Leafs Should Go For The Jugular

TORONTO (Feb. 17) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs soar through the most stellar and meaningful hockey at this juncture of a season in 25 years, there remains the urge from within to allay expectation. To fundamentally minimize a remarkable,… Read More

Why Would The Leafs Trade JVR?

TORONTO (Feb. 9) — As you settle into my Friday blog, pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: Do the Toronto Maple Leafs have a reasonable chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season? When I say “reasonable”,… 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

Babcock’s Honeymoon Has Ended

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — For more than 2½ years, in what is often described as the National Hockey League’s toughest media market, it’s been “hands off the head coach”. That privilege, it seemed, arrived in our town with the largest… Read More

My, How Times Have Changed

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Do you remember when the Maple Leafs were cannon–fodder for the Boston Bruins? It wasn’t particularly long ago; well within the past decade… and I’m not even referring to the infamous playoff melt–down of May 2013… Read More

Opportunity in Arizona?

TORONTO (Oct. 26) — The worst team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2017–18 season has some colossal number–crunching on the horizon. And you have to think that a rival general manager — at some point — will… Read More

Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Leafs Will Make The Final Four

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — So, I’ve been thinking the past few days… are the Maple Leafs for real? Can they build on their colossal improvement from a year ago? Every hockey fiber in my body says yes. And… yes. The… Read More

Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… Read More

Leafs Don’t Have To Change

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — Let’s assume, for a moment, the Maple Leafs brought Patrick Marleau aboard with his imprudent contract in order to contend for the Stanley Cup beginning next season. Such would appear as the unspoken plan, knowing how… Read More

Is Holden For Bozak Worthwhile?

TORONTO (July 26) — It’s no secret in National Hockey League circles that the New York Rangers are looking for a center; the Toronto Maple Leafs a defenseman. The Rangers are apparently dangling 30–year–old Nick Holden while the Leafs may… 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

The Nylander vs. Marner Argument

TORONTO (July 9) — It’s a subject that has the most fervid Leaf supporters in denial. Yet, there’s virtually no way around the fact that one of William Nylander or Mitch Marner will be traded before the hockey club can… Read More

Shanaplan Goes Boom!

TORONTO (July 3) — Let me begin by making this unequivocal point: I love Patrick Marleau. Everybody loves Patrick Marleau. He is a first–ballot Hall of Famer; a consummate gentleman, and he comes to the Maple Leafs from what I… Read More

Leafs Must Have a Plan

TORONTO (June 28) — Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs in three years with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner all making beyond–entry–level cash; with a Norris Trophy–caliber defenseman eating up close to $10 million in cap space… Read More

Leafs Thinking Outside The Box

TORONTO (June 11) — Given multiple reports in the past ten days of their interest in veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk, it appears the Maple Leafs may not be willing to sit around and “look pretty” next season. The majority of… 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

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… Read More
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