End of An Era in Oakland

TORONTO (May 28) — The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors will make history in a couple of ways when they meet for the 2019 National Basketball Association title. It is, of course, the first appearance of a Canadian team… Read More

Again — Why Not Rick?

TORONTO (May 14) — Barring the unforeseen, Brendan Shanahan will remain in the president’s chair of the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2024–25 National Hockey League season after agreeing, early this week, to a six–year contract extension. We can merely… Read More

Would The Leafs Trade Kadri?

TORONTO (Apr. 6) — When Brian Burke questions Nazem Kadri, you have no choice but to pay attention. In his role as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Burke chose Kadri seventh overall (from the London Knights)… Read More

Are the Leafs Good Enough?

TORONTO (Feb. 22) — One game remains. Saturday night. Against rival Montreal at Scotiabank Arena. The proverbial “four–pointer” in the Atlantic Division. And, a final opportunity for Kyle Dubas and Co. to evaluate the roster before Monday’s National Hockey League… Read More

Leafs Need One More Piece

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — They are close. So very, very close to possessing all the components of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With one notable vacancy. Which needs to be filled in the next 18 days. Though yielding 44 shots… Read More

Leafs, Today, Are NHL’s Best

TORONTO (Dec. 25) — Yes, the standings suggest otherwise — if only slightly — and the good folks on the Gulf side of Florida may vehemently disagree. But, I say to you, on Christmas Night 2018, that the Toronto Maple… Read More

Rielly Closing the Gap — Finally

TORONTO (Dec. 22) — For whatever it’s worth (and I think many would agree), my criteria for the James Norris Memorial Trophy in today’s National Hockey League is a defenseman capable of putting up a minimum 60 points… and a… Read More

Leafs Will Be Fine, Unless…

A much–more interesting study will, of course, abound if the Maple Leafs do not match or exceed their lofty expectations. Can you envision the national outcry when the Leafs unavoidably lapse into a four or five–game skid, as will every Read More

The Silence Is Deafening

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — This will not be the worst season, by record, in the 42 years since the Toronto Blue Jays joined Major League Baseball — a distinction that belongs to the 1979 club, which compiled a mark of… Read More

Let’s Go Through This Again

TORONTO (July 8) — In responding to my “How Delusion Festers” blog of late–Friday (http://bit.ly/2KXRIF4) — and, particularly, to my long–held conviction that the Maple Leafs will likely not win the Stanley Cup without a Norris Trophy type on the… Read More

25 Years Later, It Could Be Special

TORONTO (Mar. 12) — The playoff season in professional sport is often unpredictable and promises can rarely be kept. If form prevails, however, this spring could be like none other in our city’s history. The weekend past provided yet another… 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

Babcock’s Honeymoon Has Ended

TORONTO (Jan. 20) — For more than 2½ years, in what is often described as the National Hockey League’s toughest media market, it’s been “hands off the head coach”. That privilege, it seemed, arrived in our town with the largest… Read More

Leafs Could Still Re–Make

TORONTO (Jan. 13) — Only one question truly remains to be answered about the 2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs: Can they defeat the Boston Bruins in a best–of–seven Stanley Cup playoff series? Though 37 games are left on the schedule, beginning… Read More

Leafs Need to Pick it Up

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — As we enter the year 2018, the Maple Leafs are somewhat betwixt and between. Toronto reaches the halfway mark of its schedule tonight against Tampa Bay at the Air Canada Centre a very–respectable ninth overall in… Read More

Orr: “Never A Bad Word”

TORONTO (Dec. 28) — When his mobile device started “going haywire” late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby Orr figured something awful had happened; his premonition verified with news of Johnny Bower’s death. “My first thought was ‘how many people live more than… Read More

Leafs Look Bewildered

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — While watching the Maple Leafs get stunningly out–played by the San Jose Sharks in northern–California Monday night (the 3–2 final score did not reflect the lop–sided essence of the match), it occurred to me that the… 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
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