It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — Everywhere you turn in this city, hockey fans are sure the Maple Leafs have a profusion of confidence heading into Game 6 tonight against the Washington Capitals. And, why not? The buoyant underdog has stayed with… Read More

Leafs Not “Heavy” Enough

TORONTO (Apr. 5) — By this time next week, Toronto hockey fans will be watching their favorite team in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in four years… and the first time in 13 years after a full,… Read More

Babcock Angle Overplayed

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — I begin this blog with somewhat of a contradiction: Though I believe Mike Babcock should be among the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year, I do not believe he is the… Read More

Bet’cha the Leafs Aren’t Done

TORONTO (Mar. 5) — With Detroit next up for the Maple Leafs, it’s an appropriate time to wonder if the last meeting between the pre–expansion rivals supplied the demarcation point in Toronto’s schedule. That would have been Jan. 25 at… Read More

Lamoriello Will Be “Cautious”

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — A Western Conference executive in the National Hockey League told me today that he doesn’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be particularly active before the Mar. 1 trade deadline. “I’m fairly certain that Lou [Lamoriello]… Read More

Leafs Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… Read More

No Escaping The Sh– House

TORONTO (Dec. 17) — Though Mike Babcock is decorated, highly–regarded (by most) and compensated more lavishly than any coach in National Hockey League history, his sh– house has no back door. Once inside, you’re liable to decompose with the contents.… Read More

Leafs Summer Eerily Quiet

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

Taking Bobby Orr to SoCal

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

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

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

Stamkos A Loss For Now… Not Later

TORONTO (June 30) — Conventional wisdom might suggest the Toronto Maple Leafs have lost a big opportunity one–half decade down the line now that Steven Stamkos has re–upped in Tampa. The notion of Stamkos, at 31 years of age and… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Leafs At Another Crossroad

TORONTO (June 24) — In the course of 99 years, there have been myriad turning points for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three, in particular, stand out to this day… with Auston Matthews in the on–deck circle. The most significant factors… Read More

Andersen Brings A Resume

TORONTO (June 21) — Given how often the Maple Leafs have swung and missed in recent years with apparent goaltending saviors, it is easy to be skeptical about the club’s latest procurement. Examining the situation more closely, however, can lead… Read More

Who Says The Leafs Aren’t Playing?

TORONTO (May 28) — Only one of our winter–sport teams has ever played in the month of June. That would be the 2012 Toronto Marlies, which lost to Norfolk in the Calder Cup final. The Leafs came closest in 1999,… 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

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
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