G’day Leafs Nation, and welcome to Adelaide. If Toronto is the centre of the hockey world, then I’m up in the back of the bleachers. As you can see, it’s a sunny, 21-degree day in May, which means winter is coming to Australia and the hockey season is on! Or off, depending how you look at it.
You’d be right to ask how I came to love the Leafs while living 16,623 kilometres away. Well, eight years ago I spent a while living in the bustling metropolis of Peterborough, Ontario. That was the year the Leafs made the Eastern Conference final, thanks to Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Bryan McCabe and the rest of ‘em. Since then it seems like Toronto has been on a downhill spiral, every single year - until now.
This video blog is the story of a year in the life of a distant Leafs fan, and a year of unfinished business. When I lived in Canada, it took me a while to get into hockey, and so I never got a chance to go to an NHL game. I never even went to see the Peterborough Petes, in the days when some kid named Eric Staal was lighting it up around there. I was given a Darcy Tucker jersey for my birthday a few years ago, but that got stolen out of my car. Brutal! So I need to get to a game on another continent, and I need a new jersey. And most significantly, the Leafs need to make the playoffs, cos they haven’t since frickin’ ages ago.
Well! If there’s any sense of poetry in the world, that’s gonna change. Fact.
My name’s Peregrine, I am a journalist in training, and over the next 12 months I’ll be introducing you to my city, some Aussie ice hockey, and perhaps the journeys that’ll get both me and the Leafs out of this seven-year rut. So stay tuned.