Too Much Emphasis on Forwards

TORONTO (June 25) — On the 10th anniversary of John Tavares being selected first overall in the National Hockey League draft — and Nazem Kadri going seventh to the Maple Leafs — perhaps it’s fitting that Toronto’s most–glaring deficiency is… Read More

We The Longest

TORONTO (June 15) — In recent years, lots of stuff has happened for the first time in awhile on the local sports scene… or the first time ever, such as Thursday night’s monumental basketball triumph in Oakland. The Maple Leafs… Read More

End of An Era in Oakland

TORONTO (May 28) — The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors will make history in a couple of ways when they meet for the 2019 National Basketball Association title. It is, of course, the first appearance of a Canadian team… Read More

Again — Why Not Rick?

TORONTO (May 14) — Barring the unforeseen, Brendan Shanahan will remain in the president’s chair of the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2024–25 National Hockey League season after agreeing, early this week, to a six–year contract extension. We can merely… Read More

Flag Waving Has Started Early

TORONTO (May 8) — Erect the barricades. The Stanley Cup is about to return. At least one cheerleader in the Toronto media has declared the Maple Leafs’ European signing blitz of the past week a roaring success. Others are sure… Read More

Let’s Temper Babcock Hostility

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — Though I was very–likely the first local observer to write (on Jan. 28) that Mike Babcock needs an opening–round playoff victory to ensure he remains as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the animus toward Babcock… Read More

Write it Down: The Leafs in 6

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It’s alright. Call me crazy. Measure me for a straight–jacket. Order blood and urinalysis. Administer a warm, soapy enema if you think I’m full of sh**. But, in the end, be sure to remember where you… Read More

Will Freddy Be Ready?

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — Something is wrong. Whether it’s resulting from a late–season slump or a factor more ominous, Frederik Andersen has lost his way between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That, alone, is hardly unfamiliar. Andersen’s performance… Read More

Nothing Matters Until Apr. 11

TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Whether the Toronto Maple Leafs demolish a team with no defensive posture (Florida), or get demolished by the best regular–season club in more than a generation (Tampa Bay), it is elementary for another two weeks. Until… Read More

Leafs, Bruins Starting To Pull Away

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — That dream match–up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is beginning to look more like a fantasy. As expected. Squarely to blame are the Leafs… Read More

Leafs Need One More Piece

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — They are close. So very, very close to possessing all the components of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With one notable vacancy. Which needs to be filled in the next 18 days. Though yielding 44 shots… Read More

Is Simmonds Worth Nylander?

TORONTO (Jan. 11) — The best teams in the National Hockey League can often rely on skill to achieve a particular level… and there may be no better example, right now, than the Toronto Maple Leafs. On occasion, however, a… Read More

Rielly Closing the Gap — Finally

TORONTO (Dec. 22) — For whatever it’s worth (and I think many would agree), my criteria for the James Norris Memorial Trophy in today’s National Hockey League is a defenseman capable of putting up a minimum 60 points… and a… Read More

My Top 20 NHL Jerseys

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — With Christmas 2019 just around the corner, it’s time for a little fun. Time to forget, briefly, the contract conundrum in the immediate future of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. And, whether Mike Babcock… Read More

Matthews is Truly Remarkable

TORONTO (Dec. 5) — I start today by posing a question that dovetails with the recent chatter about restricted free agency in the National Hockey League: Other than Connor McDavid, is there a player that deserves a more–lucrative contract than… Read More

Of Course Nylander Will Be Dealt

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — How many times can we put a different spin on the same likelihood? Let us count. Toronto’s three–player nucleus beyond the coming season will be Tavares, Matthews and Marner. The Nylander contract stalemate… is… Read More

Leafs Will Be Fine, Unless…

A much–more interesting study will, of course, abound if the Maple Leafs do not match or exceed their lofty expectations. Can you envision the national outcry when the Leafs unavoidably lapse into a four or five–game skid, as will every Read More

The Leafs Have Two Captains

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — I have long felt that the word “leadership” is misused in professional sport; the connotation invariably centering on a player that can rally the troops with provocative chatter. In fact, no one — a sports figure… Read More
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