Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… Read More

Darcy Tucker: “Anything Can Happen”

TORONTO (Apr. 13) — Disregard, for a moment, the virtual consensus among media that the Leafs have no chance to upset Washington in the first round of the Stanley Cup tournament. A guy that played rather effectively for the Blue… Read More

Leafs Facing Worst Ever (Sort Of)

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — After missing the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 years, the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup hunt against the worst team in National Hockey League history. Yes, without a doubt, the Washington Capitals… Read More

Leafs May Need a Schwab

TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Depending on the severity of the “upper–body” injury (either shoulder or concussion) sustained by Frederik Andersen on Saturday night in Buffalo, the Leafs may be looking at a reprisal of the 2001–02 season. Quite a bit… Read More

Leafs Have Earned Playoff Shot

TORONTO (Mar. 22) — The math will sort itself out over the next 18 days and nights, finally determining whether the Toronto Maple Leafs partake in the Stanley Cup tournament for the first time in 13 years after a full… Read More

Is There A Cup Favorite?

TORONTO (Mar. 11) — Here’s a prediction for the 2017 Stanley Cup final that would have drawn loud gagging noises if made prior to the season: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild in a battle of the two most–recent National… Read More

The Morgan Mystery

TORONTO (Mar. 8) — An off year. A bad season. That has to be it. How else can one explain the plight of Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly? As the team plummeted toward the National Hockey League basement in the… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… Read More

Where Do The Leafs Turn?

TORONTO (Feb. 22) — Yes, Tuesday night’s free–for–all at the Air Canada Centre provided wonderful entertainment for those in attendance and many others watching on TSN. Jake Gardiner scored in overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 5–4 victory over… Read More

Still Turnbull’s Mark 40 Years Later

TORONTO (Feb. 1) — On Nov. 11, 1981, just more than eight years after breaking into the National Hockey League, Ian Turnbull left Toronto in a trade with the reputation, among local media, of being irascible, sardonic and uncooperative. If… Read More

Canada’s Hockey Hero is 74

TORONTO (Jan. 28) — Paul Henderson may present himself as a medical time–bomb ticking toward an apocalyptic end, but you’d never know it by spending 90 minutes in his company. The man that authored, to this day, the most important… Read More

A Perfect Day For “The Voice”

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — Joe Bowen should have bought a Lotto–Max ticket on Monday. The already filthy–rich voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs would have easily won the jackpot, adding to the multi–millions he has stashed away for generations of… Read More

Another Cautionary Tale

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — How unusual it was, still, to see the once–proud Colorado Avalanche looking so downtrodden and hopeless against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night. A 6–0 loss at the Pepsi Center flattered the home team while cementing… Read More

An Empty Feeling on the Coast

VANCOUVER (Dec. 1) — For the better part of an hour, I could not understand it. Yes, rain was falling when I arrived here earlier today, but it always rains in Vancouver at this time of year; at last count,… Read More

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… Read More

Bittersweet Day at the Hall

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Irony enveloped the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday. It was Remembrance Day here in Canada and for the second time in three years, a former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs — Irish; named Pat,… Read More

One Remarkable Night (Just One)

TORONTO (Nov. 10) — So, which result of this past Tuesday night came as more of a surprise to you: Donald Trump being elected 45th president of the United States or the Los Angeles Kings wood–shedding the Maple Leafs at… Read More

Leafs Finally Get It Right

TORONTO (Oct. 16) — After 23 years of stubborn irrationality, the Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to truly honor their past. And, Dave Keon’s No. 14 banner finally hangs from a steel beam in the Air Canada Centre. As Darryl… Read More
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