No Such Nonsense

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Sad End

The Leafs are bad. Just plain bad. No surprise there. Not much to say about it either. There will be no playoffs this year - just a sad shuffle towards the golf season as die-hard buds fans try desperately to look for a silver lining.

Sorry folks, there is none.

Because this week, the Leafs illustrated once again just how little regard they have for their fans, their players and the Leaf legacy.

I've never been a big Sundin girl. But even I can't deny that the big guy has given his life to Toronto - has taken every hit dished out on the ice and in the media. Is he a rah-rah captain? Absolutely not. But he plays hard every time he's on the ice, bravely faces the media crush after every game, and how much more can we really ask than that?

Well, we can ask him to waive his no-trade clause - negotiated in good faith - and ask him to give up the notion of retiring as a Leaf. Thanks for all the hard work, Mats, now get the hell out.

Can you imagine the Detroit Red Wings having asked Steve Yzerman to accept a late-season trade in the twilight of his career? It would never happen. Because the Wings are a classy organization - an organization that treats their players with respect and realizes that trading a beloved captain is about as big an F-U to the fans as you can give.

The Leafs haven't been classy since Ballard. This is a city that scrutinizes every move by its hockey players and that venerates the guy wearing the C above all else. It's been noted that you are never as good or as bad as Toronto fans make you, and for no one is that more true than the captain of the Leafs. It started with Ballard treating Dave Keon as a commodity and, time after time, we've screwed around, pissed off and traded the likes of Sittler, Clark, Gilmore and now Sundin. Want to know why we haven't won since 1967? This kind of disdain goes a long way to explaining it.

It's a wonder anyone is willing to wear the C in this city at all.


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