There was a lot to unpack around the Maple Leafs and around hockey this week. The Mailbag is the perfect spot for it.
Have the Leafs turned the corner with that win over Chicago? We all seem to doubt it. More of you have poured on your dissatisfaction with the team, management, players, coaching staff.
But we’re going to start with Kyle Beach. It was gut-wrenching to watch him interviewed about his experiences as a Black Ace with the Blackhawks in 2010. He was in tears apologizing to a future victim for failing to come forward sooner to stop that monster of a video coach.
The sport needs more people like Beach, a true hero, and fewer like Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville. When simple humanity rules, we all win.
To the Mailbag. As always, if you have a question or comment email me at [email protected] and I’ll answer it in the next Mailbag. Got plenty this week. Had to cut a few of your rants down just for size, but I read them all.
QUESTION: Hi, Kev. Reading about the failings of the Blackhawks, their staff, the NHL, the players and the sport itself, my initial reaction was that this is horrible, but I can understand why on the eve of the Stanley Cup finals the accusation wasn’t immediately addressed. Then I watched Rick Westhead interview Kyle Beach before the Leaf game. Then I read more about it just now, including Bruce Arthur and Damien Cox’s pieces in the Star. It reminds me of institutions like the private school I attended or the Catholic church that would just shuffle pedophile predators to other schools or parishes where the predos would prey on fresh victims — or “accusers” if you’re NHL.com. I am now changing my mind on understanding why they chose to focus on the final at the time; it was unforgivable.
I was upset in the spring/summer of 2020 at how the league and it’s players/coaches/etc. barely acknowledged what was happening in North America after the George Floyd murder. Barely anyone took a knee around the league. Matt Dumba was the only player who knelt in that first game if I’m remembering it correctly. How f’ing easy is it to take a f’ing knee to show support for your fellow human beings?! No, the league and players, etc. were surely too worried to piss off their white fan base. A fan base rife with racism, from the subconscious kind to subtle to straight-up bulls–t racist kind. Nobody wanted to be seen as a traitor. Matt Dumba’s teammates grossly failed him by letting him kneel by himself. How utterly appalling.
I am a 40-ish-year-old white guy and a hockey fan. I will say, though, that I have been becoming less of a fan in recent years. Partly because I am tired of the dysfunctional Leafs, but also because of the dysfunctional league/sport that fails POC (people of colour), that fails women, that fails the LGBTQI+ community. It’s not at all inclusive. It’s so white that (even before this recent story) I have been increasingly embarrassed to be a hockey fan … as in, I feared that by being a white Leaf fan I am giving off the vibe that maybe I’m racist or sexist or a homophobe merely by association. That by remaining a hockey fan I am giving my complicit approval for that s—-y behaviour (like throwing bananas when there’s a Black player on the ice … wtf?!) to continue. That by remaining a hockey fan I am failing my fellow human beings. I am going to judge the league (and the sport) over how everyone responds to this story. If it’s more of the faux outrage and concern with mere lip service given about being more inclusive, then f’-it, I’m out. Enough is enough. I can’t turn a blind eye to the dysfunctional nature of the sport. Time for a massive overhaul, because without it the sport will continue to slowly wither with each passing year that it’s super out of touch (white) fan base ages. Kids don’t play because it’s too expensive, too rigid and too old-fashioned. Ball’s in your court/puck’s in your rink NHL, NHLPA and the entire sport of hockey … come join us in the 21st century!
— Bill L.
ANSWER: Amen, Bill. More like you. I saw a great tweet that went something like: Hockey is the best sport, but the worst at everything else. I tweeted my disgust at the NHL.com’s headline that Beach reveals himself as “the Chicago accuser” (which seemed to suggest Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville were the victims). The NHL makes it very hard to love them sometimes.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. Leaf fan back to Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, etc. Yes, I watched the playoff series last year, but I now intermittently watch the regular season and have maybe watched 15 minutes in total this year. Didn’t watch too much last year. Question: If former diehards like me have lost interest, and with the demographics of the GTA changing every year and millennials seemingly latching on to the Raps before the Leafs, do you see the Leafs as a No. 2 to the Raps? The Blue Jays will be No. 1 as they don’t directly compete, but sure seems like the Raps have pulled even … which will be tested by this expected off year.
— J.C., Toronto
ANSWER: I can see the Raptors supplanting the Leafs, for sure. The Raptors demographic is younger, more urban and more diverse. The culture of the team is more open and accommodating. That’s the future. The Raptors are already the more valuable property within MLSE and generate more revenue. The NHL seems like it’s living in prehistoric times by comparison, even with the Leafs in the vanguard position of pushing for positive change.
QUESTION: I love the Leafs. If a referee makes a mistake, do they get reprimanded?
— Shirley C.
ANSWER: Wow, somebody writing to the Mailbag who loves the Leafs? (If you keep reading I think you’ll find you’re on your own). The officials are not reprimanded in the sense I think you’re talking about. The league tracks the referees and rates them. The best do the playoffs (more money, prestige). The best of the best do the Stanley Cup. Along the way, if the league notices issues with regard to calls, the official and his bosses go over the tape, the same way a coach will with his players.
Remember, the refs can’t call what they don’t see. So if he’s looking at a scrum in a puck battle in the corner and there’s a high stick in front of the net, well, what can you do? Calls will be missed. It’s the nature of humans doing human things.
QUESTION: What up, Kev? Happy Mailbaggin’ to ya.
Was the “lesson” we learned after barely beating the lowly Blackhawks in overtime that this Leafs team is just slightly better then the second-worst team in the league?
Even with the big guns showing up I’m afraid this team is still going to be mediocre, because of their lack of quality depth and porous defence.
— Frank from Ottawa
ANSWER: What’s up? Lots is up. Never a boring minute around the Leafs. I agree about the defence. Folks are starting to wonder what’s wrong with T.J. Brodie, Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl. They were the backbone of the defence. I wonder if the problem is adjusting to so many new forwards. Or maybe I’m just being kind to the defencemen. I respect all three, but there do appear to be mounting issues.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. I’ve been channeling my inner Jethro Bodine. You know, the one that does all the cipherin’. I got to thinking, maybe it’s time the Leafs tried using defencemen that actually play defence. It sounds crazy, but it might be worth a try! What do you think?
— Peter V-H, Whitby
ANSWER: Well I could spend some time by the ceee-ment pond pondering this. But the style Leafs defencemen play is the style all defencemen play, to varying degrees. If you mean they should get more big, slow, plodding defencemen, let me disagree.
QUESTION: Another tough start to the season, team in disarray, unable and unwilling to shake up the group. There is definitely something wrong here. Wouldn’t removing Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe, with Brendan Shanahan taking over as GM, and the hiring of Bruce Boudreau as coach make sense? Other teams don’t wait like this. They don’t settle for mediocrity. The only players who seem to care are Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds.
— Derek P.
ANSWER: I get the feeling Shanahan, Dubas and Keefe are a package deal. Dubas will protect Keefe, Shanahan will protect Dubas. If things go off the rails, all three are gone.
QUESTION: “It didn’t take long for fans to turn off and tune out” got me thinking about when and why I have done that. It actually has taken a few years.
I have been a diehard Leaf fan for 60 years and a season-ticket holder for 40 years. I simply don’t care about this group. I was thrilled when Willie first came up and showed some skill that we had, so long, waited for. I was thrilled with The Tank and the ping-pong balls giving us Matthews. I was thrilled that Mark Hunter drafted Marner instead of Noah Hanifan. Everything looked great.
But this bunch became unlikable very quickly. Willie holds out and is terrible when he comes back. Mitch Marner puts huge pressure on his salary negotiations and Kyle collapsed. The David Ayres game turned the dial up on the lack of character with this group. Marner says he really wasn’t “ into it “ after the first Columbus playoff loss. Then came the most embarrassing example ever. Matthews getting ragdolled by Montreal and smirking throughout. Five years of playoff losses is one thing. Their character, passion, work ethic and personalities no longer allow me to invest in them. I dispassionately watch a fraction of what I used to and read far less than I used to. Bye, bye.
— Tom F., Toronto
ANSWER: The narrative around this team is quite troubling.
QUESTION: Can you see Matthews signing in Arizona as a free agent when his contract expires?
— Allan H.
ANSWER: My read on Matthews is that he likes it here and wants to see it through. But anything is possible. I don’t see Arizona spending that kind of money. If they did, it would only be on Matthews, and who would he play with? He wants to win, more than anything.
QUESTION: Haven’t been Mailbaggin’ in a while, Kevin, but here’s a question for you.
If it becomes apparent (perhaps sooner rather than later) that this team will struggle to make the playoffs (never mind seriously compete in playoffs), how significant will the necessary changes need to be, who will make them and when?
Presumably we’re not talking about trading a few players, replacing a coach or even a general manager. The “Shanaplan” is in year six (seven?). Most corporate CEOs don’t have that long to achieve success.
Shanahan is responsible for choosing Dubas over Lou Lamoriello, and allowing Dubas to: 1) sign four players to very rich long-term contracts that comprise about 40% of the cap (resulting in restrictions that saw Hyman and Andersen leave with no return), and 2) build a roster for playoff success based solely on speed and skill, ignoring the value of physicality/toughness and grit.
My understanding of the MLSE power structure is that chair Larry Tanenbaum is the next level up from Shanahan. As you and others have pointed out, there seems to be a decline in fan-base interest. Maybe the ownership is taking note. Will Tanenbaum be bold enough to make major changes, even sacking the man he hired to turn things around (is there a suitable precedent in team history)?
As for timing, back up two weeks from the March 21 trade deadline to March 7. If they are to bring in a new management team, they must do it by then at the latest to make key decisions on team’s future, like trading away UFAs (Rielly, maybe even Campbell) who’ll likely walk in the off-season anyhow.
— Al M.
ANSWER: Welcome back, Al. Always good to hear from you. I wonder this season, if the Leafs are sellers instead of buyers at the deadline, what kind of return they could command for say, Morgan Rielly or Alex Kerfoot, or even Jack Campbell. They still have their own first-round pick. They could probably infuse a lot of young talent in one swoop and get back at it with a tad more cap space next summer.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. Really enjoy your perspective on the game and the Leafs. Dubas took over a strong team with Mathews, Marner, Nylander, Hyman and Kadri. What a great base to start with, not to mention solid goaltending from Freddie. Dubas’s biggest mistake was signing John Tavares. They didn’t need Tavares. This move effectively handcuffed the team financially and eventually forced them to let players like Kadri, Andersen, Hyman and soon Rielly to walk for no return. Most are replaced by retreads or league-minimum players. Too bad he turned a once promising team into the current train wreck. The window of opportunity is closing quickly with a very limited supporting cast. How long before the high foreheads downtown get tired of this failing act and replace the two Greyhound stars, Keefe and Dubas?
I was 16 when I saw the Leafs win it all in ’67. It’s been a long drought.
— Rick P., Thornhill
ANSWER: I’ll disagree. I have always liked the Tavares signing. I didn’t like the Patrick Marleau signing, especially at over $6 million. That’s what cost them, in my view. Cost Connor Brown his job on the third line and put the first squeeze on the salary cap. That wasn’t Dubas, though. That was Lou Lamoriello. I think Lamoriello had a plan if Marleau’s game went south: Robidas Island. Dubas instead traded a first-round pick to get out of the contract.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. I appreciate the Mailbag. It keeps me connected with Toronto from here in Florida. Do you think it’s time to drop Marner to the second line and move Nylander to the first line? Probably should have started the season that way. Also, I’ll repeat my question you didn’t answer: What happens if the Leafs aren’t in a playoff spot come Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t be so shocking now, right?
— David M.
ANSWER: The Leafs did just what you said. And I did answer it. You’ll have to check here. It was the second question. https://www.thestar.com/sports/breakaway_blog/2021/10/22/leafs-mailbag-it-didnt-take-long-for-fans-to-turn-off-and-tune-out.html
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. In my view this team cannot win the Stanley Cup this year or in the near future with the $40M albatross contracts. So how about trading my favourite player, Matthews, to Arizona for all of their first- and second-round draft picks for this year (I think five firsts). The timing of such a trade is hard to say. The worse Arizona is, the more valuable their own pick is. This year’s draft is supposed to be a good one, too.
I would also throw in Marner on the deal so that the dynamic duo can dazzle in the desert (a little levity there). The Leafs get more cap relief at the same time. A shame to lose out on A.M. but this team is toast (last year was the clue).
Of course, Dubas cannot be in charge of this or at least the future contracts.
— Manoj C., Santa Barbara, Calif.
ANSWER: Well, I don’t think those trades are happening for a variety of reasons. Arizona is cheap. They don’t want to pay players what they’re worth. With all their picks, they’re getting a boatload of prospects coming in at the minimum. That’s their strategy.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. I was born in 1968, which should tell you everything you need to know about me as a Maple Leafs fan. I couldn’t stop thinking about your recent mailbag headline: “It didn’t take long for fans to turn off and tune out.”
I said to myself: “You’ve got to be joking.” Then I thought, “Is McGran being ironic?” Then I realized, no, McGran is a straight shooter. He really views this season in isolation.
From my perspective, a Maple Leafs fan perspective, I just can’t do that anymore.
Leafs fans have been more than patient. We have been as supportive as an unrewarded fan base could possibly be. Not just game after game, but season after season, decade after decade, embarrassment after embarrassment. We stuck with our team.
And in the context of all those soul-crushing experiences, the 2021 playoff collapse felt different. And from what I can tell, it felt different to a lot of Maple Leafs fans. Last night I opted to watch CFL football and baseball playoffs. I found out about the Leafs-Pittsburgh embarrassment by checking my phone during a commercial break, and shrugged.
All that is to say, the 2021 playoff collapse was different and it has me acting differently. My “there’s always next year” Leafs optimism is gone. It took decades of Leafs embarrassments to beat it out of me, but it didn’t require a single minute of six lousy games to start this new season.
— Scott Y.
P.S.: I wouldn’t mind your perspective on the Leafs’ choice to go golfing in Muskoka for their training camp getaway. There could be no bolder statement that Blue and White disease is out of remission.
ANSWER: Yes, I missed a Muskoka Five reference with their getaway. I don’t mind those things, but I get away too. The Leafs have long gotten away. St. John’s, Halifax, Trenton, Huntsville are some of the places I’ve gone to to cover them. But yes, I’m sensing a Leaf Nation malaise. You are, too.
QUESTION: Another embarrassing weekend to be a Leafs fan. My ego still has calluses from last season, though, so it doesn’t sting as much. If history is any indicator, Monday vs. Carolina should be the Jekyll to this weekend’s Hyde of a team. Or maybe not. Maybe they’ll continue their lacklustre ways until some sort of organizational shakeup kick-starts some emotion. Nothing much new here, is there?
— Andrea M.
ANSWER: They are the same old Leafs in that regard. Repackaged. But somehow it always comes back to the Jekyll and Hyde.
QUESTION: Thanks for your work. Lots of fun. Who would you want on your team: Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nazem Kadri for a couple of million more or John Tavares?
— John H.
ANSWER: Brown is $3.6 million AAV, Hyman is $5.5 million, Kadri $4.5 million. That’s $13.6 million. So Tavares ($11 million) plus $2.6 million to spend … So … Can I keep them all, get rid of some others?
QUESTION: Hi, Kev. As a Leafs fan, it’s never too early to predict the worst. If this Leafs era is not successful, a scenario with real possibility, what do you think will have been management’s most significant error? In my mind it has to be the Marner signing. It’s an error that grows more evident by the day as Nylander, paid much less, emerges as a better player with more offensive impact. Marner’s negotiation tactics also set a precedent that you can play hardball with the Leafs and win, an unlikely outcome had Lamoriello still been at the helm. Perhaps most importantly, Marner is being overpaid arguably in the range of $1.5 million to $3.5 million, which was absolutely vital cap space that could have gone toward resigning Hyman and/or Rielly. For all these reasons and more, I think this was the biggest mistake. Do you agree?
— R. Walters, Toronto
ANSWER: Funny you didn’t bring up Nylander, who actually “held out” and actually set the template that Marner — barely — followed. At the time, the Leafs were accused of overpaying Nylander. Now he’s a bargain. The same might have been true for Marner (and Matthews, and Tavares) had there been no pandemic. The pandemic — which no general manager saw coming — created the flat cap. Had the cap continued to rise about $3 million a year, as it had been prior to the pandemic, then deals for Marner et al would have been eclipsed by now and there’d have been money, in the Leafs’ case, to re-sign Hyman and Rielly.
So when I judge good deals and bad, context is important. Dubas’s worst deal in my mind is trading Patrick Marleau and a first-round pick for cap space. (Signing Marleau in the first place was Lou Lamoriello’s worst deal, but I do believe Lamoriello had a plan to get rid of Marleau’s onerous cap money: Robidas Island.) As for other bad deals, Dubas will regret trading Mason Marchment for Denis Malgin. And he’ll regret the Nick Foligno deal.
QUESTION: I’ve been a Leafs fan my whole life. I collected the Esso cards of NHLers religiously. My three sons, now in their 20s have cheered for the Leafs year after year, but we’re done. Why bother.
Great talent is neutralized by goonery game after game. I watch the NFL and while some referee calls aren’t done well, I watch a game where penalties are considered penalties and retaliation is also considered penalties.
If you punch somebody, you’re out of the game, possibly fined or suspended. Talented players freed up to entertain are a thrill to watch.
In the NHL, bare-knuckle boxing is acceptable retaliation. Referees are expected to “read” the game and decide what is/ isn’t worthy of a penalty.
The NHL seems more concerned about protecting a declining hockey culture than the entertaining talent of their star players. Brief glimpses of brilliance usually end with an outcome that favours the team that has literally beaten you up in order to win.
Maybe we’ll watch again, some day.
— Dave H.
ANSWER: I hear you.
QUESTION: Yup, we all got the answer, but in the Leafs’ case it’s right in front of them.
The oldest player on the team with the biggest heart to win. Has been a hard-working devoted player all his career, and I’m guessing this might be his last year to win a ring. Was a real surprise last year and also to date this year. Great hands, size, smarts and desire to win. Give him a shot with Marner and Matthews. You will be surprised. Wake up, coach. Put any three guys who can skate and be rugged (if you have any) on your fourth line.
TRY IT. YOU MIGHT LIKE IT.
— Bill U.
ANSWER: We all love Jason Spezza, but he’s in the role best suited for him. You don’t want a 37-year-old at 18 minutes a game on the top line. Keep him at 12 minutes with some power-play time and you get more out of him.
QUESTION: Hi, Kev. Why is everyone so afraid to talk about the apparent lack of effective coaching and the Dubas management disaster? Keefe is either not giving them the correct guidance or the big feeling millionaires are just not listening. Dubas putting all the eggs in one basket with his signings and losing the heart of the team in Hyman is shockingly bad. Proof? One of the lowest-paid players on the team, Jason Spezza, is one of the best players on the ice every night. Marner is confused and Mathews only shows up when he feels like it.
— Jim D.
ANSWER: Have you read the Mailbag recently? Go on Twitter? Everyone is talking about Keefe and Dubas.
QUESTION: We went to two pre-season games, and with only limited spectators we were all crammed in rows with an empty row in front and behind us. How did this make any sense for social distancing? And now there’s none. Not to mention they don’t want to accept cash for anything. Wow, we’re more than happy to NOT purchase game tickets anymore. Go Leafs Go. I think.
— Tammy M.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin.
It’s Larry Tanenbaum, Brendan Shanahan or Kyle Dubas that need to hear that frustration.
I called out Dubas after the Kadri trade, I called him out on our defenceman and our goals against. His vision of what it will take to win a Stanley Cup ignores playoff reality, because he overestimates what his players can accomplish.
Forget about re-signing Morgan Reilly, he is simply not good enough and should have been moved.
If you look at the last four Stanley Cup winners, they all had that stud D-man. None of these stud D-men remind me of Morgan Reilly.
Time for Dubas and Shanahan to go. The five-year plan is a bust!
— Dan W.
ANSWER: Dan, I know you’re patience is wearing thin. But you’re still sticking with them.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. Can the Leafs settle on Matthews as their best player and build the team by signing him long-term before his contract is up?
— Steve B., Mississauga
ANSWER: No player can sign a contract extension until there is less than a year to go on his deal. Matthews’s contract expires June 30, 2024. The earliest the Leafs can re-sign him is July 1, 2023. So you’ll have to deal with the anxiety that goes with everyone speculating about him leaving (and going to Arizona) as an unrestricted free agent for another three seasons.
QUESTION: Man, I hope the days of overpaid people who think they are hockey players are over with all the high contracts. I am 76 years old, played pro and love the game I once played. This, in my opinion, is the worst Leaf team per dollar spent I have ever seen. It’s shamefully to see the pathetic efforts of these people and the money they earn per minutes on the ice in game time. Leaf fan from Foster Hewitt days, but no more.
— Victor A.
ANSWER: That’s your right. Let me know though if your interest returns.
QUESTION: I can’t believe you wasted an entire column on letters from folks who have decided based on four games — three of which were played without their best player in Auston Matthews — that the team sucks and won’t make the playoffs and isn’t worth watching. And by the way, the five points they’ve captured in those four games that everyone is worried about project to a 102-point season. Absent multiple calamitous injuries to their star players, there’s no possible way this team misses the playoffs.
So it’s all about the playoffs. If they don’t go deeper into the playoffs this year then Dubas is gone, Shanahan might be gone, Keefe might be gone and several core players will be traded. If folks don’t want to watch until the playoffs because that’s all they care about, that’s fine. But stop the whining about four games that are hardly likely to define the season, and stop the silliness about risks to making the playoff.
— Tim M.
ANSWER: I wonder if the road trip changed your mind? And my ex-defence partner shares your name. Is that you, Tim?
QUESTION: Last week in the Mailbag, you outlined a path to retain Morgan Rielly, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. At the end of your comments, you mentioned that Jack Campbell is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Yet you did not mention another elephant in the room. Rasmus Sandin will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. If somehow the Leafs re-sign Rielly and Campbell, how do they fit Sandin under the cap? With the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet last summer, wouldn’t Sandin be a prime candidate for an offer sheet? The solution looks like this is the “Last Dance for the Core Four.”
— Avery G.
ANSWER: Even with Kotkaniemi, offer sheets are rare, about one a decade. So it’s not worth any GM fretting over it. The Leafs will re-sign Sandin at some number that is close to where he is now, like they did with Travis Dermott a couple of years ago. Sandin has a limited NHL resumé after three years, and literally no bargaining rights.
QUESTION: At what point does Dubas get called out for some of the worst contracts and asset management in NHL history? The five-year deal Matthews signed leads him right to unrestricted free agency. Look at all the second contracts of NHL stars and you’d be hard-pressed to find another that does the same. GMs not named Dubas have either signed those types of players to bridge deals or managed to buy out one to three UFA years. Dubas did neither. He signed Marner to an inflated deal. I say inflated because when we look at the contracts of comparable players, they don’t come close to his number.
We were sold on the NHL’s Theo Epstein and based on asset management alone (let’s not forget the long list of assets lost for nothing to free agency) we instead have the second coming of J.F.J. Am I wrong?
Signed The Majority of Leaf fans who see Dubas for what he is … A phony!!!
— Marc O.
ANSWER: To sign Matthews for longer would have been to pay him a higher AAV. That’s what happens when teams “buy” a year or two of free agency. And Matthews wasn’t going to take a shorter term. That’s what happens when you are one of the top five players in the NHL. You have bargaining power.
And again with Marner’s inflated deal, nobody saw a pandemic coming that would flatten the cap for four to six years. So the Leafs bought high, then the market collapsed. Had the cap continued to rise (i.e. had there been no pandemic) Marner’s deal would look like a bargain.
QUESTION: Kevin, in your mind what do the Leafs need to do in order to build a team that has a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup? What are the essentials that they now lack for playoff success and how do they go about obtaining them?
— Gary A., Mono, Ont.
ANSWER: Depth at goaltending, first and foremost. They don’t have that. A commitment to defensive structure. They had it last year, and they seem to be getting away from it. They also need a treadmill of talent pushing its way into the lineup. The best of the youngsters seem to get traded.
QUESTION: Hi, Kevin. Last season finished this iteration of the Leafs for me. If they win a round I’ll check back in, but I don’t care to live and die with this team like I once did. It’s the same old story with this group. Far better things to do with my time.
I spend a lot of money on tickets to events, but have been fortunate to have had access to free pairs of tickets to two Leafs games this year and couldn’t be bothered. Home opener was also the men’s soccer team’s match against Panama. If you didn’t choose the latter, I’m sorry for your loss. Tonight? Well, it’s Friday and the game starts at 6 … I’d rather be doing other things, like watching the Raps later on.
This team is one of the most talented in my lifetime, but is also deeply, deeply flawed. Such a shame.
— Gavin I.
ANSWER: You’re not alone in feeling this way. But I wonder if fans start to come back if they start to gel and put a few wins together.
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