Does The Shanaplan Prevail?

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Rapid achievement in professional sport can be intoxicating. And, hauntingly mercurial if not guided by a steady hand. With that in mind, we wonder how the Toronto Maple Leafs might proceed after graduating from the National… Read More

Comparing Auston and Wendel

TORONTO (Mar. 30) — So, which accomplishment is more impressive: Wendel Clark’s 34 goals in 1985–86 that stood, for more than three decades, as the rookie–season record for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or, the 35 goals (and counting) by Auston… Read More

Lamoriello Will Be “Cautious”

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — A Western Conference executive in the National Hockey League told me today that he doesn’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be particularly active before the Mar. 1 trade deadline. “I’m fairly certain that Lou [Lamoriello]… Read More

Leafs Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… Read More

Wakey, Wakey Howie

TORONTO (Dec. 31) — The enduring ineptitude of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the post–2005 lockout era overwhelmed my scattered brain–cells while penning a blog here on Dec. 21. Perhaps the onset of the winter solstice numbed my neurotransmitters. Or,… Read More

Leafs Still Hard to Gauge

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — Frederik Andersen provides a glaring example of why the Toronto Maple Leafs are so difficult to assess while approaching the midway point of this development season. Clearly, Andersen has supplied the Leafs a noticeable upgrade between… Read More

No Escaping The Sh– House

TORONTO (Dec. 17) — Though Mike Babcock is decorated, highly–regarded (by most) and compensated more lavishly than any coach in National Hockey League history, his sh– house has no back door. Once inside, you’re liable to decompose with the contents.… Read More

What’s A Back–Up Goalie?

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — By waiving Jhonas Enroth on Monday afternoon, Lou Lamoriello acknowledged his first mistake as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, he came by the blunder honestly. You may recall that Lou built and GM’d… Read More

Marner No Surprise Here

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, there’s little doubt that Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets would be the winner with a league–best 12 goals in 19 games. But, Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs… Read More

Goaltending Angst Intensifies

TORONTO (Oct. 25) — Yes, it’s true: There are fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that have already written off Frederik Andersen as the solution to an interminable goaltending conundrum. After only four starts in the first two weeks of… Read More

Early Leafs Observations

TORONTO (Oct. 21) — Nine days ago, hours before the 2016–17 National Hockey League season, I wrote a blog in this corner entitled LEAFS WILL SIZZLE… THEN FIZZLE. It was my contention that the young, talented and energetic team assembled… Read More

Oh Jeez, Boston Again

TORONTO (Sep. 30) — We will find out this weekend whether Boston is, once again, a place where a Toronto professional sports team comes to die. For the first time since the fateful, gut-churning night of May 13, 2013, one… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Andersen Brings A Resume

TORONTO (June 21) — Given how often the Maple Leafs have swung and missed in recent years with apparent goaltending saviors, it is easy to be skeptical about the club’s latest procurement. Examining the situation more closely, however, can lead… 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

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

Let The Sleeping Dog Lie

TORONTO (Mar. 1) — Let me begin today by emphasizing that I trust Brendan Shanahan, Lou Lamoriello and the Toronto Maple Leafs hierarchy. It consummated a plan last summer; effectively sold it to the Board of Maple Leaf Sports and Read More
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