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 Planning For 2020

TORONTO (Jan. 12) — It is a wonderful and rather uncomplicated time to be a fan of the improving Toronto Maple Leafs, whose youngest and most–dynamic players are skating under entry–level salary restriction. None of Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita… Read More

Canada–USA Rivalry Dormant

TORONTO (Sep. 21) — For a time earlier in the millennium, it appeared as if Canada would have a hockey rival capable of usurping the Russians in parity and malice. The Salt Lake City (2002) and Vancouver (2010) Winter Olympics… Read More

Should the Leafs “Wait” For Tavares

TORONTO (Apr. 25) — Yes, you’re probably chuckling at the headline to this blog. Truth be told, so am I. That said, however, weren’t we all chuckling two years ago at the notion of Steven Stamkos leaving the Tampa Bay… 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 Make Superb Deal For Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 1) — Happy Canada Day, Leafs Nation. Your team can now begin wobbling toward contention under Mike Babcock. The new, much–celebrated coach made it clear while negotiating his monster, eight–year deal that the Leafs could… Read More

Are Leafs Better, Different… or Neither?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 10) – The question posed in my headline is rhetorical and will probably remain so until the latter portion of next season – which appears to be the time of year the Maple Leafs are… Read More

JVR is MVP

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Dec. 8) – Let’s exclude goalies from this conversation because only a divine presence knows where the Maple Leafs would be without Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer. Among those that skate beyond the immediate vicinity of… Read More

Game 4 Overtime Factor is Key

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (May 12) – If the Maple Leafs come all the way back to eliminate Boston in their opening-round playoff series, Game 4 will be remembered as the most thrilling defeat in franchise history. Call it an Read More

Kessel Could Still Save Leafs

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (July 8th) – Debating the transaction that brought Phil Kessel to the Maple Leafs from the Bruins on Sep. 18, 2009 is a pastime in this hockey-crazed environment, even though the returns are practically unassailable. During Read More
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