Good morning fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and half-assed blogging!
We’re at the beginning of May, which as we all know is the beginning of the Maple Leafs off-season, and now is the time we’d be bitterly watching the rest of the NHL playoffs and composing enough pre-draft filler to line a hamster cage. However we’ve been on off-season mode for almost two months and now will be going deep into re-runs.
Before we do that however, I need to make up the morning post where the community gathers to discuss the news of the day and not read the links posted below. To bring about this routine, I’ve decided to give you my Leafs team made up of the players whom I’ve enjoyed watching and make up my favourite Leafs players from my fandom.
This will be post-2000 because I only became a Leafs fan in the 2000-01 season; having previously had a passing interest in the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, and Buffalo Sabres.
At centre of course is the my first Leafs captain, a man who holds the Maple Leafs record for career goals (420), points (987), powerplay goals (124). and game winning goals (79), Mats Sundin.
On his wing are William Nylander and Alexander Mogilny. Both players have tremendous natural talent and are great fun to watch. Mogilny was only around for three seasons, but he was there just in time for me to cement myself in Leafs fandom. Scoring nearly a point per game as a Leaf (166 points in 176 games), Mogilny stepped up when needed and was a great winger for a great captain.
William Nylander is a drafted and trained Maple Leaf, and looks to be here for the long haul. I will admit that part of my liking him is a bit of a feeling of wanting to defend the most maligned of the big three draft picks on this Leafs team, as well as that hair, but mostly it’s because he’s a damn fun hockey player to watch and was never a big jerk in the OHL.
On defence we have my first ever favourite Maple Leaf, Dmitry Yushkevich who has always said glowing things about Carlton the Bear. I don’t know what first drew me to him, it was probably his name really, but he sticks out to me as the first Leaf I always cared about.
Beside him, is everyone’s favourite restaurant delivery driver, Tomas Kaberle. Probably the only good thing to ever come from a Boston Bruins Stanley Cup victory was seeing Kaberle with a band dressed as pigs when he brought the cup to his home town. Someone who loved being in Toronto so much he stayed here even after disgracing himself with a Montreal Canadiens uniform (Not his choice! He was traded there!). One of the few Maple Leafs my wife likes (there was a jersey signing incident that got real intimate between those two), he’ll be forever one of those Leafs you’re happy to see succeed, even if it was somewhere else.
In goal I have Ed Belfour starting. Eddie the Eagle came to Toronto after long time net minder Curtis Joseph left for the Red Wings, and Belfour quickly went on to beat CuJo’s single season wins record by getting 37 wins to the latters 36 - the record would be tied by Andrew Raycroft and then broken by Frederik Andersen - and has two spots on the single season shutouts list - 7 shutouts in 02-03 for #10 and 10 shutouts in 03-04 to tie second. He was the name on the back of my first Leafs jersey, and was the guy in net for the last big playoff run (second round! Woo!). I did get that jersey signed....by Curtis Joseph.
Backing up Eddie is the Leafs jersey I most want, Olaf Kolzig. I have written about Kolzig’s illustrious Leafs career here.
That’s my team, who’s on yours?
Yesterday Brigstew brought us the latest installment in his draft class previews:
We also had our first ‘classic’ post go up:
Justin Holl for the Masterton? Sportsnet thinks so.
Apparently MLSE has been in contact with the Province of Ontario about becoming a host for the returning NHL season.
Late May for phase 2?
Enjoy your day folks! Snow’s a commin’