Matthews’ Leaf Days Are Numbered

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — One more chance. That’s all the Maple Leafs have without Auston Matthews. One final opportunity — against New Jersey, tonight — to prove they can sh** the bed in the absence of their best player. “If… Read More

Doesn’t This Sound Familiar?

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — Early Thursday morning, in the Houston Chronicle, baseball writer Jake Kaplan penned the opening paragraphs to his lead story about the 2017 World Series champion: LOS ANGELES — Six years ago, Jeff Luhnow pitched Astros owner 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

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

Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Leafs Will Make The Final Four

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — So, I’ve been thinking the past few days… are the Maple Leafs for real? Can they build on their colossal improvement from a year ago? Every hockey fiber in my body says yes. And… yes. The… Read More

Could Matthews Become Gaye?

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Yes, the headline here is a play–on–words and, perhaps, marginally inappropriate. But, laugh along with me, folks. Recent events, south of the 49th parallel, have been all–too serious. What I’m asking, within the context of sport,… 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

The FAN–590 is 25 today

TORONTO (Sep. 4) — The names have changed with ownership and the unquestioned priority of television over radio — from CJCL AM–1430 to The Fan–1430; The FAN–590; Sportsnet Radio The FAN–590 and, today, Sportsnet–590 The FAN. What will never change… 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

Just Imagine If…

TORONTO (July 24) — Only once in the modern history of the Maple Leafs has a coach changed the position of an established star in the National Hockey League. The result was four Stanley Cup championships in a six–year span.… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Leafs Bring Aboard Good People

TORONTO (July 14) — We can debate endlessly whether character is a component of winning in the National Hockey League. Now and then, you’ll read that so–and–so is “good in the [dressing] room.” Which often indicates he’s not–so hot… Read More

Leafs Will Improve… Won’t They?

TORONTO (June 21) — The warnings were in place; unheeded, and verily scoffed at by fans of the record–setting Toronto Maple Leafs. The same warnings that are certain to be ignored later tonight in Las Vegas after what should be… Read More

Credibility x 2

TORONTO (May 29) — Can a guy remember getting a haircut 25 years later — to the day? Unless you’re the Rainman, probably not. Yet, I patently recall sitting in the barber’s chair on this date in 1992. As my… Read More

Still The Most Compelling

TORONTO (May 27) — After 100 years in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs are affiliated with numerous dates on the Gregorian calendar. Among the 10 most significant: Feb. 14 — 1927 — Conn Smythe changes the… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More
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