Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tower Talk: October 29, 2013

 

Maple Leafs

John-Michael Liles was the lucky defenseman to get the call up for the Leafs western road swing. Carrying just six defenseman on the road was a bit too risky for the Leafs, and calling up Liles only minimally affects their cap situation since they’re paying most of his salary anyways. Hopefully he gets a chance to get into a game or two, god knows he can’t be worse than Paul Ranger. [Toronto Star]

Dave Bolland is playing the “complete” game that the Maple Leafs had hoped to receive from Mikhail Grabovski. Unfortunately Bolland’s offensive production thus far is a bit of a mirage, as he’s shooting at a team high clip of 25%, which is clearly unsustainable. [National Post]

Phil Kessel was named the NHL’s second star of the week. Kessel scored 5 goals and added an assist in 3 games for the week. [Too Many Men On The Site]

Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. The Bills star running back may still be available for Week 9′s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he’ll certainly be needed playing against one of the league’s best defenses. [ESPN]

The rumours of the Bills desire to trade safety Jairus Byrd continue to swirl. Typically when a player like Byrd is traded by a team like Buffalo it is for a draft pick or two, but apparently the Bills desire a player that they can insert into their lineup now. [Buffalo Rumblings]

The Bills will “ramp up” EJ Manuel this week as he continues to rehab his injured knee. While they have not updated his original 4-6 week prognosis, it sounds as if Manuel may be able to return sooner. Current starter Thad Lewis hasn’t set the world on fire, but has presumingly played well enough to earn himself a spot on the roster as the back upon Manuel’s return. [WGR550]

Raptors

The Raptors have high expectations for the defensive growth of sophomore centre Jonas Valanciunas. His evolution into a defensive stalwart could very well shape the direction of the franchise in the near future. [National Post]

Kyle Lowry is in shape and ready to go this season. The Raptors point guard is looking to prove to Masai Ujiri, or any other GM in the Association for that matter, that he’s ready to lead a team from the point. How he performs could very well be what decides where this team finishes. [The Globe & Mail]

There’s a new NBA projection system in town called SCHOENE. I have no idea how to pronounce it, and even less of an idea as to how it works, but it’s predicting the Raptors will finish 9th, which is right around where I have them (because God hates the Raptors), s0 it seems legit. [Raptors Republic]

Blue Jays

Baseball America has rated the Jays’ system tied for eleventh in baseball, along with the New York Mets. The very same Mets with whom the Jays traded one of their top pitching prospects and best catching prospect. Not too shabby. [Jays Journal]

R.A. Dickey wins Fielding Bible Award as the League’s best fielding pitcher while Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman get All-Star nods at Arizona Fall League. [Bluebird Banter]

Tags: Buffalo Bills Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Raptors

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