Matthews is Truly Remarkable

TORONTO (Dec. 5) — I start today by posing a question that dovetails with the recent chatter about restricted free agency in the National Hockey League: Other than Connor McDavid, is there a player that deserves a more–lucrative contract than… Read More

The Leafs Have Two Captains

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — I have long felt that the word “leadership” is misused in professional sport; the connotation invariably centering on a player that can rally the troops with provocative chatter. In fact, no one — a sports figure… Read More

Babcock Must ‘C’ This Through

TORONTO (July 3) — So, we wonder, even more curiously: What did Mike Babcock discuss with Auston Matthews during their post–playoff summit in Arizona? You remember: Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet claiming, after the Maple Leafs were bounced from the opening… Read More

Crazy 8’s Again For The Leafs

TORONTO (July 1) — You really cannot ask more from a team in the National Hockey League during the off–season than signing the best unrestricted free agent on the market. Which is exactly what the Toronto Maple Leafs did Sunday… 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

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

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

Who Else Joins Legends Row?

***UPDATE: Congratulations to Charlie Conacher, Frank Mahovlich, Red Kelly and Wendel Clark for being inducted into the Maple Leafs Legends Row at Air Canada Centre. Turns out that four ex–players got the nod, rather than the three I suggested in… 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

Leafs Finally Get It Right

TORONTO (Oct. 16) — After 23 years of stubborn irrationality, the Toronto Maple Leafs have chosen to truly honor their past. And, Dave Keon’s No. 14 banner finally hangs from a steel beam in the Air Canada Centre. As Darryl… Read More

Leafs At Another Crossroad

TORONTO (June 24) — In the course of 99 years, there have been myriad turning points for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three, in particular, stand out to this day… with Auston Matthews in the on–deck circle. The most significant factors… Read More

To Pee or not to Pee

TORONTO (June 7) — I was watching a newscast on the weekend when a familiar and grotesque image from September 11, 2001 filled the screen: United Airlines Flight 175 (a Boeing–767 laden with jet–fuel after departing nearby Boston) being deliberately… Read More

The Chief Has Tears

TORONTO (May 5) — Every year during this week for nearly half–a–century, hockey fans in Toronto have seen varied images of George Armstrong hoisting the 1967 Stanley Cup as captain of the Maple Leafs. Today, nearing his 86th birthday, Armstrong… Read More

Three More For The “Row”

TORONTO (Jan. 23) — It is called Legends Row — the medley of bronze statues on the west plaza of Air Canada Centre commemorating, subjectively, the greatest of all Toronto Maple Leafs. In the not–too–distant future, it might have to… Read More

Has Keon Consented to Legends Row?

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — There were loud whispers around the Air Canada Centre Wednesday that Dave Keon — generally considered the greatest player in Toronto Maple Leafs history — has given his blessing to be added to Legends Row on… Read More

Leafs Should Trade Bernier

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — This is going nowhere… much like a sports Sunday that had “Toronto” written all over it: Argos cough up a 12–point lead and lose a playoff game at Hamilton with no time left on the clock.… Read More

Bibeau Could Become No. 62

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — What better occasion to discuss goaltending than the 91st birthday of Johnny Bower — the most popular and beloved player in Toronto Maple Leafs history? Had there been a few more of his genre, it’s possible… Read More

Leafs Begin With A First

TORONTO (Oct. 7) — In a season that is all about next season and beyond, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Maple Leafs open tonight, for the first time in franchise history, without a truly elite player on the roster.… Read More
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