First Intermission Will Need Spice

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — A viewer to Hockey Night In Canada would need to be in his (or her) early–40’s to remember blandness in the first intermission. There was an explosion of color, literally and figuratively, during Don Cherry’s unequaled… Read More

The Easy Way… The Only Way

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Predictably, the text arrived within minutes. “I was off by three games. Sue me.” Oh, how I wish I could introduce to you the National Hockey League employee that told me, Aug. 11 (blog here — … Read More

“I’m Sad” Says Don Cherry

TORONTO (Nov. 18) — It wasn’t often, in his public life, that Don Cherry had to summon enthusiasm. Whatever you felt about the icon that commanded nationwide attention for 38 years on Hockey Night In Canada, he had gusto streaming… Read More

Don’t Look Beyond The Players

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It remains the most parochial, knee–jerk reaction in sport: “Fire the coach!” And, the parochial/knee–jerk among fans and media that follow the Toronto Maple Leafs are out in full force. Want to craft a newspaper column… Read More

Going Behind The Scenes at Rogers

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — If you’re an observer of media here in Canada, I ask this question, sincerely and unequivocally: Had someone told you on June 13 of this year — the night the Raptors won the National Basketball Association… Read More

Is Coach’s Corner Really Dead?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — I haven’t a shred of information about this and I could be barking up a California Redwood. But, neither would I be shocked if Don Cherry returns to his familiar spot in the first intermission of… Read More

The Other Side of Donald S.

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Let me tell you a quick story about Don Cherry that has no correlation with the purported reason for his firing on Monday by Rogers. It does, however, show a side to the man of which… Read More

The Most Dangerous Game

TORONTO (Nov. 11) — So, Rogers made sure to fire Don Cherry on Remembrance Day. Those bastards in the ivory tower at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd. couldn’t have held off for another 24 hours, huh? But, really, what more should… Read More

It’s Time For Don and Ron

“Fame” [feym] — the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements. — Cambridge English Dictionary TORONTO (Nov. 10) — Yes, it is Hockey Hall of Fame Week here in town. On… Read More

It’s All Very Confusing

TORONTO (Nov. 9) — The Maple Leafs play their 18th game of the season tonight and no one is entirely sure what to make of the hockey team. Some, such as Damien Cox — writing, today, in the Toronto StarRead More

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

Jim Gregory: 1935–2019

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — There is both irony and coincidence, bathed in Toronto hockey legend, that Jim Gregory would die yesterday at 83 years of age. It was during this week, in 1976, that Gregory made arguably the most–strategic telephone… Read More

Seven Games To Go?

“He’s got 20 games,” said a well–known figure in the National Hockey League. “If the Leafs aren’t playing up to par by mid–November, Babcock’s gone. Count on it. There is lots of appetite for change in Toronto.” — BETWEEN THE… Read More

Lazy Leafs Are Fooling No One

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — For the increasing multitudes convinced that a change of coach will jump–start the apathetic Toronto Maple Leafs, allow me to present the following names, chronologically: Punch Imlach… John McLellan… Red Kelly… Roger Neilson… Floyd Smith… Joe… Read More

Mike Rips Mike… Again

TORONTO (Oct. 22) — “Hate” is a very strong word; one that people use rather flippantly when describing an aversion, no matter how innocuous. It is, in fact, less banal than practically any term in the English language, reserved for… Read More

Serenity Has Enveloped Leafs Land

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — It’s refreshing to observe how Leafs Nation is so–coolly reacting to an unremarkable 4–3–1 record after eight games of the National Hockey League season. No premature indications of panic or anxiety. Rather, a coherent, logical assessment… Read More

Yes, Jack Todd Had A Point

TORONTO (Oct. 15) — I remember sitting at a popular hamburger joint here in town a few years ago (Golden Star, on north Yonge Street), gabbing with Dan Shulman. Each of us had brought our sons for dinner. It was… Read More

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
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