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Talking To My Younger Leafs-Fan Self

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I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.

Dave Sandford/Getty Images

I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.

Here at PPP Industries, we've finally succeeded in developing time travel.  However, due to a technical glitch in the space-time continuum, travelers can only discuss hockey.  I decided to try and give myself some forewarning.

May 27, 1993

Today's Fulemin: Hello, me.

1993 Fulemin: [is a small child]

Today: Do you like hockey?

1993: Yeah!

Today: Cool, I wasn't sure you'd started watching yet.  Who's your favourite player?

1993: HOCKEY!

Today: Uh...all right.  What's your favourite thing about hockey?

1993: When the puck go.

Today: Heh, that makes sense.  Offence is exciting.  Though it's not easy to produce.  I guess you could say 'goals is hardd, thouhg.'

1993: Goals ARE hard.

Today:

1993:

Today: Fine.  Anyway, you probably don't understand this yet, but some bad stuff is going to happen to the Leafs tonight, and everyone you know from about three years older than you upward is going to be angry about it forever.

1993: Bad?

Today: Very bad.  Remember: Kerry Fraser ruined us, and we would have beat the Habs in the final.  Got it?

1993: I like shapes.

Today: You--you know what, forget it.

May 3, 2002

Today's Fulemin: Ho there, skippy.  How you doin'?

2002-lemin: Not so good.  The Sens are finally going to get us, it looks like.

Today: Are they really?  Oh dear.

2002: Yeah, I mean, Mats is injured, and the Sens just blew the doors off us in our own rink.

Today: That's terribly discouraging.

2002: It sucks.  This is a good team, man.  We could have gone somewhere this year.  I really think we--why are you smiling?

Today: You know, Me, it's not easy being a Leafs fan.

2002: You can say that again.

Today: I actually will repeatedly throughout this piece.  But there's one thing you can trust in.

2002: What's that?

Today: We will always be able to laugh at the Sens.  No matter how good things seem for them--and man, they get so close, oh my God, it's hilarious--it always goes wrong in the end.

2002: Always?

Today: Yep.

2002: You promise?

Today: I promise.

2002: So...we're not finished?

Today: You are going to want to get a Gary Roberts tattoo in about ten days.  Mom doesn't let you, just a heads up.

2002: We make the conference finals?!

Today: Yep.

2002: Holy shit!

Today: You know, actually, before--

2002: I bet we finally play the Habs!  Man, that's going to be amazing.

Today: Slow down just a--

2002: We could beat them.  I bet we could beat them.  I know it'll probably be the Wings coming out of the west, but maybe we could beat them, they're all old--you look sad.  The old guys win, don't they?

Today: They do.

2002: At least we finally make the finals again.

Today: About that.

June 20, 2006

2006 Fulemin: I honestly never thought Carolina would win a Cup.  They don't even seem that good!

Today's Fulemin: They actually aren't!  No one understands how this happened.  They don't even make the playoffs next year.

2006: Weird.  The Leafs finally just fired Pat Quinn.  He was a good coach, but I think he'd been at it too long.

Today: Really.  You think so.

2006: I haven't loved everything Ferguson's done, but someone's got to rebuild this franchise.

Today: Yes.  Someone does.

2006: And, you know, Quinn just didn't get it done.  We couldn't get over the top.  And I mean, Sundin's great, but--

Today: You IDIOT!

2006: What--

Today: YOU DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU'VE HAD IT!  YOU GOT TO GROW UP WATCHING THE BEST LEAFS ERA SINCE '67 AND ALL YOU CAN DO IS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE MEN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN!

2006: Whoa, take it ea--

TODAY: WE LOSE FOR LIKE THE NEXT BILLION YEARS!

2006: We what?

TODAY: FERGUSON IS GOING TO GUT THIS FRANCHISE LIKE A DRUNK SURGEON AND IT'S GOING TO BLEED ALL OVER THE GODDAMN TABLE!

2006: Look, I think you need to calm down, you're very capitalized right now.

Today: You're right.  Anyway, look, maybe just don't watch for the next decade.  Seriously.  Just, you know, pursue other interests.  Learn a language!  You could learn Spanish in the time you would've spent watching the Leafs in the next few years.  And it would have been time much better spent.

2006: Gotcha.

May 13, 2013

Today's Fulemin: Hola, senor!  Como estas?

2013: Yeah I watched them anyway.

Today: I figured.  Anyway--[glances at watch]--6:30, huh?  Right, here, take these.

2013: What are they?

Today: Sleeping pills.  It's very important that you get a good rest tonight.

2013: Well, you're the boss, Future Me.  [downs the pills]  So what happens in Game 7?

Today: They put up a good fight, but they lose 5-4, sadly.

2013: [yawning] That doesn't sound so bad.

Today: It really doesn't, does it?

April 10, 2014

2014 Fulemin: Oh, it's you again.

Today: Hi.

2014: Well, what is it?  What new horrible thing happens?  It can't be worse than it's been.

Today: No, it can't.

2014: ...really?

Today: Tomorrow the Leafs are going to hire Brendan Shanahan.

2014: Shanahan?  From DOPS?

Today: Yep.  As President.  He starts a bit slow.

2014: Does he fire Nonis?

Today: Not immediately.

2014: [sigh] Of course not.

Today: In June we draft--

2014: Nick fucking Ritchie, I bet.

Today: William Nylander.

2014: What?  The flashy kid who looks like Draco Malfoy?

Today: Yep.  And he's really good.

2014: Oh, awesome.  But I bet Carlyle--

Today: CARLYLE GETS FIRED

2014: YES YES YES YES

Today: IN JANUARY HE GETS FIRED IT'S AMAZING WE HAVE A GIF PARTY OVER IT

2014: MY HEART IS FULL OF RAINBOWS

Today: AND THEN IN FEBRUARY WE TRADE THE CLARKSON CONTRACT!

2014: What?!

Today: For Nathan Horton!  We LTIR him and clear the cap space.  It's a magic trick.

2014: This is amazing!

Today: In May we fire Nonis as GM and hire a new coach.

2014: [whispers] Is it Mike Babc--

Today: IT'S MIKE BABCOCK

2014: OH MY GOD YES

Today: We trade Kessel in the summer of 2015, and it sucks, but he goes on to win the Cup the next year with the Pens and everyone makes fun of Simmons for like a month straight.

2014: That's about as good as I could have hoped.

Today: We suddenly start drafting like we have brains.  We pick Marner fourth overall--little guy, skill out his ass--we make all these high-reward picks, we might even have a fifth-round hit on our hands.  We hire Lou Lamoriello as GM, and he's a total hardass, but he works like he used to!  We trade the Phaneuf contract!

2014: Are you fucking seri--

Today: WE WIN THE DRAFT LOTTERY.  WE DRAFT THE FIRST GUY IN THE DRAFT LOTTERY.  IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU KNOW WHO HE IS YET JUST TRUST ME HE'S FUCKING GREAT I CAN ALREADY TELL YOU.

2014: This is the best thing ever.

Today: Yep.  For once, everything seems to be--oh, hey.

2020 Fulemin: About that.