We all know the hockey universe centers around the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even if you’re not a Maple Leafs fan, you know it. Maple Leafs fans certainly know it. In fact, everyone pretty much knows it. It’s one of those things that many fans don’t love, but have simply come to accept.
The media that cover the NHL certainly know it too.
That said, every once and a while, one of the members of that same media circle tend to step over the line of what’s an acceptable comment and what offends an entire group of followers, ones who also happen to be loud, proud and ready to dance if you challenge them.
Such a thing just happened when Bruce Arthur for The Star said the following:
Look, years of McDavid’s career are being wasted in Edmonton, and by hockey in general. He hasn’t played in an Olympics, and unless the NHL decides to go to Beijing he won’t for the first 10 years of his career. Maybe the Oilers make the playoffs this season, dragged by McDavid and Draisaitl and their special teams in the league’s weakest division, for the second time in McDavid’s five-year career. But imagine him on a more complete team. These Oilers aren’t great. They might not even be very good.source -‘Motivated McDavid exacts revenge on Maple Leafs with mesmerizing goal of the year’
If you’re an Oilers fans… Let the war begin.
Do Not Throw Stones
Arthur is based out of Toronto. As such, no one should be shocked to see that his bias would be against anyone who isn’t part of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Jason Gregor of TSN 1260 noted of the comments, “Shockingly it comes from a Toronto writer. Did people write Lemieux’s career was being wasted in Pittsburgh when he missed playoffs 5 of first 6 years? McDavid’s already won a playoff series. Are Matthews and Marner’s careers being wasted? Old and frankly a soft-as-baby-shit take.”
There are a lot of people in Edmonton agreeing with this sentiment right now.
Ironically, the Maple Leafs have had their own set of problems. No doubt, they’re talented but are they good enough to win a playoff series? Even media in Toronto are asking that question.
Since Sheldon Keefe took over the team, they’ve been hot. Edmonton’s win on Monday stopped their consecutive point streak at 10. Prior to that, in Toronto, the sky was falling. The Maple Leafs were struggling, the coach was let go, the top players weren’t always performing and injuries were a huge issue (still are in many ways).
The point here is, Toronto is good and offensively gifted but many will argue they’re not great. That’s a fair argument.
Related: Over a Dozen Teams Interested in Jean-Gabriel Pageau
McDavid Made One Of Their Own Look Silly
Arthur’s comments come after McDavid scored what might arguably the goal of his NHL career to date. He undressed Morgan Rielly in the third period of the Oilers versus Maple Leafs game, cementing the win for Edmonton and putting the Oilers only two points behind the Maple Leafs in the NHL standings. (Edmonton has 51 and Toronto 53).
Rielly is probably aware there’s simply not much you can do there. He’s probably not lost a lot of sleep over it. For some reason, Toronto based media often feel the need to defend their own.
The argument coming from a number of Edmontonians is the same argument many have been making since McDavid was drafted… ‘Your jealous, we get it.’
You see, everyone just assumed the Maple Leafs were going to get McDavid at the NHL Entry Draft. I’m not sure why and I’m grateful as an Oilers fan that Edmonton won the lottery and the right to take McDavid but many Maple Leafs fans and media haven’t gotten over it.
So, it should come as no surprise, that while complimenting just how good McDavid is and how every once and while you get to witness a play that reminds you of how special a gift he is to hockey, a backhanded compliment is the best a Toronto-based media writer is about to offer.
Related: 5 Top Takeaways From IIHF World Junior Tournament
At the End of the Day
I’m not personally offended by Arthur’s comments., mostly because I’m not surprised they were made.
As an Oilers fan, I care about the two points. I care that Connor McDavid plays in Edmonton and I care that it was an important win against a good team that proved Edmonton might not be nearly as terrible as some media want to make them out to be.
Related: Oilers Beat Maple Leafs: Ken Holland Says “Window Is Now”
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