In the hours before the opening night of his first full season as Toronto Maple Leafs president, Brendan Shanahan had two words on his mind: Game Day. It wasn’t the same as being a player, but he was as hungry for his team to win as he was during his 22-year career as an NHL player.
It just shows you – even recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductees have a lot to prove with the rest of their days. And boy, does Shanahan ever. He’s here to prove he can make the rapid, pressure-packed acclimation from the NHL’s department of player safety to the high-stakes boardroom showdowns that decide which cities get to hold Stanley Cup parades. The means to his ultimate goal have changed, but the goal is the same. Read more
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a work in progress, this is obvious. But with young defensemen Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly starting off the year as a tandem, there is tangible hope to hang your hat on. While both players are mobile, offensively-gifted rearguards, that doesn’t mean they can’t pair up. After all, Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin have made magic in Los Angeles and even if Gardiner and Rielly aren’t on that level, they still represent some of Toronto’s best hope on the back end.
Amazing to think Rielly is only coming into his second NHL season.
We’ll let some marketing genius or anthropological intellectual explain to us the phenomenon that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. But somehow, a business that has consistently produced an inferior product for the better part of four decades, continues to succeed wildly at the cash register and in popularity polls.
The Leafs are the No. 1 NHL outfit in terms of franchise value as calculated by Forbes, they have the NHL’s highest ticket prices (average of $373 at resale), and it was announced by Twitter on the opening day of the 2014-15 season they rank first in number of followers on the social media platform.
Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to pay the highest ticket price in the NHL, according to a report by TiqIQ, a leading resale ticket market aggregator.
The average listed resale ticket price of a Maple Leafs game at the start of this season is $373.50 (U.S.). That’s just a 3.87 percent increase over this time last season ($359.60). Canadian teams make up five of the top six spots in this report – Vancouver, Edmonton Calgary and Montreal are the others. The Chicago Blackhawks are the only American team in the top six.
Here’s the average posted resale ticket price for all 30 NHL teams, according to TiqIQ.
With NHL rosters set, we will soon say goodbye to some Hot List favorites. Since as soon as players such as Curtis Lazar in Ottawa and Anthony Duclair of the Rangers make their big-time debuts, they will be considered graduates here. But while those players make their dreams come true, others are still on the path, so let’s take a look at some of the prospects making noise around the world right now.
On the day he was honored with his own stamp, the man many hockey fans feel was the greatest player of all-time gave his stamp of approval for that designation to Gordie Howe. Bobby Orr threw his support behind Mr. Hockey in the never-ending debate concerning the greatest player ever to play the greatest game. “Gordie is, in my mind, the greatest ever,” said Orr, who recently penned the foreword for Howe’s memoir, Mr. Hockey. “His numbers are outrageous and most of that was with the six teams, when it was a lot tougher. I don’t think there’s any question. Play any way you want to play…he was special.” Read more
NBA superstar LeBron James returning home to Cleveland sparked speculation this summer in the Toronto media suggesting Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos could do the same and sign with the Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2016.
The Leafs lack a homegrown star, and Stamkos would be a natural fit. Responding to questions about the possibility, the 24-year-old sniper inadvertently added fuel to the fire by replying, “We’ll see what happens.” However, Stamkos recently clarified his comments, saying he definitely wants to win with the Lightning. Read more
There’s no doubt Torrey Mitchell of the Buffalo Sabres is feeling a little badly this morning. Probably not as badly as he did more than six years ago when a reckless play he made almost ended Kurtis Foster’s career and helped inspire the NHL to change its icing rules, but pretty remorseful nonetheless.
If you need any further proof that some hockey players just don’t ever seem to get it, that no number of rules or suspensions will ever get them to change their ways, look no further Torrey Mitchell. Because if anyone should have realized the perils of pushing an opponent from behind into the boards, the way he did to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson in a pre-season game Sunday night, it should be Mitchell. Read more