New Yorkers have no doubt noticed the current travails of the Mets are occasionally noted by a wire services report in The Paper Of Record rather than the work of a dedicated beat reporter.  The Amazins’ slide into cultural irrelevancy neatly coincides with a highly successful season for the Yankee juggernaut, and as such, we can’t really compare the Times’ decisions to those of Canada’s all-sports radio outlet, The Fan 590, who confirmed yesterday they’ll no longer be sending longtime reporter Howard Berger on Toroto Maple Leafs road trips.  From the Star’s Mary Ormsby (link courtesy the tweeting of Jason Cohen) :

“The Leafs are … important to what we do as a radio station,” station GM Nelson Millman said. “But we’re cutting back on a little bit of everything.”

So are others in the business of hockey reporting in Toronto.

Newspaper coverage of the Leafs is being whittled steadily for some print readers. The National Post doesn’t regularly send reporters to Leaf road games and Berger frequently freelanced stories for the Post. In the second half of last season with the Leafs out of contention, The Globe and Mail bailed out on several away games.

Only the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun use staff reporters or columnists to cover all exhibition and regular-season Leaf games.

Listeners will hear Berger’s reports from the Leafs’ first road game Saturday in Washington. But after that, it’s unclear when and where Berger will travel.

“I won’t give you a number because I can’t give you a number,” Millman said, adding the station will likely use reporters in other cities to provide updates.