Still The Most Compelling

TORONTO (May 27) — After 100 years in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs are affiliated with numerous dates on the Gregorian calendar. Among the 10 most significant: Feb. 14 — 1927 — Conn Smythe changes the… Read More

No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

A Humorous (Pathetic?) Stat

TORONTO (May 15) — Want to know how generally lousy it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans during the Harold Ballard administration in the 1970’s and 80’s? Normally, I would offer you a “let me count the… Read More

Leafs Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… Read More

Kessel Was Full Value, But…

TORONTO (June 14) — Fans of the Maple Leafs should not begrudge Phil Kessel for raising the Stanley Cup. Kessel was hardly a passenger in the 2016 playoffs, leading Pittsburgh in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. It proved… 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 Can Still Conquer the Nation

TORONTO (Mar. 23) — Eastern Canada is safe from the Toronto Maple Leafs but the prairies, foothills and coastal regions are deeply imperiled. The National Hockey League’s dandiest outfit north of the border could soon become third–best in the nation.… Read More

Heart of the Blue Jays

Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man; That he didn’t, didn’t already have. — AMERICA (Dewey Bunnell) 1974. TORONTO (Oct. 31) — Many believe the Toronto Blue Jays lost their brain when general manager Alex Anthopoulos turned down… Read More

Debating the Leafs — Two Weeks Later

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 10) — Where on Earth did time go? As I was penning the headline to this blog, I nearly wrote, “Debating the Leafs — One Week Later.” Then it hit me: The Connor McDavid draft… Read More

Sad Week For the NHL

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 27) — The National Hockey League “family” — as it likes to be known — has lost three prominent members since Sunday. Given his involvement in the game, professionally and internationally, the death of Pat… Read More

Paralysis By Analysis

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 10) — Let’s see now… what have we learned about the Toronto Maple Leafs after one whole game of the 2014-15 season? Well… ? The top line of Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel and James van Read More

Opportunity Lost

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 17) – Late yesterday afternoon, I posted a blog here looking ahead at the Maple Leafs game in Pittsburgh a few hours later. “IF SKATING, LEAFS WILL DEFEAT PENGUINS” insisted the headline. Turns out I… Read More

If Skating, Leafs Will Defeat Penguins

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 16) – What a great opportunity awaits the Maple Leafs tonight in Pittsburgh. Normally, a person suggesting this would be wrapped in a white coat, given the Penguins’ crop of wondrous talent. But, the situation… Read More

Early Yuletide For Leafs Fans

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 15) – I remember the game as if it were yesterday, but I still had to look up the date (I’m only so much a hockey savant). Though merely 15 years old, I somehow felt… Read More

NHL Players Undermining Their Cause

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 16) – With minimal leverage in their labor quarrel, locked out NHL players are damaging any pretense of solidarity by scrambling for work overseas. That is the opinion of a senior NHL executive, who claimed Read More

Sep. 15 Meaningless in NHL Labor Clash

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 5) – Though coverage of the now-dormant negotiation between the National Hockey League and its players has been typically thorough, I’m astonished at the number of well-connected people that consider Sep. 15 a “deadline”. No Read More
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