Matthews Still Splendidly Atypical

TORONTO (Oct. 17) — Barring a protracted injury–absence, Auston Matthews will undoubtedly score between 50 and 60 goals this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Should be count 55, he’ll break the franchise record that Rick Vaive established in 1981–82.… Read More

Cancer Strikes Leafs Family… Again

TORONTO (Aug. 9) — Tuesday was one of surprise, sadness and shock. Surprise that actor Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years of age (imagine that, Mrs. Robinson); sadness to learn that country–music icon Glen Campbell had succumbed to Alzheimer’s, also at… Read More

Leafs Will Improve… Won’t They?

TORONTO (June 21) — The warnings were in place; unheeded, and verily scoffed at by fans of the record–setting Toronto Maple Leafs. The same warnings that are certain to be ignored later tonight in Las Vegas after what should be… 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

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

Dream or Nightmare For Bernier?

BUFFALO (Dec. 19) — In my blog here on Friday, I posed a rhetorical question: Under what pretext could Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock turn to the beleaguered Jonathan Bernier for another start in goal? The obvious answer: None. Somehow,… Read More

NHL No. 4 Draft History

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 29) — The relevance of this blog increases chronologically and the purpose is to have some fun. As we know, the National Hockey League draft — even at the highest level — is often a… Read More

Leafs May Be Targeting Carolina

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 10) — It is common, predictable and widely anticipated. The three–week period before the National Hockey League draft becomes replete with tales of earth–shattering movement between teams that hold the top selections and rivals looking… Read More

More NHLers Should Emulate Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 18) – Yes, Phil Kessel is a streaky, prolific scorer. No, he will never win the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy. And, maybe, he is worthy of his $8 million-a-season price tag with the Toronto… Read More

My Ten Worst NHL Moves – Part 2

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 24) – After posting Part 1 of my blog – that listed what I consider the five worst transactions in my time watching the NHL – I received a few emails wondering why Quebec trading Read More
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