What’s A Back–Up Goalie?

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — By waiving Jhonas Enroth on Monday afternoon, Lou Lamoriello acknowledged his first mistake as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, he came by the blunder honestly. You may recall that Lou built and GM’d… Read More

Lou in the Loo

VANCOUVER (Dec. 4) — I was hoping to say hello to Lou Lamoriello on Saturday night at Rogers Arena, having seen the Maple Leafs general manager from afar at the University of British Columbia on Friday (the Leafs practiced there).… Read More

Rielly Will Be the Leafs Captain

VANCOUVER (Dec. 3) — It’s a no–brainer. And, it should happen by next season. Morgan Rielly will become the 18th captain in Toronto Maple Leafs history. There is no longer any reason for the club to delay its quest. The… Read More

Kadri Had To Bite His Tongue

VANCOUVER (Dec. 2) — Nearly 7½ years after being chosen in the first round of the National Hockey League draft, Nazem Kadri might be getting a fair shake. But, even that is uncertain… and open to interpretation. From the moment,… Read More

An Empty Feeling on the Coast

VANCOUVER (Dec. 1) — For the better part of an hour, I could not understand it. Yes, rain was falling when I arrived here earlier today, but it always rains in Vancouver at this time of year; at last count,… Read More

Do The Leafs Have A “Limit”?

TORONTO (Nov. 29) — In a year when the Chicago Cubs win a baseball title; a 15–1 team loses the Super Bowl; a 73–9 basketball team blows a 3–1 Finals lead and is defeated at home in Game 7 and… Read More

The Leafs At the Quarter–Pole

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Over–achievement? Moderate achievement? And, does it really matter? These are questions that come to mind with respect to the Toronto Maple Leafs after 20 games of the 2016–17 National Hockey League season. Clearly, the team is… Read More

Oliver Ekman–“Leafs”son?

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — In their interminable quest to secure a legitimate, No. 1 defenseman, the Maple Leafs could be eyeing Oliver Ekman–Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes. So says one of my Phoenix bird–dogs. “This is for later in the… Read More

Marner No Surprise Here

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, there’s little doubt that Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets would be the winner with a league–best 12 goals in 19 games. But, Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs… Read More

Cancer Strikes The Booth — Again

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — God–friggin’ dammit! For the second time in just more than a decade, cancer has reared its despicable head in the Toronto Blue Jays radio booth. Only this time, we’re anticipating a far–better result. Eleven years–and–a–bit since… Read More

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… Read More

Bittersweet Day at the Hall

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Irony enveloped the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday. It was Remembrance Day here in Canada and for the second time in three years, a former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs — Irish; named Pat,… Read More

One Remarkable Night (Just One)

TORONTO (Nov. 10) — So, which result of this past Tuesday night came as more of a surprise to you: Donald Trump being elected 45th president of the United States or the Los Angeles Kings wood–shedding the Maple Leafs at… Read More

Lou is “Looking”

I hear the secrets that you keep… when you’re talking in your sleep. — The Romantics, 1983 TORONTO (Nov. 7) — Lou Lamoriello wearing flannels and a stocking–cap? Almost too funny. In what other circumstance, however, might a rival National… Read More

Connor Who? Auston Who?

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — As so often happens in professional sport when hype trumps expectation, the main characters in Tuesday night’s drama at Air Canada Centre barely made it on stage. This was billed as a showdown between the last… Read More

Leafs Will Learn — Eventually

TORONTO (Nov. 1) — It will be a tell–tale sign that the young Maple Leafs are maturing when the club approaches a double–header like this past weekend with more of a competitive edge and less satisfaction. Though it yielded zero… Read More

Leafs: Be Careful With JVR

TORONTO (Oct. 29) — His name is bandied about haphazardly, as if the Leafs have a ready–made clone. Trade conjecture involving James van Riemsdyk does not emanate from a source within the team; Lou Lamoriello would strangle any–such person. It… Read More

Through The Lens: Leafs vs. Florida

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — Though twice trailing on the scoreboard, the Maple Leafs performed very efficiently during Thursday night’s 3–2 victory over Florida at the Air Canada Centre. As with most coaches, Mike Babcock likes his team to be “hard… Read More
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