The blog's growing weeds here a bit. Time for a trim.
The first thing I'll do is offer a hearty congratulations to Tim Wharnsby, my former colleague at The Globe who's now joined CBC.ca as their senior hockey writer. Tim covered the Maple Leafs at the paper for the last 10 years, and we had a great bash for him on the weekend as a send off. (Pierre LeBrun sings some mean karaoke.)
I've been filling in for Tim this week, which will mean a few long days at the Leafs beautiful new practice rink, the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence. It also means that posting here will likely be sporadic depending on my availability.
In the meantime, there'll be lots of Leafs coverage at globesports.com and updates on my Twitter feed here. (If you want to really do us a favour, wade into the comments over there as they can get a little ugly sometimes.)
The Leafs beat is likely the most challenging in the NHL given the intense interest in the team here, and even for the off-day practices and morning skates, there are dozens of media from the various newspapers, radio stations and TV networks in the city. Even if there's not a story, the Leafs are a story.
Ron Wilson had a good quote today in practice with regards to his players saying that it will be nice to go on the road, and it sums up one of the challenges with covering the league these days.
"I'm sure on this road trip you'll hear everybody going 'It'll be nice to get home,'" Wilson said. "Those are just clichés you kind of hear if your team's not winning, it's nice to get on the road. When you're on the road and you're not winning, it's nice to get home. You've got to remember, a lot of guys just speak in clichés, that's what they're trained to do. So I wouldn't take anything more out of it than is already there."
One game at a time, another reporter quipped.
"Yeah, one game at a time, the sun always shines," Wilson said. "Blah, blah, blah."
Me, I'm taking it one practice at a time, and there'll be two more until Toronto heads out on the road for five games. And, at that point, I should be back here regularly, blogging away.