The Toronto Maple Leafs are a joke, and being a fan of theirs means you have to be in on the joke.
The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t even made the Stanley Cup Finals since the league expanded beyond six teams. The NHL moved from 21 to 32 teams in the last thirty years, and other than Arizona, Winnipeg, Columbus, Minnesota and Seattle, every other team has at least played in the Finals over the last nearly 60 years.
During that time, the team hasn’t even won a scoring title or a major award (i.e Vezina, Norris or Hart).
Once upon a time, the Leafs were on the verge of winning, and they added a #1 overall pick (Bryan Berard) with the chance to be one of the best defenseman of all-time. Before they could win, he lost an eye during a game and had to retire (though years later he proved how great he could have been by returning with half his vision and scoring 47 points in 58 games).
The Toronto Maple Leafs Are a Very Good Joke
It is well known that various GMs and owners have cost us the chance to watch Joe Sakic, Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros wear the blue and white in their primes.
With just one more lottery ball to drop, the Toronto Maple Leafs had the best odds of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. McDavid, a well known Leafs fan, was crushed. As were we.
Another time, the team locked up all their players for their prime years, with the expectation that TV, Gambling and Expansion would send the cap (tied to revenue) through the roof. Enter a worldwide pandemic and a flat cap during the team’s best years.
And let’s not forget six straight first round losses, featuring such things as:
- 2 x series where they had to play game seven while their superstar forward, Nazem Kadri, was suspended.
- Being the better team in 11 of 12 games vs Montreal and Columbus, and losing both series.
- Being forced to win five games against Tampa in order to move on.
- They are currently on a 3 game losing streak when forcing overtime in an NHL playoff game after overcoming a multi-goal deficit. No team has ever lost twice in a row doing this.
- Playing a five game series after a six month layoff, then losing to two no-name goalies who combined to set the save percentage record in an NHL playoff series.
- I could go on: the 2011 collapse, Dougie Hamilton turning into one of the best defenseman in the world, Tukka Rask, David Ayers….how much time do you have?
The point of rehashing all this stuff is that the Toronto Maple Leafs are a joke – a hardluck team that always finds a way to blow it, or get screwed over, but never wins. Like Charlie Brown personified into a hockey team, the Leafs are both beloved and depressing.
And so of course the Leafs would be forced to trade one of the best players they ever drafted and developed because he couldn’t control himself. And of course that player would suddenly defy every aging curve we have and explode into a nearly 100 point superstar, as he approaches 32.
And, even though the trade was actually decent, and even though it worked out (Kerfoot was a great player for the Leafs this past year), and even though Kerfoot is cheaper, came with a season of Tyson Barrie (people forget he posted extremely strong numbers after Babcock was fired) and even though Kadri and Kerfoot are not really any different (as far as contributions to the team go) at even-strength, no one is even going to notice, and anyone who points it out is in for a day of trolling.
That’s just the way she goes down here in T.O.