Toronto takes a beating from the rest of Canada, and let’s be honest they’re full measure for it. However, there are wonderful things from and about Toronto. On this historic day–when Toronto sends us their best coach (thanks!)–it’s time to pay homage to the city money that built.
NUMBER TEN–KEN DRYDEN
Not just for his warm and short speeches while with the Leafs organization–those should be sold on every street corner (I’d say 200 CD’s should hold them) but also for the absolutely perfect description of Toronto the city.
NUMBER NINE–ROGER NEILSON
Despite having possibly the worst NHL owner in history at the time (I’d like to say it’s a small group in contention but there’s miles of candidates) the 70s Leafs hired a wonderful man and a brilliant coach–Roger Neilson. AND the fanbase was instrumental in having Neilson reinserted into the coaching lineup after the owner went off his nut. I choose to believe ‘Toronto the good’ comes from this event.
NUMBER EIGHT–TORONTO ZOO
If you’re going to do a zoo-do a zoo! There are few in Canada that are top drawer, Toronto is one.
NUMBER SEVEN–TORONTO CITY HALL
Unique, visually attractive and famous. Just like their mayor!
NUMBER SIX–DAVE KEON
The perfect hockey player, beloved and revered. Hockey’s DiMaggio, he remains perfect in black and white.
The skyline. In a country with exactly two worthy of awe, Toronto’s is lovely.
NUMBER FOUR–SAM THE RECORD MAN
Long forgotten, but well remembered.
NUMBER THREE–TRUDY YOUNG
A generation of young Canadian men would have given a lot of money to be Kermit the Frog at least one time.
NUMBER TWO–THE LEAFS
All across the nation, the Leafs hold sway, even in–especially in small towns on the prairies and taverns in Hogtown. The Leafs give Canada a lightning rod conversation for any occasion. You can argue about the Leafs at a wedding and a funeral. No one is meh about the Maple Leafs.
NUMBER ONE–NEIL YOUNG
Brilliant and talented for 40 years and running. A national treasure.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Toronto won their last Stanley before most of you were born. Before the internet, before computers were smaller than a building, before crack, before CD’s, before PVR, before the Edmonton Oilers.
There is no copy of the Stanley winning game available in color, and so Leafs fans have had to endure ‘since black and white’ jokes for decades. One day, Stanley will once again return to Toronto. It is my sincere hope that they moved that day back by a decade with today’s decision to allow Dallas Eakins to escape to another hockey city and an enormous opportunity.
In our town. Edmonton, Alberta.