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Burnout Is The Only Option

TORONTO (Dec. 13) — Compatible with his good nature, Sheldon Keefe is trying to make nice. After 10 games as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he continues to acknowledge that his No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen, will require intermittent… Read More

Right Now, The Leafs Are Doomed

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — You can debate any aspect of the Toronto Maple Leafs you wish, but all except one are immaterial. And, it’s the deficit I keep referring to in this corner: back–up goaltending. The numbers are simple, straightforward… Read More

Dubas Needs To Unload Salary

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — There is only one contingency for the Maple Leafs in their back–up goaltending conundrum… and it comes with no guarantee: general manager Kyle Dubas has to unload a contract. Maybe not a William Nylander contract, but… Read More

What An Absurd Correlation

TORONTO (Nov. 27) — Maybe I’m missing something here. But, I doubt it. On one side, we have a former Maple Leafs coach executing a callous mind game, after which penance was offered and accepted. On the other, we have… Read More

The Leafs Are Absolute Darlings

TORONTO (Nov. 26) — As a heterosexual male, I had never felt the urge to kiss another man. Until yesterday, when I read the impassioned offer of remorse from Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot in the wake of his two–game… Read More

First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

“I’m Sad” Says Don Cherry

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — It wasn’t often, in his public life, that Don Cherry had to summon enthusiasm. Whatever you felt about the icon that commanded nationwide attention for 38 years on Hockey Night In Canada, he had gusto streaming… Read More

Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… Read More

Going Behind The Scenes at Rogers

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — If you’re an observer of media here in Canada, I ask this question, sincerely and unequivocally: Had someone told you on June 13 of this year — the night the Raptors won the National Basketball Association… Read More

Is Coach’s Corner Really Dead?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — I haven’t a shred of information about this and I could be barking up a California Redwood. But, neither would I be shocked if Don Cherry returns to his familiar spot in the first intermission of… Read More

The Other Side of Donald S.

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Let me tell you a quick story about Don Cherry that has no correlation with the purported reason for his firing on Monday by Rogers. It does, however, show a side to the man of which… Read More

The Most Dangerous Game

TORONTO (Nov. 11) — So, Rogers made sure to fire Don Cherry on Remembrance Day. Those bastards in the ivory tower at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd. couldn’t have held off for another 24 hours, huh? But, really, what more should… Read More

It’s Time For Don and Ron

“Fame” [feym] — the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements. — Cambridge English Dictionary TORONTO (Nov. 10) — Yes, it is Hockey Hall of Fame Week here in town. On… Read More

It’s All Very Confusing

TORONTO (Nov. 9) — The Maple Leafs play their 18th game of the season tonight and no one is entirely sure what to make of the hockey team. Some, such as Damien Cox — writing, today, in the Toronto StarRead More

The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… Read More

Jim Gregory: 1935–2019

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — There is both irony and coincidence, bathed in Toronto hockey legend, that Jim Gregory would die yesterday at 83 years of age. It was during this week, in 1976, that Gregory made arguably the most–strategic telephone… Read More

Seven Games To Go?

“He’s got 20 games,” said a well–known figure in the National Hockey League. “If the Leafs aren’t playing up to par by mid–November, Babcock’s gone. Count on it. There is lots of appetite for change in Toronto.” — BETWEEN THE… Read More
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