What An Absurd Correlation

TORONTO (Nov. 27) — Maybe I’m missing something here. But, I doubt it. On one side, we have a former Maple Leafs coach executing a callous mind game, after which penance was offered and accepted. On the other, we have… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… Read More

It’s All Very Confusing

TORONTO (Nov. 9) — The Maple Leafs play their 18th game of the season tonight and no one is entirely sure what to make of the hockey team. Some, such as Damien Cox — writing, today, in the Toronto StarRead More

Jim Gregory: 1935–2019

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — There is both irony and coincidence, bathed in Toronto hockey legend, that Jim Gregory would die yesterday at 83 years of age. It was during this week, in 1976, that Gregory made arguably the most–strategic telephone… Read More

Lazy Leafs Are Fooling No One

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — For the increasing multitudes convinced that a change of coach will jump–start the apathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, allow me to present the following names, chronologically: Punch Imlach… John McLellan… Red Kelly… Roger Neilson… Floyd Smith… Joe… Read More

Mike Rips Mike… Again

TORONTO (Oct. 22) — “Hate” is a very strong word; one that people use rather flippantly when describing an aversion, no matter how innocuous. It is, in fact, less banal than practically any term in the English language, reserved for… Read More

Yes, Jack Todd Had A Point

TORONTO (Oct. 15) — I remember sitting at a popular hamburger joint here in town a few years ago (Golden Star, on north Yonge Street), gabbing with Dan Shulman. Each of us had brought our sons for dinner. It was… Read More

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

The Leafs Will Tease, But Fall Short

TORONTO (Oct. 1) — Do not be surprised if the 2019–20 National Hockey League season is the most–prolific in the 103–year history of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If healthy, the Leafs could challenge for the Presidents’ Trophy as the No.… Read More

Captain Obvious For The Leafs? Not So

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Mike Babcock told The Athletic last week he had a strong sense that the naming of a captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs will be “obvious to most”. Adding further intrigue is that the interview with… 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

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

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

Trusted Back–Up Imperative

TORONTO (June 29) — Among the myriad issues that again restricted the Toronto Maple Leafs to one playoff round in April, the reliance on a single goalie ranks near the top. Which is hardly a new subject — in this… 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

“I Was Gretzky… For A Day”

TORONTO (May 25) — Long before this became a basketball city from April to June, hockey ruled the sporting map into late–spring. I know… it’s been awhile and, therefore, difficult to fathom or remember. But, there was a time when… Read More

The Sound of Silence

“… and the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls… and tenement halls… and whispered through the sound… of silence.” — Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, 1965 TORONTO (May 22) — If not for… Read More
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