I’m sure by now everyone has seen the Matt Niskanen hit on Sidney Crosby that has probably ended his Stanley Cup participation. What I find fascinating is the mixed reviews on whether the hit was dirty or as the experts … Continue reading






“Every Battle is Won or Lost before it’s ever fought.” That quote from “The Art of War”, attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu dates back to the 5th century. The subtle meaning is not lost on everyday … Continue reading






“It’s about the team, I don’t think about individual statistics.” How many times over the years have we heard that line from players in all sports? Or another dandy, “I don’t read the papers.” Now in fairness, this isn’t to … Continue reading






Youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges nor can its end point be linked to specific activities; like a 60-year old dating a 20-something; it’s just a number. I wish! The … Continue reading






After some serious consideration, I agreed to participate in a Celebrity game, during the World Cup last year. Beforehand, I’d skated with a number of ex-NHL players and friends of the group, consisting mostly of gliding on one leg, trying … Continue reading






Deb and I are involved with a number of fundraising endeavors that we are extremely proud to be associated, but our latest initiative has risen to another level. Madison Ambos, a 3-year girl was diagnosed at 13 months with Cerebral … Continue reading






This past September, I was invited to play in the Phil Esposito Hockey Classic, by a friend of mine, who organized the charitable event, during the World Cup. I hadn’t played men’s league for twelve years after hip replacement and … Continue reading






How often have we heard “Loves Toronto,” “Fans are the Best,” Teammates, like Family”, when a player is negotiating to resign with one of our teams? This could apply to any free agent in any city but we only care … Continue reading






Some of us old enough to remember, can reference classic “catch phrases” from the 1980’s including, “Cheque’s in the Mail” or “Yes the Mercedes is paid for.” Folks I think its time to update the list to capture the essence … Continue reading






Marketing firms are licking their chops at the possibilities that lay ahead for Toronto Maple Leaf, rookie sensation Auston Matthews, and the sports card industry is no exception. Comments from dealers speaking about the impact Matthews is expected to have, … Continue reading






About a year ago I received an email from Wayne Parsons who went on to say how much he admired our collection and the blogs. He also commented that he was quite a fan himself and had some items we … Continue reading






Process is a set of interrelated activities that interact to achieve a result. Process philosophy which regards change as the cornerstone of reality or praxis by which a theory or skill is enacted or realized, certainly seem straightforward enough and … Continue reading






Those of you, who know Deb and I, are aware we work with CAN fund (Canadian Athletes Now Fund) in support of our Canadian Olympic Athletes. We have hosted four events and through the generosity of our friends and supporters, … Continue reading






On April 10, 1953, Toronto Maple Leaf defenseman Tim Horton, addressed a letter to Mrs. McDonald the assistant (secretary in those days) to Conn Smythe owner of the hockey club. The letter was a reply regarding an appointment Horton was … Continue reading






I would be remiss if after the Blue Jays wonderful run last fall I didn’t comment on the current state of the team with the much anticipated season about to begin. Of particular interest at this point is the progress … Continue reading






One of the more enjoyable tasks as The Ultimate Leafs Fan entails responding to the many questions, requests or sharing of stories amongst fellow Leaf followers or collectors. Not a day goes by without receiving an email offering me a … Continue reading






There are events in life that stay with us forever, eliciting a “Where were you when…” moment. The Kennedy or Lennon assassination, immediately come to mind for our generation and from a sporting specific, the Henderson goal, the Joe Carter … Continue reading






I have talked in the past of the wonderful opportunities that have arisen as a result of my collection. Aside from the media attention, blogs, talk of a couple books, documentaries, the many athletes, politicians, billionaires and dignitaries that have … Continue reading






Anyone who has competed in a sporting activity from a very early age has been taught the principles of good sportsmanship, fair play and respect towards an opponent. Most of the same apply to everyday life and are basically common … Continue reading






LIKE FATHER LIKE FAMILY? I’m often asked if my passion for collecting extends throughout the family or am I an anomaly in that regard (some say I’m an anomaly in a whole different world but that’s another story altogether). My … Continue reading






Christmas is a joyous and wonderful time of the year that can mean so much to everyone in different ways. Aside from the obvious and what the holiday season means to us personally is one thing, but it’s all the … Continue reading






I had just turned onto the QEW this 3rd day of December, prepared for the two-hour plus trek to a small community north of London Ontario, called Mt. Brydges. The purpose of my trip was to watch my son Ryan … Continue reading






The first weekend of November is the mecca for a sports fan. It’s the one weekend of the year when all the major sports cross paths and Toronto hosts the semi-annual hockey memorabilia show at the International Center. I’ve attended … Continue reading






Throughout our travels abroad Deb and I have explored many museums and galleries over the years. We initially sought out a variation of sites to inspire ideas while in the midst of designing our “Room” at home. The history and … Continue reading






The expression on Josh Donaldson’s face said it all after making contact with the pitch and I knew instantly the Jays season was a routine toss to first from ending. Timing it so my thumb pressed any button on the … Continue reading






Like everyone in the city of Toronto I was caught up in the magnificent run of the Blue Jays, which sadly came to a heartbreaking loss in Game 6. We’ve been season’s ticket holders for six years, so watching the … Continue reading






I’ve talked about the valuations of memorabilia in the past and those of you that follow me on regular basis know, that it’s not about the money, as far as I’m concerned. But I would be lying if I didn’t … Continue reading






No truer words were spoken by Scottish rock star, Rod Stewart describing some of the personal hi-lights from the very successful Toronto Toros/Bulls reunion we hosted this past summer. The reunion was ripe full of story lines all pertaining to … Continue reading






Since making Mike Babcock the highest paid coach in NHL history, I’ve repeatedly been asked what lies in store for our boys in blue and white. A coach is only as good as the players he’s given. A good coach … Continue reading






We are in the process of organizing a reunion featuring the Toronto Toros team that was a part of the WHA between the years 1972-79, including the team’s tenure not only in Toronto, but Ottawa and Birmingham. The fascination with … Continue reading






This will be the 3rd piece I’ve written after attending the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention and sadly it’s not with a glowing heart that I left the fine city of Chicago. The once crown jewel and proud event of … Continue reading






I thought I would expand my thoughts on the National with a few other observations.   In last weeks blog I highlighted my concern with the greed factor creeping into the auction part of the business in a more serious way. … Continue reading






One of premier events for sports collectors is the National Convention held annually in the US. It’s an event most of us collectors get most excited about because it draws all the major dealers and collectors from across North America … Continue reading






I have expounded many times the joy my collection has brought, opening a world of exposure I never thought was possible. Watching our Canadian kids excel at the Pan Am Games can’t help but put a smile on my face, … Continue reading






“If I had a nickel for every time…”   How many times over our lives have we either used or heard that old cliché?   Personally, I get asked the same question whenever someone tours “ the Room” “What is your favourite … Continue reading






For those who follow my blog on a regular basis or perused our website, may think what I’m about to say is very self-serving, well your right, but hear me out. I’ve been very fortunate to accumulate what is considered … Continue reading






            One of the true pleasures my collection brings is having players, coaches, management; current or former tour “The Room”.  I’ve been very humbled over the reaction throughout the years and certainly never get tired of it.  What I enjoy … Continue reading






There is a growing concern that the number of kids playing hockey in Canada is dwindling with a number of factors attributing to this decline. The cost of the game is certainly a major issue and it doesn’t appear anytime … Continue reading






Bullying is a despicable and cowardly act. I attended an event a few years ago hosted by the Canadian Safe School Networks to raise awareness and educate on the subject of bullying, outlining the effects it was having on our … Continue reading






Kids today. It’s a cliché that never seems to tire when describing the youth of the time in question. Well my beef certainly isn’t wondering how in the name of John Lennon kids today enjoy listening to 50 Cent or Katy Perry … Continue reading






            A critical part of collecting is obviously authenticating the item with as much provenance as possible.  That part is indisputable.  However, sometimes a story can offer more connection to the item or event than an autograph.             Many years … Continue reading






A cherished memory for most kids growing up is the first sporting event they attend with their dad. Children are very impressionable, so the pageantry, excitement and roar of the crowd offered at a game while sitting beside their dad, … Continue reading






Most collectors will agree that finding a good dealer or a reputable auction house is like finding a trustworthy mechanic to work on your car. It doesn’t mean for a second that you as the collector should do any less … Continue reading






Anyone who has ever purchased a piece of memorabilia is at risk that the item is a fake. It doesn’t matter whether the person is acquiring his first autograph of a favourite player, team or they are a seasoned collector; … Continue reading






Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of attending hundreds of sporting events throughout North America.   Stanley Cup playoffs include the 2004 game 7 final between Tampa and Calgary that was of particular significance to me because I’d taken … Continue reading






The Metro Jr. A League was only in existence for two seasons, but the impact from the league still remains today. At the monthly hockey sessions I hold as the Ultimate Leafs Fan, the league was the topic of discussion … Continue reading






Arriving in Port Alberni, BC, it seemed like any other small town I’d ever visited, notwithstanding the distinct aroma of sulphur that was overwhelming the minute you exited your car. I had an invite to tryout for the Port Alberni … Continue reading






The Toronto Maple Leafs had just completed the 1970-71 season, eliminated in the first round by the New York Rangers and it was the day after as the players cleaned out their lockers preparing for the long off-season.   The usual … Continue reading






The concept of the Ultimate Leafs Fan website, blog and now Internet radio show (www.connectmeradio.com, SHOWS, ULF), is to preserve the wonderful history of the Toronto Maple Leafs.   There are plenty of writers, bloggers and media coverage to dissect every … Continue reading






Life as a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs can certainly be a trying endeavour; from moments of elation, to disappointment, frustration, tears, anger and dreaming. Dreaming? In 1957 John Bassett was named to the “Silver Seven,” a committee that … Continue reading






The 2014-15 Toronto Maple Leafs are a mess. Bickering co-owners in the boardroom, a President of hockey operations with no experience running a hockey team, a GM on a leash so short he could wear it as a bracelet, a … Continue reading






Opening that first pack of hockey cards is an emotional and exciting moment to an eight-year-old.   Well for me it was anyway; especially spending that hard-earned birthday money or Christmas cash with the possibility of nabbing a beloved Toronto Maple … Continue reading






A couple weeks ago I touched on how I tried my hand at standing on the other side of the table as a dealer, during the CNE, along with 20 other sports memorabilia vendors.  I’d set up at a few … Continue reading






I arrived at our booth at the EX after work one day that summer of 1992 and after a week; the routine was becoming pretty familiar. My brothers ran the booth during the day and kept in touch with me … Continue reading






Life as the Ultimate Leaf Fan doesn’t get any better than hosting monthly “hockey talks” that consist of guest players, coaches or management. They can be current or former and usually the subject will have a Toronto Maple Leaf slant. … Continue reading






Years ago while walking hundreds of miles at sports shows hunting out new treasures, I’d often wonder what it was like to stand on the other side of the booth as a dealer.  Fellow collectors who had worked as dealers … Continue reading






My dad told me a story the other night how as a teenager in the 1940’s, he’d go to Brown’s Sporting Goods on Yonge St. to buy used sticks from the Leafs.  Browns’ had a deal with the Leafs to … Continue reading






Michael Douglas playing financial wizard, Gordon Gekko in the 1987 movie ‘Wall Street,’ made those words famous.  Twenty-eight years later add words like ego, self-serving, dishonesty, no shame, extreme wealth and it pretty much sums up the world we live … Continue reading






The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. If something exists, somebody somewhere collects them. Collecting is a practice with a very old cultural history. … Continue reading






  What possesses a grown man to stand outside a cold Arena or Stadium to get an athlete’s or someone famous signature on a scrap of paper, program or a picture? An autograph is a document transcribed entirely in the … Continue reading






We parked the car in the Humane Society parking lot, like we had many times before. It was west of Yonge St and north of Carlton. My dad and I made our way along the side streets toward Yonge St. … Continue reading






The evolution of the hockey stick has been quite dramatic over the past 160 years; from a hand carved one-piece stick made of hornbeam (ironwood), to today’s one –piece carbon-composite molded stick. The earliest known stick was made between 1852-1854 … Continue reading






Around the time of my 11th birthday I had a paper route delivering the Toronto Star.  It was nothing too complicated.   My route entailed Elinor Avenue the street we lived on.  I would pick the papers up at the corner … Continue reading






The sports memorabilia business like any business is not without its warts; if money is involved, watch what squirms out from underneath the rocks. Back in the 1970’s I started attending card shows.  That was before the Internet, Social Media … Continue reading






Paul Henderson scored arguably the most famous goal in hockey history in 1972. When Sidney Crosby scored the OT winning goal for Canada at the 2010 Olympic Games, the stick and puck went missing.  It became a national uproar.  The … Continue reading






The memorabilia dealer, love him or hate him, is an integral part of sports collecting. But like anything in this world where money is involved, let the buyer beware. The memorabilia dealer is a polarizing figure in the world of … Continue reading






“He shoots he scores”. Foster Hewitt would make those famous words synonymous with the game of hockey from his first broadcast into a telephone in 1923. Many a street hockey game I was involved with in my early years would … Continue reading






Walking into Leaside Memorial Community Gardens that Friday night wasn’t any different than the hundreds of rinks I’d walked into over the years.  Approaching the main door it suddenly hit me. The year was 2005; I was about to play … Continue reading






With the upcoming NHL season a few weeks away, it’s the one time of the year when all is equal. Fans across the country are optimistic and hopeful heading into the new season. Every team dreams that the “diamond in … Continue reading






As a young boy a trip to the rink in the early 60’s only meant one of four things. 1. I was playing. 2. I was going to watch my dad play. 3. We were going to watch a friend … Continue reading






Growing up in the 60’s, the Leafs didn’t have a lot of competition for fan appeal. The Toronto Argonauts of the CFL and the Toronto Maple Leaf minor league baseball team were the other choices. The Leaf ball team folded, … Continue reading






One of the most frequently asked questions about my collection is “Where did you find all this stuff?” Auctions, antique stores, flea markets and collectable shows are a few of the sources. Numerous dealers search out collections and items for … Continue reading






The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a part of my life since the first day I could pronounce the name. Some 55 years later I have amassed what is considered the greatest collection of Leaf historic artifacts. I’ve been called … Continue reading






The Dorset Park Hockey Association played out of McGregor Park in Scarborough. McGregor was located on Lawrence Ave, just east of Birchmount Road. The year was 1960, my first year of organized hockey. McGregor was one of a few outdoor … Continue reading






The world of collecting has made a dramatic transition over the years. None more so than that of the bubblegum card collector. Photos, equipment, posters and the like are pretty easy to trace and authenticate. The origin and history of … Continue reading






What could be more Canadian than a game of road hockey? Growing up in the 60’s it seemed a prerequisite to becoming a kid, included playing road hockey. Nothing in the universe of a 10 year old could top a … Continue reading






The year was 1967. It was quite a year for Canadians, as the country would turn 100 years old that July 1st . In January of 1967, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in what would be … Continue reading






A fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something, such as a band, sports team, a book or entertainer. Collectively, fans of a particular thing or person constitute its’ fan base or … Continue reading






My passion for the Toronto Maple Leafs began at a very early age. I breathed, ate and slept all things Leafs. From my first game used Leaf stick to my first live game, it was all the same feeling. Of … Continue reading






I have what has been called the most comprehensive collection of Toronto Maple Leaf memorabilia in existence.  I never started out to accomplish that, but rather to just surround myself with memories of the team I cherished growing up.  The … Continue reading






The final decision made concerning any hockey related matter belongs to the GM. Board approval is usually sought when the payroll is significantly changed. Previously we have established that many influences can alter a GM’s decision. This include the owner, … Continue reading






It’s that time of year again, the NHL Amateur Draft. Let’s reflect on what has gone wrong in the past with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The draft, as we know it today, first took place in 1969. Since then, the … Continue reading






Conn Smythe built Maple Leaf Gardens. He started May 1, 1931 and had it ready in time for an opening night loss to the Chicago Black Hawks on Nov 12 of the same year. Capacity was 12,473 seats, which was … Continue reading






It was a typical warm, sunny Saturday in July of 1964. For a group of six 9 year olds, the only thing on our minds that morning was who was getting first pick for the game of 500 we were … Continue reading






The year 1962 provided a lot of firsts for me. The Beatles and Tony Sheridan produced their first song “My Bonnie” and later that year their first single “Love Me Do.” In mint condition, that .99 cent 45 of “My … Continue reading






I first learned to skate in 1958, which means I was a little over 3 years old.One really couldn’t call it skating. It was more like walking on two-bladed bob skates that where strapped to my snow boots. Add a … Continue reading






One’s first game at Maple Leaf Gardens is an event every young hockey fan, like myself, remembers all his life. I think my dad said he got the seats from work. I was too excited to listen to such details … Continue reading






The year was 1954 and the Toronto Maple Leafs did not win the Stanley Cup. It was in July of that year that I was born.  In January 1954, Elvis Presley recorded a 10 minute demo record in Nashville, and … Continue reading