Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… Read More

Leafs Have Long Had Their Captain

TORONTO (Sep. 25) — The alleged incident involving Auston Matthews last May in Scottsdale shouldn’t be about the captaincy of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given that it frightened a woman in the middle of the night, it cuts much deeper.… Read More

Dubas Kept His Word

Can any team survive under the cap for nearly a decade with two players (Tavares and Matthews) eating up $23.6 million in cap room? Which may rise to $40.5 million for four players if Nylander settles on $6 million and Read More

No Change In Marner Saga

TORONTO (Sep. 5) — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas claims he is “confident” of signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner before a chunk of training camp is lost (cautionary note: the club’s first workout in St. John’s is “Friday… Read More

Babcock Needs a Quick Start

TORONTO (Aug. 11) — If you talk to hockey people who talk to hockey people — as I try and do between working funeral services in my day job — what I’m about to write is a common assessment: Mike… Read More

Puzzling Leaps of Faith

TORONTO (Aug. 3) — Back on May 16, 2017, amid much fanfare, Swedish defense prospects Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen signed entry level contracts with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given that several National Hockey League rivals were also pursuing the… Read More

Offer–Sheet All About Timing

TORONTO (July 27) — If you’re surprised that a rival National Hockey League team has not yet presented an offer–sheet to Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner, consider this: “July 1st isn’t the right time to make such a move,” a… Read More

Still Not Convinced

TORONTO (May 18) — I have neither information nor a particular reason to suspect the Maple Leafs aren’t “all in” on Mike Babcock, as cryptically noted, last week, by general manager Kyle Dubas. But, something is gnawing at me with… 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

Talking Mike Babcock

TORONTO (May 4) — I begin today by emphasizing that this is one man’s assessment and nothing, in any way, conclusive. But, the one man is the same man who told me for a blog here last June 25 (http://bit.ly/2tuGUaI)… Read More

Not Looking Great For Babcock

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — When taking a moment to read between the lines of words spoken during the Maple Leafs’ annual locker clean–out on Thursday — and, for whatever the cryptic messages were worth — I’m sensing Mike Babcock will… Read More

And the Journey Continues…

TORONTO (Apr. 24) — Well, if anything, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the cleanest lockers in the National Hockey League. How could there be a speck of dust anywhere after partaking in the post–elimination exercise for 51 consecutive years? Tomorrow… Read More

Over to You, Babs

“You get the sense (Kyle) Dubas won’t mind blaming (Mike) Babcock if the coach doesn’t get this group to do what it’s supposed to do — which is, at the very least, win the franchise its first playoff series in Read More

Time For Nylander To Pick It Up

TORONTO (Dec. 31) — We aren’t at the point yet where William Nylander is stealing money from the Maple Leafs. But, it’s getting close. Very close. The built–in excuses are about to run dry. Wednesday will mark one calendar month… Read More

Nylander Options Are Unappealing

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — So, here we are, precisely two weeks from the deadline of L’Affair Nylander. With no apparent resolution in sight and only one scenario that will best–serve the Maple Leafs: a “bridge” contract of two years and… Read More

Can Dubas Make a Trade?

TORONTO (Oct. 29) — So, it’s official… and not at all surprising: Auston Matthews, according to the Maple Leafs, will be sidelined “a minimum four weeks” with the left–shoulder injury he sustained when side–checked, on Saturday night, by Jacob Trouba… Read More

Too Early For Injury–Prone Label

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — The shoulder ailment that could sideline Auston Matthews for an appreciable term may prompt fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs to wonder if a career pattern has beset their best player. After all, Matthews sat out… Read More
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