Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Battle Lines Drawn Early

TORONTO (Oct. 2) — In case you are wondering whether Mike Babcock and Kyle Dubas became warm and fuzzy during the off–season, consider the message sent by the long–time, grizzled coach to his still–newbie general manager prior to the regular–season… Read More

No Change In Marner Saga

TORONTO (Sep. 5) — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas claims he is “confident” of signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner before a chunk of training camp is lost (cautionary note: the club’s first workout in St. John’s is “Friday… Read More

Babcock Needs a Quick Start

TORONTO (Aug. 11) — If you talk to hockey people who talk to hockey people — as I try and do between working funeral services in my day job — what I’m about to write is a common assessment: Mike… Read More

Trusted Back–Up Imperative

TORONTO (June 29) — Among the myriad issues that again restricted the Toronto Maple Leafs to one playoff round in April, the reliance on a single goalie ranks near the top. Which is hardly a new subject — in this… Read More

We The Longest

TORONTO (June 15) — In recent years, lots of stuff has happened for the first time in awhile on the local sports scene… or the first time ever, such as Thursday night’s monumental basketball triumph in Oakland. The Maple Leafs… 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

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

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

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

So, What Now, Leafs Nation?

TORONTO (May 1) — I had a brief conversation with a friend of mine on Tuesday… a virulent fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Y’know what? I’m not even looking forward to next season,” he griped. “I mean, what’s there… Read More

Not Looking Great For Babcock

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — When taking a moment to read between the lines of words spoken during the Maple Leafs’ annual locker clean–out on Thursday — and, for whatever the cryptic messages were worth — I’m sensing Mike Babcock will… Read More

Forget Sheldon Keefe — For Now

TORONTO (Apr. 20) — To paraphrase Mark Twain from 122 years ago, “rumors of Mike Babcock’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” The future of the Toronto Maple Leafs coach drove the dialogue as recently as Friday evening on Prime Time Read More

Let’s Temper Babcock Hostility

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — Though I was very–likely the first local observer to write (on Jan. 28) that Mike Babcock needs an opening–round playoff victory to ensure he remains as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the animus toward Babcock… 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

Leafs Will Have to Make History

TORONTO (Apr. 3) — No team has won the Stanley Cup after losing more than 14 games in regulation time on home ice during the regular season. The Toronto Maple Leafs, therefore, would break new ground by ending their 52–year… Read More

Babcock Situation Intruging

TORONTO (Mar. 21) — Back on Jan. 28, I wrote a blog here (http://bit.ly/2WtCazl) suggesting Mike Babcock needs a first–round playoff victory to ensure a fifth season at the helm of the Maple Leafs. The notion was widely–ridiculed on social… Read More

Dubas Isn’t Done

TORONTO (Feb. 18) — No specifics here, except this: I’ll be very surprised if Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas does not make at least one more move before the National Hockey League trade deadline a week from today. Said… Read More
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