It’s All Very Confusing

TORONTO (Nov. 9) — The Maple Leafs play their 18th game of the season tonight and no one is entirely sure what to make of the hockey team. Some, such as Damien Cox — writing, today, in the Toronto StarRead More

The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… Read More

Lazy Leafs Are Fooling No One

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — For the increasing multitudes convinced that a change of coach will jump–start the apathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, allow me to present the following names, chronologically: Punch Imlach… John McLellan… Red Kelly… Roger Neilson… Floyd Smith… Joe… Read More

Mike Rips Mike… Again

TORONTO (Oct. 22) — “Hate” is a very strong word; one that people use rather flippantly when describing an aversion, no matter how innocuous. It is, in fact, less banal than practically any term in the English language, reserved for… Read More

Yes, Jack Todd Had A Point

TORONTO (Oct. 15) — I remember sitting at a popular hamburger joint here in town a few years ago (Golden Star, on north Yonge Street), gabbing with Dan Shulman. Each of us had brought our sons for dinner. It was… Read More

Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Blair Has Earned FAN “Drive” Slot

TORONTO (Sep. 10) — In lieu of an official pronouncement from Rogers Communications, we can assume that Jeff Blair has triumphantly annexed the afternoon–drive slot at Sportsnet–590 The FAN. And, if so, it’s a good choice. Unless the poobahs at… Read More

Pressure Mounting On The Leafs

TORONTO (Aug. 16) — It is mid–August and relatively quiet in the hockey world. As such, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs likely cannot feel the burden that is beginning to crush their favorite team. But, it’s there. And gaining… Read More

Offer–Sheet All About Timing

TORONTO (July 27) — If you’re surprised that a rival National Hockey League team has not yet presented an offer–sheet to Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner, consider this: “July 1st isn’t the right time to make such a move,” a… Read More

Nylander Trade Too Logical

TORONTO (July 20) — Were he to retract his vow from last December and trade the anvil–contract of William Nylander, it would be one small step for Kyle Dubas, one giant leap for salary–cap maintenance. Okay, how better to start… Read More

The Laughable Maple Leafs

TORONTO (May 7) — I began my illustrious media career (no snickers) exactly 40 years ago today — May 7, 1979 — as a sportswriter at the Etobicoke Guardian community newspaper in the west end of Toronto. It was a Read More

Sittler, Kelly and Pyramid Power

TORONTO (May 2) — The telephone rang in Darryl Sittler’s midtown–Toronto home just after 11 o’clock this morning. On the other end was Patrick Kelly, son of Maple Leafs legend Red Kelly. Patrick had solemn news. “He told me Red… Read More

It’s That Date Again

NOTE: After sending this blog, I received word of the sad coincidence that Leonard (Red) Kelly — a key figure on the 1967 Maple Leafs and coach of the club from 1973–77 — passed away today at 91. Such a Read More

And the Journey Continues…

TORONTO (Apr. 24) — Well, if anything, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the cleanest lockers in the National Hockey League. How could there be a speck of dust anywhere after partaking in the post–elimination exercise for 51 consecutive years? Tomorrow… Read More

If Freddy Is Ready, Leafs Can Win

TORONTO (Apr. 22) — Yes, an opportunity was missed. No, it isn’t game over. Not in this series of zero momentum; not in this playoff year of road dominance. I know it’s difficult for fans of the Leafs to envision… Read More

Forget Sheldon Keefe — For Now

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — To paraphrase Mark Twain from 122 years ago, “rumors of Mike Babcock’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” The future of the Toronto Maple Leafs coach drove the dialogue as recently as Friday evening on Prime Time Read More

Leafs Need More From 34

TORONTO (Apr. 14) — The white noise that Auston Matthews is probably trying to ignore could become deafening in the very near future. It is still too soon to burden the young Toronto Maple Leafs star with a label, but… Read More

There’s No Place Like Road

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — Sorry for the double–entendre, Judy Garland. But, it’s undeniable: the Toronto Maple Leafs just love packing up; bidding adieu to family/friends and staying in five–star hotels. It’s been that way since the beginning of October. The… Read More
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