The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise has managed to become ranked 122 of 122 by ESPN out of the four major professional American sports leagues – the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB – for three out of the last four years.
The Maple Leaf’s drought has been ongoing since 1967, which is the last time they won the Stanley Cup. The franchise waiting list to become a season ticket holder exceeds 20 years. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ digressions have come down to many issues both inside and outside the franchise.
Internally, the Leafs lack confidence, skill, and effort. The team’s star player, best forward, and possibly the future captain, Nazem Kadri, is now showing a lack of discipline and composure. He was caught saying “you’re dead” several times to Calgary Flames Mark Giordano. Kadri was fined $5000 for his verbal attacks toward the all-star defensemen by the NHL, according to ESPN.
The frustrations from continuously losing is impacting the player’s performances and, therefore, impacting the club status. During the offseason after 2014-2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs hired head coach Mike Babcock from the Detroit Red Wings.
Babcock led team Canada to victory in the Olympic final. He also brought the Red Wings to victory at the Stanley cup final in 2008. The Leafs offered Babcock eight million dollars a year because he is well worth the money. Babcock has the perfect composure to take on such a task as the rebuild of the Maple Leafs.
Externally, the fans have lost hope. Their 48-year drought between Stanley Cups is currently the longest in the NHL, and the fans have made there dissatisfaction easily noticed.
The fans throw jerseys on the ice when the team is not playing to its potential and “boo” their captain Dion Phaneuf . But the people of Toronto love and worship their Maple Leafs, staying forever loyal.
“Leaf tickets can cost four hundred dollars a pop. For what, a loss? I would never pay hundreds of dollars to watch a team with no star players play and probably lose,” Colin Amy claimed. When going to see the Leafs play, fans don’t get the quality entertainment for the hefty price.
Justin Ward explained, “ They don’t perform. All hockey fans dream of seeing their team in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs don’t offer that often.”
It’s also very hard to build a fanbase without providing what the fans actually want; the playoffs and Stanley Cup.
Even though their fan base remains loyal and in tact, the Toronto Maple Leafs have managed to fall as the worst franchise in history as of 2015.