The Americanization Of The Maple Leafs?


Happy Sunday evening to you all. Mrs. TSM was in NYC with her lady friends this past weekend, leaving yours truly home with the kids. On top of that I decided to let little TSM have 5 buddies sleep over last night. Well, yadda, yadda, yadda, I’ve been up since 5:45.


There are three things I really look forward to Sunday mornings. Kevin Paul Dupont’s hockey column in the Boston Globe, Steve Simmons column in the Toronto Sun and Larry Brooks column in the NY Post. Today, was one of those 2 out of 3 aint bad days.

Reading Brooks has become a little bit like giving myself a paper cut and then pouring lemon juice on it. Self torture.

For a guy who’s been around as long as he is, can you think of a bigger homer when it comes to beat reporters. The guy practically has the pom poms on in each column. I can’t think of a columnist who open cheers for the team he covers more in a column than he does. To be fair, he gives them hell too, but I don’t know of a guy in this town who gives as many pats or cheers on the home teams like he does.

The other reason to love Brooks is his hatred for anything Maple Leaf. Lastly, I miss his but smooching of all things NHLPA and Bob Goodenow. Hopefully as the NHL heads back towards the boardroom (and you know it’s going to get ugly before a deal gets done) Brooks will put down his Rangers pom poms long enough to pick up his PA ones.

Did you catch Brooks rip Phil Kessel in today’s column?

Mature type stuff no? Too bad, I thought his take on officiating was damn good.

Long way for me to say, I missed reading Simmons today.

So, I write a piece on how brutally run the GTHL is and what a joke it is that their leader is whining about no GTHL players on the Leafs and I get numerous emails telling me that they agree with me except that they hate the fact that Brian Burke is “Americanizing” the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Come on now people. I tell friends and colleagues all the time that I have the smartest readers of a blog that covers Toronto Sports Media. People don’t really think for a second that Burke, or anyone else has an agenda with respect to the nationality of his players do they? That’s totally absurd. If Burke could have swung the Kessel trade for say, Rick Nash, you don’t think he would have? Call me crazy (hey I had 6 9 years-olds sleeping here last night alone), but I don’t think a seconds thought is given to where the hell a player is from before acquiring him.

Teams today, in any league need to turn over as many rocks as possible to find talent. The Leafs have a large scouting department, they have too many execs to count, I just can’t imagine that any significant weight is given to the birthplace or nationality of a player. Maybe I am nuts, but isn’t the only team that really plays the geography card all that much is the Habs? I don’t know this, I’ve done no research, but if I were a betting man I would say that a Quebec born player gets acquired before another player of exactly the same caliber only. In other words, it’s only a factor when trying to decided to equally ranked players.

That Burke has acquired what may appear as a lot of Americans I venture to say is nothing other than coincidence. Not only that, but while he is the GM of record, everyone knows that while he makes the ultimate decision he has enough worker bees around him doing all the leg work.

To suggest that there is a buy American philosophy on the Leafs, in my opinion is absurd.

Type at ya on Monday.


About the Author