The Leafs Will Be Fine

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — After last season and throughout the summer, I wrote in this space that Year 2 would likely be more of a challenge for the young, fast and gifted Maple Leafs. For no other reason than it… Read More

For Babcock, It’s Pure Hatred

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — During my years (1994–2011) covering the Toronto Maple Leafs as a reporter for The FAN–590, I dealt with seven head coaches: Pat Burns, Nick Beverley, Mike Murphy, Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle.… 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

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

Is Holden For Bozak Worthwhile?

TORONTO (July 26) — It’s no secret in National Hockey League circles that the New York Rangers are looking for a center; the Toronto Maple Leafs a defenseman. The Rangers are apparently dangling 30–year–old Nick Holden while the Leafs may… 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

War of the Worlds — Leafs Edition

TORONTO (July 4) — It happened Oct. 30, 1938. Just prior to 8:30 p.m. Eastern — prime time for radio listening in the era before television. Orson Welles, portraying a news bulletin, broke into dance music on CBS to warn… Read More

Shanaplan Goes Boom!

TORONTO (July 3) — Let me begin by making this unequivocal point: I love Patrick Marleau. Everybody loves Patrick Marleau. He is a first–ballot Hall of Famer; a consummate gentleman, and he comes to the Maple Leafs from what I… Read More

The Flawed Matthews Argument

TORONTO (June 5) — In early–1998, it was announced by the National Hockey League that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be moving to the Eastern Conference after 16 years of geographic displacement in the West. For reasons unexplained, the NHL… 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

Pillar’s Lamentable Choice

***UPDATE: The Toronto Blue Jays suspended Kevin Pillar for two games on Thursday afternoon.*** TORONTO (May 18) — Let me begin today by stressing that I have long admired Kevin Pillar. Until Wednesday night, there was nothing to not admire… Read More

A Humorous (Pathetic?) Stat

TORONTO (May 15) — Want to know how generally lousy it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans during the Harold Ballard administration in the 1970’s and 80’s? Normally, I would offer you a “let me count the… Read More

It’s Babcock Time

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — Everywhere you turn in this city, hockey fans are sure the Maple Leafs have a profusion of confidence heading into Game 6 tonight against the Washington Capitals. And, why not? The buoyant underdog has stayed with… Read More

Leafs Not “Heavy” Enough

TORONTO (Apr. 5) — By this time next week, Toronto hockey fans will be watching their favorite team in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in four years… and the first time in 13 years after a full,… Read More

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

Leafs May Have Been Best Ever

TORONTO (Apr. 1) — Despite what you may infer, there is nothing “April Fool’s” about the headline to this blog. With a bit of luck and accuracy in extra time, and some early defensive acumen in third periods, the 2016–17… Read More
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