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

Are Leafs Using Smoke and Mirrors?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — So, if we were warned — two months ago today — that William Nylander and Mitch Marner would succumb to the usual sophomore difficulty (a combined six goals in 26 games); that Auston Matthews would miss… 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

Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Leafs Will Make The Final Four

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — So, I’ve been thinking the past few days… are the Maple Leafs for real? Can they build on their colossal improvement from a year ago? Every hockey fiber in my body says yes. And… yes. The… Read More

The Power of One

TORONTO (Sep. 18) — At no time since 1967, until now, have the Maple Leafs been one player away from challenging for the Stanley Cup. Just how significant that piece remains is a matter of opinion. In my view, it… Read More

Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Shanaplan Goes Boom!

TORONTO (July 3) — Let me begin by making this unequivocal point: I love Patrick Marleau. Everybody loves Patrick Marleau. He is a first–ballot Hall of Famer; a consummate gentleman, and he comes to the Maple Leafs from what I… Read More

Leafs Must Have a Plan

TORONTO (June 28) — Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs in three years with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner all making beyond–entry–level cash; with a Norris Trophy–caliber defenseman eating up close to $10 million in cap space… Read More

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… Read More

Does The Shanaplan Prevail?

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Rapid achievement in professional sport can be intoxicating. And, hauntingly mercurial if not guided by a steady hand. With that in mind, we wonder how the Toronto Maple Leafs might proceed after graduating from the National… Read More

Don’t Count ‘Em Out

TORONTO (Apr. 22) — Yes, the Maple Leaf are down. Facing elimination on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre. But, there is nothing about this scrappy, underdog team that suggests it is done. If the Leafs could arrange to… Read More

Leafs Are The Better Team

TORONTO (Apr. 18) — To borrow a legendary phrase from my ol’ pal, Dave (Tiger) Williams, the Washington Capitals are “done like dinner”. Kaput in every way except officially. And, that will soon follow. Give the youthful Toronto Maple Leafs… Read More

Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… Read More

Babcock Angle Overplayed

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — I begin this blog with somewhat of a contradiction: Though I believe Mike Babcock should be among the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year, I do not believe he is the… Read More

Comparing Auston and Wendel

TORONTO (Mar. 30) — So, which accomplishment is more impressive: Wendel Clark’s 34 goals in 1985–86 that stood, for more than three decades, as the rookie–season record for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or, the 35 goals (and counting) by Auston… Read More
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