(This month, Puck Daddy asked bloggers for every NHL team to tell us The Essentials for their franchises — everything from the defining player and trade, to the indispensable fan traditions. Here is Michael Forbes from Pension Plan Puppets — mforbes37 on Twitter — giving us The Essentials for the Toronto Maple Leafs.)
By Michael Forbes from Pension Plan Puppets
Essential and the Toronto Maple Leafs? Canuck please.
The only essential thing about being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan is patience, thick skin and a good sense of humour.
The Leafs are the only team that missed the playoffs through the entirety of a CBA. A franchise that went an entire decade without a single .500 season. An organization without a single Calder, Hart, Conn Smyth, Art Ross, Vezina or Norris trophy winner in the last 45 seasons.
With nearly 100 years of NHL history — 85 spent as a strangely pluralized proper noun — the Leafs are second in all-time Stanley Cups, first in revenues generated and yet they have never won three consecutive playoff series. Ever. For 99 years, it’s been no more than two and out.
Essential and the Toronto Maple Leafs? That’s a paradox, just like the club.