Will The Leafs Be Next?

TORONTO (June 16) — A cynic would contend it is thoroughly emblematic of this city that our three “least–fashionable” sports teams have won championships in the past 6½ months. No disrespect to the Argonauts, Toronto F.C. or the Marlies, but… Read More

The Funeral of Hope

TORONTO (May 27) — It was 25 years ago tonight. Really. May 27, 1993 in Inglewood, California. On the Berger calendar, it ranks as the most compelling game involving the Maple Leafs that yours truly has attended — as a… Read More

Smoke and Mirrors Around Here

TORONTO (May 8) — Perhaps never in the professional sports annals of this city has a pair of clubs — 12 nights apart — rendered the six–month–long regular season so thoroughly pointless. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, after… Read More

Laine or Auston? What About Lou?

TORONTO (May 2) — It’s that date again. For the 51st time. The end of the six–team era in the National Hockey League. The beginning of the longest–ever Stanley Cup famine. Yes, there was pandemonium, Toronto style, 51 years ago… Read More

Bruins’ Work Still Not Done

TORONTO (Apr. 14) — Though Thursday night’s playoff opener at TD Garden was as lop–sided as the 5–1 final score indicated, the Boston Bruins have merely accomplished half their goal. Only a sweep of the first two matches on home… Read More

We’re Watching 2nd–Best Leafs Ever

TORONTO (Mar. 23) — Though it’s true and understandable that the 2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs will be evaluated on their playoff performance, we are likely watching the second–best club in franchise history. When I say “watching”, I mean so literally:… Read More

Leafs GM Chatter Intriguing

TORONTO (Mar. 8) — With the National Hockey League trade deadline out of the way and the Toronto Maple Leafs comfortably in a playoff spot, Kyle Dubas is the flavor–of–the–week. If you’re not sure who Kyle is, don’t fret. He’s… Read More

Freddy Needs Rest, Not Rhythm

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — There is no attempt here to jump on a bandwagon with the Maple Leafs in their first minor funk since mid–January (0–2–1 on a four–game road trip that concludes Monday night in Buffalo). This is still… Read More

Blue Liner(s) On The Way?

TORONTO (Feb. 21) — According to a long–time Western Conference scout with whom I check every year at this juncture, the Toronto Maple Leafs will bolster their blue line before Monday’s National Hockey League trade deadline. “Based on the rumblings… Read More

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

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

We’ve Seen It All Before (sigh)

TORONTO (Jan. 24) — The Maple Leafs play the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago, which may not be a good thing. The last Toronto victory at the United Center was so long ago, I covered it for The FAN–590. That would… 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

Leafs Could Still Re–Make

TORONTO (Jan. 13) — Only one question truly remains to be answered about the 2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs: Can they defeat the Boston Bruins in a best–of–seven Stanley Cup playoff series? Though 37 games are left on the schedule, beginning… Read More

Bruce Hood: 1936–2018

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — In mid–November, as he lay struggling with cancer at a Guelph, Ont. hospital, Bruce Hood received a surprise visit from one of his favorite people on Earth. Today — and sadly — Bruce and Johnny Bower… Read More

67 Since ’67

TORONTO (Dec. 30) — His debut with the Maple Leafs ended inauspiciously on Friday night in Denver when J.T. Compher scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4–3 victory. But, Calvin Picard, surely unbeknownst to him, matched a familiar number… Read More

Orr: “Never A Bad Word”

TORONTO (Dec. 28) — When his mobile device started “going haywire” late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby Orr figured something awful had happened; his premonition verified with news of Johnny Bower’s death. “My first thought was ‘how many people live more than… Read More

Simply The Nicest Man

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Given his advanced age, it’s a day we understood was going to come, sooner or later. Thankfully for the untold thousands of people that knew Johnny Bower, it was later. Much later. The most beloved figure… Read More
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