Houston ends its championship drought, it’s about time Toronto does ... Crazy to think how good Matthews will be when he hits his prime ... Habs are bad because they don’t draft well ... Jays let Bautista go
As the Houston Astros won the World Series, it wiped out a 22-year drought between major league championships in that city: The last time Houston won something that mattered professionally, that NBA title came in 1995, the season before the Toronto Raptors were born. Why do the Raptors figure here? Because in the seasons that have followed the Rockets victory, Toronto is one of the few sporting markets in North America to go championship free for towns that participate with teams in the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball.
From the time the Raptors were born, Chicago leads all of pro sports with eight parades from the three major sports, discounting Super Bowl wins in this equation because there is no NFL in Canada.
Los Angeles has won seven championships. New York, Miami, Boston, San Antonio and Detroit have all won five. If you include Super Bowls, Boston had had 10 parades, New York has had seven.
Not only has Toronto not won a big league title since the Joe Carter home run in 1993, there has not been Toronto participation in any final since the World Series. In all, 21 different cities have celebrated since the Raptors gave Toronto a rooting interest in the NBA, 25 if you include the NFL.
In fairness, the Argos have won the Grey Cup four times since the birth of the Raptors and Toronto FC could well win the MLS Cup this soccer season. But from the mainstream, nothing. No championships. No finalists. No parades.
It isn’t time for this. It’s overtime.
THIS AND THAT
is 20 years old. I keep repeating that to myself, over and over. This is just the beginning. His game has expanded enormously from Year 1 to Year 2 in the NHL. Most forwards hit their primes somewhere between the ages of 22 and 26. Crazy to think of what he’s going to be when he grows up ... In the 2007 NHL draft, the Montreal Canadiens
Ryan wound up with McDonagh, Max Pacioretty
P.K. Subban and with their first three picks. In the 10 drafts that have followed, the Canadiens did not come up with a single player the equal of the three from 2007. It’s no mystery why this team is so average: The talent simply isn’t good enough ... So who saw this coming? Ron Hainsey
being the best garage sale free agent signing of the summer ... What the Leafs need, other than the obvious (defensive presence, defensive sense, neutral zone intelligence) is someone with a heavy shot from the point. Their best slapshot shooter may be Roman Polak,
who probably shouldn’t be dressing most
Connor McDavid nights .... scored a hat trick on opening night for the Edmonton Oilers and had everyone giddy but has only scored two goals since then. And the Oilers have a problem they may not be able to solve. They
Leon Draisaitl need to play
with McDavid for ultimate production. But they need Draisaitl at centre on the second line, for depth purposes. What they need, really, is another Draisaitl and that’s not coming and it’s not necessarily available.
So who saw this coming? Ron Hainsey being the best garage sale free agent signing of the summer.
HEAR AND THERE
was the seventh pick in the 2009 NHL draft. Eight years later, he’s the seventh leading scorer in his draft class. Makes him a value pick ... The real bonus
Could Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs finally bring a championship to Toronto? Only time will tell.