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

Only Once — And Never Again

TORONTO (Mar. 15) — This website is blatantly hockey–centric, which belies the fervor with which I followed the National Football League during my teenage years in the 1970’s. What an era that was — with the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers,… 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

A Seal, A Baron, A North Star

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — Dennis Maruk was known as “peewee” throughout much of his National Hockey League career. We can also call him “Mr. Defunct” given the teams he played for that no longer exist. The native of Rexdale, Ont.… 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

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

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

The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More

Blue Jays Fail to Capitalize

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 3) – The baseball pundits were unanimous in their appraisal of the Blue Jays coming out of the All-Star break. Seventeen games against American League also-ran teams from July 18 to Aug. 3 would determine,… Read More

Vultures Pounce on the Best

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 28) – Boy, how quickly in our tear-down society was it revealed that the incomparable TSN hockey panel jumped to conclusions in the Jarome Iginla trade watch. Aaron Ward Tweeted early this morning (12:05 to Read More

My Ten Worst NHL Moves – Part 1

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 16) – I got around, the other day, to reading a book by Dick Irvin – published in 1993 – and called BEHIND THE BENCH. Irvin interviewed 28 NHL coaches about their experience in the Read More

Maple Leaf Gardens in 2012

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 30) – I was thinking on Wednesday about the last time I saw a hockey rink in Maple Leaf Gardens. It was clearly after the final Leafs game – a 6-2 loss to Chicago on Read More
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