Leafs Bring Aboard Good People

TORONTO (July 14) — We can debate endlessly whether character is a component of winning in the National Hockey League. Now and then, you’ll read that so–and–so is “good in the [dressing] room.” Which often indicates he’s not–so hot… Read More

Leafs Refused To Get Silly

TORONTO (June 24) — Obviously, I cannot say for certain. Neither can most others, as Lou Lamoriello never divulges company secrets. But, I would be shocked beyond measure if the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs even considered trading… Read More

Guess What? Cujo is 50

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — Happy milestone birthday to the best Leafs goalie of the post–1967 era. Curtis Joseph turns 50 today. He was born in Keswick, Ont. (70 miles north of Toronto) the same day the Leafs and Canadiens were… Read More

Leafs Will Learn — Eventually

TORONTO (Nov. 1) — It will be a tell–tale sign that the young Maple Leafs are maturing when the club approaches a double–header like this past weekend with more of a competitive edge and less satisfaction. Though it yielded zero… Read More

October Manna From Heaven

TORONTO (Oct. 13) — In a city that continues to hunger for sports accomplishment, October of 2016 has been quite remarkable. And, we still have 18 days before Halloween. It began for baseball fans, with the Toronto Blue Jays winning… Read More

Feeding The Beast

TORONTO (July 6) — We know this much about Auston Matthews: He is “honored.” “Honored” to be ranked as the top prospect for the 2016 National Hockey League draft. “Honored” to be part of the annual prospects media tour at… Read More

Leafs At Another Crossroad

TORONTO (June 24) — In the course of 99 years, there have been myriad turning points for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Three, in particular, stand out to this day… with Auston Matthews in the on–deck circle. The most significant factors… 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

Most Coaches Have Two Left Feet

TORONTO (May 10) — Among the hidden stories of Guy Boucher becoming head coach of the Ottawa Senators this week (replacing Dave Cameron) involved unspoken evidence that Boucher would have been hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs 12 months ago,… 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

Centenary Whining

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — The bitch–and–moan meter is off the charts around here with news that Los Angeles and Chicago — during the Maple Leafs 100th anniversary season next year — have been awarded two of the most–coveted National Hockey… Read More

More “Coach Killers” Needed

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — It is disconcerting, yet inevitable, that much of the narrative early in this National Hockey League season surrounds the dearth of scoring. Disconcerting because goals provide entertainment. Inevitable because an entire decade has passed since the… Read More

Back In The Day… MY Day

TORONTO (Oct. 5) — Four decades is a damned long time… unless you remember the time. As such, the middle–1970’s — during my teenage years — seems like only yesterday; particularly when I bust out a box of hockey magazines… Read More

Lamoriello Will Not “Mentor” Anyone

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 23) — Put your hands up, all of you that anticipated Lou Lamoriello would be named “new” general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (stunned expressions; arms at side). I thought so. Count me vehemently… Read More

Being Jewish on April 7, 1977

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 7) — You don’t have to be Jewish to remember the first–ever Toronto Blue Jays game. But, it doesn’t hurt. It’s amazing how many friends of mine recall feeling so desperately cold and hungry 38… Read More

Burns’ Widow Has No Regret

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 15) — It was Hall of Fame Media Day on Friday afternoon and a couple of Pats were missing – both former coaches of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hall of Fame chairman Pat Quinn was 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

More on Leafs Trade Banter

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 4) – Continuing to nose around here in the weeks before the National Hockey League draft at Philadelphia, I spoke earlier today with the prominent scout of a Western Conference team – the same person… Read More
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