Right Now, The Leafs Are Doomed

TORONTO (Dec. 6) — You can debate any aspect of the Toronto Maple Leafs you wish, but all except one are immaterial. And, it’s the deficit I keep referring to in this corner: back–up goaltending. The numbers are simple, straightforward… Read More

Dubas Needs To Unload Salary

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — There is only one contingency for the Maple Leafs in their back–up goaltending conundrum… and it comes with no guarantee: general manager Kyle Dubas has to unload a contract. Maybe not a William Nylander contract, but… Read More

The Leafs Are Absolute Darlings

TORONTO (Nov. 26) — As a heterosexual male, I had never felt the urge to kiss another man. Until yesterday, when I read the impassioned offer of remorse from Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot in the wake of his two–game… Read More

First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

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

Serenity Has Enveloped Leafs Land

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — It’s refreshing to observe how Leafs Nation is so–coolly reacting to an unremarkable 4–3–1 record after eight games of the National Hockey League season. No premature indications of panic or anxiety. Rather, a coherent, logical assessment… Read More

Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… Read More

No Change In Marner Saga

TORONTO (Sep. 5) — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas claims he is “confident” of signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner before a chunk of training camp is lost (cautionary note: the club’s first workout in St. John’s is “Friday… 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

Still Not Convinced

TORONTO (May 18) — I have neither information nor a particular reason to suspect the Maple Leafs aren’t “all in” on Mike Babcock, as cryptically noted, last week, by general manager Kyle Dubas. But, something is gnawing at me with… Read More

Talking Mike Babcock

TORONTO (May 4) — I begin today by emphasizing that this is one man’s assessment and nothing, in any way, conclusive. But, the one man is the same man who told me for a blog here last June 25 (http://bit.ly/2tuGUaI)… Read More

So, What Now, Leafs Nation?

TORONTO (May 1) — I had a brief conversation with a friend of mine on Tuesday… a virulent fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Y’know what? I’m not even looking forward to next season,” he griped. “I mean, what’s there… Read More

Not Looking Great For Babcock

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — When taking a moment to read between the lines of words spoken during the Maple Leafs’ annual locker clean–out on Thursday — and, for whatever the cryptic messages were worth — I’m sensing Mike Babcock will… Read More

Forget Sheldon Keefe — For Now

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — To paraphrase Mark Twain from 122 years ago, “rumors of Mike Babcock’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” The future of the Toronto Maple Leafs coach drove the dialogue as recently as Friday evening on Prime Time 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

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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