"What I want to do here is build a championship caliber team, and the ability to sustain it," Brendan Shanahan says, and you believe him.
The Leaf: Blueprint - Episode 1 is the start of a new Leafs hockumentary (this is a term, right?) that takes you on a reverent yet intriguing walk through the end of this past summer and the dawn of the new Leafs era.
It begins with the moment that Shanahan realizes he had to rebuild, and swiftly sweeps through the hiring of Babcock, the drafting of Marner, and training camp. The footage is serious with Driving Incidental Music behind it, but luckily avoids the cheeseball Mr. Obvious overvoice that sometimes plagues hockumentaries (I'm looking at you, In The Room).
Instead, this documentary weaves together the authentic voices of the people most deeply involved, and you can clearly see their passion.
My favorite part is probably when James Reimer's wife makes Reimer guess the identity of the new Leafs GM. Or maybe it's listening to Mitch Marner saying that he gained 4,000 twitter followers in an hour after getting drafted. ("I gained 4,000 followers in an hour with one simple trick." -- Mitch Marner at the draft, probably.)
In general, the Leafs PR team really hammers home the "rebuilding" narrative of the season. The best parts are the wry humor -- the dullest parts are probably knowing the narrative before it begins. Oh, it's all about change? Really?
Still, it's fantastic to see everyone's enthusiasm, especially Shanahan's, expressed through his ending words:
"I don't have to close my eyes to think about what it would be like for the Maple Leafs to win. I know it in my bones. It's not something I started thinking about in 2014, I started thinking about that when I was three or four years old."
Looking forward to the next one.