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

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

25 Years Later, It Could Be Special

TORONTO (Mar. 12) — The playoff season in professional sport is often unpredictable and promises can rarely be kept. If form prevails, however, this spring could be like none other in our city’s history. The weekend past provided yet another… Read More

Leafs Should Go For The Jugular

TORONTO (Feb. 17) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs soar through the most stellar and meaningful hockey at this juncture of a season in 25 years, there remains the urge from within to allay expectation. To fundamentally minimize a remarkable,… Read More

For Babcock, It’s Pure Hatred

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — During my years (1994–2011) covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a reporter for The FAN–590, I dealt with seven head coaches: Pat Burns, Nick Beverley, Mike Murphy, Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.… Read More

Is Canada Ready For the Leafs?

TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 38 years, a vast dichotomy has prevailed between fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and those loyal to other National Hockey League teams in Canada. With respect to Toronto and Montreal, this division… Read More

Zaitsev Bears Watching

TORONTO (Oct. 11) — There are beggars on street corners all over North America that could become independently wealthy with one dollar for every time, in this space, I have written the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley… 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

The FAN–590 is 25 today

TORONTO (Sep. 4) — The names have changed with ownership and the unquestioned priority of television over radio — from CJCL AM–1430 to The Fan–1430; The FAN–590; Sportsnet Radio The FAN–590 and, today, Sportsnet–590 The FAN. What will never change… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More
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