Toronto Maple Leafs
In a mere 15 minutes from now, my all-time favourite Maple Leaf is set to announce his retirement from the NHL. Doug Gilmour set Toronto records in 1992-93 with 95 assists and 127 points, helped the Maple Leafs reach the Western Conference finals in 1993 and '94 and served as captain from 1994-97.
The Kingston, Ontario native will end his career with the blue and white having scored 450 goals and 964 assists for 1,414 points in 1,474 games. I will continue to wear my #93 jersey with pride. There was no better Leaf in my life time. Farewell Dougie.
If you're Canadian, you're most likely familiar with the name Bill Barilko. Bill Barilko's goal in overtime won the Stanley Cup for my beloved Maple Leafs in 1951. At the age of 25, Bill Barilko would never score another.
I maintain a tribute to Bill Barilko in an effort to keep this legend immortalized. This little page has managed to garner some serious respect from the more popular search engines. A simple search for Bill Barilko on MSN Search ranks my site #1, on Yahoo! I'm #7 and on Google I'm #9. Visit my tribute to Bill Barilko here.
By the way, as of this moment there are 42 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes, and 25 seconds left until the Maple Leafs opener. My countdown clock remains here.
The countdown begins...
Click here for the official torontomike.com Maple Leaf countdown clock.
Hello God, it's me Mike.
What exactly do you have against my Toronto Maple Leafs? Why to you use your omnipotent power to crush us at every opportunity? You tortured us with the Harold Ballard regime, forcing me to grow up in a decade almost completely void of playoff victories. Then, when everything lined up perfectly for a Habs-Leafs Stanley Cup Final in '93, you gave The Great One yet another break and used your mighty power to blind the refs as Gretzky clearly high-sticked Gilmour. We deserved to win that night. You made sure it didn't happen.
Now, in 2003, that very same Gilmour came home. On Thursday night, I watched #93 play for four minutes and fifty-one seconds. Everything seemed right again. Everything seemed perfectly in place for a serious run at the cup. Leaf fans were happy. We were oh so happy Lord! Then, as quickly as you giveth, you taketh away.
Dougie was laying on the ice, clearly in pain. The war horse couldn't stand, but this warrior was going to get to the bench on his own. As I watched him crawl twenty feet to the bench, I looked up and asked you one simple question. "Why?"
On behalf of all Torontonians, I apologize for whatever it is you don't like about us. Perhaps it's our arrogance? We are the self-proclaimed capital of Canada, you know. Perhaps it's the fact that many Leaf fans spill on to Yonge Street to celebrate a single playoff victory. Is it that we're satisfied with so little from our hockey team? Should we expect more? Tell us oh Lord, tell us what we can do to earn your favour? If we change now, maybe Dougie is back for the playoffs? Please see what you can do...
Your biggest fan,
Memo to Pat Quinn:
Thank you for proving me wrong. This year, you actually made a concerted effort to better our hockey team at the trade deadline. Already a very good team, the addition of Owen Nolan is sure to benefit us during a long playoff run. Nolan can do it all. He can score goals, block shots, punish defenders... Glen Wesley was another good pick up. He's a solid defenseman who isn't prone to the mistakes I see Aki Berg and Jyrki Lumme making on a nightly basis. Furthermore, he only cost us a draft pick.
Today, you added some defense insurance in veteran Phil Housley and brought back my favourite Leaf of all time, Doug Gilmour. Gilmour may be a little slower and no longer the scoring machine of the early 90s, but he's still Gilmour with more heart and passion than anyone in the league. He'll be a definite asset both on the ice and in the dressing room. Did you read my blog below?
Thanks again. Today more than ever I'm confident we can finally bring back the Stanley Cup to my sweet home Toronto. You made four positive moves, and only sacrificed one player from our active roster. Stanley! Stanley! Stanley!
Pop quiz: Who would you rather see playing on the 3rd or fourth line? Jonus Hoglund or Doug Gilmour? Robert Reichel or Doug Gilmour? I'm going to assume you said Doug Gilmour without hesitation.
Doug Gilmour is retiring after this season. Doug Gilmour's Canadiens are not going to make the playoffs this year. Doug Gilmour is available and I believe still has one more playoff left in that old body of his.
Lets bring Dougie back to help us win the cup. Gilmour should retire a Maple Leaf and he'd be a great presence on the 3rd or 4th line during the 2nd season.
Dougie, Dougie, Dougie...
Glen Wesley is a dependable blue liner who eats up 20+ minutes a game with no defensive lapses. This definitely makes our 6 better than they were last week. But we still need another D to shore up that blue line. A more spectacular D than Wesley. We don't want/need a flashy offensive defenseman, but a defense-first, low-risk, dependable veteran who is still at the top of his game.
Who is the player we should grab before tomorrow's deadline?
It's Aaron Miller from the Kings. Quinn should do whatever it takes (within reason) to secure the services of the under appreciated defenseman. With McCabe, Kaberle, Miller, Wesley, Svehla and Berg, we have a very respectable 6 for a long playoff run. And, depending what we have to give up for Miller, a great deal of depth with Jackman, Belak, Lumme and Ericksson ready when called upon.
Aaron Miller in T.O.!!!!! He's our man.
The NHL trade deadline is March 11th. When the Rangers pulled off a big trade with Pittsburg yesterday, we officially lost the Kovalev sweepstakes. When was the last time we actual won such a bidding war? We lost Holik, Kasparitis, Guerin, Amonte, Cujo, Lindros, Blake, etc... The Toronto Sun has published a list of players they claim may be available. Owen Nolan and Jerome Iginla shine through as the best of the bunch. You can bet your bottom dollar we won't be seeing either in blue and white. C'mon Quinn, it's time to sh*t or get off the pot!!!!! We want and deserve the cup in the big T.O.
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