No Tears For The Ex–Leafs

TORONTO (May 25) — At some point late tonight, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel will cross paths near center–ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. They will shake hands; likely embrace, and re–affirm their love for one another as friends… Read More

Leafs’ Old Nucleus Still Alive

“Randy Carlyle can coach; Dion Phaneuf can play effectively with lots of ice time and Phil Kessel can score with the best of them. Individually, they would be sound elements of any team in the NHL. As a tandem, and Read More

Streaks Are Meaningful — Usually

TORONTO (Mar. 24) — By defeating the New Jersey Devils, 4–2, at Air Canada Centre last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs broadened a late–season surge to 7–1–1 in their past nine games. Though the potential for decline still lurks, this… Read More

Two Years or Two Decades?

TORONTO (Jan. 7) — Yes, it was only two years ago today that the Maple Leafs had fired Randy Carlyle and were about to lapse into one of the worst tailspins in franchise history. Seems a bit longer, doesn’t it?… Read More

Wakey, Wakey Howie

TORONTO (Dec. 31) — The enduring ineptitude of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the post–2005 lockout era overwhelmed my scattered brain–cells while penning a blog here on Dec. 21. Perhaps the onset of the winter solstice numbed my neurotransmitters. Or,… Read More

Wilson Recovering After Stroke

TORONTO (Dec. 15) — Former National Hockey League defenseman and head coach Ron Wilson says he is doing his utmost to rehab from a stroke suffered in the first week of December. Upon sending an email of support to Wilson… Read More

Kadri Had To Bite His Tongue

VANCOUVER (Dec. 2) — Nearly 7½ years after being chosen in the first round of the National Hockey League draft, Nazem Kadri might be getting a fair shake. But, even that is uncertain… and open to interpretation. From the moment,… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

Kessel Was Full Value, But…

TORONTO (June 14) — Fans of the Maple Leafs should not begrudge Phil Kessel for raising the Stanley Cup. Kessel was hardly a passenger in the 2016 playoffs, leading Pittsburgh in scoring with 10 goals and 22 points. It proved… Read More

To Pee or not to Pee

TORONTO (June 7) — I was watching a newscast on the weekend when a familiar and grotesque image from September 11, 2001 filled the screen: United Airlines Flight 175 (a Boeing–767 laden with jet–fuel after departing nearby Boston) being deliberately… Read More

Easy Answer to Rogers NHL Ratings

TORONTO (May 31) — The article was prolific and thoroughly–researched. It had all the earmarks of a story written by James Bradshaw, the Globe and Mail’s exceptional media reporter. It was also mightily complicated and replete with industry conjecture… Read More

Most Coaches Have Two Left Feet

TORONTO (May 10) — Among the hidden stories of Guy Boucher becoming head coach of the Ottawa Senators this week (replacing Dave Cameron) involved unspoken evidence that Boucher would have been hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs 12 months ago,… Read More

Sweet Revenge For Road Sharks

TORONTO (Apr. 23) — In the spring of 2012, I had the privilege of covering the greatest road team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. En route to their first National Hockey League title, the Los Angeles Kings… Read More

Centenary Whining

TORONTO (Feb. 13) — The bitch–and–moan meter is off the charts around here with news that Los Angeles and Chicago — during the Maple Leafs 100th anniversary season next year — have been awarded two of the most–coveted National Hockey… Read More

Leafs Triumverate Dissolved — Finally

The Maple Leafs are pretty much the same and will stay that way until the failed nucleus (of Randy Carlyle, Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel) is addressed. — BERGER BYTES, July 10, 2014. TORONTO (Feb. 10, 2016) — And here we… Read More

Leafs Message Distorted

TORONTO (Jan. 18) — Though unlikely given the match–ups, it may happen as early as Tuesday night. The “much–improved” Toronto Maple Leafs could assume sole possession of 30th place in the National Hockey League. It would require a Leaf loss… Read More

How ‘Bout That “Other Guy?”

TORONTO (Jan. 16) — No one can deny that Mike Babcock is an elite coach in the National Hockey League. And, there is absolutely no debating that Babcock is the highest–paid coach in the NHL. Ever. But, is he… Read More
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