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 not move forward with Phil Kessel. Any fan that paid even cursory attention to the […]

Leafs Still Bucking Convention

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 26) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have promised to become traditional with respect to building a Stanley Cup–caliber team. No more quick fixes. No more first–rounders traded. But, there is still much about the Maple Leafs that is un–traditional. The club repeatedly hires from the bottom up — first a […]

Maintain Sanity, Leafs Nation

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 26) — While some Toronto media are tossing out such terms as “franchise–altering” to characterize the weekend, it’s probably wise to remember your Maple Leafs are at the very beginning of their construction process. Yes, if the Leafs — while in Sunrise, Fla. and without a full–time general manager — […]

Second Toronto NHL Team Any Closer?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 25) — Gary Bettman has long been careful with the word “expansion” and is not in the habit of calling news gatherings to deliberate the topic. Given that he did both on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas indicates, rather stoutly, the National Hockey League will add at least one team […]

Leafs Working Hard on Kessel

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 23) — I was in that wonderful, relaxing crossroad between lucidity and full slumber when my damned BlackBerry roared to life at three minutes past midnight this a.m. Snapping awake and momentarily pissed off, I noticed on call display that a fairly reliable hockey source from the Pittsburgh area was […]

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