Playing the Blame Game In Leafs Nation: Is It Harold Ballard’s Fault Again?

November 12th, 2010 by Patti Dawn Swansson Leave a reply »
If Charles Dickens were a beat writer for a newspaper detailing the (mis)adventures of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he could use the same lead after every game. Or after every season, for that matter.

To wit:

"It was the worst of times."

It is forever the worst of times in Leafs Nation, or so it seems. Once the flagship of the NHL's fleet, Toronto has seen five seasons and seven springtimes pass since it last participated in the annual Stanley Cup tournament, and the current crop of toe-stubbers is giving every indication that the early retreat from the hockey rink to the golf course shall continue come April 2011.

Losers of their past seven assignments and winners of one of the past 11, les Leafs look about as much a playoff contender as Rosie O'Donnell looks to be the next Miss America.

And to think, all this losing, this suffocating misery, was to have ended when former bankroll Harold Ballard drew his final breath. The Great Pumpkin was, of course, blamed for all that ailed the Maple Leafs during his bombastic, controversial stewardship, yet here we are, more than 20 years after the dirt was piled on Humpty Harold's casket ...

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