Will The Leafs Be Next?

TORONTO (June 16) — A cynic would contend it is thoroughly emblematic of this city that our three “least–fashionable” sports teams have won championships in the past 6½ months. No disrespect to the Argonauts, Toronto F.C. or the Marlies, but… Read More

The Tavares/Matthews Conundrum

TORONTO (May 21) — Thinking logically, one would have to assume that any overture the Maple Leafs are considering for John Tavares — should he opt to leave the New York Islanders as an unrestricted free agent this summer —… Read More

Leafs Kept Their Promise

TORONTO (May 12) — After the extraordinary maneuver of preventing a young executive from advancement in the National Hockey League, the Toronto Maple Leafs came through for Kyle Dubas. Though Dubas was given permission, last summer, to be interviewed by… Read More

Smoke and Mirrors Around Here

TORONTO (May 8) — Perhaps never in the professional sports annals of this city has a pair of clubs — 12 nights apart — rendered the six–month–long regular season so thoroughly pointless. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, after… Read More

Laine or Auston? What About Lou?

TORONTO (May 2) — It’s that date again. For the 51st time. The end of the six–team era in the National Hockey League. The beginning of the longest–ever Stanley Cup famine. Yes, there was pandemonium, Toronto style, 51 years ago… Read More

And the Wait Continues

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — Quite the coincidence that fewer than 24 hours after another failed Stanley Cup bid by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dave Keon was announced as an inductee into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Considered the greatest… Read More

Leafs GM Chatter Intriguing

TORONTO (Mar. 8) — With the National Hockey League trade deadline out of the way and the Toronto Maple Leafs comfortably in a playoff spot, Kyle Dubas is the flavor–of–the–week. If you’re not sure who Kyle is, don’t fret. He’s… Read More

Shanaplan Goes Boom!

TORONTO (July 3) — Let me begin by making this unequivocal point: I love Patrick Marleau. Everybody loves Patrick Marleau. He is a first–ballot Hall of Famer; a consummate gentleman, and he comes to the Maple Leafs from what I… Read More

Leafs’ Old Nucleus Still Alive

“Randy Carlyle can coach; Dion Phaneuf can play effectively with lots of ice time and Phil Kessel can score with the best of them. Individually, they would be sound elements of any team in the NHL. As a tandem, 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

Leafs Will Sizzle… Then Fizzle

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — Six months and three days after last watching the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that counted, a new season begins with curiosity and bridled excitement. A 5–1 defeat at New Jersey on Apr. 9 enabled… 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

Leafs Triumverate Dissolved — Finally

The Maple Leafs are pretty much the same and will stay that way until the failed nucleus (of Randy Carlyle, Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel) is addressed. — BERGER BYTES, July 10, 2014. TORONTO (Feb. 10, 2016) — And here we… Read More

Leafs Motor Along As Usual

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 24) — If you believe that success or failure begins at the top of any company or enterprise, the Toronto Maple Leafs will end the longest Stanley Cup drought at some point in the foreseeable… 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

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

Leafs Make Superb Deal For Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 1) — Happy Canada Day, Leafs Nation. Your team can now begin wobbling toward contention under Mike Babcock. The new, much–celebrated coach made it clear while negotiating his monster, eight–year deal that the Leafs could… Read More

Leafs Still Bucking Convention

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 26) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have promised to become traditional with respect to building a Stanley Cup–caliber team. No more quick fixes. No more first–rounders traded. But, there is still much about the Maple… Read More
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