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

Where Are The Big Sticks?

TORONTO (Apr. 16) — As is common in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Maple Leafs–Washington series will likely be determined by goaltending. And, there is virtually nothing to choose from between Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby after two games —… Read More

Could Argos Give Hufnagel The Key?

TORONTO (Jan. 24) — I had a swirl of mixed emotion this morning when the Toronto Argonauts announced the firing of long–time general manager Jim Barker. Part of me was upset for one of the genuinely nicest people I came… Read More

The Leafs At the Quarter–Pole

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Over–achievement? Moderate achievement? And, does it really matter? These are questions that come to mind with respect to the Toronto Maple Leafs after 20 games of the 2016–17 National Hockey League season. Clearly, the team is… Read More

Lou is “Looking”

I hear the secrets that you keep… when you’re talking in your sleep. — The Romantics, 1983 TORONTO (Nov. 7) — Lou Lamoriello wearing flannels and a stocking–cap? Almost too funny. In what other circumstance, however, might a rival National… Read More

Can It Get Uglier?

TORONTO (Sep. 15) — John Gibbons, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, believes his club hit “rock–bottom” on Wednesday afternoon while being dismantled by the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre — a plausible claim given the 8–1 final score… Read More

The Boomer Is 80

TORONTO (Sep. 9) — In the realm of longevity, those Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup teams from the 1960’s will not go away. And, we thank the good Lord for that. The latest in the group to join Club Octogenarian… Read More

Leafs: Is The Magic Number 52?

TORONTO (June 20) — At 10:45 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night, Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, stood center–court at Oracle Arena in Oakland; microphone in hand. “To northeast–Ohio and Cleveland,” Silver proclaimed, “the curse is over. The… Read More

Leafs Pursuing Shattenkirk?

TORONTO (June 16) — He’s a right–handed shot with offensive flair and he’d be a No. 1 or 2 defensemen on many teams in the National Hockey League. But, is Kevin Shattenkirk a proper fit for the Maple Leafs? According… 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

Leafs Aren’t Finished Competing

TORONTO (Jan. 14) — Wow, that didn’t take long. Here we are in mid–January and the “playoff–bound” Toronto Maple Leafs are suddenly left for dead. An email from an ardent — now inconsolable — fan of the Blue and White… Read More

Leafs Should Trade Bernier

TORONTO (Nov. 16) — This is going nowhere… much like a sports Sunday that had “Toronto” written all over it: Argos cough up a 12–point lead and lose a playoff game at Hamilton with no time left on the clock.… Read More

These Blue Jays Like None Other

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 24) — It is official. At no point in their 39–season history have the Toronto Blue Jays so thoroughly dismantled an opponent over the course of three games. It happened this weekend in Anaheim against… Read More

Richard Peddie Was Right

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 14) — The words rang hollow from one of our city’s most shrewd and reviled executives — often accompanied by a smirk that people interpreted as wry and disingenuous. Years later, however, the Toronto Blue… Read More

How Much Can Bernier Prove?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 4) — Moments before a scheduled arbitration hearing this week, the Maple Leafs and No. 1 goalie Jonathan Bernier agreed on a two–year contract extension worth $8.3 million. It was promptly suggested that Bernier would… Read More

Football and Mother Nature

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 4) — For two weeks, southern Ontario is bone–dry. I buy tickets to a Canadian Football League game in Hamilton and get soaked. At least I wasn’t alone. More than 24,000 people had their coifs… 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
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