Call it “Burkie’s Drive”

“I do thank you… the people here at Rogers and, mostly, the people who fill out those little ballots and tell us how many people are watching or listening. Thank you for allowing me to occupy this seat for the Read More

McCown The Biggest Casualty

TORONTO (June 21) — Sometime early in 2010, I gathered with colleagues and fellow employees in the Velma Rogers Theatre within the building, at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd., that houses the Rogers Communications empire. For 22 years, I had been… Read More

Not Bigger, Just Smarter

TORONTO (June 19) — The question was inevitable and rhetorical: Would a Stanley Cup parade in our city either match or exceed the monstrous gathering for Monday’s basketball blowout in the downtown core? First, no sports commemoration will ever top… Read More

We The Longest

***BREAKING NEWS (Saturday 4:50 p.m.)*** The Los Angeles Kings have bought out the final two years of Dion Phaneuf’s contract. Is it the end of the line for the former captain of the Maple Leafs? TORONTO (June 15) — In… Read More

The Leafs Will Stand Alone

TORONTO (June 9) — Let me begin today by going out on a limb and suggesting the Toronto Raptors will not lose three consecutive games to the Golden State Warriors. Though our city has seen its share of sporting collapses,… Read More

It’s Not About One Playoff Round

TORONTO (June 7) — Earlier in the week, I posted this opinion on Twitter: “We are again seeing why the Leafs, as currently made up, aren’t suited for the Stanley Cup final. They cannot remotely match the level of physical… Read More

Why Even Go There?

TORONTO (June 1) — Predictably, it took no time at all for the most–sophomoric angle to emerge from the Toronto Raptors brilliant playoff run: Has basketball become more popular in Toronto than hockey? Such a challenging question on the day… Read More

“I Was Gretzky… For A Day”

TORONTO (May 25) — Long before this became a basketball city from April to June, hockey ruled the sporting map into late–spring. I know… it’s been awhile and, therefore, difficult to fathom or remember. But, there was a time when… Read More

The Sound of Silence

“… and the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls… and tenement halls… and whispered through the sound… of silence.” — Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, 1965 TORONTO (May 22) — If not for… Read More

Still Not Convinced

TORONTO (May 18) — I have neither information nor a particular reason to suspect the Maple Leafs aren’t “all in” on Mike Babcock, as cryptically noted, last week, by general manager Kyle Dubas. But, something is gnawing at me with… Read More

Was It The Leafs’ Biggest Gaffe?

TORONTO (May 15) — We take you, regrettably, back to June 24, 2006. At then–called General Motors Place in Vancouver. Today, Rogers Arena. Home of the Canucks. With the 13th pick in the National Hockey League draft, the Maple Leafs… 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

A Big Moment… But How Big?

TORONTO (May 13) — Though it ranks among the most dramatic and breathtaking moments in the modern history of professional sport in this city, I’m not entirely sure what to make of Kawhi Leonard’s bounce…bounce…bounce series–winning shot against the Philadelphia… Read More

Flag Waving Has Started Early

TORONTO (May 8) — Erect the barricades. The Stanley Cup is about to return. At least one cheerleader in the Toronto media has declared the Maple Leafs’ European signing blitz of the past week a roaring success. Others are sure… Read More

The Laughable Maple Leafs

TORONTO (May 7) — I began my illustrious media career (no snickers) exactly 40 years ago today — May 7, 1979 — as a sportswriter at the Etobicoke Guardian community newspaper in the west end of Toronto. It was a Read More

Talking Mike Babcock

TORONTO (May 4) — I begin today by emphasizing that this is one man’s assessment and nothing, in any way, conclusive. But, the one man is the same man who told me for a blog here last June 25 (http://bit.ly/2tuGUaI)… Read More

Sittler, Kelly and Pyramid Power

TORONTO (May 2) — The telephone rang in Darryl Sittler’s midtown–Toronto home just after 11 o’clock this morning. On the other end was Patrick Kelly, son of Maple Leafs legend Red Kelly. Patrick had solemn news. “He told me Red… Read More

It’s That Date Again

NOTE: After sending this blog, I received word of the sad coincidence that Leonard (Red) Kelly — a key figure on the 1967 Maple Leafs and coach of the club from 1973–77 — passed away today at 91. Such a Read More
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