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Another NHL team in Toronto? Not for me….

I admit, I always find it a bit exciting when I hear about the big, new hockey rink that will evidently be built in Markham, just north of Toronto. (It now looks like the project is officially going ahead.)  Ostensibly, this is all about attracting another NHL franchise to this market—a region with, obviously, a huge appetite for hockey.

Even setting aside Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment—which has, clearly, unlimited self-interest in this unfolding little drama—there is a fairly big question that lingers:  do the rest of us hockey fans even want another NHL team in these parts?

I’m very open to hearing differing thoughts on the matter.  But as I think I have mentioned here previously at some point,  while I acknowledge that the idea of a new arena is neat, I have zero interest in another team actually parking itself in Toronto, whether it be within the “city limits” of Metropolitan Toronto or in the so-called Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which of course includes Markham.

I will try to explain my position, which I hope goes beyond the classic “not in my back yard” syndrome (though you may come to the conclusion that is precisely what I am saying…)

First things first; let’s go over some of the basic arguments/discussion points in favour of another NHL franchise here:

  • The New York area has three teams, and Toronto is a better hockey town than New York and the surrounding area.
  • Toronto is clearly a stronger hockey market than Phoenix, Florida, Anaheim and wherever it is that the Hurricanes play, so surely if those lousy markets can have a team, we can house two...
  • Toronto has the infrastructure and the corporate activity to support a second franchise.
  • Too many Leaf fans can’t even get to games at the ACC, because long-time season-ticket holders have first dibs on tickets, so this would be an opportunity for more folks to get to NHL games.

I don’t really know what to say about the New York comparison.  The Islanders play in an awful old building.  (I have to believe they are moving to Brooklyn, like the NBA Nets, though I know nothing about any such possible arrangement.)  The Devils play in a gorgeous new building, but are bankrupt, or something. (I’m sure that will be taken care of with new ownership at some point….)  Yes, Toronto could “handle” a second team, but I do wonder this:  will all the current “hockey fans” in Toronto suddenly support a new team?  I don’t mean simply in terms of attendance at the games, but more, well...emotionally.

What will the identity of this new team be?  Are some Leaf fans going to jump ship and start cheering for, say, the transplanted former Phoenix Coyotes?  What if this supposed new team is an expansion franchise?  Does that make them less, or more, appealing to the local hockey fan base?  (I’ve always felt the baseball Blue Jays, for example, benefitted by being a fresh “start-up” organization back in 1977, as opposed to what almost happened- a re-location of the San Francisco Giants.)

Yes, Toronto is a “better” hockey market than most of the locations in the southern U.S., but I’m not sure that means we should necessarily have two teams here.  While I sympathize with those who have a hard time getting tickets to see Leaf games (I’m one of those who also has no “inside access” to tickets, though I was a season-ticket holder for a brief time way back in the mid-1970s, way up in the wonderful old ‘greys’) but again, that still doesn’t make me yearn for another team here.

I don’t really have a good argument for my views other than this:  I’m a Leaf guy and Toronto hockey, for me, means Maple Leaf hockey.  All the great names who have played in Toronto for the past 80 years or so have been Maple Leafs, from King Clancy and Babe Pratt to Charlie Conacher, not to mention Syl Apps, Turk Broda, Teeder Kennedy and all the greats of my own youth—Johnny Bower, Frank Mahovlich (at right), Horton, Keon, Duff, Ellis and so many more in recent years.  Conn Smythe built the Toronto Maple Leafs.  They represented more than just Toronto, for sure, but those players, and this proud franchise, have always been a huge part of the fabric of this great city.

While I’m a hockey fan, yes, I’m primarily a Leaf fan who has made a career out of not liking other teams—on principle. (My hatred of the Montreal Canadiens, for example—muted in recent years since they have fallen to the same kind of mediocrity that has afflicted the Leafs—has been well chronicled on this site…).  So Leaf-oriented have I been over the decades, that I have often found it difficult to cheer for guys from other teams when they performed with Team Canada. (I realize I may be alone in this regard...)

Bottom line, the idea of another team in Toronto just doesn’t work for me.  This is a Maple Leaf town.  I’m not even sure it’s a hockey town, frankly.  In the modern era, junior hockey has largely died here.  The Marlies finally drew when they went far into the AHL playoffs this past spring.  But I don’t know how successful a second NHL franchise would really be as the years went on, after the initial excitement wore off.

Does this mean there shouldn’t be a second team here?  Of course not.

I’m not trying to rain on Markham’s parade.  Hey, if they can somehow make this happen, and convince the NHL to come here, good for them, I guess.  Personally, I’d rather have a team in Hamilton, which has long deserved the opportunity and would seem to be a natural rival to both the Leafs and the Sabres.  (Heck, I’d rather have a team in Saskatoon, where I know they would absolutely love their team.)

I’m just not sure what the point is of another team here, when we already have the Leafs—albeit not a recently successful franchise, but one filled with almost a century of history, heritage and personal meaning for millions of their fans around the globe.

I mean, I’m not going to chain myself to a fence or anything when they start construction of this new building.  Again, if the league wants to place a franchise in the GTA, whether an expansion team or a re-located franchise, I’ll certainly not protest.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with supporting the obvious financial interests of MLSE.  It wouldn’t concern me in the least if someone cut their grass in this market, from a business perspective.  (In fact, I suppose it could be argued that this might spur the organization to really try and produce a winner, though I’ve never believed the theory that management hasn’t "cared" in the past.  Ownership may not have always cared deeply about winning over the years, but every Toronto GM in my memory has wanted to win badly…)  My views are simply those of someone who has been a fan of the Maple Leafs as a team for more than 50 years.  I’ve always liked the team; I don’t have to love ownership.

In any event, I’d like to get some feedback from you.  What are you pulling for?  Whether you live in this area or not, if you’re a hockey fan, a Leaf fan, would you like to see another NHL team in the Toronto market?

If you are from or live in the area, would you consider switching allegiance away from the blue and white to a new Toronto team, one where you could (ideally?) bring your family to a game and it wouldn’t cost you $1,000 for a night out?

Maybe there are some positives to this that I’m simply missing.  Again, I’m not trying to be an old ogre, just being honest that I’m a Leaf guy and am not particularly enthused at the idea of another team here, when there are other Canadian markets that deserve a franchise.

Let me know what you're thinking!


  1. Hi Michael,

    The very couple who introduced me to hockey back in 2000 have stopped watching and supporting the Leafs over the last few years out of disgust at how little the ownership seemed driven to produce a championship winning team. They felt that, because a full-house at the ACC was basically guaranteed, there was no motivation within MLSE to improve.

    They will become a supporter of a new GTA franchise, I'm sure, as they love the NHL and I would be very surprised to hear that they are alone in their feelings.

    Maybe for those very reasons another Ontario team would be good for everyone, including MLSE, if it gives the Leafs back their competitive edge.

  2. Interesting, KiwiLeaf. I wonder if that sentiment is more widespread than I realize....

  3. Yes, I'd love a new Toronto team. But no, I wouldn't be changing my allegiance.
    Yes, because I think the only way the Leafs will be forced to improve is if they have some competition for fans' dollars. Right now, the incentive just isn't there from a business point of view, and let's face it, the MLSE is all business. Another team in the Toronto market would definitely put pressure on Leaf management to upgrade their product - particularly if the new team was viable - say, if the Coyotes moved here. And just imagine the rivalry when the two teams played! I see it as a positive - and since there are tons of fans in the area, the new team likely wouldn't suffer financially as much as if they were starting in an unproven market.
    However, I've been a Leaf fan all my life, and that's the way I'm going to stay - no matter how much they frustrate or disappoint me! The blue and white is in my veins, and apparently there's nothing I can do about it. They've been a constant in my life longer than anything or anyone, immediate family excepted. I can't imagine not supporting them.
    But a new team in the neighbourhood wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

  4. Hey Michael,

    I'm afraid I don't really understand the sentiment here. I know what you're getting at in a way, but I have to ask, why does it actually matter?

    Who cares if there's another team in Toronto? Leafs fans will be Leafs fans. Blue blood won't turn auburn (Phx color?).

    This really will have no bearing on the Leafs or fans of the Leafs at all, except that it will create a cross-town rivalry of sorts and give GTA fans more hockey to watch.

    I'm a Leafs fan til death, but I'm also a hockey fan. I watch other games if there isn't a Leafs game on, does that make me less of a Leafs fan? I will probably go to Markham games because the tickets will be cheaper, and much more readily available. I'll take the 15 minute drive up there and wear one of my 3 Leafs jerseys proudly as I cheer raucously for whoever is playing Markham.

    Another team in Toronto is a good thing for Toronto and a great thing for the NHL. The TML made $150mil in HRR last year to lead the league, the NYR a distant second with $120mil. Another GTA team likely hovers around the $100mil mark with the national/local broadcasting, 20K seats, and merch. There's plenty of hockey fans to go around in the GTA.

    It really just doesn't have anything to do with Leafs fans. Leafs fans weren't affected when the NHL expanded in to Tampa or Atlanta or Ottawa or moved back into Winnipeg or Minnesota were we? I don't really see how this is different, except for being closer. Toronto is and always will be Leafs town. That doesn't mean that another team can't exist in Markham.

    You may not like the NYC comparison, and it's not really that similar (NYC, Buffalo, Long Island being geographically much further apart), but the idea that New York City (the differences between NY and NYC and Long Island/Buffalo/NYC are important) is a 3-team town is not really based in reality. New York City has 1 team. The Rangers.

    Toronto will still have 1 team. The Maple Leafs.

  5. Hey Michael,

    I have an uncle that proposed that same theory -- another GTA team would light a fire under MLSE's butt (so to speak) to produce a winner and remain the dominant team. The more I think about it, the fluffier that argument seems. Yes, the ACC is sold out every game, and yes the Leafs are one of the crown jewels of North American sport.

    But take this example: Look around Toronto this summer, and what do you notice? Blue Jays merchandize EVERYWHERE. I can't remember a time when excitement for a mediocre team was this high. It goes to show that it only takes a few little tweaks (a star player, hope for a winning season or playoffs) to get people on board. Even at my most cynical, I can't imagine the businessmen and women at MLSE don't grasp that. They want to win with every team they own.

    In any case, would I cheer for another GTA team? I suppose I'd feel good for any new team and for the regional fans. I probably would have felt good for Ottawa fans when the Senators were founded in '92 if I hadn't been 6 years old at the time (and before Sens fans became the target of my unrelenting hatred).

    A new team would never, ever supplant the Leafs as my favourite. I'm with you in that I think Hamilton would be a far more interesting spot for a team (not to mention a smarter location, since it's nearer to more universities than Markham, i.e. McMaster and Brock, big sporting schools). But the Leafs would stay my #1 team, even if the newfound Hamilton Predators win a Cup in their first year.

  6. All great points, Gerund O'.

    I certainly understand the perspective that a new team around the block may well push the Leafs to improve their product- though as I mentioned in the post, for me, that's more of an ownership issue, rather than a "management doesn't care" issue.

    Great stuff, thanks for commenting on this one.

  7. Well-said, Darryl. I would never criticize a Leaf (or any hockey follower) fan if they supported another team in the GTA, or went to games, etc. I totally understand why this idea to appealing to a lot of people.

    I'm more reflecting on my own (perhaps narrow) view that this is really a Leaf town and always has been. We both see that- you simply have a different take on this, and I get that.

    Thanks for contributing on this one, Darryl.

  8. I'm trying to get my head around that argument, too, SteveW, that a new team would drive the Leafs/MLSE to "try harder". I get it, but as I mentioned to Gerund, I think every GM I've ever seen in that job has tried hard to build a winner in Toronto.

    MLSE is motivated by money, sure. But as you mention, they have to understand that winning teams would bring in even more they already are motivated to succeed, one would think. But I get what people are saying.

  9. I would love to see another team in Toronto, or Hamilton or London for that matter. It would be a financially prudent move for the NHL. The leagues interests have to be better served by having a team where there are actual fans willing to pay to go to the games. Fans in the southern US get a tonne of free tickets/promotional give away packages that inflate ticket sales.

    I will always be a Leaf fan, always. I know that in my social circles I am encountering a lot more hockey fans than I ever have before. With the availability of games on TV and the internet you can see any game you wish. This is a good thing, I think. A lot of people I know are watching hockey, not solely the Leafs, as when I was younger. Heck Michael, if we weren't hockey fans at least a little we would have forgotten what the playoffs were altogether.

    Can choice in a marketplace ever be a bad thing? I don't presume to know that it would make the idiots at MLSE put more effort into winning Stanley Cups, instead of developing condos. More live world class hockey in our proverbial backyard is my vote on this one. Who knows the new team might even catch lightning in a bottle and win the cup. That would be some kind of interesting wouldn't it?

  10. I can't argue with your thinking, Jim.

    I'm reading all these comments closely and I understand what everyone is saying. That's why I wanted different perspectives.

    I hear you on the playoff reference, as well. My favourite hockey of the year is always the first round of the NHL playoffs, and we haven't been there for a while!

  11. As a die hard Leafs fan all my life and a Markham resident, I am in a bit of a unique situation.

    Will my allegiances change if (when?) Markham obtains an NHL Franchise? I don't think so. I have too much invested emotionally in the Blue and White to switch allegiances. But, I also have two sons (9 nad 11 years old), both love playing and following hockey and while they would prefer if the Leafs won they are not hard core followers of the team. Conversely, I was already drinking the blue/white kool aid by the time I was their age.

    Neither of my sons can remember the Leafs playing in a playoff game and have been subjected to generally horrible Toronto teams during their short lives. Not surprisingly, they have developed an attachment to teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington (you know, teams that win occasionally and with identifiable stars) and this is true of many of their friends and teammates.

    Now this is just anecdotal, but I think there are many kids who like my sons have simply looked to alternative teams to follow because the local side is so pathetic. These kids I believe could form part of the new fan base for the Markham club. Plus, there are many other NHL fans in the GTA who hate the Leafs so I could see them supporting the new GTA franchise as well.

    I think another franchise in the GTA could be successful and I for one, would welcome them.

  12. Very thoughtful post, Carm. I see what you are talking about with your sons.

    You also raise a point which I thought of earlier but somehow missed in my post: there are plenty of local hockey fans who hate the Leafs, and for those people, another team would provide a possible cheering outlet.

    Well said, thanks Carm.

  13. Hi Michael,

    Have to agree with a lot of your points. I'm not sure what I would make of an NHL team in Markham.

    First of all I am a Leaf fan and, for better or worse, always will be. Since I live near Hamilton I would not be making use of a new facility. Others may want to, however, Toronto is much more a Leaf town than a hockey town. Also, those that imagine reasonably priced tickets in such a venue are likely in for a rude awakening.

    I am with you on the Team Canada thing. I have never felt anything but ambivalence towards any of "Canada's" teams. To me they are just a bunch of guys I didn't like the week before. Can't get on the bandwagon. The exception for me is the World Juniors.

    I am a Leaf fan. I never miss a game, pre-season or regular season. We no longer participate in the playoffs. Like you I spent a lot of time at the Gardens growing up (third row greens, centre ice).

    Having said that, I would no longer pay to go to a game. Since the ACC opened I have been to 3, all on free tickets. It is an investment in time and money to get downtown and it is presently not worth it. To me the Leafs are like an alcoholic sister, you still love them but you will no longer enable them. Once they show that they want to change then maybe they will see my money again. But not until.

    As far as Markham goes, time will tell I suppose. I would much rather see it in Hamilton.

  14. Thanks cbh747. I appreciate your comments on the Team Canada thing. I've never been able to comfortably cheer for guys that, as you say, I hated a week before....

    Third row, center ice greens may have been the very best seats in the whole house at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Those must be wonderful memories.

    As I've said to those who have posted in support of a team in Markham, I respect their views. If people would enjoy and/or support a team there, great. I just don't have the enthusiasm for it, though people are making some really good points in their posts here today.

    In terms of rivalries, that may be something to consider, too, but for me, I'd just as soon we re-establish and reinforce traditional rivalries with teams like Montreal, Boston, Detroit and Chicago and even Ottawa and Buffalo. The Leafs need to be good, though, for that to really happen.

    Thanks cbh747.

  15. Whenever I hear about how a new team in T.O. (or alternatively, if fans stopped supporting the Leafs) would force the Leafs to be "better" I am left with the same question: what is it that the Leafs aren't doing that they should be? What action will they be forced to take with a new local team, that they haven't done already?

    They always spend to the cap. They have hired a high-priced G.M. and many, many assistants. They have put money into their minor league affiliates.

    What is it that they aren't doing because they "don't care enough" or aren't pressured?

  16. Hi Michael,
    Those were good times at the Gardens.

    I lived in Etobicoke at the time and pretty much every Wednesday and Saturday I would hop on the bus and subway and head on down. You would pop out right by the Gardens to the sound of the scalpers and the smell of roasting chestnuts.

    Before every game I would go and stand at the visiting players bench and watch the pre game skate. After the game I would head for the hallway outside of the dressing rooms and watch the players come out. I was absolutely in awe of them. I remember being down there one time when Darryl Sittler came off the ice. I was terrified to say anything to him. He was my hero after Dave Keon left.

    In those days the referee was almost as important as the opposition, if Wally Harris was in the house you knew the Leafs were in for a long night.

    The games against the Flyers in that era were epic. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I stopped foaming at the mouth whenever someone mentioned Philadelphia.

    I got a chance to referee there, I used to do MTHL games and they had an annual tournament at the Gardens. That was a thrill.

    I hope that one day the Leafs will once again be relevant to the kids growing up.

  17. For me that's a fair question that you raise, DMacQ67.

    As I noted in my earlier comments above (and often here in the past) I don't question for a minute that every GM the Leafs have had since I can remember wanted to win. Now, there may have been times over the past 45 years when ownership had other priorities, but I believe management always strives to win.

    I think I understand what people are saying in terms of another franchise nearby perhaps pushing the Leafs toward a greater sense of urgency, but again, you raise a very good point. Thanks.

  18. I connect whole-heartedly with your memories, cbh747. Because I lived in the Essex County area, I only got to one game in my "childhood" at the Gardens (I did see quite a number of games at the old Detroit Olympia), but made up for it in my young adulthood when I was going to school in Toronto. I was also at the Gardens a fair bit in those '70s Sittler-era years.

    Fans who weren't around in those "Broad Street Bully" years probably can't quite understand why we hated the Flyers so intensely back then, and it carried over, as you say, for years afterwards.

    It must indeed have been so neat to call youth games at the Gardens.

    That's a wonderful post- thanks cbh747. I could talk about these memories all day....

  19. One suggestion I have heard from people who believe the Leafs could be doing more is that the Board maybe should have "cut bait" a little sooner with JFJ when it became clear that he wasn't getting the job done.

    Which leads to the question: how much longer does Burke get?

    I have seen it written that the new owners will demand better results, but, again, how?

    To me, the major reason for the Leafs' demise since the lockout, is their inability to find good, consistent goaltending. If they had that, a lot of these questions or issues, might not have risen.

    I also believe that this talk of a second team in the GTA (or Hamilton) is a form of kicking the Leafs while they are down, especially by the media. When the Leafs were competitive (pre-lockout), we didn't get this kind of talk.

    The Leafs provide the NHL with a lot of revenue, much of which is used to assist some of the lesser performing franchises. I wonder why the NHL would do something that could conceivably (although doubtfully) economically harm a "Golden Goose".

  20. DMacQ67 , I think a lot of Leaf supporters agree that goaltending is a huge factor in a team's success, and certainly when it comes to the often thin line between making or not making the playoffs.

    Regarding the financial contribution the Leafs make to the league- yes, it is significant. I would imagine that will be part of the discussion between MLSE and the NHL if we ever come to a serious discussion about another franchise in the Toronto market. Any fee to allow a new team into the Leaf "territory" would likely be massive.

  21. Michael, I'm not in favour of another Toronto team, but I will admit it would put huge pressure on the Leafs to improve. Call it what you want, a management/ownership/business decision. But lets face it, if you have another store down the street which is more successful and stealing your business and your customer loyalty, you'll go to almost any measure to compete with them, and hold onto your place in the marketplace.

    I'm a loyal Leaf fan and always will be, but this team has not raised the cup since 1967. Part of the reason has been that the management and owners of this team always succeed financially no matter how bad the team may be. I know they want to succeed, but realistically the only pressure they have is their own internal desire to win. Right now the customers continue to flock to their store, quietly grumbling about the product, yet hoping each year that one or two new store items may reward their loyalty.

    If a new team opened up shop just down the street, would the Leafs improve?? I'm not sure, but the pressure to stay ahead of its competition would force the Leafs to make moves/decisions that it has been reluctant (at times) to make since 1967.

  22. I don't think a second team will hurt the Leafs finances or affect the size of its fan base. Leaf fans are Leaf fans, period, and no amount of failure or frustration they have given us will make us turn away. What the new team would inherit is hockey fans who never were die-hard enough to stick by the Leafs. History also shows that it takes a LONG time to build a true fan base in an area where there already is history.
    Case in point-my cousin is a Senators fan. Hard as it was for me to understand how any boy growing up in central Ontario could be anything but a Leafs fan, when I thought about it, the circumstances are different. I was born in 1972, and through my childhood, there was only one team. Only three in all of Canada for that matter. My cousin is much younger, born in 1988. So by the time he was old enough to know, there were many other choices, including Ottawa. It was the same situation reversed with baseball. I was a Blue Jays fan from day one, after all, they had been around pretty much from the time I was aware of the sport. Older fans of course were Detroit Tiger fans, and it took a long time to convert southern Ontario. We're going on twenty years now that the Senators have existed, and their fans STILL get shouted down in their own stadium when the Leafs play there. New York Mets and Islanders? Still second fiddle after all these years.
    Toronto is so many light years ahead of other North American cities in its combination of hockey passion and corporate wealth that there is no question it can handle two teams. Heck I'd even say three teams in Toronto would still make money. It's no secret that the average fan cannot afford to take a family of four to a Leafs game without putting his first born son up as collateral for a loan. That fan would gladly take his kids to see the other option if only for the love of hockey. And the Leafs will still sell out every night.

  23. I guess that's the thing, TML__fan. It's not, as I stressed above, that management (past and present) did not/does not want to win. It's perhaps that another team nearby would nudge the organization to do everything possible to try and win, which they maybe haven't always necessarily done. Thanks.

  24. I really relate to your comment about the Detroit Tigers, Pete. I was born and raised right across from Detroit and while I have always been a Leaf fan (and never a fan of any of the "local" Detroit teams) I understand the tug that people felt in southwestern Ontario. There were a lot of Red Wing and Tiger fans, for sure.

    It would take time to build the fan base for a new team in Toronto, but they would no doubt develop one, and the Leafs would "survive" nicely, financially.

    Well said. Thanks Pete.

  25. I think they should move the marlies to Markham , better and bigger than Ricoh, more people likely to attend games, more affordable and the GTA stays leaf nation!!

  26. Hi Michael - Great post and question posed.

    My view on a prospective Markham GTA NHL team is this: Bring it on!

    Having grown up in the GTA and (naturally) a Leaf fan, I am very unlikely to change allegiances. (Living in the Ottawa area now and being exposed to the anti-Leaf vitriol almost daily only makes my allegiance stronger). However, that is not to say that there are not those who would welcome and readily switch to another team should one appear in Markham. I have no doubt that any new team in the GTA centre would have a ready fan base to draw from - particularly a relocated team who would likely have some "die-hard" fan base already established. But, as you mentioned, Toronto is, and always will be, a Leaf town first.

    However, I think there are some other benefits to having a team in our Leaf backyard that have not yet been mentioned.

    1. This team would become the top rival to the Leafs. Unlike the Habs rivalry which pretty much died once the Leafs and Habs were placed in separate divisions/conferences, or the rivalry with the Senators which is a mere shadow of what it once was, a team in the same city will ALWAYS be a rival.

    2. This could dispel many of the ‘myths’ that Team Management and/or Local Media use to frame the Leafs present situation. This includes the “Players want to play in Toronto” myth or the “Opposing teams play more intensely in Toronto” myth that are constantly brought up to validate the ridiculous trade rumours or explain poor team performance. It could also dispel the “Toronto media is too intense” myth by potentially spreading the media attention out a little more. A second team could render useless many of these excuses used by the Team, Media and fans alike.

    3. A little competition for eyeballs can’t hurt. The Leafs reign supreme because there is simply no better alternative. When stories of the GTA team start invading the local papers and newscasts and take time away from what would have been Leaf stories, it could make the team have to try a little harder to get the attention they’re used to (if they want to keep that level).

    Finally, I think there is a synergy that could be created with a 2nd team in the area. Think about it. Right now we all go to work, school, wherever and discussion will always be about the Leafs. We all have that colleague who is a fan of another team, who tries to work up the discussion, but inevitably fails. With a 2nd local team, there will be more opposing fans, more viewpoints and ultimately – more passion! Doesn’t an increase in fan passion ultimately benefit both the Leafs and the GTA team?

  27. I love your "point 2", Horus. That one has me thinking, for sure.

    And I completely agree- anything that instills (potentially) even more rivalry and passion for hockey in general and in this market would likely be a good thing.

    Really well articulated- thanks Horus.

  28. "But take this example: Look around Toronto this summer, and what do you notice? Blue Jays merchandize EVERYWHERE. I can't remember a time when excitement for a mediocre team was this high."

    Except the Leafs every year.