A conversation with Mike Stephens

My conversation with writer and blogger Mike Stephens, whose passionate work with The Leafs Nation, Editor in Leaf, and the FanSided network has made him into a highly respected authority on all things Toronto Maple Leafs.

We discussed his initial thoughts on training camp, how far the Leafs have come in being legitimately recognized as a Stanley Cup contender, what he thinks might keep the team from being competitive this year, on the power of distancing a time-honored brand from a toxic environment and returning with a vengeance, which under-the-radar player has impressed him most during the pre-season, and the importance of having a winning culture at every level of a hockey organization from day one.

Be sure to follow Mike (@mikeystephens81) on social media and enjoy his brilliant coverage of the Toronto Marlies across all platforms.

A conversation with Mark Masters

My conversation with multi-sports journalist and hockey reporter Mark Masters, whose professionalism and candor is a true reflection of his venerable academic roots and industry ambitions.

We talked about his appreciation for fan value and their disposable income, if the Blue Jays can learn from the example of the Maple Leafs and Raptors, his candid take on William Nylander’s future contract destiny, on the annual enigma that is Jake Gardiner, his appreciation of Kyle Dubas and thoughts on this grand rebuild, and a hot take on the US Open fallout and the future of tennis.

Be sure to follow Mark (@markhmasters) on social media and check out his splendid work on TSN including That’s Hockey, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.

A conversation with Dave Feschuk

My conversation with veteran journalist and Toronto Star sports columnist Dave Feschuk, whose talents and versatility are always on display with his thought-provoking articles and incredibly well-written perspectives on everything involving major professional sports, eSports, and The Olympics.

We discussed his thoughts on the transition from baseball to hockey in the city of Toronto, if this was the absolute worst season he’s ever experienced from the Blue Jays, on the concept of Brendan Shanahan versus Mark Shapiro, how to start rebuilding credibility with the fans to avoid the prospect of living through baseball irrelevancy, on the innate satisfaction of covering the Olympics, his take on tempering Raptors and Maple Leafs expectations this year, why injuries have become a rampant financial drain on payrolls everywhere, and on the growing legitimacy and massive popularity of eSports as a legitimized form of sports competition in the world today.

Be sure to follow Dave (@dfeschuk) on social media and enjoy his prodigious output with The Toronto Star.

A conversation with Luke Fox

My conversation with staff writer and managing editor Luke Fox, whose brilliant literary efforts at Sportsnet have made him into a household name for hockey insight and expertise. He’s also a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association with over 15 years of print and media experience in his saddle.

We talked about his feelings regarding the polarization of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, his take on the power of true franchise asset management, the modern day value of naming a captain, how the William Nylander saga is likely to play out, his take on the change of NHL philosophy when it comes to coveting forward depth, and his candid thoughts on internationalism and the next major evolution in the sport.

Be sure to follow Luke (@lukefoxjukebox) on twitter and check out his dynamic articles on Sportsnet affiliates across the country.

A conversation with Kyle Bukauskas

My conversation with rinkside host Kyle Bukauskas, whose excellent work with Hockey Night In Canada and Rogers Sportsnet has elevated his profile to new heights of industry credibility and journalistic insight.

We discussed how he prepares for a new hockey season of on-ice engagements, if the Ottawa Senators will leave him with nothing but sad memories, his candid takes on all seven NHL Canadian teams, how to deal with the emotional roller-coaster of a long regular season, his feelings on the impact of social media with athletes in different sports, perspectives on the youthful nature of the game, and his authoritative take and prognostications with the upcoming Toronto Maple Leafs season.

Be sure to follow Kyle (@SNKyleBukauskas) on twitter and enjoy his weekly coverage across Sportsnet affiliates and Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.

A conversation with Adam Wylde

My conversation with radio personality and host Adam Wylde, whose passion for hockey and innate media savvy is a testament to his character and success across Canada.

We talked about his thoughts on the emotional transition from a mediocre summer to a promising winter, on the level of hope in Toronto and if too much pressure on a franchise can almost invite failure, how the respective Toronto sports brands measure up against one another, and his candid take on how luck plays against the analytics campaign during a long NHL season.

Be sure to follow Adam (@AdamWylde) on twitter and check out his brilliant work as host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on Sportsnet.ca and across all major podcasting hubs and apps.

A conversation with Ian Tulloch

My conversation with writer, podcaster, and hockey analytics guru Ian Tulloch, whose work at The Athletic and with the OHL Mississauga Steelheads is a testament to his savvy expertise `on the game of hockey.

We discussed his thoughts on the Maple Leafs window of contention, the challenge of cap system and if Toronto can lock up all three of their young superstars without difficulty, on the issue of being a tough enough team against sandpaper and glue types like the Boston Bruins, his expectations on the way Mike Babcock uses his assets compared to last year, and which Leafs player he believes will be a true darkhorse for fans to enjoy in the upcoming season.

Be sure to follow Ian (@regressian) on twitter and check out The Leafs Geeks Podcast on soundcloud along with his great literary contributions at The Athletic.

A conversation with Omar White

My conversation with writer, blogger, and hockey savant Omar White of Pension Plan Puppets and A Winning Habit, whose affiliations with SB Nation and FanSided have further underscored his brilliant work as a foremost authority on all things Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

We talked about his experiences with PPP and AWH, what sets aside one brand of sports fandom from another, the polarized reality of different cities across the Canadian hockey landscape, if he thinks the Habs will surprise anyone or if the Leafs may end up struggling with the burden of expectations, his candid take on the current playoff format, and the enormous adversity of getting deep into the NHL post-season in the social media era.

Be sure to follow Omar (@olw93) on twitter and check out his literary prowess at pensionplanpuppets.com and awinninghabit.com today.

Ari Shapiro on Sportsnet 650 (Vancouver) with Mira Laurence (09-06)

My baseball insider appearance on Sportsnet 650 (09-06) in Vancouver with host Mira Laurence (@laurence_mira) discussing: trade deadline conclusions, reflections on the unceremonious departure of Josh Donaldson, candid thoughts on the enigmatic Aaron Sanchez, a quick nod to the legendary Dave Stieb and his quest for perfection, Rowdy Tellez and his indomitable rise to the big leagues, why Vlad Guerrero Jr. could become a thorn in the side of Mark Shapiro’s ability to rationalize things, and the final days of John Gibbons and his love of leaning back on chairs.

A conversation with Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

My conversation with author, broadcaster, and podcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, who is known around industry circles as a versatile and multi-talented force; he’s written and published The Baseball Thesaurus, is the radio voice of The Lansing Lugnuts, and hosts the Around The Nest Podcast.

We discussed his candid take on the Josh Donaldson saga, how the front office was at cross purposes from the start, on the perception of player value when it came to Mark Shapiro’s plan for contending and rebuilding, if an $18 million dollar qualifying offer would have solved everything, whether or not Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez can make this team competitive in 2019, if the claims of having the third best farm system in organized baseball will minimize the pain of transition, his rookie projections for under-the-radar names, if Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki are the cavalry or the fallout, and how Vlad Guerrero Jr. will stop attendance bleeding and keep the team from descending into irrelevancy.

Be sure to follow Jesse (@jgoldstrass) on social media and check out his website at jessegoldbergstrassler.com.

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