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 Kept Their Promise

TORONTO (May 12) — After the extraordinary maneuver of preventing a young executive from advancement in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs came through for Kyle Dubas. Though Dubas was given permission, last summer, to be interviewed by… 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

Only Burke Can Replace Cherry

TORONTO (Apr. 28) — Let’s assume, for a moment, that Don Cherry is unlikely to be a mainstay on Hockey Night In Canada for another 38 years. Though Donald S. seems indestructible — in our livingrooms each Saturday since 1980… Read More

And the Wait Continues

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — Quite the coincidence that fewer than 24 hours after another failed Stanley Cup bid by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dave Keon was announced as an inductee into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Considered the greatest… Read More

Freddy Had Nothing Left

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — This is not to invoke the blame game. And, yes, hindsight is an incomparable ally. But, in the end — when the fat lady approached the microphone in this record–breaking season — the Toronto Maple Leafs’… Read More

It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — So, this is what you get for 50 million dollars? Okay, I’m being a trifle facetious… but c’mon. The Maple Leafs did not lure Mike Babcock from Detroit with the National Hockey League’s most–lucrative coaching pact… 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

Leafs–Bruins on Razor’s Edge

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — When you think about it, there is no particular reason for the Boston Bruins or Toronto Maple Leafs to lose four times in a seven–game segment. Yet, one of the teams will do just that in… 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

Leafs “Can Have McDonagh”

TORONTO (Feb. 24) — A prediction here as it pertains to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Monday’s National Hockey League trade deadline (and one that won’t likely stun readers): General manager Lou Lamoriello will make a medium–level acquisition, at best,… 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

Why Would The Leafs Trade JVR?

TORONTO (Feb. 9) — As you settle into my Friday blog, pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: Do the Toronto Maple Leafs have a reasonable chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season? When I say “reasonable”,… 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
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