Toronto Maple Leafs
On Thursday night, I had three tickets to watch the Leafs and Hurricanes at the ACC. They were in the Fan Deck and courtesy of @TheFordFanatic. Me and my two oldest donned our Leafs jerseys and got set for Maple Leafs action.
The Fan Deck, if you've never been, is on the 600 level of the Air Canada Centre. To get to the 600 level you have to take an elevator to the 400 level and walk up a couple of flights of stairs. When you've hit the ceiling, you know you've arrived.
Last year, I took my daughter to a game in The Fan Deck and we enjoyed free all-you-can-eat popcorn. This year, for unknown reasons, we got the popcorn and all-you-can eat pizza and wings. It was amazing.
I'm still full, actually. The game was surprisingly good, too, as the Leafs won 3-1.
Just follow @TheFordFanatic on Twitter and you could score yourself one of those 200 tickets to every home game. Just don't ask me when they bring out the pizza and wings to accompany the free popcorn.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded captain Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey in exchange for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michálek, Tobias Lindberg and a 2nd-round draft pick in 2017.
Today, Phaneuf is a 30-year old with five years remaining on a seven-year contract he signed two seasons ago worth an average annual value of $7 million. Quite simply, he had to go.
I never hated him the way many Leafs fans did, but I understand where that anger comes from. He was our captain, paid to be a top pairing defenseman, but failing to deliver on the promise of either. It's time to move on....
On episode 74 of my podcast, Jeff Marek told me what went wrong for Dion in Toronto. Here's that short 1:45 clip.
Last season was the first time in my life that I rooted for Maple Leaf losses, and I didn't start doing that until the second half of the season. I hated it.
This year, I'm finding it much easier. At this point, unless my son wants to watch the game with me, I don't even tune in. I scoreboard watch. Often I don't even check until the next morning, and when I see a Leafs loss, I'm happy. When I see a Leafs win, I'm disappointed.
Last night, on Twitter, I saw a number of Leaf fans embarrassed by the effort in Ottawa. Many, apparently, wanted the two points. This was me:
This season, the goal is as high a draft pick as possible. Let others collect the points.
When I first learned the Maple Leafs were going to change the logo for next season, I had one simple request: stick to history.
Last night, the new logo was unveiled.
I liked it right away. It reminds me a great deal of the old 50s logo on the front of my old heritage jersey. I love that logo!
So I'm happy, because they didn't fuck it up. Are you happy with the new Leafs logo? Do you care?
Ford of Canada has partnered with the Toronto Maple Leafs to award 200 tickets for every home game. I scored a couple of these tickets last season and my daughter and I had a blast. Nothing makes a kid happier than free all-you-can-eat popcorn.
Here we are, guests of the Ford Fanatic last season. Don't we look happy?
Just follow @TheFordFanatic on Twitter and you could score yourself one of those 200 tickets to every home game. You simply cannot beat that price.
I absolutely adore the world junior hockey championship. Every year, I look forward to watching Team Canada and catching as many games as I can.
I've been watching every year, but this is the first year my son is as excited as I am. I asked him why he's suddenly on board, and he tells me it's because of William Nylander and Mitch Marner. My son is following their AHL and OHL seasons closely, getting excited about his Leafs' future. He'll be beside me at 1pm today when Canada faces USA in the opening game.
The Leafs are actually sending five prospects to this year's world juniors.
- Mitch Marner
- William Nylander
- Travis Dermott
- Dmytro Timashov
- Kasperi Kapanen
Let's hope for a repeat of this.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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