Leafs Appear to be Alluring

TORONTO (Sep. 13) — The loudest voices in town are calling for a championship. No fooling. Two years after finishing dead–last in the National Hockey League, and three years after the most disgraceful showing of the post–Harold Ballard era, the… 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

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

When is Joe Bowen’s Turn?

TORONTO (Nov. 14) — There is no arguing the merit of the two gentlemen inducted this year into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bob Verdi is the dean of sports columnists in Chicago and has covered… Read More

Leafs Will Learn — Eventually

TORONTO (Nov. 1) — It will be a tell–tale sign that the young Maple Leafs are maturing when the club approaches a double–header like this past weekend with more of a competitive edge and less satisfaction. Though it yielded zero… Read More

Leafs Could Be Halfway Home

TORONTO (June 2) — After winning the Stanley Cup in three of the past six years, the Chicago Blackhawks were bounced from the opening round of the playoffs this spring by St. Louis. It could easily be a temporary set–back,… Read More

A Dying Man’s Acceptance

TORONTO (Mar. 27) — There is obviously no pleasure in speaking with a person whose life is coming to an end. But, the moment does incorporate honor and privilege. In 57–plus years, I’ve encountered the situation only twice: With my… 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

Maple Leafs Are A Balancing Act

NOTE: My dearth of blogging in the past week is owed to a battle with a kidney stone, which has prevailed over me on several occasions. It is said that the pain of renal colic is akin to child–birth. And, Read More

Don’t Blame Gibby, Jays Fans

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 5) — Thoughts from a baseball road trip… It is normal for a rabid sports fan to develop chronic myopia. The most reasonable, intelligent person in other walks of life will turn to emotional blubber… Read More

The Orr-Gretzky Debate

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Oct. 14) — For the past 30 years, veteran hockey people have delightfully quibbled over choosing between Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest all-time player. I say delightfully because any person, such as myself, Read More

Reimer Has Earned a Stretch

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 25) – While Randy Carlyle is loathe to anoint a pecking order among his two reliable goalies, circumstance may force him to periodically deviate from that plan.  One such occasion is upon the coach right… Read More
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