Category: Hockey

2013, 2018, Hockey, Personal, Sports

The Day My Leafs Fandom Died

As you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed John Tavares and have the strongest group of young forwards they’ve had in a very long time. If you put aside age, it’s probably safe to say it’s been 25 years or so since the last time the Leafs had this much talent in their Top …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

50 Years of Misawarding the Conn Smythe

The awarding of the Conn Smythe in 2015 to Duncan Keith felt like a dose of sanity, he was well deserving of it. Unfortunately, since the award’s introduction in the mid ’60s, it hasn’t always been so obvious and oftentimes the writers responsible for voting for the award have picked odd, sometimes even terrible winners. …

2018, Hockey, Philosophy, Society, Sports

The Nihilist Hockey League

I have been a fan of the hockey comedian/commentator Down Goes Brown for some time. I don’t remember when I became aware of him, but it was before he started writing for Grantland. I have appreciated both his comedic takes on what is a very silly league and also his perspective, which often seems to …

Hockey, Sports

Memorial May Madness

My fellow Canadians regularly ask me why I watch March Madness. Usually, I tell them, “It’s the greatest sports tournament in the world” and then I spend a while qualifying that by telling them what I think of the NCAA. (I regret to say, by watching this year’s March Madness on cable, I am indirectly …

2017, Hockey, Movies, Sports

The NHL: 100 Years (2017)

This, the official documentary history of the NHL, is an adequate history of the NHL if you don’t watch hockey and didn’t grow up watching hockey OR you like having the old hockey myths repeated to you by different people than the people who usually told you these myths. As an actual history of the …

2016, Hockey, Personal, Sports

Am I Still a Leafs Fan?

As I find myself wrapped up in the success of The Blue Jays so far this playoff, and eagerly awaiting the NBA season, I wonder to myself if I still care about the Maple Leafs, this at a time when there is more legitimate optimism around the team than perhaps there ever has been before …

Hockey, Sports

Top 33 Maple Leafs Draft Picks of All Time

More than a little while ago now (this past summer), Scott Wheeler (of PPP, etc.) claimed that Mitch Marner might be the most talented hockey player ever drafted by the Maple Leafs. And now that the Leafs have the #1 overall pick for the first time in over 30 years, Marner might be only the …

2016, Hockey, Sports

Does Brenden Morrow Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

The answer is ‘no,’ obviously, but I like to spend a little time celebrating players I either liked or had a few stellar moments in their careers, even if their careers were not great.   Career 265G, 310A for 575P, +107 in 991 games Drafted 25th overall in 1997; 5th in Goals and Points, 7th …

2015, Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Bow Down Before Alexander the Gr8

Ovechkin is now the 5th fastest to score 500 goals in NHL history. Of the others, Gretzky did it in the ’80s, Bossy mostly did it in the ’80s (and the rest of his goals were scored in the nearly equally high-flying late ’70s) and Hull and Lemieux scored most of their first 500 goals …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

The Annual Hockey Hall of Fame Complaint for 2015

First of all, congratulations to the deserving inductees. The problem is, as always, that the Hall of Fame inducted players who both deserve to be in it, and players who do not (or, in this case, not yet). So congratulations to Nicklas Lidstrom, a player who, I have argued elsewhere, might be the 2nd best …

Hockey, Sports

The Phil Kessel Trade

I never believed the Leafs would get the return for Kessel that the Bruins got for him from the Maple Leafs. But I hoped it would be something. When the Leafs traded for Kessel, I was upset. I was upset for the following reasons. On the side of what the Leafs gave up: It was …

2015, Hockey, Sports

Your 2014-15 Toronto Maple Leafs

I watched as little of the Leafs this year as I have since I was 16, more than half my life ago. I did this because Burke and then Nonis killed my passion for the team after JFJ made me more passionate, albeit passionate as to wanting him fired. I’m sort of kidding. I was …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Is Alex Ovechkin the Greatest Pure Goal Scorer of All Time?

A few weeks ago, Alex Ovechkin joined some elite company, he became only the fifth player in NHL history to score 30 goals per season in his first 10 seasons. More recently, he joined even more elite company, he became only the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 goals six times. Now while …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Winnik Trade

Pittsburgh Penguins get: Daniel Winnik, 29, LW/C: UFA 7G, 18A for 25P, +15; 16:50 ATOI in 58 games with the Leafs 82-game average: 8G, 18A for 26P, +3; 15:20 ATOI   Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs get: Zach Sill, 26, C: UFA 1G, 2A for 3P, -7; 8:18 ATOI in 42 games with the Pens 33, …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Second Franson Trade

After not having any idea what to do with him for most of his tenure, the Maple Leafs have moved Cody Franson back to his original team. Let’s look at the trade.

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Ashton and Broll

It has been literally ages since I wrote one of these posts, in part because it’s so hard to fucking care any more and in part because, frankly, nothing has been done in some time. I mean, with the exception of firing Carlyle – the benefits of which have been documented well elsewhere – Nonis …

Hockey, Sports

2014-2015 NHL 1/2 Season Awards

The Maple Leafs played their 41st game of the season on Saturday – a loss, unsurprisingly, as it’s that time of year – and so I guess it’s time for a little report on the NHL Awards Arms Race. I don’t know the last time I’ve done one of these, both because of personal issues …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Jake Gardiner

I think it’s safe to say that Toronto Maple Leafs Dave Nonis has had a pretty mediocre summer. No, he didn’t break the bank on any underwhelming free agents, like he did in 2013, but he also didn’t demonstrably improve the Leafs in any significant way – if anything they are shallower than they were …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Leo Komarov

After doing absolutely nothing on the first day of free agency – which is alright by me – Nonis signed ex-Leaf Leo Komarov to a 4 year, $11.8 mil deal. To which I say, I liked Komarov, but why exactly is he getting nearly $3 million per season?

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Maple Leafs’ 2014 Draft

The Leafs missed the playoffs for the 8th time in the last 9 seasons and, as a result of that failure to improve in any tangible way over the last decade, the Leafs were handed their 3rd Top 10 pick since 2008. (Though it should have been their 5th Top 10 pick, but that’s another …