Toronto Maple Leafs

How to Stop the Slide

leafsStopping the slide is easy. The Leafs just have to sign this kid.

bieber

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Don't Panic.... Yet

don't panicYes, the Leafs have lost three in a row. We're on a 2-5-2 slide, one that feels awfully familiar at this time of year. But last I checked we were still holding down a playoff spot, and I last checked 2 minutes ago.

So don't hit the panic button yet. Don't do it. Reimer played a strong game and we did come back in the third to force OT.

panic-button

We'll be fine. Trust me.

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Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets

leafsSo this just happened...

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold its 79.53 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers Communications and BCE for more than $1.2 billion. BCE is fancy talk for Bell. That's right, Bell and Rogers now each own 37.5% of MLSE, which owns, among other things, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies.

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind... These partnerships between Rogers and Bell make me very nervous. We need them to hate each other, right? It can't be good for the competitive landscape, for those of us who need Internet access and mobile talk and data plans and cable tv, when these telecom behemoths keep jumping into bed together.

unholy

And what will become of Pension Plan Puppets, the go-to Leafs blog in these parts? I hope they keep the name for tradition, the way we secular folks still call this Santa holiday Christmas.

But what matters most, of course, is will this help my Leafs win the cup? Since we've already given Brian Burke autonomy and let him spend the cap, I'm thinking it won't make a difference. At least it won't hurt...

What do you guys think of the sale of MLSE?

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NHL Realignment

nhlThe NHL governors have approved a new four-conference format. The four conferences will be:

Conference A: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver

Conference B: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg

Conference C: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto

Conference D: Carolina, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

The playoffs would see 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in each conference, and then I'm guessing they'll re-seed for subsequent rounds.

This realignment requires NHLPA approval before it can be officially implemented. I'm okay with it, what about you guys?

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Two Questions About Last Night's Game

leafsI was at the Leafs game yesterday, and I have two brief questions.

Question 1:
Prior to the singing of the national anthems, I saw the ACC staff carry the rolled up massive Canadian flag so the fans could hold it over their heads and pass it along. I saw this done on opening night, and it was spectacular. Only on this night, they changed their minds and never opened up the flag.

My question is, did they decide too few fans were in their seats for this to work? Somebody called it off, and I'm just wondering why.

Question 2:
I was in the 300 section, so I could see televisions duplicating what's shown on the main scoreboard. These televisions showed the score heading into overtime as "Away Team: 2" and "Home Team: 2".

In this day and age, was there really no way to customize that any further? At the very least, they know the home team will always be the Leafs. Why must these televisions display Away Team and Home Team?

Just wondering. Here's a picture I took on opening night of the aforementioned flag carry. It's pretty awesome to watch.

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When I Enter the HHOF...

nhlWhen I Enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, I'm going to show up a little unshaven and wearing my favourite leather jacket, just like Eddie Belfour.

ed

Similar to the way I accepted my Gemini award.

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This Just Happened #leafsarethebest

nhlThe Leafs beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 tonight. That's when this happened.

Screenshot

That's right, our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting in first place overall. 30 teams in the league, only one leader. Jinx, schminx.

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Leafs 2nd in NHL Eastern Conference

leafsBefore I forget...

I wanted to point out that the Toronto Maple Leafs are currently in 2nd place in the NHL Eastern Conference. And those 1st place Penguins have played 3 more games than we have.

nhl

That is all. Carry on.

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Maple Leaf Gardens' New Name

leafsIt seems appropriate that on a day when my path crossed with Wendel Clark's (more on that later), I'd be thinking about Maple Leaf Gardens.

MLSE sold Maple Leaf Gardens to Loblaw in 2004, and Loblaw struck a deal with Ryerson that allowed them to share the space. Ryerson will reopen Maple Leaf Gardens as an arena for their hockey team next year, only it will have a different name.

Faced with a lawsuit by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the school said it will find a different name for the site.

“We never had the intention to brand ourselves as ‘Maple Leaf,’ ” Ryerson president Sheldon Levy said. “We have a plan to use a different name.”

The building will keep its old title for the city’s records, along with a canopy emblazoned with the name over the front doors, but the rink and athletic centre Ryerson is building inside will be named for a sponsor. Mr. Levy said the word “Gardens” will be part of the new epithet.

This is a true shame. A hockey arena in old Maple Leaf Gardens shouldn't have to take on a different name. Nobody is going to confuse Ryerson University hockey with the NHL, or the AHL for that matter.

I'm disappointed. MLSE has enough money and doesn't need to be dicking with this city's history. This is ten times more offensive than what Ted Rogers did to us in 2005.

Maple Leaf Gardens

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Leafs Win! Habs Lose! I'm Full!

leafsI've just returned from the ACC. It was opening night, and that means the 48th Highlanders.

Leafs vs. Habs

I've missed Leafs hockey, and there's nothing like the Leafs and Habs to open the season.

Leafs vs. Habs

There was no anthem singer on this night. The 19,000+ joining me at the ACC did the honours.

Leafs vs. Habs

Every time I'm in these seats, I'm blown away by how close to the ice we are. Growing up, every game I watched at Maple Leaf Gardens was from the Greys. I still can't believe I get to see games from the 3rd row. Thanks, Ford Canada! Sorry about the hefty food bill...

Leafs vs. Habs

The game itself was a lot of fun, after a slow start to the first period. Our Leafs shutout the hateful Habs 2-0 thanks to goals by Lombardi and Phaneuf. You couldn't ask for much more.

Leafs vs. Habs

The first star was obvious. If Optimus Reim plays like this every night, playoff hockey will be back in this town.

One down, 81 more to go...

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