Freddy Needs Rest, Not Rhythm

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — There is no attempt here to jump on a bandwagon with the Maple Leafs in their first minor funk since mid–January (0–2–1 on a four–game road trip that concludes Monday night in Buffalo). This is still… Read More

Blue Liner(s) On The Way?

TORONTO (Feb. 21) — According to a long–time Western Conference scout with whom I check every year at this juncture, the Toronto Maple Leafs will bolster their blue line before Monday’s National Hockey League trade deadline. “Based on the rumblings… Read More

Leafs Should Go For The Jugular

TORONTO (Feb. 17) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs soar through the most stellar and meaningful hockey at this juncture of a season in 25 years, there remains the urge from within to allay expectation. To fundamentally minimize a remarkable,… Read More

We’ve Seen It All Before (sigh)

TORONTO (Jan. 24) — The Maple Leafs play the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago, which may not be a good thing. The last Toronto victory at the United Center was so long ago, I covered it for The FAN–590. That would… Read More

Babcock’s Honeymoon Has Ended

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — For more than 2½ years, in what is often described as the National Hockey League’s toughest media market, it’s been “hands off the head coach”. That privilege, it seemed, arrived in our town with the largest… Read More

Leafs Need to Pick it Up

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — As we enter the year 2018, the Maple Leafs are somewhat betwixt and between. Toronto reaches the halfway mark of its schedule tonight against Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre a very–respectable ninth overall in… Read More

Orr: “Never A Bad Word”

TORONTO (Dec. 28) — When his mobile device started “going haywire” late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby Orr figured something awful had happened; his premonition verified with news of Johnny Bower’s death. “My first thought was ‘how many people live more than… Read More

Are Leafs Better Than Last Year?

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — The Maple Leafs play their final game before the National Hockey League’s Christmas break tonight at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. Eastern, CBC). Expectation prior to the current season was far… Read More

Could NHL Expand to 34 Teams?

TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With today being the 100th anniversary of the first games in the National Hockey League, it is apropos to speculate that the NHL could soon evolve into a 34–member circuit. When I say “soon”, I refer… Read More

To Leafs: Karlsson, Doughty or OEL?

TORONTO (Dec. 16) — Between today and the summer of 2019, three of the National Hockey League’s most elite defensemen could change uniforms. One is likely bound for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is no secret the Ottawa Senators are… Read More

Will Freddy Fade?

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 8) — The Toronto Maple Leafs, today, are perched sixth overall in the National Hockey League standings for a very good reason: Frederik Andersen has been their best player. When a goalie is the top performer on… Read More

To Gregg Zaun and Others: Why?

TORONTO (Dec. 2) — As long as I live, I will never understand talented people with enviable public profiles sabotaging their own careers. There’s more than enough malice in our world today for others to try and take down these… Read More

Are Leafs Using Smoke and Mirrors?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — So, if we were warned — two months ago today — that William Nylander and Mitch Marner would succumb to the usual sophomore difficulty (a combined six goals in 26 games); that Auston Matthews would miss… Read More

Showing Class In Defeat

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — Apart from the predictability of the Maple Leafs losing to Arizona Monday night — many suspected a let–down to follow the 6–0 romp at Montreal on Saturday, and the Coyotes have been playing well — there… Read More

Matthews’ Leaf Days Are Numbered

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — One more chance. That’s all the Maple Leafs have without Auston Matthews. One final opportunity — against New Jersey, tonight — to prove they can sh** the bed in the absence of their best player. “If… Read More

My, How Times Have Changed

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Do you remember when the Maple Leafs were cannon–fodder for the Boston Bruins? It wasn’t particularly long ago; well within the past decade… and I’m not even referring to the infamous playoff melt–down of May 2013… Read More

The Leafs Will Be Fine

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — After last season and throughout the summer, I wrote in this space that Year 2 would likely be more of a challenge for the young, fast and gifted Maple Leafs. For no other reason than it… Read More

For Babcock, It’s Pure Hatred

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — During my years (1994–2011) covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a reporter for The FAN–590, I dealt with seven head coaches: Pat Burns, Nick Beverley, Mike Murphy, Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.… Read More
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