Way Too Early… Except For One

TORONTO (Oct. 12) — It has been a difficult second week of the National Hockey League season in the land of the blue Maple Leaf, inciting many  — predictably — to draw conclusions. There is the small matter of 77… Read More

Blair Has Earned FAN “Drive” Slot

TORONTO (Sep. 10) — In lieu of an official pronouncement from Rogers Communications, we can assume that Jeff Blair has triumphantly annexed the afternoon–drive slot at Sportsnet–590 The FAN. And, if so, it’s a good choice. Unless the poobahs at… Read More

Offer–Sheet All About Timing

TORONTO (July 27) — If you’re surprised that a rival National Hockey League team has not yet presented an offer–sheet to Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner, consider this: “July 1st isn’t the right time to make such a move,” a… Read More

Nylander Trade Too Logical

TORONTO (July 20) — Were he to retract his vow from last December and trade the anvil–contract of William Nylander, it would be one small step for Kyle Dubas, one giant leap for salary–cap maintenance. Okay, how better to start… Read More

“I Was Gretzky… For A Day”

TORONTO (May 25) — Long before this became a basketball city from April to June, hockey ruled the sporting map into late–spring. I know… it’s been awhile and, therefore, difficult to fathom or remember. But, there was a time when… Read More

There’s No Place Like Road

TORONTO (Apr. 12) — Sorry for the double–entendre, Judy Garland. But, it’s undeniable: the Toronto Maple Leafs just love packing up; bidding adieu to family/friends and staying in five–star hotels. It’s been that way since the beginning of October. The… Read More

Leafs, Bruins Starting To Pull Away

TORONTO (Feb. 16) — That dream match–up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is beginning to look more like a fantasy. As expected. Squarely to blame are the Leafs… Read More

Leafs Need One More Piece

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — They are close. So very, very close to possessing all the components of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. With one notable vacancy. Which needs to be filled in the next 18 days. Though yielding 44 shots… Read More

Time For Nylander To Pick It Up

TORONTO (Dec. 31) — We aren’t at the point yet where William Nylander is stealing money from the Maple Leafs. But, it’s getting close. Very close. The built–in excuses are about to run dry. Wednesday will mark one calendar month… Read More

Nylander Options Are Unappealing

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — So, here we are, precisely two weeks from the deadline of L’Affair Nylander. With no apparent resolution in sight and only one scenario that will best–serve the Maple Leafs: a “bridge” contract of two years and… Read More

Of Course Nylander Will Be Dealt

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — How many times can we put a different spin on the same likelihood? Let us count. Toronto’s three–player nucleus beyond the coming season will be Tavares, Matthews and Marner. The Nylander contract stalemate… is… Read More

Leafs Will Be Fine, Unless…

A much–more interesting study will, of course, abound if the Maple Leafs do not match or exceed their lofty expectations. Can you envision the national outcry when the Leafs unavoidably lapse into a four or five–game skid, as will every Read More

The Silence Is Deafening

TORONTO (Aug. 4) — This will not be the worst season, by record, in the 42 years since the Toronto Blue Jays joined Major League Baseball — a distinction that belongs to the 1979 club, which compiled a mark of… Read More

Are Leafs, Blues Talking?

TORONTO (July 29) — It is merely a whisper at this point and has a number of moving parts. But, a source tells me the Toronto Maple Leafs, interminably looking for a big–time defenseman, and the St. Louis Blues, in… Read More

The Funeral of Hope

TORONTO (May 27) — It was 25 years ago tonight. Really. May 27, 1993 in Inglewood, California. On the Berger calendar, it ranks as the most compelling game involving the Maple Leafs that yours truly has attended — as a… 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

Bruce Hood: 1936–2018

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — In mid–November, as he lay struggling with cancer at a Guelph, Ont. hospital, Bruce Hood received a surprise visit from one of his favorite people on Earth. Today — and sadly — Bruce and Johnny Bower… Read More

Simply The Nicest Man

TORONTO (Dec. 26) — Given his advanced age, it’s a day we understood was going to come, sooner or later. Thankfully for the untold thousands of people that knew Johnny Bower, it was later. Much later. The most beloved figure… Read More
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