The Laughable Maple Leafs

TORONTO (May 7) — I began my illustrious media career (no snickers) exactly 40 years ago today — May 7, 1979 — as a sportswriter at the Etobicoke Guardian community newspaper in the west end of Toronto. It was a Read More

Catching Up with the Leafs

TORONTO (Mar. 9) — Okay… back on the key–pad after getting flattened for nearly a week by what felt like an old–time Bobby Baun hip–check. Or, in my case, the flu — thankfully, a strain more manageable than the H1N1… Read More

Babcock Made The Difference

TORONTO (Feb. 20) — I’m not sure what was said, or at what volume, in the visitors’ dressing room during the first intermission last night in St. Louis. All I do know is the Maple Leafs were a far–better team… Read More

Are Leafs Using Smoke and Mirrors?

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — So, if we were warned — two months ago today — that William Nylander and Mitch Marner would succumb to the usual sophomore difficulty (a combined six goals in 26 games); that Auston Matthews would miss… Read More

The FAN–590 is 25 today

TORONTO (Sep. 4) — The names have changed with ownership and the unquestioned priority of television over radio — from CJCL AM–1430 to The Fan–1430; The FAN–590; Sportsnet Radio The FAN–590 and, today, Sportsnet–590 The FAN. What will never change… Read More

Ron Wilson’s Loud Voice

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — In the early 1970’s, while in junior–high school, I would play around with the radio dial at night to determine which hockey games I could hear. After 8 o’clock, AM radio stations in the United States… Read More

Gondola Reunion

TORONTO (Mar. 19) — Everywhere you looked at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, there was green. Far from me, in this forum, to buck the trend. As such, the first blog on my website (b. June 1, 2011)… Read More

The Morgan Mystery

TORONTO (Mar. 8) — An off year. A bad season. That has to be it. How else can one explain the plight of Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly? As the team plummeted toward the National Hockey League basement in the… Read More

A Perfect Day For “The Voice”

TORONTO (Jan. 2) — Joe Bowen should have bought a Lotto–Max ticket on Monday. The already filthy–rich voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs would have easily won the jackpot, adding to the multi–millions he has stashed away for generations of… Read More

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… Read More

Remembering Ron Wicks

BRAMPTON, Ont. (Apr. 15) — On an afternoon in which close friends, relatives and former colleagues were invited to commemorate the life of National Hockey League referee Ron Wicks, I kept my eyes peeled for the Brampton Fire Chief. Had… Read More

Babcock Needs a Trump Card

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) — It has been unmistakable during Mike Babcock’s 13–season career as a coach in the National Hockey League: You play the way he commands or you watch others play. This will not change in… Read More

Babcock Wants “Immediate Gratification”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 16) — It pales in comparison to an interview Darren Dreger could be conducting one year from now if Steven Stamkos hasn’t inked a contract extension with Tampa Bay. For the moment, however, there is… Read More

The Scourge of Indifference

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 2) — Emotion is the life–blood of professional sport. In Seattle today, football fans are undergoing inter–cranial therapy. The demonstrative impact of their team handing the Super Bowl to New England Sunday night is likely… Read 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

Leafs Hiring Spott On

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 14) – Here’s a prediction: Steve Spott will be the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Take it to the bank. Precisely when this will happen remains a mystery but I’m thinking two… Read More

Bob Cole Still Relevant/Remarkable

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 3) – If you pay attention to Internet lunacy, it would appear that Bob Cole has made a comeback of sorts. If you know anything about the broadcasting business, the dean of hockey television in… Read More

Kooky Leafs Heading Northward Again

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 20) – It is difficult to fathom that the Maple Leafs are hotter right now than the Anaheim Ducks. But, it’s true. Over the past 72 hours, Leafs have out-pointed the National Hockey League’s best… Read More
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