Jim Gregory: 1935–2019

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — There is both irony and coincidence, bathed in Toronto hockey legend, that Jim Gregory would die yesterday at 83 years of age. It was during this week, in 1976, that Gregory made arguably the most–strategic telephone… 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

Captain Obvious For The Leafs? Not So

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Mike Babcock told The Athletic last week he had a strong sense that the naming of a captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs will be “obvious to most”. Adding further intrigue is that the interview with… Read More

Leafs Have Long Had Their Captain

TORONTO (Sep. 25) — The alleged incident involving Auston Matthews last May in Scottsdale shouldn’t be about the captaincy of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given that it frightened a woman in the middle of the night, it cuts much deeper.… Read More

Let’s Temper Babcock Hostility

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — Though I was very–likely the first local observer to write (on Jan. 28) that Mike Babcock needs an opening–round playoff victory to ensure he remains as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the animus toward Babcock… 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

Will Freddy Be Ready?

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — Something is wrong. Whether it’s resulting from a late–season slump or a factor more ominous, Frederik Andersen has lost his way between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That, alone, is hardly unfamiliar. Andersen’s performance… 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

Still Think Leafs Will Be Fine

TORONTO (Mar. 17) — Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Happy green blog–print. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I’m still not overly concerned about the Leafs going into a defensive slump in mid–March. Far–better now than in mid–April. Neither do I… 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

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

Is Simmonds Worth Nylander?

TORONTO (Jan. 11) — The best teams in the National Hockey League can often rely on skill to achieve a particular level… and there may be no better example, right now, than the Toronto Maple Leafs. On occasion, however, a… Read More

Rielly Closing the Gap — Finally

TORONTO (Dec. 22) — For whatever it’s worth (and I think many would agree), my criteria for the James Norris Memorial Trophy in today’s National Hockey League is a defenseman capable of putting up a minimum 60 points… and a… Read More

My Top 20 NHL Jerseys

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — With Christmas 2019 just around the corner, it’s time for a little fun. Time to forget, briefly, the contract conundrum in the immediate future of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. And, whether Mike Babcock… Read More

Leafs Will Be Fine, Unless…

A much–more interesting study will, of course, abound if the Maple Leafs do not match or exceed their lofty expectations. Can you envision the national outcry when the Leafs unavoidably lapse into a four or five–game skid, as will every Read More

The Leafs’ Staggering Numbers (So Far)

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — After the first five games of the National Hockey League season, players on the Toronto Maple Leafs have been compared, in local print, to Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. Merely the most–gifted trio in… Read More

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
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