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Watch The Leaf: Blueprint Episode 7

The final Blueprint of the season is melancholy, hopeful, and resolute.

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This episode, the last of The Leaf: Blueprint for the season, had a lot of ground to cover.

It begins with a relative veteran, someone who came to the Leafs during the summer, Frank Corrado. Footage shows Corrado sitting surrounded by guitars, strumming one. It's been his hobby ever since he saw his favorite movie, "School of Rock."

Corrado discusses how he was in Toronto visiting his grandma when he was picked up off waivers, and talks in an unembarrassed way about ten weeks of being a healthy scratch, and how sometimes it provides a good opportunity to study the game. "It's a privilege to be doing what you're doing," he says, very philosophically. This attitude garnered rewards, because after Dion Phaneuf is traded, Corrado is finally given consistent time on the ice.

The episode segues swiftly to Colin Greening, who was playing with worst-in-league Binghamton Senators when he was traded in the large Phaneuf deal. "I was mid-jumping-jack when I saw the trainer come up to me," he says. "I knew what was up immediately." Then he recounts a story of his wife, standing still in the line at the grocery store, wondering whether to ditch her cart or not. She doesn't, which probably puts them both on Babcock's "Good person" list.

(The best thing about Greening is that he's a college boy who played for my family alma mater, Cornell! I'm going to be a Greening fan from now on.)

Somewhere in here Brooks Laich is introduced, and immediately utters my new favorite hockey quote: "Defensively we looked like a bunch of pregnant foxes running around in a forest fire."

Then there comes the saddest part of the episode. Unlike the Phaneuf trade, one that Blueprint discussed but never paused to give Phaneuf a voice, they manage to catch up with James Reimer for an exit interview of sorts. Sad music plays while Reimer stands out in the cold Toronto winter waiting for a taxi to take him to the airport, and his warm new town of San Jose. His breath puffs out white, his voice is thick with emotion, and he says that he's loved being a Maple Leaf.

His Leaf eulogy is given by Mike Babcock, who says that he's "played real good for us," which is probably like anointing him a saint in Babcock language.

The rest of the episode is about the new kids, kind of. I NOTICE, BLUEPRINT, that the kids aren't really made into a focus of the episode. Is the organization still sheltering them, maybe? Saving them for next season? Did they run out of time? I don't know why, but not much was made of their personalities, or backgrounds, or quests to make the NHL.

The best comment about the new kids comes from Babcock.

Reporter: Have you ever coached a team this young?

Babcock: Yep, I coached juniors for a long time!

I'm looking forward to next season.

Thanks, The Leaf staff! It's been a lovely bit of documentary propaganda, even if a little heavy-handed at times. Your episodes were never reluctant to go to the dirty parts of the ice, and you played real good for us.

(Find my previous musings on The Leaf: Blueprint Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4 and Episode 5.)