25 Years Later, It Could Be Special

TORONTO (Mar. 12) — The playoff season in professional sport is often unpredictable and promises can rarely be kept. If form prevails, however, this spring could be like none other in our city’s history. The weekend past provided yet another… Read More

Leafs GM Chatter Intriguing

TORONTO (Mar. 8) — With the National Hockey League trade deadline out of the way and the Toronto Maple Leafs comfortably in a playoff spot, Kyle Dubas is the flavor–of–the–week. If you’re not sure who Kyle is, don’t fret. He’s… Read More

Could Leafs Pull a Trade Shocker?

TORONTO (Feb. 3) — I received a largely unexpected call on Friday from a long–time media contact in Ottawa. A person with whom I had routinely made acquiescence in the press box at the Canadian Tire Centre (and elsewhere around… 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

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

Is Canada Ready For the Leafs?

TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 38 years, a vast dichotomy has prevailed between fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and those loyal to other National Hockey League teams in Canada. With respect to Toronto and Montreal, this division… Read More

Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… Read More

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Leafs Bring Aboard Good People

TORONTO (July 14) — We can debate endlessly whether character is a component of winning in the National Hockey League. Now and then, you’ll read that so–and–so is “good in the [dressing] room.” Which often indicates he’s not–so hot… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More

Leafs Have Earned Playoff Shot

TORONTO (Mar. 22) — The math will sort itself out over the next 18 days and nights, finally determining whether the Toronto Maple Leafs partake in the Stanley Cup tournament for the first time in 13 years after a full… Read More

Only Once — And Never Again

TORONTO (Mar. 15) — This website is blatantly hockey–centric, which belies the fervor with which I followed the National Football League during my teenage years in the 1970’s. What an era that was — with the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers,… Read More

Is There A Cup Favorite?

TORONTO (Mar. 11) — Here’s a prediction for the 2017 Stanley Cup final that would have drawn loud gagging noises if made prior to the season: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild in a battle of the two most–recent National… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… 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

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

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
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