We're now into week two of our Maple Leafs Top 25 Under 25 countdown. The first five players are out and we'll reveal #19 this morning.

We are deep into the off-season now and there's really not much more news to talk about from the weekend. Believe me, I tried to scrounge up anything I could find and there's nothing.

Instead, let's talk about a major event in Eastern North America. It's easily one of those historic "you remember where you were" moments when it happened.

Exactly twenty years ago today at 4:11 p.m. ET the power went out. Everywhere.

As one usually would, we all originally thought it was a local issue, but then an hour passed, then two hours passed, then you started getting radio reports, sometimes by turning on your car to have access to it, or you were able simply to talk to people who had commuted home from another city and learned how widespread the blackout was. This was at the end of the era before smartphones, though while cell phones had become common at that point, their networks were quickly overloaded and whatever backup power they had depleted rapidly.

Eventually you learned the outage wasn't simply local, or even across the whole city; scattered news reports started coming in that said power was out from Ottawa to Windsor, and then it was added that US cities had gone dark as well, including New York.

I was working at an internship arranged through my University working at a call centre for a mutual fund company located in Burlington answering calls from brokerage offices across Canada making inquiries on their clients' accounts. They had a backup generator that was enough to power a part of the building, including the call centre, so after only about one minute our computers came back on, and the phone system rebooted and we were back up and running.

It really was both a surreal and scary experience. We continued working normally with people calling in from western Canada saying they heard of an enormous power outage and ask us about it and then express surprise we had power and were still working, which, uh, why would call if you didn't expect us to be open in the first place? They almost seemed disappointed.

I was working a 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. shift that day, and by the time I left the office the power was already coming back on in Burlington, though the traffic lights were all in the default flashing red/yellow state. I lived in Hamilton, so the commute there on the 403 was only about ten minutes, but once I got close to home I found Hamilton was still in blackout territory.

"How long can this go on?" was the question on everyone's mind as it ticked on another hour. At about 8:00 p.m. the neighbours had started an impromptu gathering on the street with some grilling happening to use up meat as everyone worried about food spoiling, and also hearing radio reports of stores locking their doors and closing up. Bottles of wine appeared and it was becoming a festive atmosphere.

The power came back on shortly after 9:00 p.m., which I quickly learned from the TV was early, with some areas in Ontario still in a blackout well after midnight, a full eight hours after it all started.

Here's a CBC video that was made ten years ago on the tenth anniversary but it includes lots of original footage from that day in 2003.

If you're interested in a much more in depth engineering explanation about what happened, here is a detailed explainer of how what started as a series of minor electric grid disruptions in Ohio cascaded into a critical international power failure that left hundreds of millions without power for hours.