The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

It’s Time For Don and Ron

“Fame” [feym] — the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements. — Cambridge English Dictionary TORONTO (Nov. 10) — Yes, it is Hockey Hall of Fame Week here in town. On… 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

Lazy Leafs Are Fooling No One

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — For the increasing multitudes convinced that a change of coach will jump–start the apathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, allow me to present the following names, chronologically: Punch Imlach… John McLellan… Red Kelly… Roger Neilson… Floyd Smith… Joe… Read More

Babcock Needs a Quick Start

TORONTO (Aug. 11) — If you talk to hockey people who talk to hockey people — as I try and do between working funeral services in my day job — what I’m about to write is a common assessment: Mike… Read More

Still Not Convinced

TORONTO (May 18) — I have neither information nor a particular reason to suspect the Maple Leafs aren’t “all in” on Mike Babcock, as cryptically noted, last week, by general manager Kyle Dubas. But, something is gnawing at me with… Read More

Again — Why Not Rick?

TORONTO (May 14) — Barring the unforeseen, Brendan Shanahan will remain in the president’s chair of the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2024–25 National Hockey League season after agreeing, early this week, to a six–year contract extension. We can merely… Read More

The Laughable Maple Leafs

TORONTO (May 7) — I began my illustrious media career (no snickers) exactly 40 years ago today — May 7, 1979 — as a sportswriter at the Etobicoke Guardian community newspaper in the west end of Toronto. It was a Read More

Does Kyle Have Another Move?

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — With less than 12 days until the National Hockey League trade deadline, fans of the Maple Leafs wonder if rookie general manager Kyle Dubas will make another revision to his strong club. There are whispers that… Read More

Leafs, Today, Are NHL’s Best

TORONTO (Dec. 25) — Yes, the standings suggest otherwise — if only slightly — and the good folks on the Gulf side of Florida may vehemently disagree. But, I say to you, on Christmas Night 2018, that the Toronto Maple… Read More

Of Course Nylander Will Be Dealt

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — How many times can we put a different spin on the same likelihood? Let us count. Toronto’s three–player nucleus beyond the coming season will be Tavares, Matthews and Marner. The Nylander contract stalemate… is… Read More

Home Lethargy Still Hard to Fathom

TORONTO (Oct. 30) — It was like watching the re–run of an old Honeymooners episode, minus the comedy. I’ve seen the Classic 39 installments from 1954 so often, I can mouth the gut–splitting dialogue between Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.… Read More

The Leafs’ Staggering Numbers (So Far)

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — After the first five games of the National Hockey League season, players on the Toronto Maple Leafs have been compared, in local print, to Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. Merely the most–gifted trio in… Read More

Enjoy These Leafs (While You Can)

“We’re here for a good time, not a long time… So have a good time, the sun can’t shine every day.” — Trooper, 1977 TORONTO (Sep. 30) — Note to fans of the Maple Leafs: As the song goes, be… Read More

No Surprise: Leafs Rated Highly

TORONTO (Sep. 2) — For as long as I can remember, dating to my grade–school years, there have been magazines that preview the National Hockey League. In the mid–to–late 1960’s, my dad brought home these items — whereupon I would… Read More

Rogers Needs to Sell the Blue Jays

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Through much of the 1980’s, a haunting refrain could be heard with respect to the pitiable Toronto Maple Leafs: The club would never win anything of consequence until Harold Ballard died. Once that event occurred —… Read More

Not… Good… Enough

TORONTO (July 19) — The prevailing response to the Raptors trading DeMar DeRozan this week was so Toronto. The city that has hardly ever known prosperity among its major sports teams went all mushy. “Poor, mistreated” DeMar has to take… 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
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