The Toronto Maple Leafs will (I assume) eventually play a game, though when that is is anyone’s guess.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a bit unlucky, over the years. I don’t want to say “cursed” because that’s a bit much, but you do have to wonder. 50 years without winning? Seems they’d win by accident at least once over that time.
Close in 93, but a bad call steals their glory. Wayne Gretzky wanted to play here and so did Eric Lindros. Both times it almost happened, but didn’t. (And 33 games of a washed-up post-50th concussion Lindros don’t count).
During Mats Sundin’s prime, the Leafs added #1 overall pick Brian Berard and an errant stick cost him vision in one eye and a likely trip to the hall of fame. The Leafs went to 2x final-fours in that era and if they had the guy who likely would have become the best defenseman in franchise history, they likely would have won a Cup.
Toronto Maple Leafs Ain’t Cursed
Don’t forget that both Connor McDavid and Alexis LaFreniere were nearly won by the Toronto Maple Leafs in two separate and haunting lotteries. And now that the Leafs finally have something you could legitimately call the best roster in the league, Covid comes along and almost cancels one season and puts another in jeopardy.
The amount of prime-era Marner/Matthews games we are going to see goes down with every passing day. And while there are worse problems in the world, its is such a Leafsy thing to have happen. (As is having the guy who literally cost you your season win a playoff game in a round deeper than you’ve ever been in recent memory). Of course the league gets shut down once the Toronto Maple Leafs are actually good.
The thing is though, the Leafs are not cursed. They aren’t even particularly unlucky. They are the second most storied franchise in the league, and the fact is that winning is only made fun by its rarity, difficulty and the amount to which losing sucks.
When the Toronto Maple Leafs do win the Stanley Cup, it will matter more than when other teams win it. Who cares if the Lightning win the Cup? Five ex-Panthers fans? The families of the players? Give me a break.
Sure, it sucks that Eric Lindros, and Wayne Gretzky never played here, even though they both wanted to. It sucks a lot that more hockey players come from Ontario and Toronto than any other places on earth, and that those players almost all cheer for the Leafs, then get drafted to other teams and brings championships there.
It may have taken over 50 years, but the city of Toronto finally has one of the two best players in the world playing in their city. Matthews is to McDavid as Mario is to Wayne.
Let’s just hope the season doesn’t get cancelled, because its Stanley Cup time.