The Power of One

TORONTO (Sep. 18) — At no time since 1967, until now, have the Maple Leafs been one player away from challenging for the Stanley Cup. Just how significant that piece remains is a matter of opinion. In my view, it… 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

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

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

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

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… 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 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

Who Else Joins Legends Row?

***UPDATE: Congratulations to Charlie Conacher, Frank Mahovlich, Red Kelly and Wendel Clark for being inducted into the Maple Leafs Legends Row at Air Canada Centre. Turns out that four ex–players got the nod, rather than the three I suggested in… Read More

Leafs: Look Out From Behind

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — During this mostly–refreshing season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club has been gazing upward at its Atlantic Division rivals; aiming for a top–three finish and a guaranteed playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.… Read More

A Perfect Day For “The Voice”

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — Joe Bowen should have bought a Lotto–Max ticket on Monday. The already filthy–rich voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs would have easily won the jackpot, adding to the multi–millions he has stashed away for generations of… Read More

Rielly Will Be the Leafs Captain

VANCOUVER (Dec. 3) — It’s a no–brainer. And, it should happen by next season. Morgan Rielly will become the 18th captain in Toronto Maple Leafs history. There is no longer any reason for the club to delay its quest. The… Read More

Do The Leafs Have A “Limit”?

TORONTO (Nov. 29) — In a year when the Chicago Cubs win a baseball title; a 15–1 team loses the Super Bowl; a 73–9 basketball team blows a 3–1 Finals lead and is defeated at home in Game 7 and… Read More

The Leafs At the Quarter–Pole

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Over–achievement? Moderate achievement? And, does it really matter? These are questions that come to mind with respect to the Toronto Maple Leafs after 20 games of the 2016–17 National Hockey League season. Clearly, the team is… 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

Leafs Finally Get It Right

TORONTO (Oct. 16) — After 23 years of stubborn irrationality, the Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to truly honor their past. And, Dave Keon’s No. 14 banner finally hangs from a steel beam in the Air Canada Centre. As Darryl… Read More
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