Doesn’t This Sound Familiar?

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — Early Thursday morning, in the Houston Chronicle, baseball writer Jake Kaplan penned the opening paragraphs to his lead story about the 2017 World Series champion: LOS ANGELES — Six years ago, Jeff Luhnow pitched Astros owner Read More

Healy Left Mark On Hockey Night

TORONTO (June 29) — Depending on which faction you are most drawn to, there is either unvarnished glee or abject disappointment over Glenn Healy’s departure this week from Hockey Night In Canada. Typically, there is no ambivalence. And, that is… Read More

“Shanaplan” Changes With Stamkos

TORONTO (June 27) — Through decades of failure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been brilliant at selling Kool Aid to their followers. Year after year, gallons of the sugary liquid are consumed by the National Hockey League’s most dehydrated market.… Read More

More Sadness For Johnny Bower

TORONTO (June 10) — The news came after a morning visit to the doctor. Delivered by his grandson and name–sake. “I’d gotten a call from Sportsnet while Grandpa was out,” said Johnny Bower III, in town from his home in… Read More

Bob Cole — 47 Years Later

TORONTO (May 25) — One of my early hockey memories on TV was the night of Apr. 24, 1969. I was ten years old and I still recall watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup semifinals at the Boston Garden… Read More

Leafs Nearly Torched Themselves

TORONTO (May 1) — Remember all those exciting moments in mid–March, Leaf fans? How your team — boosted by the call–ups of William Nylander, Nikita Soshnikov, Zach Hyman and others — embarked on a no–pressure, 6–2–1 streak over nine games?… Read More

NHL Scout: “Leafs in a perfect spot”

TORONTO (Apr. 21) — If you’re an avid follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs, you will recognize the two most significant games played by your hockey club in the past ten years. Clearly, and despite the ignominious result, Game 7… Read More

Lou’s Date With The Devil

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — Neither on his death–bed nor at gunpoint would Lou Lamoriello admit what is now certain — that he’d be content with a regulation–time loss against his former club in Newark on Saturday. One can only imagine… Read More

Will “Demoted” Marlies Stay Hungry?

TORONTO (Apr. 6) — Once the Maple Leafs finish their National Hockey League schedule on Saturday in New Jersey, many eyes around here will focus on the American Hockey League Toronto Marlies. Freshly re–stocked with returning players from the NHL,… Read More

Ron Willing to Battle

TORONTO (Mar. 29) — The plight of former National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks has engendered an outpouring of sympathy and prayer within and beyond the world of ice and pucks. Having become a dear friend over the past two… Read More

Leafs Can Still Conquer the Nation

TORONTO (Mar. 23) — Eastern Canada is safe from the Toronto Maple Leafs but the prairies, foothills and coastal regions are deeply imperiled. The National Hockey League’s dandiest outfit north of the border could soon become third–best in the nation.… Read More

Babcock Keeping It Real

TORONTO (Mar. 21) — The coach knows best. In a city that gets carried away with the slightest hint of prosperity from the Toronto Maple Leafs — often irrespective of circumstance — Mike Babcock is a grounding agent. A modest,… Read More

Leaf Promotions May Be Costly

TORONTO (Mar. 15) — Lou Lamoriello made it clear last week that he has no qualms about burning through a year of entry–level contractual authority over William Nylander. As such, and though it appears somewhat wasteful, the Toronto Maple Leafs… Read More

Worst Leafs Team: 1982 or Today?

TORONTO (Feb. 27) — Lou Lamoriello has two days to answer, unequivocally, the question posed here; to further deplete what could be the most impotent club in the 99–year history of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Honestly? I like his chances.… Read More

Might Lou Go Bigger At The Deadline?

TORONTO (Feb. 8) — Corralling a company secret from Lou Lamoriello is the rough equivalent of a dentist trying to pull a tooth from a live shark. It may not be as hazardous, but you’ll achieve the same result. Back… Read More

Leafs Are Delightfully Dreadful

TORONTO (Jan. 28) — “T’is the season to be ghastly… “ Yes, indeed, the Toronto Maple Leafs, for a second consecutive year, have taken the post–holiday “blues” to an entirely different level. In their final ten games of January —… Read More

Stamkos Affair Requires Logic

TORONTO (Dec. 11) — The circus is coming to Air Canada Centre Tuesday on the same night the arena is booked for a hockey game. That’s because the Tampa Bay Lightning — with cause celebre, Steven Stamkos — visits Toronto… Read More

Domi’s Book Is Honest, Respectful

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It could have been the kiss–and–tell book of all time in the National Hockey League. I knew Tie Domi well enough in his playing days with the Toronto Maple Leafs to vouch for the 300 pages… Read More
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