Leafs’ Old Nucleus Still Alive

“Randy Carlyle can coach; Dion Phaneuf can play effectively with lots of ice time and Phil Kessel can score with the best of them. Individually, they would be sound elements of any team in the NHL. As a tandem, and Read More

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… Read More

Does The Shanaplan Prevail?

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Rapid achievement in professional sport can be intoxicating. And, hauntingly mercurial if not guided by a steady hand. With that in mind, we wonder how the Toronto Maple Leafs might proceed after graduating from the National… Read More

The “C”–Word is Dirty

TORONTO (Apr. 19) — No, I am not referring to that C–word. Head out of the gutter, men. Every bit as vulgar, however, in the context of professional sport is the term “choke” — which yours truly deployed in 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

As It Should Be

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — It is officially and undeniably crunch time for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not unexpectedly, the quest for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference has come down to the final weekend of the regular season and… Read More

Leafs May Need a Schwab

TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Depending on the severity of the “upper–body” injury (either shoulder or concussion) sustained by Frederik Andersen on Saturday night in Buffalo, the Leafs may be looking at a reprisal of the 2001–02 season. Quite a bit… Read More

Two Years or Two Decades?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Yes, it was only two years ago today that the Maple Leafs had fired Randy Carlyle and were about to lapse into one of the worst tailspins in franchise history. Seems a bit longer, doesn’t it?… Read More

A Shopping (Horror) Story

TORONTO (Dec. 8) — This is not a blanket indictment of the shopping wing on the National Hockey League’s official website — NHL.com (http://atnhl.com/2h6SN1T). For all I know, I could be the only person to have had a calamitous ordeal… Read More

Kadri Had To Bite His Tongue

VANCOUVER (Dec. 2) — Nearly 7½ years after being chosen in the first round of the National Hockey League draft, Nazem Kadri might be getting a fair shake. But, even that is uncertain… and open to interpretation. From the moment,… 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

Rielly Contract Enlightening

TORONTO (Apr. 13) — It was good asset–management today by the Maple Leafs to lock up a pair of their most important players for the next six years. Center Nazem Kadri and defenseman Morgan Rielly — each selected early in… Read More

Leafs Triumverate Dissolved — Finally

The Maple Leafs are pretty much the same and will stay that way until the failed nucleus (of Randy Carlyle, Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel) is addressed. — BERGER BYTES, July 10, 2014. TORONTO (Feb. 10, 2016) — And here we… Read More

We Miss You, Big Irishman

TORONTO (Nov. 23) — Even in the clutch of terminal illness, Pat Quinn struck a stately pose. The portrait, below, was snapped on July 24, 2014 — four months before the Big Irishman succumbed to a liver ailment at 71… Read More

Domi’s Book Is Honest, Respectful

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — It could have been the kiss–and–tell book of all time in the National Hockey League. I knew Tie Domi well enough in his playing days with the Toronto Maple Leafs to vouch for the 300 pages… Read More

Bibeau Could Become No. 62

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — What better occasion to discuss goaltending than the 91st birthday of Johnny Bower — the most popular and beloved player in Toronto Maple Leafs history? Had there been a few more of his genre, it’s possible… Read More

Leafs Will Battle Only Themselves

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 25) — Truth be known, and despite popular opinion, our city has long provided the most amenable climate in which to build a contending team in the National Hockey League. It’s those entrusted the choreRead More

Leafs Provide Quinn a Dazzling Tribute

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 30) — There was no messin’ with the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. In a performance glaringly reminiscent of the winning era under Pat Quinn from 1998 to 2006, the Leafs routed Washington 6–2 at… Read More
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