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

Opportunity in Arizona?

TORONTO (Oct. 26) — The worst team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2017–18 season has some colossal number–crunching on the horizon. And you have to think that a rival general manager — at some point — will… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… 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 Flawed Matthews Argument

TORONTO (June 5) — In early–1998, it was announced by the National Hockey League that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be moving to the Eastern Conference after 16 years of geographic displacement in the West. For reasons unexplained, the NHL… Read More

Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… Read More

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… Read More

Leafs Will Scare Capitals

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — No, the Washington Capitals will not lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs never begin with the second round. Beyond that, maybe… just maybe… this is the year that Ovie and… 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

Fun With Vintage NHL Jerseys

I DEDICATE THIS BLOG TO THE GURU–MASTER OF NHL EXPANSION, SCOTTY BOWMAN. TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With my son, Shane, in town from Guelph for the Christmas break, I started shuffling through my closet of vintage National Hockey League… Read More

Bittersweet Day at the Hall

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Irony enveloped the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday. It was Remembrance Day here in Canada and for the second time in three years, a former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs — Irish; named Pat,… Read More

Leafs Will Learn — Eventually

TORONTO (Nov. 1) — It will be a tell–tale sign that the young Maple Leafs are maturing when the club approaches a double–header like this past weekend with more of a competitive edge and less satisfaction. Though it yielded zero… 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

The Wall And His Doll

TORONTO (May 18) — I felt extraordinarily privileged on Tuesday afternoon. Not only did I spend time with the most popular and beloved figure in Toronto Maple Leafs history (pretty cool for a decades–long hockey fan; radio–reporter and writer), but… Read More

It Is The Blues’ Turn — Finally

TORONTO (May 11) — You may or may not be reading it here for the first time. But, I’m going to write it for the first time: When National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman presents the 2016 Stanley Cup next… Read More

A Seal, A Baron, A North Star

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — Dennis Maruk was known as “peewee” throughout much of his National Hockey League career. We can also call him “Mr. Defunct” given the teams he played for that no longer exist. The native of Rexdale, Ont.… Read More

A Dying Man’s Acceptance

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — There is obviously no pleasure in speaking with a person whose life is coming to an end. But, the moment does incorporate honor and privilege. In 57–plus years, I’ve encountered the situation only twice: With my… Read More
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