The Silence Is Deafening

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — This will not be the worst season, by record, in the 42 years since the Toronto Blue Jays joined Major League Baseball — a distinction that belongs to the 1979 club, which compiled a mark of… Read More

The Funeral of Hope

TORONTO (May 27) — It was 25 years ago tonight. Really. May 27, 1993 in Inglewood, California. On the Berger calendar, it ranks as the most compelling game involving the Maple Leafs that yours truly has attended — as a… Read More

Smoke and Mirrors Around Here

TORONTO (May 8) — Perhaps never in the professional sports annals of this city has a pair of clubs — 12 nights apart — rendered the six–month–long regular season so thoroughly pointless. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, after… 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

We’re Watching 2nd–Best Leafs Ever

TORONTO (Mar. 23) — Though it’s true and understandable that the 2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs will be evaluated on their playoff performance, we are likely watching the second–best club in franchise history. When I say “watching”, I mean so literally:… Read More

Freddy Needs Rest, Not Rhythm

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — There is no attempt here to jump on a bandwagon with the Maple Leafs in their first minor funk since mid–January (0–2–1 on a four–game road trip that concludes Monday night in Buffalo). This is still… Read More

Could Leafs Pull a Trade Shocker?

TORONTO (Feb. 3) — I received a largely unexpected call on Friday from a long–time media contact in Ottawa. A person with whom I had routinely made acquiescence in the press box at the Canadian Tire Centre (and elsewhere around… Read More

Bruce Hood: 1936–2018

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — In mid–November, as he lay struggling with cancer at a Guelph, Ont. hospital, Bruce Hood received a surprise visit from one of his favorite people on Earth. Today — and sadly — Bruce and Johnny Bower… Read More

67 Since ’67

TORONTO (Dec. 30) — His debut with the Maple Leafs ended inauspiciously on Friday night in Denver when J.T. Compher scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4–3 victory. But, Calvin Picard, surely unbeknownst to him, matched a familiar number… Read More

Could NHL Expand to 34 Teams?

TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With today being the 100th anniversary of the first games in the National Hockey League, it is apropos to speculate that the NHL could soon evolve into a 34–member circuit. When I say “soon”, I refer… Read More

For Babcock, It’s Pure Hatred

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — During my years (1994–2011) covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a reporter for The FAN–590, I dealt with seven head coaches: Pat Burns, Nick Beverley, Mike Murphy, Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.… Read More

Is Canada Ready For the Leafs?

TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 38 years, a vast dichotomy has prevailed between fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and those loyal to other National Hockey League teams in Canada. With respect to Toronto and Montreal, this division… Read More

Could Matthews Become Gaye?

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Yes, the headline here is a play–on–words and, perhaps, marginally inappropriate. But, laugh along with me, folks. Recent events, south of the 49th parallel, have been all–too serious. What I’m asking, within the context of sport,… 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

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More
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