Leafs making it look like they’re struggling
You never see me have sympathy for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But I saw this little tidbit in the news, that might not seem like anything major to anyone else, sticks out to me.
Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour will have banners raised at the Air Canada Centre in separate pregame ceremonies this season to honor their achievements with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Clark’s No. 17 banner will go up on Nov. 22 before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and Gilmour’s No. 93 will be raised Jan. 31 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It’s nice that they’re honoring former players, but as we in Buffalo know, that could be done just to sell tickets (see: retiring Danny Gare and Pat LaFontaine’s numbers in ’05-’06). The Sabres weren’t quite sure they’d be selling out every game, so they went ahead and retired 16 and 18, and in my opinion, really lowered the standards for judging which Sabres are legends. But they sacrificed that honor to fill the building.
In Buffalo, they didn’t have the support that Toronto always does, so getting people in the gate was a priority. They had to motivate people to go.
In Toronto, they don’t seem to have that problem, but this, coupled with the fact they’re giving away tickets to a preseason game, makes me think the Leafs may be struggling a bit.
Having a shitty team for years will do that, but I mean, come on, it’s Toronto. The self-proclaimed center of the hockey universe. And they’re giving tickets away?
Maybe things aren’t so great in Leaf-land for once. Outside the standings of course.
Because, you know… they suck.