Boyes Knows the Way to San Jose

By Kevin Kelly

Baby Leafs get nothing in return for their leading scorer

Fans in St. John’s are starting to get a little
frustrated with the Toronto Maple Leafs brass. First,
the promise of the Raptors and the Maple Leafs
alternating training camps in St. John’s hasn’t
materialized the way it should have (the Leafs will
have their training camp in Sweden this upcoming
season and have only had a couple days of training
camp ever in St. John’s (after the September 11th
events)…while the Raptors never showed up at all.)
The fans have also had to put up with the most part,
lacklustre teams who have been fairly inconsistent.
Teams that look good on paper just don’t seem to gel
on the ice most of the time and the Leafs have had
their struggles getting wins. (They did, in their
defence, have a solid playoff run last season). The
Leafs also didn’t get local guys in the past who could
have helped the Baby Leafs, like John Slaney, Dwayne
Norris and to an extent, Harold Druken (but Druken’s
loss wasn’t their fault.)

Now, the Leafs have shafted St. John’s yet again.
This time, the Leafs have dealt the Baby Leafs leading
scorer, Brad Boyes, and former Baby Leaf Alyn McCauley
along with next year’s first round pick to Toronto for
Owen Nolan. Nolan will be a great benefit to the big
club, but the fact that the Leafs couldn’t get a Ryan
Kraft or even Newfoundland native Ryan Clowe, who
plays as an overage junior with the Montreal Rocket
and who is Sharks property is just frustrating.
Most St. John’s fans knew the trade was coming. The
recent Leafs Wives Charity Carnival was overrun with
fans, (myself included) wanting to get their picture
with the young forward. But it still hurts to see our
leading scorer and most exciting offensive player
traded as the AHL Leafs try to get a playoff spot, and
that dream looks to be fading faster by the game.
The undying loyalty of the fans of St. John’s, (high
attendance most nights, including a number of
sellouts, investment of federal and provincial money
to building a new Stadium, etc.) doesn’t seem, to many
observers here, to mean much to the bigwigs in
Toronto, who seem to be only worried about the big
club and getting that elusive Stanley Cup that has
eluded them since 1967. The frustration has simmered
for a while now, but many think it could come to a
boil. Some fans I’ve spoken with wonder why they
continue to support the team when Toronto continues to
show us a lack of respect.

The Leafs take on Syracuse and former Leaf Donald
MacLean this weekend at Mile One. But with the playoff
hopes of the Leafs dwindling, will anyone care?