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Leafs, Lupul Go Hollywood

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TORONTO (Sep. 23) — Let me begin this blog with a political disclaimer: Perhaps everything we learned about the Toronto Maple Leafs and Joffrey Lupul on Thursday was believable, above–board and trustworthy. That nearly seven months after undergoing sports–hernia surgery,… Read More

Canada–USA Rivalry Dormant

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TORONTO (Sep. 21) — For a time earlier in the millennium, it appeared as if Canada would have a hockey rival capable of usurping the Russians in parity and malice. The Salt Lake City (2002) and Vancouver (2010) Winter Olympics… Read More

Blue Jays Have Lost Their Mojo

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TORONTO (Sep. 19) — A year ago at this time, the Toronto Blue Jays were enjoying one of the most prolific runs in franchise history while obliterating a seven–game deficit in the American League East. On Sep. 19, 2015, the… Read More

Can It Get Uglier?

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TORONTO (Sep. 15) — John Gibbons, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, believes his club hit “rock–bottom” on Wednesday afternoon while being dismantled by the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre — a plausible claim given the 8–1 final score… Read More

Blue Jays Walking a Tightrope

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TORONTO (Sep. 12) — As they careen through their most untimely slump in 29 years, the Toronto Blue Jays are saying all the right things and doing all the wrong things. Not since 1987 have the Blue Jays engendered such… Read More

The Boomer Is 80

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TORONTO (Sep. 9) — In the realm of longevity, those Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup teams from the 1960’s will not go away. And, we thank the good Lord for that. The latest in the group to join Club Octogenarian… Read More

Leafs Summer Eerily Quiet

Toronto, Canada - September 21  - Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Mike Babcock behind the bench during NHL Pre-season hockey action against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on  September 21, 2015.
 Cole Burston/Toronto Star
TORONTO (Sep. 6) — News over the Labor Day weekend that goalie Frederik Anderson would miss roughly four weeks with an “upper–body” injury generated barely a ripple in this hockey–crazed market. Which thoroughly jibed with one of the quietest Maple… Read More

Hey, Remember When The Leafs?

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TORONTO (Sep. 2) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare to open training camp for their one–hundredth year in the National Hockey League, I thought I’d remind you about the last time the club… WON THE STANLEY CUP: May 2,… Read More

Perky’s Yarns Are Overdue

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TORONTO (Aug. 31) — I remember saying to myself: “Howard, just watch Dave Perkins. Observe the way he comports himself around athletes and you will learn immeasurably.” So, that’s what I did. It was Aug. 17, 1987. At Pearson International… Read More

A Wrinkle of Fate

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TORONTO (Aug. 26) — As a mural above the security gate at Los Angeles International Airport encourages, it’s time to tell an L.A. story. Sadly, my L.A. story did not pan out as I had hoped. In my previous blog,… Read More

Taking Bobby Orr to SoCal

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ANAHEIM (Aug. 24) — As I write this blog from a hotel room two blocks south of Disneyland, I’m still rather incredulous about flying nearly five hours from Toronto to Los Angeles on Tuesday to deliver a small piece of… Read More

Hockey and the “Beatle” Bandit

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TORONTO (Aug. 15) — You may wonder why any person would mourn the demise of a strip–plaza. Such facilities aren’t normally the object of affection or sadness. In my case, however, I am somewhat disheartened over the gradual decay and… Read More

GRETZKY, ORR AND OTHER STUFF

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TORONTO (Aug. 7) — Random reflections on a summer Sunday… I was rather delighted to learn that a Wayne Gretzky rookie card from the 1979–80 O–Pee–Chee Canada set fetched $465,000 (U.S. funds) at an auction in Atlantic City, N.J. this… Read More

Happy Anniversar(ies)?

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TORONTO (Aug. 4) — The Toronto Maple Leafs will celebrate their 100th season in the National Hockey League 15 years after commemorating their 75th anniversary. Even a mathematical klutz like me can determine that a decade has somehow gone missing… Read More

Is Marner The Leafs’ True No. 1?

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“During the second half of last season, Mitchell Marner was the best player in the world not yet in the NHL — including Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine.” — Western Conference amateur scout TORONTO (July 25) — In my normal… Read More

Much Ado About Nothing

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TORONTO (July 21) — As it turns out, Auston Matthews was “signed” all along. Both Matthews’ agent, Pat Brisson, and Leafs’ tight–lipped general manager, Lou Lamoriello, said today that an agreement with the National Hockey League’s No. 1 draft pick… Read More

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

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TORONTO (July 20) — When Phil Kessel told Sportsnet–590 on June 15 that he would likely bring the Stanley Cup to our city, many figured his incentive was to stick it up the old wahzoo of Leafs Nation. The multitudes… Read More

Don’t Fret Over Matthews Contract

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TORONTO (July 15) — In professional sport, as elsewhere in commerce, meaningful negotiation requires perseverance. Under the current Toronto Maple Leafs administration, that may skew more decidedly. No one involved, however, in the Auston Matthews entry–level talks are astonished, or… Read More
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