The Toronto Maple Leafs used to be an exciting, young, up-and-coming-team.
In those five years, some pretty weird things happened with technology and politics that combined with a statistical revaluation in the entire sports world fractured the NHL along the lines of political parity.
I know I am not the first one to notice the NHL fans who are very interested in analytical analysis tend towards the left of the political spectrum, while those who resist change (in this case a sea change) naturally tend to be more conservative.
The NHL – a very conservative (small “c”) league, with a very conservative fanbase – experienced something that I assume is very unusual over the last half decade: It’s richest, most powerful team decided to pursue a fairly progressive strategy in team building.
In the intervening years, the Leafs have failed repeatedly to win and have been the object of much scorn and criticism from the established media. Should they win, however, the entire game of hockey as we know it will change, as those who’ve resisted at every turn will instantly become believers upon a Leafs Stanley Cup victory.