Saturday, October 22, 2011

Leafs: Where do NHLers come from part II

There's been a bit of gurgling lately over the fact that, for the first time ever, the Leafs don't have a player from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on their roster.

I don't see why this matters. John Gardner, president of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, isn't happy about it. He tells the Toronto Star he's bothered that the Leafs don't have great players from the GTA, such as Jeff Skinner, Tyler Seguin and John Tavares. Hey, me too Mr. Gardiner, but you might want to pick a few other names to lead with next time. Anyone who understands even the most basic fundamentals of professional sports franchises and draft rights shouldn't bemoan the fact that these kids play for other teams.

Matt Stajan and John Mitchell were the last GTA-born player on the Leafs.

I'll pause to let their loss to the organization sink in for a minute.

Mitchell is currently in the AHL and Stajan's biggest contribution to the organization was being part of a package traded for Dion Phaneuf.

If one does a smidge of research - say taking 10 minutes to look at the rosters of each NHL club - one will discover that the Leafs aren't alone in not having any local boys on their roster.

According to the rosters posted at of the 30 teams in the NHL, only four - Buffalo, Montreal, Washington and Winnipeg - have a local kid playing for them (five if you count the Rangers Tim Erixon being from Port Chester).

The Leafs, just like their fellow Canadian teams Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are without local representation - although somehow these facts didn't find there way into that article over the Star (that's a head scratcher).

When it comes to players, I don't care where they come from or where they end up. What matters is whether they contribute to the success of the Maple Leafs. With that perspective, I guess that's why I don't write filler over at the Toronto Star.


  1. It was a great game! I did not expect the Leafs to win but they pulled through again :):)

    Hopefully Reimer isn't injured seriously!!

  2. Peregrine5:58 pm

    As a jouralist, I sympathise with the much-maligned writers at The Star who are asked to come up with original angles on a team that receivces wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling coverage from every man and his dog in Toronto and around the hockey world. Sure Kevin McGran could have done the extra bit of research, but it would have detracted from the thrust of the story and made the whole thing sound a bit pointless. Perhaps it is, but the poor fool's had to come up with something... I mostly blame John Gardner for the names he pulled out in his quote.

  3. Peregrine - The story was pointless and I think you'd agree that there's no value in a pointless story. (It could be argued that pointless stories actually have negative value, in this case diminishing the brands of both McGran and the Star.)

    McGran could have delivered a modicum of value by establishing context and explaining why Gardiner's complaints are and off-base.

  4. Paul Steckley9:52 am

    He also could have questioned whether a player's birthplace really matters. None of Sittler, Sundin, Clark, Gilmour, Salming, McDonald (I could keep this list going ad infinitum) were GTA players but they are all on the list of best players to ever wear the blue and white.

    Gardiner can keep Skinner, Seguin, and Tavares. I'll take Crosby, Ovechkin, and Malkin and we'll see which troika outscores the other.

  5. Anonymous12:02 pm

    they don't have a GTA player on their team because the rabid fans would add extra pressure.

  6. Anonymous10:57 am

    Way off the topic: you do not post enough to this blog. I really like it. As to other more current news: first place in the division and no comment? What's up with that?!

  7. BleedingBlue1:12 am

    As if complaining about the amount of Americans in our team and in management was not enough!

    I concur: I don't necessarily care if the players are not from the GTA, Canada, or wherever. All that matters is good play and integrity. Would I like a hometown boy on the team? Sure, why not. Absolute necessity it is not, however.

    Interesting to see you point out the slant that the article leans towards.