Will It Ever Be The Leafs’ Year?

TORONTO (Jan. 14) — For a brief moment last Wednesday, and despite all of the challenges encountered so far this season, I felt that maybe karma was on the side of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Trailing the Winnipeg Jets, 3–2,… Read More

What The Doctor Ordered

TORONTO (Jan. 8) — Though it ended with a stinker on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, the Maple Leafs undoubtedly saved their season with the 15–4–1 eruption (Nov. 23–Jan. 4) under new coach Sheldon Keefe. It ranked among the best… Read More

Keefe Is A Remarkable Story

TORONTO (Jan. 3) — Yup, I was wrong. I doubt that I’ll completely reverse my opinion of mid–term coaching changes, but the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a dandy maneuver on Nov. 20 when Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock. It’s… Read More

2020 Cannot Be Worse

TORONTO (Jan. 1) — It is impossible to imagine the new year being as thoroughly dreadful as 2019 in the hockey media universe. Thanks almost solely to Rogers Communications — where employees are nothing but a designated number — the… Read More

A Week Like None Other

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Though it seems like only yesterday, it was 40 years ago this week that Punch Imlach destroyed the Toronto Maple Leafs for more than a decade. Beginning somewhat innocuously on Christmas Eve 1979, it ended, five… Read More

What Took So Long?

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — Frankly, I’m surprised no one has posed the following questions: With the Maple Leafs an impressive 9–4–0 in 13 games under Sheldon Keefe, why did Brendan Shanahan wait until Nov. 20 to authorize the dismissal of… Read More

Right Now, The Leafs Are Doomed

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — You can debate any aspect of the Toronto Maple Leafs you wish, but all except one are immaterial. And, it’s the deficit I keep referring to in this corner: back–up goaltending. The numbers are simple, straightforward… Read More

The Leafs Are Absolute Darlings

TORONTO (Nov. 26) — As a heterosexual male, I had never felt the urge to kiss another man. Until yesterday, when I read the impassioned offer of remorse from Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot in the wake of his two–game… Read More

“I’m Sad” Says Don Cherry

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — It wasn’t often, in his public life, that Don Cherry had to summon enthusiasm. Whatever you felt about the icon that commanded nationwide attention for 38 years on Hockey Night In Canada, he had gusto streaming… Read More

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

Jim Gregory: 1935–2019

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — There is both irony and coincidence, bathed in Toronto hockey legend, that Jim Gregory would die yesterday at 83 years of age. It was during this week, in 1976, that Gregory made arguably the most–strategic telephone… Read More

Seven Games To Go?

“He’s got 20 games,” said a well–known figure in the National Hockey League. “If the Leafs aren’t playing up to par by mid–November, Babcock’s gone. Count on it. There is lots of appetite for change in Toronto.” — BETWEEN THE… 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

Healy Talks TV, Rogers… and Hockey

TORONTO (Oct. 6) — He may no longer be on the television set in your livingroom or den each Saturday night, but no person in our country can speak more eloquently about the tumultuous sports media business than Glenn Healy… Read More

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… Read More

The Leafs Will Tease, But Fall Short

TORONTO (Oct. 1) — Do not be surprised if the 2019–20 National Hockey League season is the most–prolific in the 103–year history of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If healthy, the Leafs could challenge for the Presidents’ Trophy as the No.… 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
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