As Frederik Andersen walked down the hallway at the Verizon Center just after midnight Sunday, followed not far behind by Kasperi Kapanen, a thought occurred: Almost everything about this young and growing Maple Leafs team comes back to Phil Kessel.
Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun
The hard-hitting, award-winning sports columnist joined the Sun in 1987 after stints with the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun. Knows every sport inside out. Has covered 12 Olympic Games and half a dozen Super Bowls as well. Very opinionated. Has just completed a book on former NHLer Mike Danton, who was incarcerated after hiring a hitman to kill his agent, David Frost. Lives in Thornhill.
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Tom Renney has Plan A and Plan B and maybe even a Plan C in his Hockey Canada office and admits he has no clue whether NHL players will be participating in the Olympic Games next year in Korea.
This is not the way Jose Bautista wants to say goodbye. With a whimper and not a bang.
Last February, after having something whispered in my ear, I wrote that Joffrey Lupul had played his last game for the Maple Leafs.
When Jonas Valanciunas crashed hard to the court at the American Airlines Arena in Miami two Saturdays ago, with him went any real chance the Raptors would have to seriously compete against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The words came out of Masai Ujiri’s mouth in the hallway just outside the Raptors dressing room, loudly and proudly and with a sense of basketball satisfaction.
When he had a moment to compose himself, amid the post-game frenzy and screaming on the field, Bo Levi Mitchell, the new quarterback on the block, made a prediction.
Almost everywhere Amir Johnson went this summer, someone wanted to shake his hand, take his picture, just say thanks.
Steve Moore never wanted to settle.
Twenty days to change a season.
The mystery of Joshua Ho-Sang, singular hockey player of immense talent, caught on an island of discourse, will begin to untangle sometime this weekend.
We know who is going to win the Stanley Cup. What we don’t know: Who is going to win the Conn Smythe Trophy?
In the mass confusion that was the final minute, the final minutes, Henrik Lundqvist did something he rarely ever does.
They look done. Almost all the New York Rangers do.
The dressing room has changed from two years back, the way the players sound, the way they interact.
On the largest stage, with the world watching, the best hockey player in the Olympic tournament was Drew Doughty.
There is panic in Pittsburgh, confusion in San Jose, alarm in Vancouver, and a need in Ottawa, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg and Carolina to make major changes to hockey rosters that aren’t deemed good enough.
It is not so cut-and-dried, what to do with Kyle Lowry.
The man all dressed in red in Section 116 turned to the woman in red and said: “See you next year.”
He needed the moment alone, not caring what it looked like, not concerned at all that he was violating a team rule.