The Leafs After One Month

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — It began, rather predictably, one month ago tonight: a 5–3 conquest of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena. The big gun, Auston Matthews, scoring twice; the big acquisition, Tyson Barrie, assisting twice. Frederik Andersen recording the… Read More

Captain Obvious For The Leafs? Not So

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Mike Babcock told The Athletic last week he had a strong sense that the naming of a captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs will be “obvious to most”. Adding further intrigue is that the interview with… Read More

Pressure Mounting On The Leafs

TORONTO (Aug. 16) — It is mid–August and relatively quiet in the hockey world. As such, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs likely cannot feel the burden that is beginning to crush their favorite team. But, it’s there. And gaining… Read More

Offer–Sheet All About Timing

TORONTO (July 27) — If you’re surprised that a rival National Hockey League team has not yet presented an offer–sheet to Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner, consider this: “July 1st isn’t the right time to make such a move,” a… 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

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

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

If Freddy Is Ready, Leafs Can Win

TORONTO (Apr. 22) — Yes, an opportunity was missed. No, it isn’t game over. Not in this series of zero momentum; not in this playoff year of road dominance. I know it’s difficult for fans of the Leafs to envision… Read More

Does Kyle Have Another Move?

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — With less than 12 days until the National Hockey League trade deadline, fans of the Maple Leafs wonder if rookie general manager Kyle Dubas will make another revision to his strong club. There are whispers that… 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

Matthews is Truly Remarkable

TORONTO (Dec. 5) — I start today by posing a question that dovetails with the recent chatter about restricted free agency in the National Hockey League: Other than Connor McDavid, is there a player that deserves a more–lucrative contract than… Read More

The Leafs’ Staggering Numbers (So Far)

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — After the first five games of the National Hockey League season, players on the Toronto Maple Leafs have been compared, in local print, to Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. Merely the most–gifted trio in… Read More

The Leafs Have Two Captains

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — I have long felt that the word “leadership” is misused in professional sport; the connotation invariably centering on a player that can rally the troops with provocative chatter. In fact, no one — a sports figure… Read More

Just Imagine If…

Twenty–four years after trading for a guy named Sundin at the 1994 NHL Draft in Hartford, the Leafs chose a guy named Sandin Friday night in Dallas. Will Rasmus turn out anything close to Mats? In the meantime… TORONTO (June… Read More

The Funeral of Hope

TORONTO (May 27) — It was 25 years ago tonight. Really. May 27, 1993 in Inglewood, California. On the Berger calendar, it ranks as the most compelling game involving the Maple Leafs that yours truly has attended — as a… Read More

Freddy Had Nothing Left

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — This is not to invoke the blame game. And, yes, hindsight is an incomparable ally. But, in the end — when the fat lady approached the microphone in this record–breaking season — the Toronto Maple Leafs’… Read More

Leafs Should Go For The Jugular

TORONTO (Feb. 17) — As the Toronto Maple Leafs soar through the most stellar and meaningful hockey at this juncture of a season in 25 years, there remains the urge from within to allay expectation. To fundamentally minimize a remarkable,… 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
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