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

The Tavares/Matthews Conundrum

TORONTO (May 21) — Thinking logically, one would have to assume that any overture the Maple Leafs are considering for John Tavares — should he opt to leave the New York Islanders as an unrestricted free agent this summer —… Read More

Leafs Need To Rinse and Repeat

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — The consensus around town is that the “real” Maple Leafs showed up for Monday night’s third game of the playoffs against Boston. We shall see. Game 4 will provide a clearer indication. What I saw at… 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

Maybe Leafs Are Good Enough

TORONTO (Feb. 27) — Let me begin today by stressing that the trade deadline machinations on Monday only invigorated my pre–season pick of Tampa Bay defeating Nashville for the 2018 Stanley Cup (as per this blog: http://bit.ly/2xdXAqQ). With Victor Hedman,… 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

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

Could NHL Expand to 34 Teams?

TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With today being the 100th anniversary of the first games in the National Hockey League, it is apropos to speculate that the NHL could soon evolve into a 34–member circuit. When I say “soon”, I refer… Read More

To Gregg Zaun and Others: Why?

TORONTO (Dec. 2) — As long as I live, I will never understand talented people with enviable public profiles sabotaging their own careers. There’s more than enough malice in our world today for others to try and take down these… Read More

Showing Class In Defeat

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — Apart from the predictability of the Maple Leafs losing to Arizona Monday night — many suspected a let–down to follow the 6–0 romp at Montreal on Saturday, and the Coyotes have been playing well — there… Read More

Matthews’ Leaf Days Are Numbered

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — One more chance. That’s all the Maple Leafs have without Auston Matthews. One final opportunity — against New Jersey, tonight — to prove they can sh** the bed in the absence of their best player. “If… 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
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