That Golden Day In Vancouver

TORONTO (Mar. 9) — This story and this blog is about the man who provides the soundtrack of sports on television in Canada. You know, instantly, that I’m referring to Chris Cuthbert; or C.C. as those in the industry call… Read More

Healy: “Leafs Look Legit, But…”

TORONTO (Mar. 6) — With the exception, perhaps, of Harry Neale, he was the most–complete and informative analyst in the history of hockey on television. Certainly, here in Canada, though many good voices have resided south of the border (John… Read More

Occasionally, This Happens

TORONTO (Mar. 3) — Amid the gloom and despair in the Canadian sports media industry, there’s been a triumphant story: the return of Mike Wilner. Increasingly a staple, from 2014 to 2020, on radio broadcasts of the Toronto Blue Jays,… Read More

The Travail of Stormin’ Norm

TORONTO (Mar. 1) — Norm Rumack remembers the unmistakable feeling of doom. It was June 23, 2009. Early morning on a Tuesday. The night before, while en route to a promotional appearance near Toronto Pearson Airport, he’d gotten an email… Read More

The Numbers Are Crazy

TORONTO (Feb. 28) — If the old saying “the numbers don’t lie” relates to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2021 could be quite a year for the franchise with the longest Stanley Cup drought. The figures atop the National Hockey League’s… Read More

Another Rogers Sh** Show

TORONTO (Feb. 26) — For years, we have known that Canada’s two communication leviathans, Bell and Rogers, compete as cable, Internet and sports media providers. They copulate only as 75 percent co–squires of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment… and only… Read More

It’s Still A Mystery to the Bobcat

TORONTO (Feb. 20) — I worked in radio with Bob McCown for the better part of a quarter–century. And, though we were never buddy–buddy, it wasn’t unusual for us to chat until we had nothing left to say. Particularly in… Read More

Becoming a Hockey Fanatic

TORONTO (Feb. 18) — How does it happen? What converts a fundamentally normal human being into a seething blob of despair when the Toronto Maple Leafs spit up a 5–2, third–period lead against the Ottawa Senators? How does such an… Read More

Legends From Above

TORONTO (Feb. 15) — It was Apr. 27, 2006 and I felt sorrowful. While in my hotel room at Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal, covering Games 3 and 4 of the Canadiens–Carolina playoff series for The FAN–590, I called Jim… Read More

Bell Negotiators To Be Busy

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — It should come as no surprise that the people sacrificed in the Bell Media bloodletting this week want the blood of their employers. Having lived through a not–for–cause termination by Rogers nearly a decade ago, I… Read More

Another Day, Another Massacre

TORONTO (Feb. 9) — After Bell Canada carved its media division by randomly firing more than 200 people last week, I restrained from drawing the hypocritic parallel between the company’s “Let’s Talk” initiative and its immolation of employees. But, no… Read More

Elliotte Trampled The Opposition

TORONTO (Feb. 8) — During the first month of the pandemic–shortened National Hockey League season, forward Wayne Simmonds of the Toronto Maple Leafs might have been the best of all free agent acquisitions. He was doing more for the club… Read More

More Blood On Their Hands

Clowns to the left of me; Jokers to the right… — Gerry Rafferty, 1973 TORONTO (Feb. 5) — Yes, I am biased and no, the communications industry is not alone in destroying careers. But, neither would Bell Canada be extinct… Read More

Had The Leafs Been (Close To) Perfect

TORONTO (Feb. 3) — Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs, in the early 1970’s, with Ken Dryden and Gerry Cheevers playing goal. With Bobby Orr, Brad Park, Borje Salming, Ian Turnbull and Pat Stapleton on defense; Dave Keon, Garry Unger, Darryl… Read More

The Best Trade… The Biggest Mistake

TORONTO (Feb. 1) — It was a few hours before the 2011 National Hockey League draft and I was sitting next to Jim Gregory on a bus outside the Minneapolis Marriott. The former Leafs general manager was battling cancer and… Read More

Suddenly Marvelous Mitch

TORONTO (Jan. 31) — He has been, for more than four years, the best small Maple Leafs forward since Doug Gilmour and, therefore, the second–best small Leafs forward these eyes have ever seen. Yet, he makes too much money;… Read More

The Hutchinson Curse

TORONTO (Jan. 28) — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas keeps bringing back Michael Hutchinson as insurance… for insurance… against insurance in goal. And, Hutchinson keeps finding his way onto the roster. Does Michael cast a spell over the Blue… Read More

Here’s Why The Leafs Often Crumble

TORONTO (Jan. 25) — In many ways, beginning the National Hockey League season with a 5–2–0 record after seven games is a form of voodoo for the Toronto Maple Leafs. So apparently famished are the observers of the longest current… Read More
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