I am excited to announce that I will be covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and the National Hockey League for Toronto Hockey Now, as part of the National Hockey Now Network and its new Canada Hockey Now websites.
One subscription will grant you access to all of our Canadian sites. We have Rob Simpson in Vancouver, Montreal (we’ll announce them at noon), and another familiar name in Calgary who will launch at 1 p.m. EST.
I have been writing about pro hockey for more than 20 years. Most of those years were at TSN.ca but I also have bylines with The Athletic, McKeen’s Hockey, NHL.com, and more.
What will I bring to the Toronto Maple Leafs beat?
The numbers of the game have always fascinated me and I have written a lot about fantasy hockey and analytics. I also played varsity hockey for three seasons at Wilfrid Laurier University. Even though I am always paying attention to the numbers, I also watch the game through the eyes of someone who has played competitive hockey. It was not at an NHL level (my professional hockey career was about the most inconsequential that you could imagine) but it was competitive nonetheless.
That probably gives me a different view than others on the beat but that is why I hope you will check out what Toronto Hockey Now has to offer.
Toronto Hockey Now will cover the Maple Leafs from every angle, digging into lineup decisions, salary cap, prospects, trades, free agency, and all the ups and downs that the Leafs experience throughout the season.
I will also break down every Leafs game. Since a great deal of my writing has been focused on league-wide analysis, I will still provide that kind of analysis and context. Stories and analysis on this beat will invariably come with an answer to the question, “How does this affect the Toronto Maple Leafs?”
Toronto’s hockey history
I have lived in Toronto for 25 years, long enough to have heard cars honking as they drove up and down Yonge Street for playoff wins and long enough to hear countless “Plan the parade” jokes from cynics. I have lived in Ontario for my entire life, so I have seen a few ups and many downs of this franchise. Rocky Saganiuk scored a pair of goals for the Leafs in the first NHL game I ever attended.
It is also a franchise with the longest current Stanley Cup drought and, even with a team that is delivering better regular season results, they have not won a playoff round since defeating the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2003-2004 playoffs.
The Maple Leafs have posted a points percentage better than .600 in three of the past four seasons and last season’s .688 points percentage was the highest mark in team history. Of course, setting regular season records ultimately does not matter if the team falls flat in the playoffs.
Those droughts are naturally frustrating, and the sentiment in the city does seem to be more on edge entering the 2021-2022 season, but that heartbreak is also part of what makes the Toronto Maple Leafs beat compelling. I am looking forward to staying on top of it all for a passionate and invested fanbase every step of the way.
Follow me on Twitter (@ByScottCullen) and stay up to date on everything that is coming to Toronto Hockey Now.
National Hockey Now
Under the leadership of Dan Kingerski (of Pittsburgh Hockey Now), the Hockey Now Network continues to grow. Boston, N.Y. Islanders, Florida, Colorado, Detroit, San Jose, Vegas, and Washington have already been rolling and, today, Toronto is one of four Canada Hockey Now sites to launch.
Much of our Maple Leafs and NHL coverage will be free to read, but there will be premium content that requires a membership. Please sign up for a ToHN+ membership to get all the outstanding Maple Leafs content that is coming. That subscription will get you coverage from across the country so check out Rob Simpson in Vancouver, Mitch Gallo and Jon Still in Montreal, and Steve MacFarlane in Calgary, all part of the Canada Hockey Now network.
This is a great opportunity and I’m fired up to get started. So please, join me, and I will give you all the Maple Leafs news, insight, and analysis on their way to a Stanley Cup. Whenever that might be.