I admit, there is something to admire about Howard Berger. I mean, the guy gets to cover the leafs. He goes to most (if not all) practices, travels with the team and goes to most (if not all) games. He has had his gig for quite awhile and he seems to have some credible sources. Unlike many of his competitors, I do believe underneath it all ‘Howie’ is a leaf fan and that sometimes makes him a little less credible, but at the same time a little more likable.
To be honest, when he was really just the day to day beat guy, when there weren’t dozens of them and his real time to shine was rumor season he was always entertaining. I think he gets in to trouble when he tries to compete with those in the market who do nothing but bash the local teams. It is in these instances where he sounds whiny and becomes unlistenable (now unreadable) and as a result unreliable. Who can forget that one trade deadline day when, I think it was Pat Quinn, then the GM, didn’t come out to address the media after the deadline had passed? I am sure those of you die hards (like me) remember Howard ranting and raving about the atrocity done by the GM at that time as if, the failure of the manager to show up really mattered.
His latest blog is a prime example of where he should have just left things alone. I have no problem with negative stories about the leafs (or any Toronto team for that matter) when warranted. This story is just not news. Right now, as Cliff has said, there is no story. Brian McCabe has a no trade clause and he has expressed his desire to remain a leaf. Cliff has said that in time the issue will get resolved. Howard for the simple reason of looking to create news, called on Healy, the new brains in the NHLPA to stir the pot. The result was a real shocker; Healy, the new union man backed the player…WOW- Stop the presses! I could never have seen this coming. Just so we are clear, that is what the PA does. It stands up for its constituents. (Hey, when Bertuzzi tried to kill Steve Moore, the PA backed Bertuzzi) Howard I assume is smart enough to know this. He probably could have written the story before he picked up the phone.
Here is the one thing that is in the story that is of importance : “I think this situation can be resolved amicably, and there is plenty of time for that to happen”
Everything else is a useless attempt to create buzz. The free agent frenzy has passed and Howard is fishing for news. Healy said exactly what anyone with a brain would expect him to.
Please Howie, don’t report for the sake of reporting. Just like the great line from the classic scene in the Naked Gun…”Move along, there is nothing to see here!”