Hello, adventurous Internet person and/or Leafs fan! If you’re looking for pornography you’re
mostly in the wrong place. If you’re looking for a bunch of obsessives who like to talk about, argue about, and over-analyze the Toronto Maple Leafs, come on in!
What is this place?
Pension Plan Puppets is a blog focusing on the Toronto Maple Leafs, a sports franchise that exists to annoy other Canadian teams by monopolizing hockey coverage. From our position in the cheap seats, we cover and comment on every doing of the team—from waiver transactions and game recaps, to breaking down game footage to media analysis to whatever this was.
Why are you called “Pension Plan Puppets”?
Our founder named the site in the mid-2000s when the Leafs were primarily owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The education-mongers have since sold their stake in the franchise to media giants Bell and Rogers, but we stick with our name as a tribute to our heritage.
What are your regular features?
- The FTB: FTB is an acronym for “From the Branches.” It’s our daily news post where we link to both Leafs and non-Leafs hockey news from around the web. The comment sections on the FTBs are also our open forum to shoot the breeze about not only the Leafs, but whatever other thoughts are on your mind. Feel free to stop in and chat.
- Previews & Recaps: Each game day we post our best knowledge of the lines and a quick look at the opposition. After every game, we provide a recap as to what happened. Levels of profanity vary based on the performance of the Leafs. Here’s our writer Fifty Mission Cap shamelessly trolling the Vancouver Canucks in a preview; and here’s Arvind with a minute-by-minute breakdown of a Leafs-Panthers game.
- GDTs: The Game Day Threads are a place to react to and discuss Leafs games live as they happen with fellow commenters. Here is a large group of people going insane during a 6-5 win over Boston. We also have GDTs for big Team Canada games at the World Junior Championship, or the Winter Olympics.
- Marlies & Growlers Coverage: We keep a close eye on the Leafs’ AHL and ECHL affiliates, respectively, the Toronto Marlies and the Newfoundland Growlers (it was the Orlando Solar Bears in the past). If you want to find out what’s happening with Leafs prospects in the minor leagues, we’ll tell you whether it’s a vicarious trip south, or a trip to Ricoh Coliseum.
- Prospect Reports: We look at the performance of both North American and European Leafs prospects each week. Have a look at one of elseldo’s junior-league recaps here, or Katya Knappe’s scan of the Euros here.
- Top 25 Under 25: Every summer, our team ranks the top 25 Leaf players and prospects under 25 years old, taking a deep look at one each day. I will now take this opportunity to brag about being right about Zach Hyman.
- Podcast: Lovingly christened “Back to Excited”, Arvind and I have a weekly podcast on which we discuss Leafs-related topics of interest. Check it out.
- Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Each Wednesday, we cover the news and happenings in women’s professional, collegiate and international hockey. We also keep an especially close watch on the CWHL’s Toronto Furies and Markham Thunder.
Beyond that, we write about whatever’s happening, whatever we’re thinking about, and whatever you’re talking about with the Leafs.
What are some classic PPP pieces?
- The Magic of Mitch Marner by Scott Wheeler. A fine-grain breakdown of Mitch Marner’s game that helps explain why he’s so brilliant for the Leafs.
- The Grass Is Always Greener In Toronto by Katya Knappe. Katya breaks down all the benefits of Toronto’s financial power and status, and shows why—when they’re smart—the Leafs have some pretty incredible advantages.
- Hockey Night in Canada: Where Rogers Got It All Wrong by Species 1967. A look at the most important broadcast in Canada, and the mistakes that have hurt it.
- Don’t Forget Auston Matthews’ Offensive Brilliance by Arvind. Arvind told us all before the season started that Matthews was an elite offensive talent—and boy was he right.
- Should The Leafs Send Mitch Marner Back To The London Knights? by Gunnar Carlsson. A bit lengthy, but a really incisive analysis of a key Leafs’ decision.
- Who Had A Better Free Agency: Dave Nonis Or A Potato? by Bower Power. Maybe the best moment of PPP’s years-long fight against the terrible front offices from 2005-2014.
- Is The Kessel Hot Dog Story Real? by Chemmy. When mainstream media muppet Steve Simmons wrote a hit piece on departing star Phil Kessel, Chemmy and Species 1967 decided to investigate.
- The NHL Draft And Rituals Of Manhood by Achariya. Acha thought of a lot of things people don’t think about on draft day, but that get to the core of everything going on.
- Is Morgan Rielly really in the Norris conversation? Omar looks at the chances of the Leafs best defender to be recognized.
- What the Leafs gave up in the Tomas Plekanec trade Hardev looks at the oft-overlooked side of a deadline deal.
- So you want to trade Nylander for a defenseman... Brigstew takes a common fan idea and gives it a stress test.
- CWHL Wednesday Nafio mixes her personal passion and her ability to collate the facts in this post-CWHL closure roundup.
- Too Frequently Asked Questions About Sexism and the NHL by Achariya, Gunnar Carlsson, phylliskessel, Kathryn Brill, Ari Yanover, Liz McNeill, and Sarah Connors. A bunch of SBN’s best address the problem head-on.
- Auston Matthews vs. Makenna Newkirk: The Case Against USA Hockey by Baseball Annie and nafio. Our writers draw the parallel between two young, talented hockey players out of Arizona, and what it means about their country’s hockey infrastructure.
Who are you people, anyway?
We’re a grab bag of fans from Toronto and elsewhere, and our unifying traits are just loving hockey and loving/occasionally hating the Leafs. You can have a look at our masthead over here.
I heard you’re a bunch of stat-humping social justice warriors.
Sorta. We think Corsi matters and we figure we ought to treat each other decently. If you’re cool with that we’re pretty easygoing.
What are the rules around here?
Be good to people. Moderation is light, but absolute when needed. The full guidelines are here, and everyone should read them. Most of them are pretty obvious, but we do enforce them. Except the swearing one. To be honest, we don’t care about profanity much as long as you’re not attacking someone. Fuckin’ A.
I’m a fan of another team. Can I join in here?
Sure! We’re obviously going to be pro-Leafs to the hilt, but if you don’t mind that or our snark at the Habs and Sens, you’re more than welcome. We have a number of regulars from other fanbases, and some (like Achariya and Annie) have even joined the masthead.
How do I start commenting?
If you don’t have an SBN account, you’ll have to sign up. It requires only an email address. Go to the bottom of any open post’s comment section, tick that ‘you agree to the terms’ box, and join. Now you are one of us. Your complementary PPP cargo pants are in the mail.
I have something I want to write about!
Great! Try a fanpost. Fanposts are a way for anyone to take their shot at writing, and they’ve generated some of the best content in PPP history. They’re also a great way to strut your stuff if you want to join the masthead—that’s how they wound up hiring me, and now I just refuse to leave.
Here are some classic fanposts:
- David Clarkson Is A Balrog [He Cannot Pass] by not norm ullman. Site regular and crazy person not norm ullman crafted this masterpiece that brutally, conclusively, and hilariously laid out just how limited Clarkson was.
- Sidney “Tip-in” Smith by Singjay. Singjay occasionally takes up his Internet pen to tell great tales of the Leafs of old. This one’s about star winger Sidney Smith.
- The Case For Signing Steven Stamkos by Acting the Fulemin. I did all this work and then he goes back to Tampa at the last minute, the ungrateful jerk.
Are the Leafs ever going to win a Cup before we all die of old age?
Yes. Yes they will, and we will retire the 1967 jokes, and it will be glorious.