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

Do The Leafs Have A “Limit”?

TORONTO (Nov. 29) — In a year when the Chicago Cubs win a baseball title; a 15–1 team loses the Super Bowl; a 73–9 basketball team blows a 3–1 Finals lead and is defeated at home in Game 7 and… 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

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

Bob Cole: “Let’s Do It”

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — The date of this blog is coincidental, yet rather poignant. Forty–four years ago today — in Moscow — Paul Henderson scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history. Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher immortalized the… Read More

Blue Jays Walking a Tightrope

TORONTO (Sep. 12) — As they careen through their most untimely slump in 29 years, the Toronto Blue Jays are saying all the right things and doing all the wrong things. Not since 1987 have the Blue Jays engendered such… Read More

Perky’s Yarns Are Overdue

TORONTO (Aug. 31) — I remember saying to myself: “Howard, just watch Dave Perkins. Observe the way he comports himself around athletes and you will learn immeasurably.” So, that’s what I did. It was Aug. 17, 1987. At Pearson International… 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

The Corp Was Snoozing

TORONTO (Feb. 7) — Over the span of four decades, Darryl Sittler has been celebrated and cursed by nostalgic followers of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Celebrated for his 10–point eruption against Boston at Maple Leaf Gardens on this date 40… 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

The Friday Vault

TORONTO (Oct. 30) — After another heavy, emotional sports day in our city, it’s time for some harmless enjoyment. As I like to do on a Friday, I went through my collection and pulled out programs from Maple Leaf Gardens… 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

Shanahan’s Missed Opportunity?

In my view, a perfect candidate [to replace Randy Carlyle] came available today. If there’s a coach in the NHL that has gotten more out of less for the past 15 years than Barry Trotz, I’m not aware of him. Read More

Can Leafs Break the Interminable Pattern?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 29) — Our city attained an unseemly hat-trick this past week when the Toronto Blue Jays were inevitably and officially eliminated from the Major League Baseball playoffs for a 20th consecutive season (21st year —… Read More

No Enforcer For Maple Leafs?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Sep. 22) – A fan of the Maple Leafs will notice quite a change in the hockey club this season if the 23-man roster evolves as projected. For the first time in 40 years, the team… 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

Latvians Liven Olympic Hockey

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Feb. 19) – First, understand that it can never be like it was four years ago. Not even close. For Canadian hockey fans 13 years of age, or younger, the Winter Olympic Games of Sochi are… Read More
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