Return of the Roman Empire

[Lou] Lamoriello will surely add a defenceman at some point — [Mike] Babcock would be a candidate for a nervous breakdown with a top four of Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hunwick and Martin Marincin. — From my Saturday 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

Auston Will Need to Find Balance

TORONTO (June 25) — It was no surprise that Auston Matthews wiped Britain’s exit from the European Union off the front page of one local newspaper today, while liberally sharing space with another. During the Toronto Maple Leafs 100th anniversary… Read More

Of course, Leafs Won’t Trade No. 1

TORONTO (June 18) — With less than a week remaining before the most anticipated draft in Toronto hockey history, local fear–mongers are still emailing about an imminent trade of the No. 1 pick. These people have no concept of relaxation,… Read More

Kessel Was Full Value, But…

TORONTO (June 14) — Fans of the Maple Leafs should not begrudge Phil Kessel for raising the Stanley Cup. Kessel was hardly a passenger in the 2016 playoffs, leading Pittsburgh in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. It proved… Read More

To Pee or not to Pee

TORONTO (June 7) — I was watching a newscast on the weekend when a familiar and grotesque image from September 11, 2001 filled the screen: United Airlines Flight 175 (a Boeing–767 laden with jet–fuel after departing nearby Boston) being deliberately… Read More

Leafs Could Be Halfway Home

TORONTO (June 2) — After winning the Stanley Cup in three of the past six years, the Chicago Blackhawks were bounced from the opening round of the playoffs this spring by St. Louis. It could easily be a temporary set–back,… Read More

Easy Answer to Rogers NHL Ratings

TORONTO (May 31) — The article was prolific and thoroughly–researched. It had all the earmarks of a story written by James Bradshaw, the Globe and Mail’s exceptional media reporter. It was also mightily complicated and replete with industry conjecture… Read More

Centers of Attention

Busted flat in Baton Rouge; waiting for a train… And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. TORONTO (May 7) — I was cruising along a highway north of the city the other night when Janis Joplin’s 1971 anthem,… Read More

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

The Gardens War of ’76

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — My Lord, was it a sweat–box in Maple Leaf Gardens. Forty years ago this week, yet burned into memory. Stanley Cup playoff games lasting more than 3½ hours. The scuffling, underdog Maple Leafs against the brawling… Read More

The Corp Was Snoozing

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — Over the span of four decades, Darryl Sittler has been celebrated and cursed by nostalgic followers of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Celebrated for his 10–point eruption against Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens on this date 40… Read More

Leafs Go Big Time For Sittler

TORONTO (Feb. 5) — Befitting one of the greatest players in franchise history, the Toronto Maple Leafs went the extra mile on Thursday night to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Darryl Sittler’s 10–point game against Boston. Sittler erupted for six… Read More

Would The Leafs Waive Bernier?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — It sounded radical and dangerously impulsive. But, only until I paused to consider the repercussion. A well–known executive in the National Hockey League told me Sunday afternoon he would be “less than shocked” if the Toronto… Read More

Leafs Should Trade Bernier

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — This is going nowhere… much like a sports Sunday that had “Toronto” written all over it: Argos cough up a 12–point lead and lose a playoff game at Hamilton with no time left on the clock.… Read More

Rogers Has The Final Say

TORONTO (Oct. 27) — Many in the local media have launched a preemptive strike against Rogers Communications in the event Alex Anthopoulos does not return as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is understandable given the widespread popularity… Read More

Leafs Begin With A First

TORONTO (Oct. 7) — In a season that is all about next season and beyond, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Maple Leafs open tonight, for the first time in franchise history, without a truly elite player on the roster.… Read More
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