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National Post

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Raptors did it, Canucks did it, and now Leafs: Apologizing to frustrated fansIn an open letter to fans published in newspapers across Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum signed his name at the bottom of a mea culpa: “We are disappointed with the results of this season.”“We have fallen short of everyone’s expectations, and for that we are sorry,” the letter reads. “We take full responsibility for how this team performs on the ice, and we make no excuses. The way the year ended was unacceptable. Results are the only measure of success in sports and the results speak for themselves.”

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Raptors did it, Canucks did it, and now Leafs: Apologizing to frustrated fans
In an open letter to fans published in newspapers across Toronto, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum signed his name at the bottom of a mea culpa: “We are disappointed with the results of this season.”

“We have fallen short of everyone’s expectations, and for that we are sorry,” the letter reads. “We take full responsibility for how this team performs on the ice, and we make no excuses. The way the year ended was unacceptable. Results are the only measure of success in sports and the results speak for themselves.”

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Same old songBruce Arthur: The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won a game in the sterile and lucrative confines of the Air Canada Centre it vaulted them to seventh in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the fourth-place Philadelphia Flyers, who were coming to Toronto a few days later. “You have to go through a hard time to realize what it takes to win,” said Leafs goaltender James Reimer that night, presuming the hard times were behind them. Well, we all make mistakes.That was 43 days before Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss at home to the New York Islanders, which came one day after Boston dug the Leafs a new sub-basement with an 8-0 thrashing. The Leafs managed 13 shots on Monday. They managed 14 shots on Tuesday. The past two games, the lights have gone out.Photo: Mike Cassese/Reuters

nationalpostsports:

Same old song
Bruce Arthur: The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won a game in the sterile and lucrative confines of the Air Canada Centre it vaulted them to seventh in the Eastern Conference, four points behind the fourth-place Philadelphia Flyers, who were coming to Toronto a few days later. “You have to go through a hard time to realize what it takes to win,” said Leafs goaltender James Reimer that night, presuming the hard times were behind them. Well, we all make mistakes.

That was 43 days before Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss at home to the New York Islanders, which came one day after Boston dug the Leafs a new sub-basement with an 8-0 thrashing. The Leafs managed 13 shots on Monday. They managed 14 shots on Tuesday. The past two games, the lights have gone out.
Photo: Mike Cassese/Reuters

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The 2013 Winter Classic will feature …The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, who will play at Michigan Stadium (a 100,000 seat venue). Bring your thermal underwear.

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The 2013 Winter Classic will feature …
The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, who will play at Michigan Stadium (a 100,000 seat venue). Bring your thermal underwear.

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Maple Leaf Gardens time capsule opened
A small ivory elephant found in a 1931 time capsule during the overhaul of Maple Leaf Gardens has the new owners of the building baffled.

Experts contacted by Loblaws and Ryerson University for insight were unable to explain why the elephant was there.

The small carved trinket, made with fragments of blue ribbon, was among a dozen items — including hockey rule books and newspapers that look aged but remain legible — in the time capsule unveiled on Thursday in the engineering building at Ryerson.

To solve the elephant mystery, the public is being asked to suggest why it might have been included in the handmade copper box. The box itself is 30 centimetres by 20 cm by 20 cm and its inner lid is engraved with a name, address and date: M.B.Campbell, 124 Lindsay Ave, 9/21/31. Photos: Aaron Lynett/National Post; MLG exterior: Peter J. Thompson/National Post

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Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was honoured by PLFAG Canada (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) with the “Ally Award” on Monday. Here is part of his speech via MapleLeafs.com (Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters):I believe that the PFLAG “Ally Award” has great significance, and I was flattered to accept it on Monday night on behalf of the Burke family.  But I hope the day comes, and soon, when this award is retired as obsolete.A parent’s unconditional love and acceptance of their child is unremarkable, and should be automatic.  It deserves no accolades or praise.  Make no mistake, the hero here was Brendan.  What Brendan did took courage.  Coming out in arguably the most macho of the professional sports.  Now that was worthy of an award.Most walls in society have been breached or levelled over time.  But not this one – professional sports in North America has no gay presence.  And certainly the NHL does not.  These walls have not been breached, have not been levelled.  Bias, suspicion and prejudice still prevail.  Our goal has to be to continue to level these barriers. Great progress has been made.  But much hard work still lies ahead.  Gradual change has been interspersed with radical statements and positions.   Brendan’s lot as a gay man in general was far better than it would have been in 1980.  But the process must continue.  Today, we are talking about battling ignorance, fear and bias.  And I am going to ask everybody to agree to take three steps going forward – and to eliminate homophobia.Why am I receiving this award?  Because my son was gay.  And I lost him in a car accident on February 5, 2010.  Brendan came out in a very public way shortly before we lost him.  He changed lives, and he has inspired me to do the same. 

nationalpostsports:

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was honoured by PLFAG Canada (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) with the “Ally Award” on Monday. Here is part of his speech via MapleLeafs.com (Photo: Mark Blinch/Reuters):

I believe that the PFLAG “Ally Award” has great significance, and I was flattered to accept it on Monday night on behalf of the Burke family.  But I hope the day comes, and soon, when this award is retired as obsolete.

A parent’s unconditional love and acceptance of their child is unremarkable, and should be automatic.  It deserves no accolades or praise.  Make no mistake, the hero here was Brendan.  What Brendan did took courage.  Coming out in arguably the most macho of the professional sports.  Now that was worthy of an award.

Most walls in society have been breached or levelled over time.  But not this one – professional sports in North America has no gay presence.  And certainly the NHL does not.  These walls have not been breached, have not been levelled.  Bias, suspicion and prejudice still prevail.  Our goal has to be to continue to level these barriers.

Great progress has been made.  But much hard work still lies ahead.  Gradual change has been interspersed with radical statements and positions.   Brendan’s lot as a gay man in general was far better than it would have been in 1980.  But the process must continue.  Today, we are talking about battling ignorance, fear and bias.  And I am going to ask everybody to agree to take three steps going forward – and to eliminate homophobia.

Why am I receiving this award?  Because my son was gay.  And I lost him in a car accident on February 5, 2010.  Brendan came out in a very public way shortly before we lost him.  He changed lives, and he has inspired me to do the same. 

(Source: )

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‘Well, I don’t want Dion fighting a lot’It was easy to tell how Brian Burke felt in the moment, when a television camera focused on the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager as he watched his captain drop his gloves to fight for the first time this season. It was easy to read Burke’s lips as Dion Phaneuf threw his punches: “Atta boy.”The more complex questions were raised after the game, after the Leafs had fallen 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators at home on Tuesday night. Phaneuf was given an extra two minutes on the play for roughing, on top of the fighting major given for avenging the questionable hit Senators forward Nick Foligno had leveled on him earlier in the period.Was it wise for the captain to fight with the Leafs in tight? Was it wise for the team’s best defenceman to risk injury in a fight when Jay Rosehill was in the lineup that night?“Well, I don’t want Dion fighting a lot,” Burke said on Wednesday. “I don’t like ‘clean hit’ fights. I think if it’s a clean hit, everyone should skate away. But I have no problem with him fighting with Foligno last night. Zero.” Photo: Fred Thornhill/Reuters

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‘Well, I don’t want Dion fighting a lot’
It was easy to tell how Brian Burke felt in the moment, when a television camera focused on the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager as he watched his captain drop his gloves to fight for the first time this season. It was easy to read Burke’s lips as Dion Phaneuf threw his punches: “Atta boy.”

The more complex questions were raised after the game, after the Leafs had fallen 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators at home on Tuesday night. Phaneuf was given an extra two minutes on the play for roughing, on top of the fighting major given for avenging the questionable hit Senators forward Nick Foligno had leveled on him earlier in the period.
Was it wise for the captain to fight with the Leafs in tight? Was it wise for the team’s best defenceman to risk injury in a fight when Jay Rosehill was in the lineup that night?

“Well, I don’t want Dion fighting a lot,” Burke said on Wednesday. “I don’t like ‘clean hit’ fights. I think if it’s a clean hit, everyone should skate away. But I have no problem with him fighting with Foligno last night. Zero.” Photo: Fred Thornhill/Reuters

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OMB!In an extremely Canadian combination of celebrities, Justin Bieber skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday while home for the holidays. Watch the video here. Photo: MuchMusic/George Pimentel for WireImage

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OMB!
In an extremely Canadian combination of celebrities, Justin Bieber skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday while home for the holidays. Watch the video here. Photo: MuchMusic/George Pimentel for WireImage

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Powering throughToronto Maple Leafs’ Cody Franson checks Carolina Hurricanes’ Tim Brent during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

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Powering through
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Cody Franson checks Carolina Hurricanes’ Tim Brent during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

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Rogers, Bell close to MLSE dealCanada’s two largest telecommunications companies are close to buying a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., including the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, in a joint bid estimated to be worth about $1.4-billion that could be announced as early as Friday.A source with knowledge of events said that Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. have an agreement in principle that would split the majority 79.53% stake in MLSE currently owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.Larry Tanenbaum, the Toronto-based construction magnate who owns the remaining 20.47% of MLSE, would remain chairman as a condition of his support for the transaction contemplated by Rogers and Bell. As part of a shareholders’ rights agreement, Mr. Tanenbaum has first right of refusal on any attempted sale, and would have to approve any changes to the partners’ accord, including dividing the much-coveted broadcast and Internet assets. (Photo: Brett Gundlock/National Post)

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Rogers, Bell close to MLSE deal
Canada’s two largest telecommunications companies are close to buying a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., including the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, in a joint bid estimated to be worth about $1.4-billion that could be announced as early as Friday.

A source with knowledge of events said that Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. have an agreement in principle that would split the majority 79.53% stake in MLSE currently owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

Larry Tanenbaum, the Toronto-based construction magnate who owns the remaining 20.47% of MLSE, would remain chairman as a condition of his support for the transaction contemplated by Rogers and Bell. As part of a shareholders’ rights agreement, Mr. Tanenbaum has first right of refusal on any attempted sale, and would have to approve any changes to the partners’ accord, including dividing the much-coveted broadcast and Internet assets. (Photo: Brett Gundlock/National Post)

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Hitting the spotFrom bullied to bully. After getting manhandled last week in back-to-back losses to the Boston Bruins, in which they were outscored 10-4, Jay Rosehill and the Toronto Maple Leafs travelled to Manhattan and got to kick a little sand in the face of the New York Rangers in a 4-2 win on Monday night. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Hitting the spot
From bullied to bully. After getting manhandled last week in back-to-back losses to the Boston Bruins, in which they were outscored 10-4, Jay Rosehill and the Toronto Maple Leafs travelled to Manhattan and got to kick a little sand in the face of the New York Rangers in a 4-2 win on Monday night. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Burke’s anniversaryTo mark Brian Burke’s third year as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, here’s how Toronto evolved from the roster he inherited to the team that skates tonight in Boston.

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Burke’s anniversary
To mark Brian Burke’s third year as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, here’s how Toronto evolved from the roster he inherited to the team that skates tonight in Boston.

It just rolls off your tongue!
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Goodbye Maple Leaf Gardens…Hello, Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre and Mattamy Home Ice. Yes, that is the new name of the revamped gym and hockey rink for Ryerson University in Toronto. Here’s how it looks. Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post

It just rolls off your tongue!

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Goodbye Maple Leaf Gardens
…Hello, Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre and Mattamy Home Ice. Yes, that is the new name of the revamped gym and hockey rink for Ryerson University in Toronto. Here’s how it looks. Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post

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Here are your 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees: Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Cassese

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Here are your 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees: Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Cassese

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Maple Leafs must learn from Boston blowoutAfter the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 7-0 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the easy thing to say was that the mirage has finally been revealed. That after roaring out of the gates on a Cinderella-type 9-3-1 run, the team that the rest of the country loves to hate had turned back into a pumpkin. That it was all a sham.For those who had been skeptical of the Leafs’ early season success, that might be the thinking. The Bruins did not just beat Toronto on Saturday, according to Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, “they kicked our ass every which way.”So does this mean the curtain has been lifted to reveal the Leafs of past years? Should one bad night of hockey erase four weeks of good? (Photo:  Abelimages/Getty Images)

nationalpostsports:

Maple Leafs must learn from Boston blowout
After the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 7-0 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the easy thing to say was that the mirage has finally been revealed. That after roaring out of the gates on a Cinderella-type 9-3-1 run, the team that the rest of the country loves to hate had turned back into a pumpkin. That it was all a sham.

For those who had been skeptical of the Leafs’ early season success, that might be the thinking. The Bruins did not just beat Toronto on Saturday, according to Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, “they kicked our ass every which way.”

So does this mean the curtain has been lifted to reveal the Leafs of past years? Should one bad night of hockey erase four weeks of good? (Photo:  Abelimages/Getty Images)

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On fireWho needs James Reimer when the Leafs have Ben Scrivens waiting in the wings? Photo: John Grieshop/Getty Images

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On fire
Who needs James Reimer when the Leafs have Ben Scrivens waiting in the wings? Photo: John Grieshop/Getty Images