Same Time, Same Place – One Year Later

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 6) – From a hockey perspective, the coincidence is almost chilling. Tomorrow night – February 7 – the Maple Leafs and Jets will meet in Winnipeg. Just as they did last February 7. Could an Read More

Nothing Yet Mysterious About Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 28) – As you follow the Maple Leafs through their abbreviated, 48-game schedule, chances are you won’t be confused by a whole lot. Frustrated now and then? Absolutely. But, dumbfounded? Hardly at all.  In that Read More

Ron Wilson’s Loud Voice

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 21) – There’s been all kinds of “heavy” in the hockey world since September, when the NHL lockout began. Once it ended, we had the Brian Burke melodrama. All scowl, no smile. So, with the Read More

Brian Burke: Reflection/Final Thoughts

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 14) – As I wrote the title to this blog, I nearly stopped myself. Then I chuckled, realizing that “final thoughts” on Brian Burke are similar to final thoughts about your mortgage with 25 years Read More

NHL Fans; More on Burke

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 11) – Among the most pervasive and intriguing questions in the heartland of hockey is how fans across the NHL will respond to the 113-day lockout that ended last weekend. The prevailing sentiment – heightened Read More

Personality vs. Prosperity

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 10) – It is hardly a bulletin that bombastic people in the work-force are most likely to fall on their own sword. Brian Burke is merely the latest example – terminated, on Wednesday, as president Read More

Burke Felled By Interminable Demon

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 9) – Amid the evolving frenzy over why Brian Burke is no longer in command of the Maple Leafs – and bewilderment over timing of the announcement – this may be the most simplistic conclusion. Read More

Defense, Coaching Begins in Goal

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 7) – It ranks among the oldest of hockey cliches: “Give me a good goalie and I’ll show you a good coach.” Bench masters from any era will be the first to agree. Toe Blake Read More

Crosby’s Restraint is Exemplary

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 1) – Once again, Sid the Kid is showing the way. As the NHL lockout approaches 2½ months, hockey fans may be getting tired of the game’s biggest star intimating that he will play in Read More

No Shame in Rooting For Argos

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 26) – Oddly enough, in a city where champions come to die, there is life today. The first major-league conquest in Toronto since 2004 may not have been captured by the most popular team in Read More

NHL, NHLPA Long Ago Hit V-1

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 22) – I always enjoy the insight of my friend and mentor, Pierre McGuire, who has forgotten more about hockey than most will ever know. And, I agreed entirely with Pierre when he told viewers Read More

Intervention Unlikely in Lockout

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 16) – Unquestionably, the labor dispute between NHL players and owners would benefit from a neutral third party – as would any stalled negotiation. A domestic quarrel, for example, is frequently resolved by a relative Read More

Leafs Will Trade James Reimer

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 2) – If speculation about Roberto Luongo joining the Maple Leafs comes to fruition – as I firmly believe – James Reimer will change uniforms as well. It likely will not be as part of Read More

Farrell, Burke and Bountiful Deception

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 23) – In the public arena, there is nothing so humdrum as denial. Whether in sports, politics, entertainment – any community, in fact, with widespread acclaim – denial is almost always affirmation. A stark reminder Read More

Luongo Would Add Class, Savvy to Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 20) – International acclaim and salary notwithstanding, there are comparisons to be made between Alex Rodriguez and Roberto Luongo – two men, apparently critical to their team’s success, cast aside at the defining juncture of Read More

Raw Memory From Brian Burke

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 1) – Until today, I had not seen this heart-wrenching story about Brian Burke and his late son, Brendan. It was initially published in the January 2012 edition of Gentlemen’s Quarterly Magazine and re-printed in Read More

Leafs Could Blow It With Kadri

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 29) – My goodness, are the standards suddenly astronomical for the worst team in the National Hockey League at the end of last season. Of course, that’s nothing new for Nazem Kadri. From the moment Read More

Burke Not Content With Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 20) – For Brian Burke, the summer of 2012 has been all about tempering expectation. The Maple Leafs’ general manager made a couple of modest additions and suggested – rather strongly – that no further Read More
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