Toronto Maple Leafs

Then There Were Two: Toronto and St. Louis

Toronto and St. LouisThe Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup champions for the first time, and then there were two. 12 teams started the 1967-68 NHL season, nine have won the Stanley Cup since, one has folded and for two, the drought continues.

For the record, here are the 12 teams from 1967-68:

  • Montreal Canadiens - Last won in 1993
  • New York Rangers - Last won in 1994
  • Boston Bruins - Last won in 2011
  • Chicago Black Hawks (Now Blackhawks) - Last won in 2010
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - Still waiting...
  • Detroit Red Wings - Last won in 2008
  • Philadelphia Flyers - Last won in 1975
  • Los Angeles Kings - Won in 2012
  • St. Louis Blues - Still waiting...
  • Minnesota North Stars (Now Dallas Stars) - Won in 1999
  • Pittsburgh Penguins - Last won in 2009
  • Oakland Seals (Long Defunct)

Damn, it was depressing writing that list. The Blues finished last season with 109 points, good for 2nd overall. Do you think they're a little closer to the cup than our Leafs? The Leafs had 80 points, good for 13th.... IN THE CONFERENCE.

Congratulations Kings fans... I know how you feel. Back 2 Back in '92/'93!

Another World

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Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture Dump

Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture DumpAndy Gray from Sports Illustrated is tweeting Toronto-centric pictures this afternoon.

I'm a Toronto-centric kind of guy who loves sports (and gets Sports Illustrated every week), so I'm collecting them all here along with Andy's accompanying tweets and some commentary from yours truly.


AG: Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Todd Stottlemyre & Juan Guzman pose at a 1993 SI photo shoot

TM: Damn, I miss these days. I once stalked Stottlemyre at the CNE to get his autograph.


AG: Toronto Argonauts owners Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy attend a 1991 game

TM: The kids and I just watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A few months ago, we watched Uncle Buck. I miss John Candy.


AG: SI photographer John McDonough took this great shot of Vince Carter

TM: Nope, I'm still not ready to make nice.


AG: Felix Potvin and his cat pose for a 1982 (sic) SI photo shoot

TM: Of course, Andy meant 1992. Speaking of stuff I miss, damn I miss Felix Potvin and this Leafs team that made the Conference finals twice in the early 90s.


AG: How amazing was this Toronto promotion (from 1946 Knicks-Huskies game)?

TM: I hate the name "Raptors" and wish we had gone with "Huskies".


AG: Get your cigar, recline your La-Z-Boy. We're going with Toronto photos all day. David Wells is excited!

TM: I saw STP and RHCP with David Wells... sorta.


AG: Tie Domi and Lyle Odelein get acquainted during a 2000 game between the Leafs and Devils

TM: My old pal.


AG: Marcus Camby poses for a photo at Raptors Media Day in 1997

TM: I can't believe Camby is still playing. He's old... he's my age!


AG: Blue Jays shortstop Danny Ainge in action

TM: NBA star Danny Ainge started at third for the Jays back in 1981. Here are the other starting third basemen in Blue Jays history.


AG: Joe Theismann in action with the Toronto Argonauts during the 1972 season

TM: This is the first photo, outside the Huskies ticket, that doesn't bring back memories.


AG: Cousins Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter in 1999

TM: T-Mac never seemed happy.


AG: Kelly Gruber celebrates Toronto Day at the SI Vault (for @GrubersMullet and Gruber lovers everywhere)

TM: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly.


AG: Roberto Alomar lays out for a catch during the 1992 World Series against Atlanta

TM: The greatest Blue Jay of all-time.


AG: Toronto fans celebrate after the Blue Jays won the 1992 World Series

TM: I'll never forget.


AG: Jesse Barfield and his son let their Soul Glo before a 1996 (sic) Blue Jays-Orioles game

TM: I loved Barfield, and I love this picture. There's my Exhibition Stadium in what is likely 1986. Barfield had a cannon for an arm.


AG: Wendel Clark scores a goal during a 1993 Caps-Leafs game

TM: All heart.


AG: Canadian legend Tim Horton played 18 seasons for the Maple Leafs in the '50s and '60s

TM: That's right, kids. Tim Horton was a Leaf. In fact, he was one of the greatest Leafs.


AG: Dave Keon and Pierre Pilote chase down a loose puck during a 1967 Maple Leafs-Blackhawks game

TM: I missed Keon's entire career, but I caught his return.


AG: Brian McNamee stretches out Roger Clemens before a 1997 Toronto-Baltimore game

TM: Roger Clemens, part of baseball's lost generation.


AG: How did Chris Bosh let SI take this photo of him?

TM: Bosh was more Vince than we realized. Go Celtics!


AG: SI's Chuck Solomon with a great aerial shot of Joe Carter scoring the winning run of the 1993 World Series

TM: Joe touched 'em all, and it's been all downhill since then.


AG: Toronto Day is over as I have to meet Robbie Alomar at his Skydome hotel room for dinner. Hope you enjoyed

TM: Fess up, Toronto. How many of you slept with Roberto Alomar?

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Active Teams That Haven't Played in a Stanley Cup Final Since 1967

Stanley CupWhen the Kings finish off the Devils, yet another franchise will win the Stanley Cup In my lifetime. You probably know where I'm going with this...

My Leafs haven't won the cup since 1967, but they also haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967. So let's look at the list of teams that have played in a Stanley Cup final in the years since 1967. It's quite the long and depressing list.

  • Ottawa Senators
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Calgary Flames
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Washington Capitals
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Florida Panthers
  • New York Rangers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Minnesota North Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Boston Bruins
  • New York Islanders
  • St. Louis Blues

Here are the active teams that haven't played in a Stanley Cup final since 1967.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Winnipeg Jets (formerly Atlanta Thrashers)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • Phoenix Coyotes (formerly Winnipeg Jets)
  • San Jose Sharks

If we move the Leafs aside for a moment, do you notice anything unique about the other six teams above? They're all pretty new franchises. The San Jose Sharks are the oldest team in the books having played their first season in 1991-92. If you're looking for the worst franchise drought outside of Toronto, you can look at the Coyotes who played their first NHL season in 1979-80. Still, this isn't quite the same thing and doesn't come close to our stretch of futility.

I'd like to watch my team play in a Stanley Cup final before I die. It might be nice to win one, too. Is that too much to ask?

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Virtual Cleanse by All Heart

leafsFollowing that last entry, I felt I needed some eye bleach... a spiritual virtual cleanse of sorts. Sounds like a job for All Heart, the greatest Wendel Clark tribute video in the history of the world.

Wendel Clark is all heart. Watch thrice daily for optimal results.

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The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the Kings

The Leafs Official Twitter Feed and What It Could Learn From the KingsThe Maple Leafs' official Twitter feed isn't bad. It's informative and engaged, and it says "cheers" a lot. It practically has a personality...

But then there's the Los Angeles Kings' official Twitter feed. Now it has personality, and even likes to trash talk.

Here's their infamous taunting of Canucks fans following their win in round one.


And this one is fresh...


If we ever have a reason to be so brash, I'm hoping the Leafs' Twitter account takes a cue from the Kings and becomes as fun. If you can't lighten up on Twitter, what's the point of being there?

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Leafs Fan Reality Crash Courtesy of 1995 NHL on FOX

NHL on FOXI was watching some old footage of the NHL on FOX on Youtube. This footage was from 1995 and it included this graphic regarding the longest Stanley Cup droughts at the time.


The Red Wings were suffering from a "40 year itch". They'd win a couple of Cups before the decade was through, and a couple more after that. Next up was Chicago. We all watched them win the Stanley Cup a few years ago. Rounding out the list, after the Leafs, is Boston, who won the cup last year.

That 28 felt heavy back in '95. Now it's a 45 year drought, with no end in sight. Things aren't as bad as they seem, it's worse.

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Finding a New Bottom in Leafsville

LeafsI had stopped watching Leaf games. Prior to tonight, the last game I watched was the game I took my son to a couple of weeks ago. Total and complete apathy had set in... the 2011-12 Leafs were dead to me.

Then, Ford Canada invited me to their luxury suite and 3rd row seats at the ACC to watch the Leafs vs. Flyers. Suddenly, I'm not only watching the Leafs again, but I'm at ice level, unable to turn the channel.

2012-03-29 21.16.40.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen, it's far worse than I had imagined. It seems we've found a new bottom, if that's possible. Jussi Rynnas got no support in his first career start, the Leafs only managed to get 17 shots on net and the fans only showed passion when chanting "Let's Go Blue Jays", which also happened to be the highlight of the night, or when booing the home team, which began early in the first period.

Mr. Rynnas, you're ready for your closeup

This team has no pride. In this lifelong fan's opinion, things are as bad now as they were under JFJ's watch, and that's saying something. It hurts to watch.

2012-03-29 21.30.29.jpg

I was comfortably numb in my apathetic state until Ford Canada woke me up. Now I've seen the carnage for myself and it's ugly. Toronto ugly.

Bonus Video:

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My Life as a Leafs Fan


[via greek colin farrell]

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Do It For Her, Leafs: How I Measure The Drought

leafsI remember Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Here's my entry following our last playoff game on May 4, 2004. At a quick glance, 2004 might not seem like that long ago, so I'd like to offer you some perspective.

This is my daughter. Soon, she'll turn 8-years old.


She was born after the Leafs' last playoff game meaning the Maple Leafs have never played a playoff game in her lifetime.

She, essentially, is the measuring stick I use when actualizing this drought. She's about to finish grade two. She's fluent in two languages. She's got interesting ideas and a great sense of humour and there's no telling when I'll be able to sit down with her to watch Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Will it be next year? When she's ten? We seem as far away today as we were the day Burke was hired.

I'm done with Leafs hockey for the year, and it's only March. Complete apathy is setting in, yet still I yearn to share playoff hockey with my kids. If the Leafs won't do it for me, maybe they'll do it for her.


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The Weather

toronto weatherI monitor Toronto weather via gCast, a simple little Chrome extension. Here's what it looks like right now:


26°, 25°, 31°, 25°... those numbers are absolutely sick for March. I took last week off to enjoy March Break with the kids, and we were out playing catch every day. I wore shorts and sandals, and it looks like I'll be doing the same this week. In my lifetime, I can't recall a winter as mild as this one. It's ridiculous.

If I offered you 26°, 25°, 31° and 25° highs in May, you'd take it. Heck, these temps look good for June. The weather in Toronto is hot... damn hot.

I'm not complaining. I just came back from a nice walk and tried to remember a March that was even close to this one. I couldn't come up with one.

This concludes my obligatory Toronto weather entry on the warmest March 19th in recorded history.

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