Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… Read More

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More

Shanaplan Worked, But It’s Over

TORONTO (May 19) — I find it intriguing that the majority of Maple Leaf fans are so fervent about “trusting the process” — a virtual slogan as it pertains to the hockey club. The “process”, of course, is a synonym… Read More

Ottawa vs. Nashville For Cup

TORONTO (May 12) — The headline to this blog should provide abounding impetus for readers to put money on a Pittsburgh–Anaheim clash in the 2017 Stanley Cup final. Not that my playoff picks have been a total embarrassment, mind you.… Read More

Guess What? Cujo is 50

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — Happy milestone birthday to the best Leafs goalie of the post–1967 era. Curtis Joseph turns 50 today. He was born in Keswick, Ont. (70 miles north of Toronto) the same day the Leafs and Canadiens were… Read More

Leafs Will Scare Capitals

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — No, the Washington Capitals will not lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs never begin with the second round. Beyond that, maybe… just maybe… this is the year that Ovie and… Read More

As It Should Be

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It is officially and undeniably crunch time for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not unexpectedly, the quest for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference has come down to the final weekend of the regular season and… Read More

Is There A Cup Favorite?

TORONTO (Mar. 11) — Here’s a prediction for the 2017 Stanley Cup final that would have drawn loud gagging noises if made prior to the season: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild in a battle of the two most–recent National… Read More

Canada’s Hockey Hero is 74

TORONTO (Jan. 28) — Paul Henderson may present himself as a medical time–bomb ticking toward an apocalyptic end, but you’d never know it by spending 90 minutes in his company. The man that authored, to this day, the most important… Read More

Leafs Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… Read More

Two Years or Two Decades?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Yes, it was only two years ago today that the Maple Leafs had fired Randy Carlyle and were about to lapse into one of the worst tailspins in franchise history. Seems a bit longer, doesn’t it?… Read More

Wilson Recovering After Stroke

TORONTO (Dec. 15) — Former National Hockey League defenseman and head coach Ron Wilson says he is doing his utmost to rehab from a stroke suffered in the first week of December. Upon sending an email of support to Wilson… Read More

Lou in the Loo

VANCOUVER (Dec. 4) — I was hoping to say hello to Lou Lamoriello on Saturday night at Rogers Arena, having seen the Maple Leafs general manager from afar at the University of British Columbia on Friday (the Leafs practiced there).… Read More

Rielly Will Be the Leafs Captain

VANCOUVER (Dec. 3) — It’s a no–brainer. And, it should happen by next season. Morgan Rielly will become the 18th captain in Toronto Maple Leafs history. There is no longer any reason for the club to delay its quest. The… Read More

Oliver Ekman–“Leafs”son?

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — In their interminable quest to secure a legitimate, No. 1 defenseman, the Maple Leafs could be eyeing Oliver Ekman–Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes. So says one of my Phoenix bird–dogs. “This is for later in the… Read More

Marner No Surprise Here

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, there’s little doubt that Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets would be the winner with a league–best 12 goals in 19 games. But, Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs… 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
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