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

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

To Gregg Zaun and Others: Why?

TORONTO (Dec. 2) — As long as I live, I will never understand talented people with enviable public profiles sabotaging their own careers. There’s more than enough malice in our world today for others to try and take down these… Read More

Villain of the Anonymous

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — This past week rekindled wondrous memories from my time covering the Maple Leafs for The FAN–590. Particularly, the era that began in the summer of 2005, when Dwayne Klessel — known better as “Eklund” — asked… Read More

What Would the ‘POTUS’ Have Done?

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — Thank goodness Donald Trump isn’t a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs (assuming, of course, the United States president has heard of the Maple Leafs). He would have had a field day on Twitter. As for… Read More

Division The Leafs Biggest Obstacle

TORONTO (Oct. 3) — In my last blog, I wrote that the Maple Leafs are “deep and talented enough” to play in the Stanley Cup semifinals next spring. What I didn’t write is that Round 2 could be their biggest… 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

A Question Ignored

TORONTO (July 31) — With Leafs Nation ominously assuring itself that all draft components will remain in place beyond 2019, and media wondering if the addition of Patrick Marleau indicates the club is “going for it” now, here’s a question… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… Read More

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… Read More

Bob Cole: “Let’s Do It”

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — The date of this blog is coincidental, yet rather poignant. Forty–four years ago today — in Moscow — Paul Henderson scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history. Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher immortalized the… Read More

Blue Jays Walking a Tightrope

TORONTO (Sep. 12) — As they careen through their most untimely slump in 29 years, the Toronto Blue Jays are saying all the right things and doing all the wrong things. Not since 1987 have the Blue Jays engendered such… 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

Healy Left Mark On Hockey Night

TORONTO (June 29) — Depending on which faction you are most drawn to, there is either unvarnished glee or abject disappointment over Glenn Healy’s departure this week from Hockey Night In Canada. Typically, there is no ambivalence. And, that is… Read More

“Shanaplan” Changes With Stamkos

TORONTO (June 27) — Through decades of failure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been brilliant at selling Kool Aid to their followers. Year after year, gallons of the sugary liquid are consumed by the National Hockey League’s most dehydrated market.… Read More
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