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

Matthews Still Splendidly Atypical

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — Barring a protracted injury–absence, Auston Matthews will undoubtedly score between 50 and 60 goals this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Should be count 55, he’ll break the franchise record that Rick Vaive established in 1981–82.… Read More

Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… 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

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… Read More

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… Read More

Leafs Have Earned Playoff Shot

TORONTO (Mar. 22) — The math will sort itself out over the next 18 days and nights, finally determining whether the Toronto Maple Leafs partake in the Stanley Cup tournament for the first time in 13 years after a full… 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

Lamoriello Will Be “Cautious”

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — A Western Conference executive in the National Hockey League told me today that he doesn’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be particularly active before the Mar. 1 trade deadline. “I’m fairly certain that Lou [Lamoriello]… Read More

Leafs: Look Out From Behind

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — During this mostly–refreshing season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club has been gazing upward at its Atlantic Division rivals; aiming for a top–three finish and a guaranteed playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.… 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

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

Lou is “Looking”

I hear the secrets that you keep… when you’re talking in your sleep. — The Romantics, 1983 TORONTO (Nov. 7) — Lou Lamoriello wearing flannels and a stocking–cap? Almost too funny. In what other circumstance, however, might a rival National… Read More

Goaltending Angst Intensifies

TORONTO (Oct. 25) — Yes, it’s true: There are fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that have already written off Frederik Andersen as the solution to an interminable goaltending conundrum. After only four starts in the first two weeks of… 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
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