My, How Times Have Changed

TORONTO (Nov. 12) — Do you remember when the Maple Leafs were cannon–fodder for the Boston Bruins? It wasn’t particularly long ago; well within the past decade… and I’m not even referring to the infamous playoff melt–down of May 2013… Read More

Zaitsev Bears Watching

TORONTO (Oct. 11) — There are beggars on street corners all over North America that could become independently wealthy with one dollar for every time, in this space, I have written the Toronto Maple Leafs will not win the Stanley… Read More

Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

The Bozak–JVR Enigma

TORONTO (July 18) — It is rather puzzling that people who observe the Leafs for a living, and those that root for the club with their entire soul, have lost appreciation for veterans Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Particularly… Read More

Leafs Should Hound Chayka

TORONTO (July 5) — It costs nothing to be rejected in the National Hockey League. Therefore, the Toronto Maple Leafs can go hard at pursuing a player that would spectacularly balance their roster. Harold Ballard once told reporters he would… Read More

Leafs Refused To Get Silly

TORONTO (June 24) — Obviously, I cannot say for certain. Neither can most others, as Lou Lamoriello never divulges company secrets. But, I would be shocked beyond measure if the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs even considered trading… Read More

Guess What? Cujo is 50

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — Happy milestone birthday to the best Leafs goalie of the post–1967 era. Curtis Joseph turns 50 today. He was born in Keswick, Ont. (70 miles north of Toronto) the same day the Leafs and Canadiens were… 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

The Shattenkirk Question

TORONTO (Feb. 2) — It happens every year around this time. An elite player, staring at unrestricted free agency, is on his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, who wouldn’t wish to ply his trade in the center… Read More

Still Turnbull’s Mark 40 Years Later

TORONTO (Feb. 1) — On Nov. 11, 1981, just more than eight years after breaking into the National Hockey League, Ian Turnbull left Toronto in a trade with the reputation, among local media, of being irascible, sardonic and uncooperative. If… Read More

Leafs–Marlies Bond A Throwback

TORONTO (May 16) — Back in time, it was major–junior hockey. Today, it is minor–professional. Only the name has been constant — the Toronto Marlies. Young fans near and far may not realize the American Hockey League’s best team this… 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

Leafs Concerned About Burke

TORONTO (Apr. 29) — The Calgary Flames have sent their Irish good–luck charm to our town in an arcane attempt to wrest the 2016 National Hockey League draft lottery from the “favored” Toronto Maple Leafs. His name? Brian Burke. And,… Read More

Rogers Has The Final Say

TORONTO (Oct. 27) — Many in the local media have launched a preemptive strike against Rogers Communications in the event Alex Anthopoulos does not return as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. This is understandable given the widespread popularity… Read More

Leafs Motor Along As Usual

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 24) — If you believe that success or failure begins at the top of any company or enterprise, the Toronto Maple Leafs will end the longest Stanley Cup drought at some point in the foreseeable… 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

Babcock Needs a Trump Card

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 21) — It has been unmistakable during Mike Babcock’s 13–season career as a coach in the National Hockey League: You play the way he commands or you watch others play. This will not change in… Read More
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