Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… 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

Leafs Can Still Land a Gem

TORONTO (Apr. 26) — There will be no Draft Lottery suspense in Leafs Nation this year, after the club finished 14th in the overall NHL standings — up 16 notches from last season — and improved by 26 points. The… Read More

Ron Wilson’s Loud Voice

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — In the early 1970’s, while in junior–high school, I would play around with the radio dial at night to determine which hockey games I could hear. After 8 o’clock, AM radio stations in the United States… 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

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

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

TORONTO (July 20) — When Phil Kessel told Sportsnet–590 on June 15 that he would likely bring the Stanley Cup to our city, many figured his incentive was to stick it up the old wahzoo of Leafs Nation. The multitudes… Read More

Tyson Barrie a Superb Option

TORONTO (July 4) — In their quest to obtain a legitimate No. 1 defenseman, the Toronto Maple Leafs may not find a better candidate than 24–year–old Tyson Barrie. But, the question remains: Why would the Colorado Avalanche not move heaven… Read More

Healy Left Mark On Hockey Night

TORONTO (June 29) — Depending on which faction you are most drawn to, there is either unvarnished glee or abject disappointment over Glenn Healy’s departure this week from Hockey Night In Canada. Typically, there is no ambivalence. And, that is… 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

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

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

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

Ron Wilson, Where Are You?

TORONTO (Dec. 2) — As I write, today, I am repeatedly checking the “live look” website of Mount Rushmore to note which president (George Washington or Abe Lincoln) will stand beside the Garret Sparks carving. Upon news of the historic,… Read More

How Long Can It Last?

TORONTO (Nov. 21) — Happy six–month anniversary, Mike Babcock. It was back on May 21 that you peered into a bevy of cameras at 40 Bay St. and promised “pain.” You delivered — for about five weeks. Now, the discomfort… Read More
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