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

Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… 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

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

Darcy Tucker: “Anything Can Happen”

TORONTO (Apr. 13) — Disregard, for a moment, the virtual consensus among media that the Leafs have no chance to upset Washington in the first round of the Stanley Cup tournament. A guy that played rather effectively for the Blue… Read More

As It Should Be

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It is officially and undeniably crunch time for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not unexpectedly, the quest for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference has come down to the final weekend of the regular season and… Read More

Leafs Not “Heavy” Enough

TORONTO (Apr. 5) — By this time next week, Toronto hockey fans will be watching their favorite team in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in four years… and the first time in 13 years after a full,… Read More

Comparing Auston and Wendel

TORONTO (Mar. 30) — So, which accomplishment is more impressive: Wendel Clark’s 34 goals in 1985–86 that stood, for more than three decades, as the rookie–season record for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or, the 35 goals (and counting) by Auston… 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

Two Years or Two Decades?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Yes, it was only two years ago today that the Maple Leafs had fired Randy Carlyle and were about to lapse into one of the worst tailspins in franchise history. Seems a bit longer, doesn’t it?… Read More

A Perfect Day For “The Voice”

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — Joe Bowen should have bought a Lotto–Max ticket on Monday. The already filthy–rich voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs would have easily won the jackpot, adding to the multi–millions he has stashed away for generations of… Read More

Leafs Still Hard to Gauge

TORONTO (Dec. 21) — Frederik Andersen provides a glaring example of why the Toronto Maple Leafs are so difficult to assess while approaching the midway point of this development season. Clearly, Andersen has supplied the Leafs a noticeable upgrade between… 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

Connor Who? Auston Who?

TORONTO (Nov. 2) — As so often happens in professional sport when hype trumps expectation, the main characters in Tuesday night’s drama at Air Canada Centre barely made it on stage. This was billed as a showdown between the last… Read More

Wendel’s Book a Revelation

TORONTO (Oct. 19) — The Wendel Clark that hockey fans have known for the past 31 years is not the Wendel Clark they will come to know in his surprisingly–blunt autobiography, written with my former colleague at The FAN–590, Jim… Read More
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