My good friend, Randy Hein, is a bona fide Leafs hater and never misses an opportunity to needle me about my love of the Buds, including my wedding ceremony (he was the minister, for those of you who don't know him), but after talking to our mutual friend, Don Crawford, an Avalanche fan, I feel the need to point out a few specifics. Number one, the times of Harold Ballard are now over and the organization wants a winner desperatelym, so the whole "team doesn't care as long as they are making money and putting bums in the seats" argument is null and void. Number two, there is something to be said for loyalty, on my part, because win or lose I love the Leafs and continue to cheer them on. The same can be said for Mr. Hein and the Vancouver Canucks (a team I also have a huge soft spot for being a Westerner), a team that never can get the job done due to lack of heart and grit, rather than lack of talent. Number three, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, on behalf of Don Crawford and myself it's time for the count:
Toronto Maple Leafs: thirteen Stanley Cups
Colorado Avalanche: two Stanley Cups
Vancouver Canucks: ZERO Stanley Cups
Does this give me any pleasure, to report that the Canucks have never won a Cup? Absolutely not. However, I feel the need to point it out in order to illustrate that, though it's been 40 years since the last Cup (sadly, and it's their own fault), at least they have been able to pull the trigger when given the gun. The hapless Canucks have been loaded with talent, far more than the Leafs have had over the past 20 years, and they always crumble like so many cookies at crunch time. Sure, the Leafs as an organization have made more boneheaded decisions than any sports franchise in history, but that's not the fault of the players on the ice now, nor the present management, so let's stop hatin', Randy, and cut the Buds some slack. GO LEAFS!