Recently two older gents sat at the table beside me and debated the chances of the Toronto Maple Leafs making this year's NHL (National Hockey League) playoffs.
Gent 1: "They have a real chance of getting somewhere this year."
Gent 2: "Really? We've been hearing this for years."
Gent 1: "Yeah, but they have Auston Matthews."
Gent 2: "Yes, I know, but we've heard this kind of story many times before; for a long time."
"Gent 2" is right. Over the years there has been a Darryl Sittler, Rick Vaive, Curtis Joseph, Wendel Clark, and more. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are just the latest stooges who will take the Toronto Maple Leafs to a place nowhere....
(I use the word "stooges" in the Toronto Maple Leafs Masterplan context. I'm sure they are nice people; and they are/were fine hockey players, of course. Most forgotten is the fact one must have a good team, not just two or three good players. Sports history is littered with Leafs-type teams -- they are nothing special in that regard.)
The above piece was first published as "Leafs Talk in a Toronto Coffee Shop" on April 2, 2017.