Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… 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

The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… 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

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

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

Puzzling Leaps of Faith

TORONTO (Aug. 3) — Back on May 16, 2017, amid much fanfare, Swedish defense prospects Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen signed entry level contracts with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given that several National Hockey League rivals were also pursuing the… Read More

Not Bigger, Just Smarter

TORONTO (June 19) — The question was inevitable and rhetorical: Would a Stanley Cup parade in our city either match or exceed the monstrous gathering for Monday’s basketball blowout in the downtown core? First, no sports commemoration will ever top… Read More

It’s Not About One Playoff Round

TORONTO (June 7) — Earlier in the week, I posted this opinion on Twitter: “We are again seeing why the Leafs, as currently made up, aren’t suited for the Stanley Cup final. They cannot remotely match the level of physical… Read More

“I Was Gretzky… For A Day”

TORONTO (May 25) — Long before this became a basketball city from April to June, hockey ruled the sporting map into late–spring. I know… it’s been awhile and, therefore, difficult to fathom or remember. But, there was a time when… 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

It’s That Date Again

NOTE: After sending this blog, I received word of the sad coincidence that Leonard (Red) Kelly — a key figure on the 1967 Maple Leafs and coach of the club from 1973–77 — passed away today at 91. Such a Read More

There’s No Place Like Road

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — Sorry for the double–entendre, Judy Garland. But, it’s undeniable: the Toronto Maple Leafs just love packing up; bidding adieu to family/friends and staying in five–star hotels. It’s been that way since the beginning of October. The… Read More

Let’s Temper Babcock Hostility

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — Though I was very–likely the first local observer to write (on Jan. 28) that Mike Babcock needs an opening–round playoff victory to ensure he remains as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the animus toward Babcock… Read More

Would The Leafs Trade Kadri?

TORONTO (Apr. 6) — When Brian Burke questions Nazem Kadri, you have no choice but to pay attention. In his role as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Burke chose Kadri seventh overall (from the London Knights)… Read More

Sweet Revenge For John Tavares

@Berger_BYTES John Tavares will score tying goal late in 3p Monday at NYI, thus clinching a playoff spot for the #Leafs. Fate will come full circle. 8:20 PM · Mar 31, 2019 TORONTO (Apr. 2) — So, I called it… Read More

Babcock Situation Intruging

TORONTO (Mar. 21) — Back on Jan. 28, I wrote a blog here (http://bit.ly/2WtCazl) suggesting Mike Babcock needs a first–round playoff victory to ensure a fifth season at the helm of the Maple Leafs. The notion was widely–ridiculed on social… Read More
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