Will Babcock Salvage Phaneuf?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 31) — Eleven days after the Maple Leafs collared the coach they had targeted for more than a year, fans of the hockey club await another detonation. At some point, more of the roster that… Read More

Burke and Gretzky Join Forces

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 27) — It has been more than five years since Brendan Burke died in an automobile mishap in Indiana, but it must seem like 500 years to his father, Brian Burke. To endure the passing… Read More

Leafs Go One Better Than Blues

New boss; same as the old boss. — From Won’t Get Fooled Again — The Who By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 27) — After a full and exact month of searching, the St. Louis Blues found their coach on Tuesday.… Read More

Of Course Leafs Are “Canada’s Team”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 25) — That was no Freudian slip by Mike Babcock. When the new and incomparably moneyed coach–in–town called the Toronto Maple Leafs “Canada’s team” at his inaugural media gathering on Thursday, you could hear teeth… Read More

Leafs Need Hunter in Current Role

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 24) — Now that Mike Babcock will not be named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (confirmed) — and has told the hockey universe there is no provision in his contract with respect to… Read More

Babcock Needs a Trump Card

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) — It has been unmistakable during Mike Babcock’s 13–season career as a coach in the National Hockey League: You play the way he commands or you watch others play. This will not change in… Read More

Leafs Deserve Full, Unconditional Credit

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) — For reasons that aren’t difficult to comprehend, the Toronto Maple Leafs and skepticism have long–been intertwined. When you hold the existing record for lengthiest championship drought in a professional league, distrust and apprehension… Read More

Sabres Looking Good For Babcock

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 19) — It appears the Buffalo Sabres have become the front–runner to land Mike Babcock. A one–time Sabres employee told me this afternoon that Buffalo “has blown Detroit out of the water” with its multi–year… Read More

Blue Jays Plight Cannot Be Addressed

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 19) — The success or failure of a business enterprise starts at the top. It always starts at the top. And, that’s why the Toronto Blue Jays are beyond salvation right now. The chief decision… Read More

Leafs Should Sign American Pharoah

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 17) — Forget Mike Babcock. What the Maple Leafs need is a leader on the ice. A real horse. Someone with killer instinct who can play in all conditions and has no fear of being… Read More

Babcock Wants “Immediate Gratification”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 16) — It pales in comparison to an interview Darren Dreger could be conducting one year from now if Steven Stamkos hasn’t inked a contract extension with Tampa Bay. For the moment, however, there is… Read More

Sticking With Rangers/Ducks Final

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 14) — Call me stubborn, if you wish, but the teams I chose to play for the Stanley Cup this spring are still alive halfway through the playoff tournament. And though somewhat tempted to shift… Read More

Why Blame the NHL?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 13) — I knew Steve Montador. And I liked Steve Montador. It was impossible not to. You simply had to meet the guy. I was accorded that opportunity in San Jose, Calif. on May 9,… Read More

Like Yesterday Afternoon

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 11) — It was 45 years ago Sunday. Mother’s Day 1970. My mom Sandee was in the prime of her life at age 32. I was 11 and had probably enjoyed brunch with her; my… Read More

NHL Executive: Babcock “Gone”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 9) — A well–known executive in the National Hockey League believes the Mike Babcock era in Detroit has come to an end. “I think he’s gone,” the exec told me late on Friday. “And, it… Read More

Don’t Blame Gibby, Jays Fans

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 5) — Thoughts from a baseball road trip… It is normal for a rabid sports fan to develop chronic myopia. The most reasonable, intelligent person in other walks of life will turn to emotional blubber… Read More

Remarkable Weather For Road Trip

By HOWARD BERGER CLEVELAND (May 3) — It was quite a sporting concoction on Saturday: The Kentucky Derby in Louisville; Pacquiao–Mayweather in Las Vegas; American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber staring down the Toronto Blue Jays here in… Read More

Friday Flashback Like None Other

By HOWARD BERGER CLEVELAND (May 2) — A 5½–hour journey here by car from Toronto on Friday quickly turned into a quarter–century–old deja vu. Hanging around the batting cage and the Blue Jays dugout two hours before a Major League… Read More
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