Pressure Mounting On The Leafs

TORONTO (Aug. 16) — It is mid–August and relatively quiet in the hockey world. As such, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs likely cannot feel the burden that is beginning to crush their favorite team. But, it’s there. And gaining… Read More

Babcock Needs a Quick Start

TORONTO (Aug. 11) — If you talk to hockey people who talk to hockey people — as I try and do between working funeral services in my day job — what I’m about to write is a common assessment: Mike… Read More

Puzzling Leaps of Faith

TORONTO (Aug. 3) — Back on May 16, 2017, amid much fanfare, Swedish defense prospects Andreas Borgman and Calle Rosen signed entry level contracts with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given that several National Hockey League rivals were also pursuing the… Read More

Not Bigger, Just Smarter

TORONTO (June 19) — The question was inevitable and rhetorical: Would a Stanley Cup parade in our city either match or exceed the monstrous gathering for Monday’s basketball blowout in the downtown core? First, no sports commemoration will ever top… Read More

Of Course Nylander Will Be Dealt

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — How many times can we put a different spin on the same likelihood? Let us count. Toronto’s three–player nucleus beyond the coming season will be Tavares, Matthews and Marner. The Nylander contract stalemate… is… Read More

Just Imagine If…

TORONTO (July 24) — Only once in the modern history of the Maple Leafs has a coach changed the position of an established star in the National Hockey League. The result was four Stanley Cup championships in a six–year span.… Read More

Should Matthews Sprout Wings?

TORONTO (May 22) — As part of his popular, weekend–notes column on Sunday, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun posed an interesting question: “In watching [William] Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom [with Sweden at the World Hockey Championships], I couldn’t… Read More

A Perfect Day For “The Voice”

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — Joe Bowen should have bought a Lotto–Max ticket on Monday. The already filthy–rich voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs would have easily won the jackpot, adding to the multi–millions he has stashed away for generations of… Read More

It’s Bills over Leafs — By A Mile

TORONTO (Dec. 29) — A sports fan in this region should have no difficulty empathizing with his or her counterpart in the city of Buffalo, New York. And, it has little to do with the 175-kilometer (80–mile) proximity — much… Read More

Oh My God…

UPDATE FROM KEN DANIELS: This blog was written with a heavy heart on Thursday. Today (Saturday), Ken passed along these remarks from Detroit: “The hockey world has been an incredible, extended family for us [during] these past few days that Read More

Easy Answer to Rogers NHL Ratings

TORONTO (May 31) — The article was prolific and thoroughly–researched. It had all the earmarks of a story written by James Bradshaw, the Globe and Mail’s exceptional media reporter. It was also mightily complicated and replete with industry conjecture… Read More

Would The Leafs Waive Bernier?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — It sounded radical and dangerously impulsive. But, only until I paused to consider the repercussion. A well–known executive in the National Hockey League told me Sunday afternoon he would be “less than shocked” if the Toronto… Read More

Jays/Rangers Not A Best–of–Three

TORONTO (Oct. 10) — It is understandable that fans of the Toronto Blue Jays are forlorn after consecutive defeats at home in the American League Division Series. In less than 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, it seemed as if… Read More

Raiders/Leafs Nations Synonymous

By HOWARD BERGER SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 22) — Black and silver or blue and white, they are kindred spirits. Both are “Nations” and both have suffered for many a year. Neither places a condition on its love for team. I… Read More

To No-Cal in No Time

By HOWARD BERGER SAN JOSE (Dec. 20) — I’m about to enjoy the shortest day of 2014 after what was supposed to be the longest flight of the year. Instead, “prevailing winds,” according to our captain, helped sever nearly an… Read More

Heady Times at MLSE

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 10) — After a glorious weekend in which the Maple Leafs and Raptors combined for four victories, you can bet there are plenty of smiles at 60 Bay St. today. Profits aside, Maple Leaf Sports Read More

Babcock to Leafs? Why?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 20) — Amid the Week 2 hysteria in Leaf Land, I have a prediction: Mike Babcock will stay right where he is and re-sign with Detroit Red Wings. That won’t go over well here in Read More

The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More
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