It Is The Blues’ Turn — Finally

TORONTO (May 11) — You may or may not be reading it here for the first time. But, I’m going to write it for the first time: When National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman presents the 2016 Stanley Cup next… Read More

Most Coaches Have Two Left Feet

TORONTO (May 10) — Among the hidden stories of Guy Boucher becoming head coach of the Ottawa Senators this week (replacing Dave Cameron) involved unspoken evidence that Boucher would have been hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs 12 months ago,… Read More

Centers of Attention

Busted flat in Baton Rouge; waiting for a train… And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. TORONTO (May 7) — I was cruising along a highway north of the city the other night when Janis Joplin’s 1971 anthem,… Read More

The Chief Has Tears

TORONTO (May 5) — Every year during this week for nearly half–a–century, hockey fans in Toronto have seen varied images of George Armstrong hoisting the 1967 Stanley Cup as captain of the Maple Leafs. Today, nearing his 86th birthday, Armstrong… Read More

Leafs Could Be Wasting Millions

TORONTO (May 2) — Shocking, wasn’t it, that Brendan Shanahan refused to reveal the Maple Leafs’ plan after winning the draft lottery on Saturday? The same Shanahan who hired a general manager that wouldn’t confirm the chill of an arctic… Read More

Leafs Nearly Torched Themselves

TORONTO (May 1) — Remember all those exciting moments in mid–March, Leaf fans? How your team — boosted by the call–ups of William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman and others — embarked on a no–pressure, 6–2–1 streak over nine games?… Read More

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

Shedding Gorillas

TORONTO (Apr. 27) — It was “get even” time in the Stanley Cup playoffs this week. The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues disposed of their prime nemeses — throwing wide open the quest for the 2016 National Hockey… Read More

Should the Leafs “Wait” For Tavares

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Yes, you’re probably chuckling at the headline to this blog. Truth be told, so am I. That said, however, weren’t we all chuckling two years ago at the notion of Steven Stamkos leaving the Tampa Bay… Read More

Sweet Revenge For Road Sharks

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — In the spring of 2012, I had the privilege of covering the greatest road team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. En route to their first National Hockey League title, the Los Angeles Kings… Read More

NHL Scout: “Leafs in a perfect spot”

TORONTO (Apr. 21) — If you’re an avid follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs, you will recognize the two most significant games played by your hockey club in the past ten years. Clearly, and despite the ignominious result, Game 7… Read More

The Gardens War of ’76

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — My Lord, was it a sweat–box in Maple Leaf Gardens. Forty years ago this week, yet burned into memory. Stanley Cup playoff games lasting more than 3½ hours. The scuffling, underdog Maple Leafs against the brawling… Read More

Remembering Ron Wicks

BRAMPTON, Ont. (Apr. 15) — On an afternoon in which close friends, relatives and former colleagues were invited to commemorate the life of National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks, I kept my eyes peeled for the Brampton Fire Chief. Had… Read More

A Seal, A Baron, A North Star

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — Dennis Maruk was known as “peewee” throughout much of his National Hockey League career. We can also call him “Mr. Defunct” given the teams he played for that no longer exist. The native of Rexdale, Ont.… Read More

Rielly Contract Enlightening

TORONTO (Apr. 13) — It was good asset–management today by the Maple Leafs to lock up a pair of their most important players for the next six years. Center Nazem Kadri and defenseman Morgan Rielly — each selected early in… Read More

Leafs Are Still Two Bricks Shy

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — The question was raised to all parties involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs: “How much longer?” As in, “when can we expect the turn toward contention?” Quite a loaded inquiry, I submit, of the 30th–place club… Read More

Meltdown Against Beantown

TORONTO (Apr. 9) — Where have we seen this before… a Toronto professional sports team coughing up apparent–to–certain victory against a rival from Boston? Okay, the stakes weren’t nearly as high on Friday night as during the Causeway St. Calamity… Read More

For Baseball Eyes Only

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — Tonight, just after 7 o’clock, the Toronto Blue Jays will begin their 40th home opener — facing the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. I will be there, as I was 39 years ago yesterday for… Read More
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