Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… Read More

The FAN–590 is 25 today

TORONTO (Sep. 4) — The names have changed with ownership and the unquestioned priority of television over radio — from CJCL AM–1430 to The Fan–1430; The FAN–590; Sportsnet Radio The FAN–590 and, today, Sportsnet–590 The FAN. What will never change… 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

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Leafs Will Improve… Won’t They?

TORONTO (June 21) — The warnings were in place; unheeded, and verily scoffed at by fans of the record–setting Toronto Maple Leafs. The same warnings that are certain to be ignored later tonight in Las Vegas after what should be… Read More

Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… Read More

Darcy Tucker: “Anything Can Happen”

TORONTO (Apr. 13) — Disregard, for a moment, the virtual consensus among media that the Leafs have no chance to upset Washington in the first round of the Stanley Cup tournament. A guy that played rather effectively for the Blue… 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–Marlies Bond A Throwback

TORONTO (May 16) — Back in time, it was major–junior hockey. Today, it is minor–professional. Only the name has been constant — the Toronto Marlies. Young fans near and far may not realize the American Hockey League’s best team this… Read More

The Chief Has Tears

TORONTO (May 5) — Every year during this week for nearly half–a–century, hockey fans in Toronto have seen varied images of George Armstrong hoisting the 1967 Stanley Cup as captain of the Maple Leafs. Today, nearing his 86th birthday, Armstrong… 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

A Dying Man’s Acceptance

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — There is obviously no pleasure in speaking with a person whose life is coming to an end. But, the moment does incorporate honor and privilege. In 57–plus years, I’ve encountered the situation only twice: With my… Read More

Caution Needed In Leaf Appraisals

TORONTO (Mar. 12) — The kids in Blue and White are looking mighty fine — so fine, that a banner in the Toronto Sun on Friday referred to Zach Hyman as a “Leafs sensation.” For the record, Hyman — a… Read More

The Wildest Finish

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 5) — I’ve been known, through the years, for a savant–like memory with respect to dates and sporting events. It helps to have vivid recollection when writing so frequently on your own website. But, even… Read More

It’s Habs’ Year, Leafs Nation

(BUT, NOT TODAY) By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 17) – The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs haven’t gone over particularly well here in the Big Smoke; not nearly as well, for example, as the Calder Cup tournament, where Toronto Marlies are… Read More

Carlyle Gets Two-Year Extension

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 8) – It appears, at the moment, the Maple Leafs hired Brendan Shanahan so he could help convince general manager David Nonis to fire Randy Carlyle’s assistant coaches. If so, mission accomplished. In what has… Read More

Admissions: 1985 – 2012

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 24) – While scavenging through my apartment locker last week, I came upon a bag of media credentials dating to more than a quarter-century – most of of them accumulated during my 23-year term as… Read More
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