Why the World Hates the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs here in Canada are not only the most loved franchise around but also the most hated. They are even hated in some parts of the States like Long Island and Philadelphia. Why is that? Why does the world hate the Leafs so much? There are several reasons:
1. The Fans – Much of the hatred is centred around Leaf fans. These are the same people who party on the streets after a first round win like a team would if they won the Stanley Cup. that alone can be very irritating to the non-Leaf fan. As a Leaf fan myself i hate that too because it just makes us Leaf fans look satisfied that we again beat the Sens. yeah yeah been there done that. Win a cup for a change and then we will talk.
And to listen to some Leaf fans on talk radio or anywhere where they can give their opinion (like this site) is pretty bad as well. I especially like the armchair GMs the Leafs have. why the Leafs hired JFJ is beyond me because we have Joe-Schmoe from Muskoka who has all the wonderful ideas on how to make the Leafs better. It is ok to give your opinion. I mean free speech right? But c’mon, you have to be rational. No Niedermayer, Foote, Forsberg, Naslund will not all join the Leafs.
And these fans supposedly bleed blue and white, yet constantly complain about stuff that is completely senseless. For sure if you want to talk about how bad Belak and Berg are, or that JFJ is continuing to deplete young talent from the team just like previous GMs, or that perhaps Quinn needs to go because he has been coach too long makes some sense. However to rag about how Sundin is a bad leader or McCabe is a terrible defenceman is pretty stupid and shows how much you DONT know about hockey. Sundin is a good captain. He is the face of the franchise. I mean just because he hasnt led the team to a cup win doesnt make him a bad captain. if that was the case then Primeau, Alfredsson are also terrible leaders and players which simply is not true. It is this kind of stupid talk that makes some Leaf fans hate other Leaf fans. And to rag that the Leafs DONT spend enough to win because they didnt get Jagr or Bure is wrong too. The Leafs spend excessively to the dismay of the 5 other Canadian teams. believe me the owners do give whatever it takes to bring a winner to Toronto. they cant however give everything to overcome mismanagement.
2. The Team – The fact is, many non-Leaf fans hate guys like Domi, Tucker, McCabe, Belfour simply because of the way they play. All play with a bit dirty that simply causes people to freak out at them. Belfour has for years slashed and hacked people in front. Tucker of course destroyed PEca’s knee. Domi is hated for suckering Ulfie or fighting with a flyers fan. And McCabe is a bit dirty with his can-opener move or his hip check. believe me we Leaf fans appreciate the way they play and how full out they go every night. If you fans in Ottawa or Philly or anywhere had these guys on your team, you would not complain. But because they are Leafs, the hatred for them and the team builds with every game.
And in truth, many leaf players whine and complain too much to the refs which irks non-Leaf fans. to see Belak or Antropov cheap shot someone and then complain about the penalty when the blood evidence is so obvious makes people’s blood boil. And then when these players are ushered off the ice after getting kicked out, they get into battles with the fans too. That isnt going to help them get any love. it is simply stuff like that which drives non-leaf fans radek bonkers.
3. Every player will be a Leaf one day – It is somewhat true that there are players out there, especially ones from the GTA who do dream of playing in Toronto for the Leafs like they did when they were kids. However it doesnt mean every player feels that way. Simply put, players today will go where the money is and the Leafs have lots of money. So it may have been possible for Holik or Guerin to come to Toronto because the team has money to spend, not because they want to play here. See when Roberts and Corson signed, they did so because they were from around here. it made sense to them to “come home”.
But the fact is that whomever comes on the market either through trade or free agent, they will not all flock to Toronto. From Gonchar to Bertuzzi to Shanahan to O’Neill to Peca, pretty much anyone who came up for grabs was rumoured to come here. That simply is not going to happen. Payroll wise the Leafs are usually maxed out to spend any more and trade wise, the Leafs cupboard is so bare in talent that it is impossible for them to make any sort of deal. There is nothing that bothers people more than stuff like this when assumptions are made that this guy is a leaf or that guy will be one. and when it does happen like when Leetch became a Leaf, it makes it that much worse.
4. Leaf talent is overrated – When people talk about the talent the leafs have, it irks some people. Why? because players are made to sound like Hall of Famers. when it comes to evaluating prospects, it always appears the Leafs have tons of young prospects when the fact is they have nothing. Nothing bothers non-Leaf fans more to hear how good Ian White or Brendan Bell or Kyle Wellwood are going to be when these players may simply become good AHL players and at best fringe NHLers. “well they played for canada at the world juniors so they must be good”. Yeah they played for a team that lost, plus John Slaney scored the biggest goal in canadian junior history yet he never made it to the NHL as a regular. When so much stock is put into stuff like that, it bothers alot of people, especially who follow teams with tons of young talent like Montreal.
Even the talent on the current roster gets too many accolades. Kaberle is a 3rd defenceman at best. He will not get traded for Pronger straight up simply because his point totals are on par with Prongers. The fact that he has been struggling makes his value decline. They remember the shock value he gave being a late round pick but blossoming into an NHLer, however dont see that he has not improved since year 1. When people boast how Belak is a top fighter when the fact is that doesnt matter as he cant skate or shoot, or how Berg is a plus player even though he too cant skate or pass or hit or do anything hockey related or how Antropov still has potential to develop into a top centre when really his is a third liner at best. hearing that is bothersome to most, but hearing these guys names in trade rumours involving legit stars like Gonchar, Peca or Kovalev makes non-Leaf fans irritated beyond belief.
5. Toronto is the centre of the universe. The fact that hockey in Canada revolves around the Leafs makes fans everywhere pissed off. There are Leaf fans across the country. there is no doubt about that. You certainly cant say that there are tons of Flames fans or Sens fans coast to coast like you can with the Leafs. but to have every media outlet go Leafs first with everything is going to rub people the wrong way. Lets take Hockey night in Canada for example, or shall i put it Hockey Night in Toronto. The Leafs drive ratings and make the CBC money which is why they get the red carpet treatment and are on all the time in the best time slots to the most viewers. That is also why the top broadcast team and top personalities are always following the Leafs wherever they go. The total neglect has alienated many fans across the country especially Montreal and Ottawa. They certainly feel that if the show’s title says Canada, then make it seem that way. even the highlight shows like on TSN or Sportsnet will focus on Leafs first almost every night.
As you can see, many of the reasons the Leafs are hated are fan driven. fans boast too much about a team that hasnt won in 38 years. fans boast about the talent the team doesnt have. fans boast about the players the Leafs will acquire for the supposed talent the leafs have. Certainly the media doesnt help either. Hell i am as big a leaf fan as anyone but even i hate the leafs because i hate rick ley and wade belak…oh yeah and Berg too.
Please tell us why you hate the Leafs?