Could Matthews Become Gaye?

TORONTO (Sep. 27) — Yes, the headline here is a play–on–words and, perhaps, marginally inappropriate. But, laugh along with me, folks. Recent events, south of the 49th parallel, have been all–too serious. What I’m asking, within the context of sport,… Read More

The Power of One

TORONTO (Sep. 18) — At no time since 1967, until now, have the Maple Leafs been one player away from challenging for the Stanley Cup. Just how significant that piece remains is a matter of opinion. In my view, it… Read More

Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… Read More

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

Would Leafs Pursue a Blockbuster?

TORONTO (May 6) — If I were Lou Lamoriello, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, my thought–process during the summer would be two–fold: a) hoping that the elite youngsters on the hockey club can follow up their rookie efforts in… Read More

Canada’s Hockey Hero is 74

TORONTO (Jan. 28) — Paul Henderson may present himself as a medical time–bomb ticking toward an apocalyptic end, but you’d never know it by spending 90 minutes in his company. The man that authored, to this day, the most important… 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

Centers of Attention

Busted flat in Baton Rouge; waiting for a train… And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. TORONTO (May 7) — I was cruising along a highway north of the city the other night when Janis Joplin’s 1971 anthem,… Read More

Three More For The “Row”

TORONTO (Jan. 23) — It is called Legends Row — the medley of bronze statues on the west plaza of Air Canada Centre commemorating, subjectively, the greatest of all Toronto Maple Leafs. In the not–too–distant future, it might have to… Read More

Will Maple Leafs Trend Ever Change?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 2) — It began, without warning, on a quiet Sunday in early–March 1968. Of course, there was little chance of any real–time alert back then, in the days long before the Internet and social media.… Read More

What Should Maple Leaf Fans Expect?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 21) – Welcome, officially, to summer. Every year at this time – prior to the National Hockey League’s “silly season” – fans in the big markets begin to dream in technicolor. This market, in particular,… Read More

43 Years Ago: The Biggest Romp

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 2) – Perhaps on New Year’s Day, 2057, hockey pundits around here will be reflecting nostalgically on the first-ever Bridgestone Winter Classic involving a Canadian team: Wednesday’s 3-2 shoot-out win by the Maple Leafs over… Read More

Early Yuletide For Leafs Fans

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 15) – I remember the game as if it were yesterday, but I still had to look up the date (I’m only so much a hockey savant). Though merely 15 years old, I somehow felt… Read More
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