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

Sittler, Kelly and Pyramid Power

TORONTO (May 2) — The telephone rang in Darryl Sittler’s midtown–Toronto home just after 11 o’clock this morning. On the other end was Patrick Kelly, son of Maple Leafs legend Red Kelly. Patrick had solemn news. “He told me Red… 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

Will Freddy Be Ready?

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — Something is wrong. Whether it’s resulting from a late–season slump or a factor more ominous, Frederik Andersen has lost his way between the pipes for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That, alone, is hardly unfamiliar. Andersen’s performance… Read More

Leafs Need One More Piece

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — They are close. So very, very close to possessing all the components of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With one notable vacancy. Which needs to be filled in the next 18 days. Though yielding 44 shots… Read More

So, Who Can Kyle Trade?

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — Let’s begin this blog with process of elimination: Kyle Dubas, rookie general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, promised William Nylander — publicly — that he won’t be traded “as long as I’m running the hockey… Read More

Nylander Options Are Unappealing

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — So, here we are, precisely two weeks from the deadline of L’Affair Nylander. With no apparent resolution in sight and only one scenario that will best–serve the Maple Leafs: a “bridge” contract of two years and… 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 Silence Is Deafening

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — This will not be the worst season, by record, in the 42 years since the Toronto Blue Jays joined Major League Baseball — a distinction that belongs to the 1979 club, which compiled a mark of… 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

Only Burke Can Replace Cherry

TORONTO (Apr. 28) — Let’s assume, for a moment, that Don Cherry is unlikely to be a mainstay on Hockey Night In Canada for another 38 years. Though Donald S. seems indestructible — in our livingrooms each Saturday since 1980… 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

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

My, How Times Have Changed

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Do you remember when the Maple Leafs were cannon–fodder for the Boston Bruins? It wasn’t particularly long ago; well within the past decade… and I’m not even referring to the infamous playoff melt–down of May 2013… Read More

Opportunity in Arizona?

TORONTO (Oct. 26) — The worst team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2017–18 season has some colossal number–crunching on the horizon. And you have to think that a rival general manager — at some point — will… 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

The Power of One

TORONTO (Sep. 18) — At no time since 1967, until now, have the Maple Leafs been one player away from challenging for the Stanley Cup. Just how significant that piece remains is a matter of opinion. In my view, it… Read More

Just Imagine If…

TORONTO (July 24) — Only once in the modern history of the Maple Leafs has a coach changed the position of an established star in the National Hockey League. The result was four Stanley Cup championships in a six–year span.… Read More
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