Personnel Still Matters Most

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 22) – As Hall-of-Fame executive Cliff Fletcher might say: “Analytics Shmanalytics.” Time of course will tell, but the hiring of Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager would seem to be a progressive move by the… Read More

Internet Mania is Tragically an Epidemic

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 17) – Do I think the Leafs should trade Dion Phaneuf? At some point, absolutely. Not because the team’s most recent collapse was his fault alone but rather because the other two elements of a… Read More

Are Leafs Better, Different… or Neither?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 10) – The question posed in my headline is rhetorical and will probably remain so until the latter portion of next season – which appears to be the time of year the Maple Leafs are… Read More

Gunnarsson Always Undervalued

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 29) – The trade of defenseman Carl Gunnarsson to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday morning generated shock-value equal to a 2.5-magnitude earthquake. In other words, it hardly registered. Which effectively summarizes the half-decade-long term… Read More

More on Leafs Trade Banter

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 4) – Continuing to nose around here in the weeks before the National Hockey League draft at Philadelphia, I spoke earlier today with the prominent scout of a Western Conference team – the same person… Read More

Local Pro Sports Gaining Momentum

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 26) – We begin the final week of May with Toronto Blue Jays the hottest team in Major League Baseball and vivid memory of Toronto Raptors taking Jolly Green Giant-type steps in the National Basketball… Read More

Jim Benning Has Come a Long Way

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) – He was projected to be among the spring-chicken saviors of the Harold Ballard era, which is likely all you need to know about Jim Benning’s inauspicious term as a defenseman with the Toronto… Read More

What Could Leafs Get For Dion?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 12) – I guess David Nonis is reading my drivel. Or, maybe not. Bottom line is, I began vouching for a Dion Phaneuf trade in this corner on Mar. 31 – a full 42 days… Read More

Leafs Will Be the Same With Carlyle

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 5) – Methinks the Toronto Raptors stole some hearts the past couple of weeks – and not by accident. For a brief time, this was an all-basketball city. With the Maple Leafs golfing (as usual);… Read More

Shanahan: Good First Impression

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 14) – It required roughly 15 seconds to gauge the difference between presidential introductions – from Brian Burke’s inauguration with the Maple Leafs on Nov. 29, 2008 to Brendan Shanahan’s official crowning earlier today. It… Read More

Leafs Can’t (or Won’t) Bail Out Carlyle

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 24) – Because it is so catchy and memorable, hockey fans in this city continue to evoke the Brian Burke “18-wheeler” sob whenever Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be in a death-spiral. Spend just a… Read More

Rundown on Maple Leafs Prospects

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 10) – One of the most thorough hockey publications of the year is the annual “Future Watch” edition of The Hockey News – expertly assembled by my friend, Brian Costello. It was delivered to me… Read More

Memo to Leafs Nation: Try and Relax

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 4) – I saw it on Facebook this morning. To avoid probable humiliation, I will leave the contributor unidentified. Here was the post (edited for English): “If I’m David Nonis, I let it be known… Read More

Berger Bytes Photos – Part 1

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 1) – As I come toward the third anniversary of this (ahem) vaunted website, it’s time to pour through the images of my trusty Nikon and share with you my favorites. These photos were taken… Read More

Kooky Leafs Heading Northward Again

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 20) – It is difficult to fathom that the Maple Leafs are hotter right now than the Anaheim Ducks. But, it’s true. Over the past 72 hours, Leafs have out-pointed the National Hockey League’s best… Read More

Kadri-Carlyle Will Not Work

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 6) – It appears all but certain that Maple Leafs general manager David Nonis will have to make a decision before the National Hockey League trade deadline this year: Nazem Kadri or Randy Carlyle. Should… Read More

Can Kessel/Phaneuf Leafs Win Cup?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 28) – David Nonis has thrown down the gauntlet. Like Brian Burke – his mentor and predecessor as general manager of the Maple Leafs – Nonis is wagering that Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf can… Read More

If Skating, Leafs Will Defeat Penguins

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 16) – What a great opportunity awaits the Maple Leafs tonight in Pittsburgh. Normally, a person suggesting this would be wrapped in a white coat, given the Penguins’ crop of wondrous talent. But, the situation… Read More
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