2020 Cannot Be Worse

TORONTO (Jan. 1) — It is impossible to imagine the new year being as thoroughly dreadful as 2019 in the hockey media universe. Thanks almost solely to Rogers Communications — where employees are nothing but a designated number — the… Read More

First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

“I’m Sad” Says Don Cherry

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — It wasn’t often, in his public life, that Don Cherry had to summon enthusiasm. Whatever you felt about the icon that commanded nationwide attention for 38 years on Hockey Night In Canada, he had gusto streaming… Read More

Is Coach’s Corner Really Dead?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — I haven’t a shred of information about this and I could be barking up a California Redwood. But, neither would I be shocked if Don Cherry returns to his familiar spot in the first intermission of… Read More

The Other Side of Donald S.

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Let me tell you a quick story about Don Cherry that has no correlation with the purported reason for his firing on Monday by Rogers. It does, however, show a side to the man of which… Read More

The Most Dangerous Game

TORONTO (Nov. 11) — So, Rogers made sure to fire Don Cherry on Remembrance Day. Those bastards in the ivory tower at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd. couldn’t have held off for another 24 hours, huh? But, really, what more should… Read More

It’s Time For Don and Ron

“Fame” [feym] — the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements. — Cambridge English Dictionary TORONTO (Nov. 10) — Yes, it is Hockey Hall of Fame Week here in town. On… Read More

Sportsnet Carnage Continues

TORONTO (Aug. 28) — While Nadir Mohamed, Keith Pelley and Scott Moore — architects of the most–damaging contract in Canadian sports–television history — look on from parts unknown, bodies continue to fall downtown at 1 Mount Pleasant Road. The latest… Read More

Columbus Dancing With Mitch

TORONTO (July 13) — To sign or not to sign? That is the question. With apologies to the Sweet Swan of Avon, Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner could soon be offered pen and paper by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Aaron… Read More

Call it “Burkie’s Drive”

“I do thank you… the people here at Rogers and, mostly, the people who fill out those little ballots and tell us how many people are watching or listening. Thank you for allowing me to occupy this seat for the Read More

McCown The Biggest Casualty

TORONTO (June 21) — Sometime early in 2010, I gathered with colleagues and fellow employees in the Velma Rogers Theatre within the building, at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd., that houses the Rogers Communications empire. For 22 years, I had been… Read More

The Laughable Maple Leafs

TORONTO (May 7) — I began my illustrious media career (no snickers) exactly 40 years ago today — May 7, 1979 — as a sportswriter at the Etobicoke Guardian community newspaper in the west end of Toronto. It was a Read More

Sorry, But This One’s On Freddy

TORONTO (Apr. 18) — During Coach’s Corner in the first intermission of Wednesday night’s game, Don Cherry called Frederik Andersen “the best goalie in the world right now.” To support his opinion, Cherry showed the highlight of a difficult save… Read More

Grapes Slowing, But Still Poignant

TORONTO (Dec. 10) — Don Cherry, on Feb. 5, will be 85 years of age, having enjoyed what is likely the longest–running show for an individual in the history of television, anywhere in the world. Over 37 years, since the… Read More

Only Burke Can Replace Cherry

TORONTO (Apr. 28) — Let’s assume, for a moment, that Don Cherry is unlikely to be a mainstay on Hockey Night In Canada for another 38 years. Though Donald S. seems indestructible — in our livingrooms each Saturday since 1980… Read More

Sliver of Light After a Dark Day

TORONTO (Apr. 24) — Ten people are dead after the driver of a van mounted a sidewalk–curb in North York and indiscriminately bowled over pedestrians, making international news. And, yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs are once more en route to… Read More

Zaitsev Bears Watching

TORONTO (Oct. 11) — There are beggars on street corners all over North America that could become independently wealthy with one dollar for every time, in this space, I have written the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley… Read More

A Humorous (Pathetic?) Stat

TORONTO (May 15) — Want to know how generally lousy it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans during the Harold Ballard administration in the 1970’s and 80’s? Normally, I would offer you a “let me count the… Read More
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