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

If Freddy Is Ready, Leafs Can Win

TORONTO (Apr. 22) — Yes, an opportunity was missed. No, it isn’t game over. Not in this series of zero momentum; not in this playoff year of road dominance. I know it’s difficult for fans of the Leafs to envision… 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

Will Freddy Be Ready?

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — Something is wrong. Whether it’s resulting from a late–season slump or a factor more ominous, Frederik Andersen has lost his way between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That, alone, is hardly unfamiliar. Andersen’s performance… Read More

Leafs, Bruins Starting To Pull Away

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — That dream match–up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is beginning to look more like a fantasy. As expected. Squarely to blame are the Leafs… Read More

Leafs Need One More Piece

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — They are close. So very, very close to possessing all the components of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With one notable vacancy. Which needs to be filled in the next 18 days. Though yielding 44 shots… Read More

Lock The Doors, Larry

TORONTO (Jan. 15) — As the largest individual shareholder at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, it is incumbent upon Larry Tanenbaum to bar the entrance of Scotiabank Arena on all future game nights. Send fans away. Issue full ticket–refunds. Instruct… Read More

Andersen Situation Double–Edged

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — Pending the outcome, it could be a blessing or a curse that largely impacts the Maple Leafs this season. By tomorrow night (Monday), Frederik Andersen will have accrued 15 consecutive days of rest in the middle… 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

Rielly Closing the Gap — Finally

TORONTO (Dec. 22) — For whatever it’s worth (and I think many would agree), my criteria for the James Norris Memorial Trophy in today’s National Hockey League is a defenseman capable of putting up a minimum 60 points… and a… 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

Leafs Will Be Fine, Unless…

A much–more interesting study will, of course, abound if the Maple Leafs do not match or exceed their lofty expectations. Can you envision the national outcry when the Leafs unavoidably lapse into a four or five–game skid, as will every 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

That Brush-Cut Kid Is 70

TORONTO (Mar. 20) — During his brilliant career, spent primarily as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Darryl Sittler encountered many of the preeminent players in the second half–century of the National Hockey League. Among them: Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau,… Read More

Calgary: “Not Toronto Again!”

TORONTO (Nov. 28) — Two nights after enduring one of the most excruciating losses in its professional sports history, the city of Calgary welcomes a team from… Toronto. That’s right, the Maple Leafs invade the Scotiabank Saddledome later tonight, 48… 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

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
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