Kennedy, not Sundin or Gilmour was Leafs greatest centre.

Ted Kennedy wraps his arms around an old friend. Kennedy  won the Stanley Cup five times and was the last Maple Leaf to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

Ted Kennedy is the greatest-ever Maple Leafs centreman.

Not Doug Gilmour, not Mats Sundin nor even the marvelous Dave Keon.

Ted Kennedy. Teeder.

The key word here is great. Great is impossible to define. It can be quantified through statistics but greatness…greatness is an element that transcends numbers.

Ted Kennedy was great.

I was writing a book on captains of the Maple Leafs in 1995. ...

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On exclusivity, insiders and the need for agendas.

If you find this man surprising you haven’t been paying attention.

As Leaf fans await the expected announcement of the team’s new goaltending coach, here’s a thought to get you to the next news day. As an unexpected bonus I have a second thought.

First: I have no first-hand knowledge of whether Francois Allaire was a good or a bad goaltending coach, a valuable sounding board to his goalies or a tragic autocrat.

The only people who know, who really know, are players and other coaches and if you take  Burke’s word ...

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Burke Blasts Performance Of Francois Allaire

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Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke agrees there was interference with goaltending consultant Francois Allaire but said the pressure came in an attempt to spur a revamp of Allaire’s techniques.

“I regret that I have to deal with this matter publicly but I feel the need to respond. Was there interference from the staff as he said there was? Yes. But it was done reluctantly and it was done to change elements of our goaltending that was sub-par.”

Burke, who hired Allaire away from his former team in Anaheim three years ago, ...

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Leafs ready to run the rapids with Reimer.

Is this the guy?

No one can predict when the Toronto Maple Leafs will begin their season.

Everyone knows what the topic of conversation will be when they do: goaltending.

The Leafs netminding scenario is perfect talk-show fodder. You see what you want to see.

“If this is the group we start with and we think it’s going to be,” Leafs GM Brian Burke said of a tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, “we’re comfortable with that.”

“James Reimer is a guy who started off great and then got hit from the side ...

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Here’s a switch: Holzer wants to prove bosses right.

Expect Korbinian Holzer to be wearing Leaf colors when the season resumes.

It’s true; you can’t teach big but there’s nothing stopping you from going out and getting it.

Two of the Leafs newer bigs, Korbinian Holzer and Tyler Biggs are summering in Toronto, scrimmaging and working with Leafs skating coach Barb Underhill.

A sidenote here: watching Barb Underhill rocket around the ice wearing hockey skates is to observe a master at work.  Her students – Holzer and several prospects are among those working with her -say they are gobsmacked by the power and ...

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Staios goes from chair to a seat in Leafs’ front office.

Steve Staios, the newest member of the Leafs’ management team, played 1001 NHL games.

Steve Staios remembers the chair.

“I was seven years old, living in Hamilton and a coach asked if I wanted to play hockey,” said the newest member of the Leafs management team.

Soccer was the sport in the Staios household. Staios was a first-generation Canadian born to Macedonian parents who lived above and operated a convenience store in Hamilton’s Westdale neighborhood.

“I had to have a cousin show me how the equipment went on,” he said.

While the other kids ...

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Three internal candidates eyeing number one centre role.

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Who will be the hub of the Leafs’ number one line?

While incumbent Tyler Bozak put together an 18-goal, 47-point campaign, Leafs GM Brian Burke is convinced Bozak is better suited to a lower spot in the lineup.

There are three internal candidates for the spot between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul: Joe Colborne and Nazem Kadri of the Marles as well as newly-acquired James van Riemsdyk.

Joe Colborne’s fortunes are looking up now that he has finally stopped growing

Joe Colborne

Age: 22

Hometown: Calgary.

Height: Six-foot-five and a half.

Weight: 220 lbs.

Shoots: Left.

Strengths: Exceptional reach. ...

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Sundin’s place cemented with Hall of Fame selection.

Hindsight, it seems, loves Mats Sundin.

The 13-year-Leaf is a first-ballot member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

He has been accorded the highest available honor in the shortest time possible.

In a season that included the raising of his number 13 to the rafters at Air Canada Centre, any  lingering questions about Sundin’s place in the pantheon of the team’s finest players, and that of the NHL greatest, has evaporated, for now, forever.

Sundin will be inducted with Pavel Bure, Adam Oates and Joe Sakic, November 12 at the Hall, a slapshot away ...

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Newest Leaf can’t wait to get going

JVR compares being acquired by the Leafs to being traded to the New York Yankees.

The New York Yankees, Jerry.

That’s the analogy James van Riemsdyk, the newest Maple Leaf, made while discussing his new hockey address, Saturday.

The Leafs acquired the 23-year-old leftwinger in a one-for-one exchange for 22-year-old defenceman Luke Schenn.

“To go to a place like Toronto is unbelievable,” van Riemsdyk said via cell. “The tradition they have.  I grew up a big New York Yankees fan. It’s like playing for the New York Yankees of the NHL.”

“Toronto has always ...

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Leafs swing a deal: Schenn for van Riemsdyk.

The Maple Leafs have landed Philadelphia power forward James van Riemsdyk

Pittsburgh –The Maple Leafs have landed winger James vanRiemsdyk in a trade for defenceman Luke Schenn.

News of the trade leaked out hours after the end of what seemed an uneventful entry draft.

The long-anticipated deal sends the 22-year-old Schenn to play with his brother Brayden in Philadelphia. The Flyers needed a defenceman because of the long-term injury of their captain Chris Pronger.

The 23-year-old van Riemsdyk, the second choice in the 2007 draft has been beset by injuries. This year he ...

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