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

It’s Not About One Playoff Round

TORONTO (June 7) — Earlier in the week, I posted this opinion on Twitter: “We are again seeing why the Leafs, as currently made up, aren’t suited for the Stanley Cup final. They cannot remotely match the level of physical… 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

Still Not Convinced

TORONTO (May 18) — I have neither information nor a particular reason to suspect the Maple Leafs aren’t “all in” on Mike Babcock, as cryptically noted, last week, by general manager Kyle Dubas. But, something is gnawing at me with… Read More

Was It The Leafs’ Biggest Gaffe?

TORONTO (May 15) — We take you, regrettably, back to June 24, 2006. At then–called General Motors Place in Vancouver. Today, Rogers Arena. Home of the Canucks. With the 13th pick in the National Hockey League draft, the Maple Leafs… Read More

Again — Why Not Rick?

TORONTO (May 14) — Barring the unforeseen, Brendan Shanahan will remain in the president’s chair of the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2024–25 National Hockey League season after agreeing, early this week, to a six–year contract extension. We can merely… 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

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

Forget Sheldon Keefe — For Now

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — To paraphrase Mark Twain from 122 years ago, “rumors of Mike Babcock’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” The future of the Toronto Maple Leafs coach drove the dialogue as recently as Friday evening on Prime Time Read More

Write it Down: The Leafs in 6

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It’s alright. Call me crazy. Measure me for a straight–jacket. Order blood and urinalysis. Administer a warm, soapy enema if you think I’m full of sh**. But, in the end, be sure to remember where you… Read More

Nothing Matters Until Apr. 11

TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Whether the Toronto Maple Leafs demolish a team with no defensive posture (Florida), or get demolished by the best regular–season club in more than a generation (Tampa Bay), it is elementary for another two weeks. Until… Read More

Catching Up with the Leafs

TORONTO (Mar. 9) — Okay… back on the key–pad after getting flattened for nearly a week by what felt like an old–time Bobby Baun hip–check. Or, in my case, the flu — thankfully, a strain more manageable than the H1N1… 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

Does Kyle Have Another Move?

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — With less than 12 days until the National Hockey League trade deadline, fans of the Maple Leafs wonder if rookie general manager Kyle Dubas will make another revision to his strong club. There are whispers that… 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

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

Leafs, Today, Are NHL’s Best

TORONTO (Dec. 25) — Yes, the standings suggest otherwise — if only slightly — and the good folks on the Gulf side of Florida may vehemently disagree. But, I say to you, on Christmas Night 2018, that the Toronto Maple… Read More
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