Zaitsev Bears Watching

TORONTO (Oct. 11) — There are beggars on street corners all over North America that could become independently wealthy with one dollar for every time, in this space, I have written the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

Leafs Bring Aboard Good People

TORONTO (July 14) — We can debate endlessly whether character is a component of winning in the National Hockey League. Now and then, you’ll read that so–and–so is “good in the [dressing] room.” Which often indicates he’s not–so hot… Read More

Leafs May Have Been Best Ever

TORONTO (Apr. 1) — Despite what you may infer, there is nothing “April Fool’s” about the headline to this blog. With a bit of luck and accuracy in extra time, and some early defensive acumen in third periods, the 2016–17… Read More

Leafs Have Earned Playoff Shot

TORONTO (Mar. 22) — The math will sort itself out over the next 18 days and nights, finally determining whether the Toronto Maple Leafs partake in the Stanley Cup tournament for the first time in 13 years after a full… Read More

Leafs: Look Out From Behind

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — During this mostly–refreshing season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club has been gazing upward at its Atlantic Division rivals; aiming for a top–three finish and a guaranteed playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.… Read More

Leafs: Be Careful With JVR

TORONTO (Oct. 29) — His name is bandied about haphazardly, as if the Leafs have a ready–made clone. Trade conjecture involving James van Riemsdyk does not emanate from a source within the team; Lou Lamoriello would strangle any–such person. It… Read More

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

Remembering Ron Wicks

BRAMPTON, Ont. (Apr. 15) — On an afternoon in which close friends, relatives and former colleagues were invited to commemorate the life of National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks, I kept my eyes peeled for the Brampton Fire Chief. Had… Read More

Will “Demoted” Marlies Stay Hungry?

TORONTO (Apr. 6) — Once the Maple Leafs finish their National Hockey League schedule on Saturday in New Jersey, many eyes around here will focus on the American Hockey League Toronto Marlies. Freshly re–stocked with returning players from the NHL,… Read More

Ron Wicks: 1940 — 2016

TORONTO (Apr. 2) — Ron Wicks, the longest–serving on–ice official in National Hockey League history, died peacefully Friday night at 8:43 in Brampton Civic Hospital. He was 75 and surrounded by his family — Barb, his wife of 52 years;… Read More

Ron Willing to Battle

TORONTO (Mar. 29) — The plight of former National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks has engendered an outpouring of sympathy and prayer within and beyond the world of ice and pucks. Having become a dear friend over the past two… Read More

Leafs To Become Much Busier

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — A contributing and largely–ignored factor in the strong performance of the Toronto Maple Leafs could be the club’s schedule the past month. Tonight in Anaheim, the Leafs will appear in just their tenth game since Dec.… Read More

Woodstock — To Ourselves

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (Dec. 29) — This wasn’t so much a Christmas–holiday trip as a pilgrimage. For the second time in my life — and first with my son, Shane — I visited arguably the most hallowed spot in the history… 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

Full Spectrum of Johnny Bower

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 2) — It seems like every day, Maple Leaf fans are treated to the smiling face of the club’s all–time most popular player. At 90, Johnny Bower is marvelously ubiquitous, showing up whenever and wherever… Read More

45 Degrees of Separation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 3) — Tie Domi turned 45 on Saturday. Johnny Bower, please God, will turn 90 this coming Saturday. Which means that Domi was born one week before Bower’s 45th birthday (did that all by myself). Read More
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