We Don’t Know Hockey But Know Somebody Who Does

(Just in case you’re getting tired of hearing the same old nat-nat-nattering from these quarters, we thought it’d be good to change it up a bit today. So, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you a guest commentator…)

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This week in Eye Weekly, Shawn Micallef wrote a perspicacious open letter to George Smitherman, urging the Toronto mayoral candidate to be more like Wendel Clark than Tie Domi. Although I am not a Maple Leaf fan, I’ve watched the team for decades and inevitably started wondering what Leafs our former mayors most resemble:

* David Crombie = Ted Kennedy

Okay, I never saw Kennedy play—I’m not that old—but many hockey historians consider him the greatest Leaf ever. Captain for eight years, “Teeder” helped the team win the Stanley Cup five times and was the last Leaf to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Mayor from 1972 to 1978, Crombie led a reform council that left a legacy the city has coasted on for decades. We still remember him fondly as Toronto’s Tiny Perfect Mayor.

* John Sewell = Frank Mahovlich

A big, supremely talented player, the Big M helped the Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times. And yet, management mistreated him and fans booed him. Sewell had been a smart and scrappy activist alderman, but after he had the temerity to suggest Toronto cops were anything less than tops, he lasted just one term as a bike-riding, rights-defending mayor. Pearls before swine, I guess.

* Art Eggleton = Inge Hammerstrom

An ineffectual player, Hammerstrom could, according to owner Harold Ballard, “go into the corners with eggs in his pockets and not break one of them.” Eggleton was equally ineffectual. Unfortunately, he lasted longer as mayor than the Swedish winger lasted as a Leaf—and a lot of things broke in Toronto while he was in office.

The Other Swede

* June Rowlands = Tie Domi

A classic NHL goon, Domi served as Leaf enforcer. Rowlands ran for mayor on a law and order platform, but is best remembered for banning the Barenaked Ladies, an innocuous Scarborough pop group, from performing at Nathan Phillips Square. While both Domi and Rowlands were embarrassing, the big difference between the two was that Domi was, inexplicably, wildly popular in Toronto.

* Barbara Hall = Mats Sundin

The only Swedish player to score 500 NHL goals, the talented Sundin was a rare likable player on a team full of unlikable ones (Tie Domi, Darcy Tucker, Shayne Corson). Hall was mayor during Premier Mike Harris’s war on the city. Like Sundin, she served with class during a difficult era.

* Mel Lastman = Tiger Williams

A notorious bad boy, Williams remains the NHL’s all-time penalty leader. Some hockey fans thought he was a goof; others found him entertaining. Ditto for Lastman.

* David Miller = David Keon

When I was a kid, the hockey magazines I devoured regularly referred to the small, skillful Keon as “pound for pound the best player in the NHL.” Although he was one of the greatest players to ever don a Leaf sweater, his relationship with the team eventually soured and he split. As mayor, Miller had smarts, skill and vision—and was equally underappreciated. But many of the mayor’s supporters have a nagging suspicion that, like Keon, who won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player, the mayor would have been even more effective if he’d had Gordie Howe’s elbows.

skates strapped on-edly submitted by Tim Falconer, author of Drive: A Road Trip through Our Complicated Affair with the Automobile

37 thoughts on “We Don’t Know Hockey But Know Somebody Who Does

  1. I thought this site might be more focused on the Issues post Labour Day. The personality comparison is a bit of a stretch. Also, I think Micallef was originally from Windsor and came to Toronto in the early part of this decade…

    • Dear Mr. Yeung,

      What are you trying to insinuate? That Mr. Micallef should keep his Red Wing loving nose out of our hometown Leaf history? That’s not very open or welcoming toward the many migrants who make their way here to Toronto oftentimes under very arduous conditions. Mr. Micallef would’ve had to pass by London to arrive in Toronto from Windsor.

      Shame on you, Mr. Yeung. That’s a sentiment we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke would expect from the likes of your opponent, Rob Ford, not from a candidate as upstanding as yourself.

  2. The hockey to politician comparison is a bit weak.

    Everyone needs to ride around on their bikes with hockey cards in the spokes to make that awesome sound.

      • Dear Mr. Falconer,


        You just submitted comment #600 here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke.

        Great prizes to follow.

    • That’s an insulting remark and no surprise that you lot at AFUITBS would be encouraging it. Were none of you taught any manners? What kind of families raised such rude, crude bahaviour? Narrow-minded cheap labour conservative families no doubt.

      I know Eddie. He was my neighbour for many years. He is so undeserving of your disrespect.

      You lot are a bunch of wankers! (Maybe even, grippers!)

      FYTP, on yer bikes.

      • Dear Mr. MacQuarie,

        Hey! Why are you dragging us into the fray? We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke were just sitting, minding our own business, letting the comments flow in. We can’t just start blocking comments for fear of offending you or Eddie Shack. You wouldn’t want that now would you, Mr. MacQuarie? Because if we were the comment blocking type of site that was worried about keeping out all the offensive, pinheaded comments that we received, well, we would’ve started about the time you first joined in on the conversation.


        Did Mr. Shack (or Eddie as you call him) get you to invest in his donut shop chain?

  3. Dear City; Sorry about trying to address issues.(wink) I could write articles based on the ideas of other writers and the literati at EYE… Wendel Clark was traded for Mats Sundin who was captain and a goal scorer who could have been handy for those many games the Leafs lost by a goal of recent years. Do you know who the new captain is?(smile)

    • Dear Mr. MacQuarie,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke would like you to provide some examples of how we ‘characterised RF on this site’ in any way that was incorrect or out of line.

      Besides, having watched him in action at the Toronto Debates 2010 on Wednesday night, we may just be softening toward him. I’m pretty sure he promised that if he’s elected mayor, he’ll personally come and clean the office. Or, at the very least, help put in the storm windows. David Miller never did that.

      • I wouldn’t trust RF, especially after David Miller promised to clean up City Hall with his broom – and didn’t do it.

        I can see RF appealing to you now that you feel lost and wondering why you spent so much time on this site, for nothing.

        I think you lot at AFUITBS should learn a bit about political strategies before you waste any more time.

        Learning some manners too will help you later in life – like when you hope to get a job.

    • I actually think Eddie and Rob would be fast friends. Both are big loud piss tanks. Maybe they could revive The Pop Shop together.

  4. I see the same rude, crude behaviour on US-based teenager websites with extreme right wing content.

    You lot look like the same kind of amateurs. Grippers, wankers the lot of you.

    Let’s see what you come up with next. After hockey, what will it be, cartoons, pop songs, movies?

    • So if we disagree with you we are wankers. Interesting how you lumped us all in together.
      And this is definitely an extreme right wing content blog, you finally figured it out.

      I am hoping for a blog about cartoon movies with pop songs in them.

      • Tom,

        I disagree with your characterisation of Eddie Shack as a “big loud piss tank”. That’s just rude, crude and childish. I’ve seen that kind of behaviour before on right wing websites.

        This is a socialist wannabe website. One created in the hopes of elevating a couple of egos and to impress teenagers like you.

        I’d say you were more of a gripper than a wanker, although you’d likely qualify for both stations in life.

  5. I take offence to the term “grippers and wankers” being used negatively. You should “grip & wank” a bit more… it would make you a lot less stressed out.

    Years ago, I witnessed Mr. Shack walking (more like drunken swaying) home at 7 in the morning… all pissed and tanked up… he wasn’t being loud though.

    • Probably concentrating on not falling down. Maybe Peter needs to get drunk with all us right wing teenagers.

      British Wannabe.

  6. Mk & Tom,

    When you’re older and a bit more educated in life skills, hopefully you will realise it is poor form to trash them in the public realm, even if that person was once a hockey player.

    You’re not right wing teenagers, you’re teenager left wing wannabes acting like the crude, rude right.

    • If you’re in the public eye (now, or in the past) you’re free game for public trashing and/or praise.

      I enjoy the trashing of RF, as I think he’s a baffoon. Or at least he comes across like one.

      Peter… I’m not quite sure what you get out of all your commenting/ranting. This blog is all about entertainment with a bit of what’s going on in this great city… not to be taken too seriously.

      • I would agree with you if Eddie Shack had been a politician. It’s simply not good form to drag him out for the kind of treatment he got here.

        RF is fair game but trashing him on the personal level is pointless and not in keeping with the great City David Miller chirps on about.

        What do I get out of posting here? I’m trying to teach some kids better manners. It doesn’t matter what the site was set up for.

  7. and here i was thinking i was paying rob ford a compliment. eddie shack is one of my favorite leafs all time. he’s the entertainer. and he’s got a nose for value. great at taunting. a “great third line agitator”. only thing is eddie never would have been handed the C. in truth, facially, he looks more like turk broda.

  8. Brian,

    You’d be more believable if this was a pro-Ford site.

    Although, I have to say this lot AFUITBS has done its bit to elevate the man and move him closer to the Mayor’s Office.

    Eddie didn’t deserve the slagging he got after you posted. He’s a retired hockey player, he’s not a “big loud piss tank” and AFUITBS should not be encouraging that kind of cheap-labour conservative comment.

    However, you’re not the only one here lacking in sincerity.

  9. If only AFUITBS could do more for rob ford. and i’m not sure how i would
    ever be able to convince you of my sincerity. i have proclaimed publicly on more than one occasion, ‘toronto deserves rob ford’. and i believe that. i do not think that will come to pass. i could care less about rob ford the man – his foibles, his weight, his brushes with the law. i am interested in rob ford’s ideas and his actions. i do not care about eddie shack the man. i don’t care if he is or isn’t an illiterate drunk. and even if i did i would certainly not on that basis compare him to rob ford. what rob ford has done in the council chamber and what eddie shack did on the ice – that’s what counts. i would be over the moon if rob ford was elected mayor of toronto. unfortuantely that is not going to happen.

  10. I agree with you that TO deserves RF.

    I’m not sure if he will win. I believe you underestimate the influence wankers like this group of teenagers might have. What is posted here could still sway voters. Look at Howard Moscoe’s stupid remark. That sort of stuff energises RF and his followers. They use it to their advantage and what does AFUITBS post about?

    Rob Ford. AFUITBS’s obsession with weight, foibles, substance abuse, has allowed the focus to blur. Modern life is rubbish. Nothing new there – AFUITBS types have been ignoring what’s wrong at City Hall for 7 years now.

    I can see why you’re attracted to them though. You couldn’t just put Eddie down, you had to mention he was illiterate.

    There’s a mean streak about you. FYTP

  11. peter, by demonizing rob ford and his followers you are doing far more damage than any satire might. rob ford is not the leader of some personality cult and his teen-aged wankers are not lemming-zealots. mean? i am being very kind and generous. as for eddie being illiterate, there is no shame in that. why would you make it so. he has done well for himself and taught himself how to read. but again that is all beside the point. if not eddie shack who would you prefer? dion phaneuf? he is after all the most over-rated player in the nhl. as voted by the players. and that may be consistent with how most councillors feel about rob ford. it’s too bad sean avery is not a leaf.

  12. What the likes of Case Otes or George Mammoliti think about RF matters naught to me. I think for myself and decide for myself. You obviously don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. No surprise there.

    The kind of venom you post here is similar to what the worst journalists write in the worst tabloids. You’re mentality and meanness would suit posts on The National Enquirer website.

    They reside quite happily here too though. That lot at AFUITBS enjoy your style of snobbery. It’s their elitist chatter that the Ford Team just love to put out to their volunteers. And, it is that which is raising the Rob Ford drumbeat and which is raising the turnout to vote for him.

    Rob Ford is the head of a cult. Not unlike the kind of cult culture that brought about Reagan, Bush and Palin. That’s when there were childish idiots to the left of them, and idiots to the right of them.

    They too could count on flaming-idiots to get them elected. I hope you and the FRUITS will be happy when he becomes Mayor.

  13. peter, you are right. i do not think for myself. i usually depend on the editorial board of the toronto sun to do my thinking for me. but even they are turning against rob ford. and since your thinking is so clear i am going to let you do it for me from now on. ‘mkay?

    rob ford is the head of a cult? maybe then that makes him carl brewer.

    keeping you on thread is hard work.

      • forgive me tom. i’m currrently fascinated with irrationality in civic discourse. plus, i loved the player-mayor metaphor. i guess peter is just not a hockey fan. forbes kennedy.

  14. You’re a cold-hearted snob with a penchant for tearing down innocent bystanders. And, you have a terrible sense of humanity.

    Other than that I see little “work” in your posts. What you, and the likes here, do requires little of that. I suspect you’re idle most of the time and spend it venting viscous anger at unsuspecting people like Eddie Shack.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. I doubt if mkay will come to redeem you.

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