Toronto Maple Leafs (14 Events)
Toronto Maple Leafs are ensuring their fans that they will play as top tier contenders all year long. Led by hot handed Phil Kessel who has scored at least 30 goals in his last three season with the Leafs, and their captain Dion Phaneuf who is one of the most feared hitters in the league, and newly acquired James Van Riemsdyk, under the guidance of new coach Randy Carlyle they hope to end their postseason drought and give the fans what they have been promising for the past few years. Playing in their beautiful arena, the Air Canada Centre, and with tons of young talent like Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, Joe Colborne, Korbinian Holzer, and many more they are starting to look like the Toronto Maple Leafs of old.
The Toronto Maple Leafs being the first NHL team to be worth One Billion Dollars are also one of the oldest franchises in hockey, being one of the “Original Six”. Tracing the team back to 1912 when they were the Toronto Blueshirts then in 1918 when they were the Toronto Arenas immediately followed with the name change to the Toronto St. Pats in 1919. In 1927 the team was sold to hockey legend Conn Smythe where he immediately changed the name to the Maple Leafs we all know, it is also said he called the team this after the Maple Leafs regiment that fought in World War One who Smythe was apart of. Before the 1961 season, Smythe sold the team to his son Stafford Smythe, newspaper baron John Bassett, and Toronto Marlboros (who are now the OHL team Guelph Storm) president Harold Ballard. After Stafford had passed in 1971, Ballard bought the rest of the shares of the Leafs, and they saw more talent on their team than ever before. The Leafs having 11 Stanley Cup victories going into the 70s, are still at that number, being the second longest team in NHL history to not win a cup (45 and counting), being the Chicago Blackhawks who ended their streak at 49 with a win in 2010 under Jonathan Toews.
In 1996 the MLSE expanded adding the Toronto Marlies (Farm team) and the Leafs started to benefit led by Mats Sundin and Curtis Joseph under the coaching of Pat Quinn, the Leafs finished top 3 in regular season in the next five years, but coming up short in the playoffs, losing almost every year in the conference finals. In 2004 however the NHL was in a lockout, and put a salary cap on teams, so teams like the Leafs with almost unlimited money couldn't go out and just buy any players anymore, and they haven't seen the playoffs since.
Air Canada Centre: 40 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2X2 Capacity: 18,800