Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

The Flawed Matthews Argument

TORONTO (June 5) — In early–1998, it was announced by the National Hockey League that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be moving to the Eastern Conference after 16 years of geographic displacement in the West. For reasons unexplained, the NHL… Read More

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

Leafs Are Next to 50

TORONTO (May 2) — It is far from the worst time since 1967 to remind fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that their club, today, becomes the second to endure a calendar half–century without the Stanley Cup. Yes, it was… Read More

Leafs Facing Worst Ever (Sort Of)

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — After missing the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 years, the Maple Leafs return to the Stanley Cup hunt against the worst team in National Hockey League history. Yes, without a doubt, the Washington Capitals… Read More

Leafs Will Scare Capitals

TORONTO (Apr. 10) — No, the Washington Capitals will not lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs never begin with the second round. Beyond that, maybe… just maybe… this is the year that Ovie and… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… Read More

Fun With Vintage NHL Jerseys

I DEDICATE THIS BLOG TO THE GURU–MASTER OF NHL EXPANSION, SCOTTY BOWMAN. TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With my son, Shane, in town from Guelph for the Christmas break, I started shuffling through my closet of vintage National Hockey League… Read More

Wilson Recovering After Stroke

TORONTO (Dec. 15) — Former National Hockey League defenseman and head coach Ron Wilson says he is doing his utmost to rehab from a stroke suffered in the first week of December. Upon sending an email of support to Wilson… 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

Bittersweet Day at the Hall

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Irony enveloped the Hockey Hall of Fame on Friday. It was Remembrance Day here in Canada and for the second time in three years, a former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs — Irish; named Pat,… Read More

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

TORONTO (July 20) — When Phil Kessel told Sportsnet–590 on June 15 that he would likely bring the Stanley Cup to our city, many figured his incentive was to stick it up the old wahzoo of Leafs Nation. The multitudes… 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

While I’m Thinking of It…

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Some random observations for a Tuesday night: I will hardly break news by identifying the resiliency of the hockey market here in Toronto. While there’s a limit to just about everything in life, no–such boundary exists… Read More

Second Toronto NHL Team Any Closer?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 25) — Gary Bettman has long been careful with the word “expansion” and is not in the habit of calling news gatherings to deliberate the topic. Given that he did both on Wednesday afternoon in… Read More

Eastern Scout: “Leafs Should Draft Hanifin”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 21) — “In any other draft year, I firmly believe that Noah Hanifin would be the top–rated prospect. He is that good.” Appropriately, and barring an unforeseen development, the Eastern Conference bird–dog that provided me… Read More

Vintage NHL Jerseys

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 25) — With only eight shopping months remaining until Christmas, here’s a wonderful idea for the old fart in your life: Buy him a vintage National Hockey League jersey. I’m serious. He’ll wear it to… Read More

Leafs Empty-Seat Mania

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Imagine how destitute the tall foreheads at 60 Bay St. must be today. A paltry 18,366 tickets sold for Monday night’s meaningless National Hockey League game against the Minnesota Wild and the sky… Read More
This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.