni Hirvonen did see his stock rise, at least with me and we’ll get into that too, but it probably makes sense to start with Knies as we recently ranked him as the Leafs top prospect.
Matthew Knies
5 GP| 0 G| 3 A| 3 P| +3
So Matthew Knies didn’t have the tournament Leafs fans wanted to see. Seemingly a player selected to the watered down Olympics and is one year into a success NCAA stint would have excelled more offensive, especially playing on a line with a top prospect like Logan Cooley and another dominating offensive powerhouse like Matthew Coro …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #11 Ryan Tverberg

“Your favourite Toronto Maple Leafs prospect you don’t know about yet.”
That’s the tagline I led with each time I wrote about Ryan Tverberg in the 2021-22 season for our TLN Prospect Roundups, which occurred often given the success he had last year. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Tverberg went from an intriguing late-round swing to a legit prospect in the system with his breakout campaign at the University of Connecticut.
One of the biggest risers year over year, Ryan Tverberg goes from not even landing as an honourable mention on the TLN Top 20 rankings in 2021 to knocking on the door of the top 10 this time around.
Ryan Tverberg
RW | UConn (H-East) | Age: 20 | 6-foot-0 | 190 lbs | Shoots: RAcquired: 2020 Draft, 213th Overall | 2021 Ranking: N/A
Way back on Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, it appeared the Leafs were done following their 11th selection of the draft. It was a busy day for Toronto, moving up and down the draft board, but with 11 picks already made and no selections remaining for the team, it was more than fair to assume they were done at this point.
But Reid Mitchell, Director of Hockey and Scouting Operations for the Maple Leafs, had other plans. He was pushing hard for a player out o …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs goaltending is a question mark, just like every other year

Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov — your Maple Leafs goaltending tandem on opening night — are you ready for it?
It’s been an interesting week for Toronto, first trading away Petr Mrazek to Chicago at the draft and moving down a few picks. Many knew it was going to be a slim goaltending market with Jack Campbell likely headed to Edmonton, but I don’t know if anyone saw the Maple Leafs going out and getting Murray right before free agency began.
The same for Samsonov on Wednesday — Toronto didn’t know he was going to be a free agent until a few days prior to July 13th. The 25-year-old pretty much fell into their lap. Now, the question is, can one of them, or maybe even both of them, turn out to be a good pickup?
If you were watching TSN’s goaltending panel on Wednesday, you know what they all thought. This is going to be a disaster.
The fact of the matter, though, is that it likely won’t be a calamity. Both netminders are coming into this organization with something to prove. Samsonov, to show that he can return to the form he had when he entered the NHL. Murray, to prove that he’s not injury prone and that he can make it …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation