Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
This is the first time in my life that the Leafs haven't been of general interest and importance in the city of Toronto. I have suffered through the teams of the 80's, the short lived glory days of Gilmour and friends in the early 90's, the Sundin wingerless era of mediocrity (with the exception of Gary Roberts, the toughest man in the world), the JFJ days, and the post lockout Burke/Nonis era. Overall, it has been close to 30 years of frustration leaning towards misery, and I'm 37. Subtracting years of being a baby and not aware, this is virtually an entire lifetime of fan suffering.

We are now at another potential crossroads for the organization. I have never been as confident in the front office personnel as I am now. Shanny is a winner. Hunter is a winner. Lou could win a staring contest with a lion, and hopefully he can share his hockey wisdom with Dubas (who is a little too advanced stat-centric in my eyes.) Then there's Babcock. I love the guy. Spades are spades and effort is effort, you can't ask for a better coach in any sport. He leads by example and shows up everyday ready to do battle.

What we need to get out of our team this year, it could be argued, is exactly what we have received. Not a single jersey thrown on the ice, which translates as the team being a watchable product, with structure and an obvious level of effort that was not even remotely evident last season.

For this season to be a complete success, we need our trade-able assets to play as well as they can so that we can trade them and get more young talent in the system. In years past it wouldn't matter much as our scouts were terrible (see John Doherty, draft class 2003.) Now that we have people that can identify and evaluate talent, draft picks matter.

Maple Leaf luck would dictate that, even if we finished in dead last this year and had the best odds of getting the top pick, we would not win the lottery - that is something most Leaf fans would likely agree with. We must get a pick in the top 4 or 5 of this draft, and we must continue to allow these talented prospects to develop. Having any of our deeper picks develop is just a bonus right now, we desperately need more top end talent.

There is a formula (and maybe a couple variations of) that is proven to work to build a competitive team in the NHL in the cap era. You need to be patient, get a few good bounces along the way, and you need to work hard every day. You need to draft well, and draft talent. I believe we now have the most critical elements in place to allow this organization to move forward and leave the dark days behind us.
January 21, 2016 4:22 PM ET | Delete
Try being 47 years old and a die hard Leafs fan! lol
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.