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

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… Read More

Leafs Have Earned Playoff Shot

TORONTO (Mar. 22) — The math will sort itself out over the next 18 days and nights, finally determining whether the Toronto Maple Leafs partake in the Stanley Cup tournament for the first time in 13 years after a full… Read More

Is There A Cup Favorite?

TORONTO (Mar. 11) — Here’s a prediction for the 2017 Stanley Cup final that would have drawn loud gagging noises if made prior to the season: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild in a battle of the two most–recent National… Read More

The Leafs At the Quarter–Pole

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Over–achievement? Moderate achievement? And, does it really matter? These are questions that come to mind with respect to the Toronto Maple Leafs after 20 games of the 2016–17 National Hockey League season. Clearly, the team is… Read More

Oliver Ekman–“Leafs”son?

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — In their interminable quest to secure a legitimate, No. 1 defenseman, the Maple Leafs could be eyeing Oliver Ekman–Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes. So says one of my Phoenix bird–dogs. “This is for later in the… 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

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

More Sadness For Johnny Bower

TORONTO (June 10) — The news came after a morning visit to the doctor. Delivered by his grandson and name–sake. “I’d gotten a call from Sportsnet while Grandpa was out,” said Johnny Bower III, in town from his home in… 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

The Wall And His Doll

TORONTO (May 18) — I felt extraordinarily privileged on Tuesday afternoon. Not only did I spend time with the most popular and beloved figure in Toronto Maple Leafs history (pretty cool for a decades–long hockey fan; radio–reporter and writer), but… Read More

Leafs Are Still Two Bricks Shy

TORONTO (Apr. 11) — The question was raised to all parties involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs: “How much longer?” As in, “when can we expect the turn toward contention?” Quite a loaded inquiry, I submit, of the 30th–place club… 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

Leafs Barbershop Calendars

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Here’s hoping it was a quiet, peaceful and joyous Christmas Day 2015 for you and your family. I spent part of it looking at several of the most coveted items in my sports collection — the… Read More

How Long Can It Last?

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Happy six–month anniversary, Mike Babcock. It was back on May 21 that you peered into a bevy of cameras at 40 Bay St. and promised “pain.” You delivered — for about five weeks. Now, the discomfort… Read More

Debunking My Own Myth

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 26) — Perhaps I’ve been caught drinking the Kool Aid. Though it is mid–summer, and thirst can become pervasive, I’ve normally strayed from gulping blue–and–white beverage. But, maybe not this time. In my Friday blog,… Read More
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