Toronto Maple Leafs

Memo to MLSE: Don't Mess with the Maple Leafs Logo

According to Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net, the Maple Leafs are expected to unveil both a new logo and entirely new uniforms in time for the 2016-17 season, which will be their 100th as a franchise in the National Hockey League.

It’s all just part of the Leafs’ plans to go all out in celebrating their centennial season; a series of throwback jerseys is also in the cards which would, at the very least, include a re-appearance by the green Toronto St. Patricks uniform from the 1920s.

After evolving their logo steadily throughout the 43 years following their adoption of the “Maple Leafs” name in 1927, the team has made only very minor changes to their logo in the 45 years since. Introduced in 1970, the current Leafs logo sharpened its corners and plumped up a bit in 1982, then darkened its blue for 1987.

leafs

If MLSE is considering a logo that doesn't look exactly like one of the ones shown above, I only have one thing to say to them:

Don't.

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Garret Sparks

With a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night, Garret Sparks become only the 23rd goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his first game. He's the first to do it as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sparks

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The Leaf: Blueprint

Right after the Leafs game ended last night, TSN aired episode one of The Leaf: Blueprint. It's a documentary series about this Leafs team, although drenched in extreme bias. It's an MLSE production, so it's as much a PR mechanism as anything.

It opens with Brendan Shanahan talking about growing up a Leafs fan. Shanahan grew up in Mimico (as if you didn't know that) and went to my high school, so I've been a fan forever. His little story about seeing Bill Derlago drive by while in the car being driven to Sherway Gardens is as relatable as any hockey story I've ever heard.

So yes, it's a propaganda machine, but it looks good and sells hard all we have: hope.

Here's episode one if you missed it.

I'm just sorry MLSE didn't name this series The Shanaplan.

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2nd Class Pro-Sports Teams in Toronto

I'm an unabashed Toronto sports fan. I've been root, root, rooting for the home teams for as long as I can remember.

This past month has reminded me of the three-tiers of pro-sports in Toronto. There's group A, consisting of the Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors, and group B, composed of TFC and the Argos. There's also a group C, which includes the Marlies and Rock.

When a team in group A makes the playoffs, it's a big deal. Most of the city gets incredibly excited and rallies behind our boys. I personally won't miss a minute of Leafs, Blue Jays or Raptors playoff action if I can help it.

When a team in group B makes the playoffs, you're happy, but there sure isn't a buzz in the city. TFC recently played their first playoff game ever, and if you weren't paying attention you likely missed it. I actually tuned into 3 minutes of this game before realizing we were getting trounced and I didn't really care. The Argos played a semi-final game yesterday, and if it wasn't for a few tweets I saw, I still wouldn't know what happened.

And don't get me started on group C. I'm mildly curious about the Marlies because I'm interested in how Leafs prospects like William Nylander are performing, but I couldn't tell you how many titles the Rock have won or when they last won without Googling it.

3-tiers

So yes, TFC and the Argos recently lost playoff games, but this city barely noticed and hardly cared. But when one of the big three make it, you won't be able to ignore it.

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The Maple Leafs Forever...

Typically, I'm all over the Leafs in the preseason. This year, it's a different story.

This year, I've been so consumed by the Blue Jays I haven't had the time or desire to watch the Leafs. I saw ten minutes of a preseason game against the Red Wings, was reminded of how awful we'll be, and decided to watch an episode of Shameless with my wife instead.

Tonight, however, I'll be watching my Leafs. It's opening night vs. the Habs and the Jays don't start up again until tomorrow. Here's another brilliant montage by Tim Thompson set to the sweet sounds of Lowest of the Low lead singer Ron Hawkins. If this doesn't get you in the mood, nothing will.

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Lou Lamoriello Hired as Leafs GM

Brendan Shanahan, President and Alternate Governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced today that Lou Lamoriello has been named the 16th General Manager in the Club’s history. Lamoriello joins the Leafs after previously spending the last 28 years in the New Jersey Devils organization.

I didn't see this coming, did you?

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Phil Kessel Traded to Penguins

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Way back in 2009, Brian Burke pulled the trigger on a trade with Boston that scored us Kessel a 1st and 2nd round draft pick in 2010 and another 1st round pick in 2011. That 1st rounder ended up being Tyler Seguin, who finished fourth in points last season. The price was steep, but he did average 30 goals a season over his six years here, and that includes the shortened 2012-13 season.

Coming to Toronto are forwards Nick Spaling and Kasperi Kapanen, defenceman Scott Harrington and a 1st and 3rd round draft pick.

Heading to PIttsburgh, in addition to Kessel, is forward Tyler Biggs, defenceman Tim Erixon and a 2nd round pick. We'll also retain 15% of Kessel's salary. Gulp.

76066559

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Maple Leafs Draft Mitchell Marner

With the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have drafted Mitchell Marner of the London Knights.

I've had this feeling since April. This past season he tallied 44 goals and 82 assists to amass an astounding 126 points across 63 OHL games.

He's not big, but he's got boatloads of skill, and I'm glad he's a Maple Leaf.

mitch-marner

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My Son Thinks He's Bob McKenzie

My oldest son thinks he's Bob McKenzie. Yesterday I got a passionate and detailed analysis as to who the Leafs might draft fourth overall and why. Some scenarios have Noah Hanifin dropping to fourth, others have us picking Dylan Strome or Mitch Marner and then there's the Ivan Provorov wildcard. My son heard an analyst calling Ivan Provorov the best defenseman in the draft and now he's preparing me for a surprise.

Clearly, after the top two picks, it's up for grabs. It sounds like a tremendous top six, and since we're drafting fourth, we're unlikely to screw this up. Friday night, my boy will have us glued to TSN Sportsnet to find out who it'll be. I'll admit, he's got me pretty excited.

In April, I hoped we'd draft Michell Marner. I still do, but I could live with Dylan Strome.

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8 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto

Firstly, this entry is about NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB championships. I realize Toronto has had great success in lacrosse and has won Grey Cups recently, but with all due respect, I'm not counting them as major championships. For Toronto, I'm only counting the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.

That means Toronto hasn't won a championship since 1993. That's a 22 year drought. As bad as that sounds, many cities have it worse.

San Diego

Let's start with San Diego. The Chargers haven't won since 1963, the Padres have never won a World Series, and even their former NBA teams (Rockets and Clippers) didn't win a thing.
52 year drought


Cleveland

I'm rooting heavily for the Cavaliers in this year's NBA championship and they're currently tied 1-1 with the Warriors. The Cavs have never won a title, the Indians haven't won since 1948 and the Browns haven't won since 1964.
51 year drought


Buffalo

Buffalo only has the two teams, but that's enough to count. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup and the Bills haven't won since 1965.
50 year drought


Kansas City

Kansas City also only has two teams, but they did have a short-lived NHL and NBA franchise. Neither won a thing. The Chiefs haven't won the Super Bowl since 1970 and the Royals haven't won a World Series since 1985.
30 year drought


Oakland

The Golden State Warriors haven't won since 1975, the Oakland Raiders haven't won since 1983, and the A's haven't won since 1989.
26 year drought


Cincinnati

The Bengals have been consistently brutal throughout the years, never winning a title. Meanwhile, the Reds haven't won a World Series since 1990.
25 year drought


Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, the North Stars and Wild have never won a Stanley Cup, the Timberwolves have never won and the Twins haven't won a World Series since 1991.
24 year drought


Washington

The Bullets / Wizards haven't won since 1978, the Capitals have never won, the Nationals have never won and their NFL franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1992.
23 year drought

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