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 […]

Eastern Scout: “Leafs Should Draft Hanifin”

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 21) — “In any other draft year, I firmly believe that Noah Hanifin would be the top–rated prospect. He is that good.” Appropriately, and barring an unforeseen development, the Eastern Conference bird–dog that provided me this remark on Friday will have no connection to Hanifin beyond the early moments of […]

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