This is Frank Mahovlich. The truth is that Toronto and their beloved Maple Leafs haven’t been anything special since the day that Punch Imlach sent the Big M away. Trading Frank Mahovlich from Toronto signaled the end of dominance for the organization. The timeline was given a boost because of the universal draft but in deals that saw Gerry Cheevers, Rod Seiling and others traded Toronto paid a heavy price for one last shot at the crown in 1967 spring and then made some horrible trades in short order to send a proud organization down the elevator shaft.
The problem for the rest of Canada is that despite Toronto’s place as an also-ran we must endure a steady parade of porridge ramblings about the Leafs and what they’ll do in the off-season.
Among the things that have come to the forefront so far:
- Brian Burke will leave Anaheim, grab Dave Nonis and head for Toronto. I haven’t yet read if he’ll just bring the Stanley with him immediately or if the Leafs will have to wait one calendar year to win it.
- The usual bunch of Toronto area lads who have reached UFA status can’t wait to get back to God’s country. This is a beauty statement in light of the fact that the one hometown boy who wanted to go home (Gretzky) and WOULD have taken a discount was denied.
Habs fans are apparently dazed and confused about the coverage CBC is providing. I’m absolutely stunned by this, because any fool knows that Ottawa AND Montreal rarely get the full network Saturday night broadcasts during the season and even when Toronto was pure suck in the second half we Westerners endured a steady diet of chopped Leaf.
We should be happy they don’t run the B&W “George Armstrong scores into an empty net” game as the second telecast tonight. Tonight there will be much gloating about Ottawa falling down the stairs and how an extra week of hockey isn’t that impressive but at least there won’t be as much chatter about how men who were born in Kingston Ontario are better than everyone else simply because of geography.
The CBC’s big worry is this: they don’t matter. People get their information from other sources now (internet mostly) and watch the games because there are no alternate feeds. Should the CBC lose those rights and the broadcasts become more regional in nature then fans like me will be released to enjoy the best available game any given Saturday night.
Which is as it should be, and was, back when the Big M played in Toronto.