Right Now, The Leafs Are Doomed

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — You can debate any aspect of the Toronto Maple Leafs you wish, but all except one are immaterial. And, it’s the deficit I keep referring to in this corner: back–up goaltending. The numbers are simple, straightforward… Read More

Dubas Needs To Unload Salary

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — There is only one contingency for the Maple Leafs in their back–up goaltending conundrum… and it comes with no guarantee: general manager Kyle Dubas has to unload a contract. Maybe not a William Nylander contract, but… 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

The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… Read More

Seven Games To Go?

“He’s got 20 games,” said a well–known figure in the National Hockey League. “If the Leafs aren’t playing up to par by mid–November, Babcock’s gone. Count on it. There is lots of appetite for change in Toronto.” — BETWEEN THE… 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

Serenity Has Enveloped Leafs Land

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — It’s refreshing to observe how Leafs Nation is so–coolly reacting to an unremarkable 4–3–1 record after eight games of the National Hockey League season. No premature indications of panic or anxiety. Rather, a coherent, logical assessment… 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

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… 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

Leafs Still Gambling In Goal

TORONTO (Sep. 20) — Yes, they attempted to strengthen an undervalued asset by signing veteran Michal Neuvirth to a professional tryout. Nor did the Toronto Maple Leafs have control over Neuvirth incurring “body soreness” (whatever that means) in the first… Read More

Dubas Kept His Word

Can any team survive under the cap for nearly a decade with two players (Tavares and Matthews) eating up $23.6 million in cap room? Which may rise to $40.5 million for four players if Nylander settles on $6 million and Read More

No Change In Marner Saga

TORONTO (Sep. 5) — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas claims he is “confident” of signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner before a chunk of training camp is lost (cautionary note: the club’s first workout in St. John’s is “Friday… Read More

Pressure Mounting On The Leafs

TORONTO (Aug. 16) — It is mid–August and relatively quiet in the hockey world. As such, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs likely cannot feel the burden that is beginning to crush their favorite team. But, it’s there. And gaining… 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
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