Leafs Must Have a Plan

TORONTO (June 28) — Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs in three years with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner all making beyond–entry–level cash; with a Norris Trophy–caliber defenseman eating up close to $10 million in cap space… 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

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

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

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 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

Through The Lens: Leafs vs. Florida

TORONTO (Oct. 28) — Though twice trailing on the scoreboard, the Maple Leafs performed very efficiently during Thursday night’s 3–2 victory over Florida at the Air Canada Centre. As with most coaches, Mike Babcock likes his team to be “hard… Read More

Leafs Summer Eerily Quiet

TORONTO (Sep. 6) — News over the Labor Day weekend that goalie Frederik Anderson would miss roughly four weeks with an “upper–body” injury generated barely a ripple in this hockey–crazed market. Which thoroughly jibed with one of the quietest Maple… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Who Says The Leafs Aren’t Playing?

TORONTO (May 28) — Only one of our winter–sport teams has ever played in the month of June. That would be the 2012 Toronto Marlies, which lost to Norfolk in the Calder Cup final. The Leafs came closest in 1999,… Read More

Bob Cole — 47 Years Later

TORONTO (May 25) — One of my early hockey memories on TV was the night of Apr. 24, 1969. I was ten years old and I still recall watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup semifinals at the Boston Garden… 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

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

Might Leafs Already Have Their GM?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 4) — Kyle Dubas is a young man with a boy’s face. And, he just helped to pull off one of the most important trades in recent Toronto Maple Leafs history — the multi–component deal… Read More

45 Degrees of Separation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 3) — Tie Domi turned 45 on Saturday. Johnny Bower, please God, will turn 90 this coming Saturday. Which means that Domi was born one week before Bower’s 45th birthday (did that all by myself). Read More

The “Forgotten” Leafs Angle

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 1) – If one were to rank media/fan chatter about the Maple Leafs during training camp and exhibition games, it would likely evolve something like this: 1) Factoring injury, how the revamped third and fourth-line… Read More
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