Who Are These Leafs?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Okay, even I’ll admit this is getting scary. Though the Anaheim Ducks couldn’t score in a brothel, the manner in which they were upended on home ice by the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night caught my… Read More

Woodstock — To Ourselves

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (Dec. 29) — This wasn’t so much a Christmas–holiday trip as a pilgrimage. For the second time in my life — and first with my son, Shane — I visited arguably the most hallowed spot in the history… Read More

How Will Leafs Break From the Break?

TORONTO (Dec. 14) — The “overachieving” Toronto Maple Leafs could resume play on Tuesday night dead–last in the National Hockey League standings. All it requires is Columbus getting to extra time at home against Tampa Bay on Monday for a… Read More

Bibeau Could Become No. 62

TORONTO (Nov. 8) — What better occasion to discuss goaltending than the 91st birthday of Johnny Bower — the most popular and beloved player in Toronto Maple Leafs history? Had there been a few more of his genre, it’s possible… 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

How Much Can Bernier Prove?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Aug. 4) — Moments before a scheduled arbitration hearing this week, the Maple Leafs and No. 1 goalie Jonathan Bernier agreed on a two–year contract extension worth $8.3 million. It was promptly suggested that Bernier would… Read More

Debunking My Own Myth

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 26) — Perhaps I’ve been caught drinking the Kool Aid. Though it is mid–summer, and thirst can become pervasive, I’ve normally strayed from gulping blue–and–white beverage. But, maybe not this time. In my Friday blog,… Read More

Debating the Leafs — Two Weeks Later

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 10) — Where on Earth did time go? As I was penning the headline to this blog, I nearly wrote, “Debating the Leafs — One Week Later.” Then it hit me: The Connor McDavid draft… 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

Leafs Working Hard on Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 23) — I was in that wonderful, relaxing crossroad between lucidity and full slumber when my damned BlackBerry roared to life at three minutes past midnight this a.m. Snapping awake and momentarily pissed off, I… Read More

Eastern Scout: “Leafs Should Draft Hanifin”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 21) — “In any other draft year, I firmly believe that Noah Hanifin would be the top–rated prospect. He is that good.” Appropriately, and barring an unforeseen development, the Eastern Conference bird–dog that provided me… Read More

Leafs Fishing Before They Cut Bait

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 20) — So, answer me this, hockey fans: Why wouldn’t the Toronto Maple Leafs aim for the heavens with Phil Kessel? The 2014–15 National Hockey League season just ended and we are roughly three months… Read More

Will Babcock Salvage Phaneuf?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 31) — Eleven days after the Maple Leafs collared the coach they had targeted for more than a year, fans of the hockey club await another detonation. At some point, more of the roster that… Read More

Blue Jays Plight Cannot Be Addressed

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 19) — The success or failure of a business enterprise starts at the top. It always starts at the top. And, that’s why the Toronto Blue Jays are beyond salvation right now. The chief decision… Read More

Like Yesterday Afternoon

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 11) — It was 45 years ago Sunday. Mother’s Day 1970. My mom Sandee was in the prime of her life at age 32. I was 11 and had probably enjoyed brunch with her; my… Read More

NHL Executive: Babcock “Gone”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 9) — A well–known executive in the National Hockey League believes the Mike Babcock era in Detroit has come to an end. “I think he’s gone,” the exec told me late on Friday. “And, it… 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

Hey Mike: Edmonton? Buffalo? Toronto?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 24) — For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Mike Babcock will not return next season as coach of the Detroit Red Wings. This has been pure speculation since October, when Babcock’s self–imposed deadline… Read More
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