After a parade of players, the Toronto Maple Leafs still pooped out for the sixth season in a row missing the playoffs.
This once feared professional hockey club has been turned into a team of marshmallows led by men who cared more about their personal bottom line than the fortunes of the team.
There is no pride left. No legacy players. Respect has departed along with responsibility. The team is infected with a corporate culture that diminishes victory on the ice while padding profits.
Leaf Nation is a hollow shell with the backing of a team unable to bring honour and respect. Most important, to consistently win hockey games.
The great mystery is why there is any fan base left.
The Brian Burke experiment is done like a dinner. He waited too long in the season to dump coach Ron Wilson. It was apparent that Wilson could not motivate a Burke collection of has-beens and wanna-bees.
There is a measure of talent remaining on the team but no soul.
Players around the NHL pray: “Don’t trade me to Toronto.”
If only the upstairs guys in the suits could translate their smarts to the three Maple Leaf Sports professional teams, maybe fans could have something to cheer about.
Thank goodness these guys never got their grubby hands on the Blue Jays.
And that team, with 27 wins leading the American League spring training season, appears to have some promise as the season opens.