National Newswatch

NHL hoping to move to Phase 2 of return-to-play protocol in early June

May 25 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — The NHL hopes to have players back in team facilities soon — with plenty of precautions. The league, which was forced to pause its season March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, released a memo Monday announcing it's targeting early next month as the start date for Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol, including the opening […]

Leafs UFA D Tyson Barrie: ‘It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency’

May 20 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Tyson Barrie is trying to keep things in perspective. More than 80,000 people in Canada are confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19, and the country's death toll has surpassed 6,000. Many more have lost jobs, are struggling financially and worried about the future. Barrie, meanwhile, is a healthy professional athlete with millions in the bank. The Toronto […]

Leafs forward Alexander Kerfoot looks back at up-and-down start in Toronto

May 7 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Alexander Kerfoot has been waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic like most NHL players. There's been board games with family, backyard competition, workouts, Netflix, some reading and plenty of down time. The Toronto Maple Leafs forward, however, has one distinct advantage during this unprecedented period of self-isolation and physical distancing — access to a private indoor rink. Kerfoot, […]

Marner reflects on season, using his charity to help raise money during pandemic

Apr 14 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Mitch Marner is usually bouncing off the walls. Whether it's between practice drills, during warmups before a game or in the locker room, the Toronto Maple Leafs' star winger is more often than not a ball of unbridled, happy-go-lucky energy. That makes the NHL's shutdown and this unprecedented era of self-isolation and physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic even […]

Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe bingeing his own team during NHL pause

Apr 7 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Sheldon Keefe doesn't have Netflix and hasn't seen "Tiger King." In fact, when the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs heard about the cringe-inducing-but-can't-look-away series, he assumed it was a documentary about Tiger Woods.  "I don't know if I'm proud or embarrassed," Keefe said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. "But it seems like a rabbit hole […]

Morgan Rielly can’t explain talent-loaded Maple Leafs’ rollercoaster campaign

Apr 2 2020 — Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Morgan Rielly has been working out at home trying to stay in shape. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman is also reading, watching movies and improving his rudimentary cooking skills. He's fairly confident with the barbecue and has a decent handle on pasta. "I don't have the confidence yet for fish," Rielly said. "I don't want to under-cook it ... […]