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Saturday’s FTB: What do you mean when you ask “Have you played the game?”

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A question that’s tossed around a lot when no one has an actual answer.

Buffalo Sabres v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

When you get a brain injury and decide to spend your time talking about hockey on Twitter, eventually someone (usually the dudiest of dudebros) will get flustered at not being able to make a proper argument, or try to make a former NHL player their best friend (won’t happen guys, stop trying), and just come back with some variation with “Have you even played the game?”

This has always been a curious question to me. I mean, I played for a month in kindergarten then took it up again at 30, so yeah I’ve played hockey. Or, does the person in question mean a specific level of hockey?

If so, what’s the minimum to have “played the game”?

Is playing for a specific length of time good enough? What if I played from kindergarten to High school, but only in house league? What if I made it into triple A? Would a person have had to make it to Junior C minimum or is Junior A required? If we’re only allowing those who made it to Major Junior to talk hockey we’ll need to shut down thousands of accounts.

What about the women? Are the standards different? Since there’s no women’s major junior is NCAA required?

Then there’s the European systems. You have kids turning pro at 16-17 so is the cut off there the highest level of 13 year old hockey?

What if your family couldn’t afford hockey? It’s a very expensive sport, and by demanding someone have the experience that would have costed thousands of dollars a year the questioner is extremely exclusive.

Of course, it’s all part of a conversation, so maybe the person is legitimately asking a question, wondering if they can help educate on a subject they know a lot about?

Or maybe they’re just an asshole.

Probably that one.

Anyway, here’s the news.

If you missed it last night, the Leafs had a welcome home video for Patrick Marleau:

Brendan Dillon became enemy #2 in Toronto (no one will dethrone Mike Babcock) after this hit to the head of Auston Matthews:

Matthews went into concussion protocol but he did return for the third period.

If you missed it yesterday, Arvind looked the Leafs and the concept of “starting on time”.

If Jake Muzzin isn’t worried, then why should we be?

The Rangers are losing a player to the KHL.

You know what I learned today? There’s an outdoor game! In Regina? Sure, why not.

The Blackhawks are on the down end of their reign of dominance and I am here for it.

Enjoy your day, ding dongs.