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

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

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

Leafs Need To Rinse and Repeat

TORONTO (Apr. 17) — The consensus around town is that the “real” Maple Leafs showed up for Monday night’s third game of the playoffs against Boston. We shall see. Game 4 will provide a clearer indication. What I saw at… 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

Tavares: Islanders, Leafs… or Knights?

TORONTO (Mar. 13) — If I were a betting man, I’d say that John Tavares will re–up with the New York Islanders and spend his prime National Hockey League years playing out of a new arena at Belmont Park Racetrack.… 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

Freddy Needs Rest, Not Rhythm

TORONTO (Mar. 4) — There is no attempt here to jump on a bandwagon with the Maple Leafs in their first minor funk since mid–January (0–2–1 on a four–game road trip that concludes Monday night in Buffalo). This is still… Read More

Maybe Leafs Are Good Enough

TORONTO (Feb. 27) — Let me begin today by stressing that the trade deadline machinations on Monday only invigorated my pre–season pick of Tampa Bay defeating Nashville for the 2018 Stanley Cup (as per this blog: http://bit.ly/2xdXAqQ). With Victor Hedman,… 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

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

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

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

Leafs Need to Pick it Up

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — As we enter the year 2018, the Maple Leafs are somewhat betwixt and between. Toronto reaches the halfway mark of its schedule tonight against Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre a very–respectable ninth overall in… Read More

67 Since ’67

TORONTO (Dec. 30) — His debut with the Maple Leafs ended inauspiciously on Friday night in Denver when J.T. Compher scored in overtime to give Colorado a 4–3 victory. But, Calvin Picard, surely unbeknownst to him, matched a familiar number… Read More

Orr: “Never A Bad Word”

TORONTO (Dec. 28) — When his mobile device started “going haywire” late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby Orr figured something awful had happened; his premonition verified with news of Johnny Bower’s death. “My first thought was ‘how many people live more than… Read More

Are Leafs Better Than Last Year?

TORONTO (Dec. 23) — The Maple Leafs play their final game before the National Hockey League’s Christmas break tonight at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. Eastern, CBC). Expectation prior to the current season was far… Read More
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