Babcock Angle Overplayed

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — I begin this blog with somewhat of a contradiction: Though I believe Mike Babcock should be among the finalists for the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach–of–the–year, I do not believe he is the… Read More

Toronto, Detroit and Culture Shock

TORONTO (Jan. 26) — Of all the disparity provided by the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, nothing is quite–so foreign as the club being decidedly better than the Detroit Red Wings. Eons have passed since the Leafs could make such… Read More

No Escaping The Sh– House

TORONTO (Dec. 17) — Though Mike Babcock is decorated, highly–regarded (by most) and compensated more lavishly than any coach in National Hockey League history, his sh– house has no back door. Once inside, you’re liable to decompose with the contents.… Read More

One Remarkable Night (Just One)

TORONTO (Nov. 10) — So, which result of this past Tuesday night came as more of a surprise to you: Donald Trump being elected 45th president of the United States or the Los Angeles Kings wood–shedding the Maple Leafs at… Read More

Can It Get Uglier?

TORONTO (Sep. 15) — John Gibbons, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, believes his club hit “rock–bottom” on Wednesday afternoon while being dismantled by the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre — a plausible claim given the 8–1 final score… Read More

The Boomer Is 80

TORONTO (Sep. 9) — In the realm of longevity, those Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup teams from the 1960’s will not go away. And, we thank the good Lord for that. The latest in the group to join Club Octogenarian… Read More

Leafs Summer Eerily Quiet

TORONTO (Sep. 6) — News over the Labor Day weekend that goalie Frederik Anderson would miss roughly four weeks with an “upper–body” injury generated barely a ripple in this hockey–crazed market. Which thoroughly jibed with one of the quietest Maple… Read More

Return of the Roman Empire

[Lou] Lamoriello will surely add a defenceman at some point — [Mike] Babcock would be a candidate for a nervous breakdown with a top four of Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hunwick and Martin Marincin. — From my Saturday Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Leafs At Another Crossroad

TORONTO (June 24) — In the course of 99 years, there have been myriad turning points for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three, in particular, stand out to this day… with Auston Matthews in the on–deck circle. The most significant factors… Read More

Leafs–Marlies Bond A Throwback

TORONTO (May 16) — Back in time, it was major–junior hockey. Today, it is minor–professional. Only the name has been constant — the Toronto Marlies. Young fans near and far may not realize the American Hockey League’s best team this… Read More

Centers of Attention

Busted flat in Baton Rouge; waiting for a train… And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. TORONTO (May 7) — I was cruising along a highway north of the city the other night when Janis Joplin’s 1971 anthem,… Read More

The Chief Has Tears

TORONTO (May 5) — Every year during this week for nearly half–a–century, hockey fans in Toronto have seen varied images of George Armstrong hoisting the 1967 Stanley Cup as captain of the Maple Leafs. Today, nearing his 86th birthday, Armstrong… Read More

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

Phaneuf Trade Sets Up “Basement Bowl”

TORONTO (Feb. 10) — Give the Toronto Maple Leafs credit (or blame). With several recent chances to fall into sole possession of 30th place in the National Hockey League, the club has managed to stray from the cellar, rocketing as… Read More

Might Lou Go Bigger At The Deadline?

TORONTO (Feb. 8) — Corralling a company secret from Lou Lamoriello is the rough equivalent of a dentist trying to pull a tooth from a live shark. It may not be as hazardous, but you’ll achieve the same result. Back… Read More

Three More For The “Row”

TORONTO (Jan. 23) — It is called Legends Row — the medley of bronze statues on the west plaza of Air Canada Centre commemorating, subjectively, the greatest of all Toronto Maple Leafs. In the not–too–distant future, it might have to… Read More

Keon, Broda, Horton to Legends Row

TORONTO (Jan. 21) — Confirming a blog I wrote in this space Wednesday night (http://bit.ly/1QntCmp), the Toronto Maple Leafs announced this morning that Dave Keon will have his statue erected on Legends Row outside the Air Canada Centre. Keon, Stanley… Read More
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