If the NHL still had the regional draft (which was discontinued in the 1970s) the Toronto Maple Leafs would have a number of Stanley Cup banners hanging from their rafters and they would define powerhouse. Unfortunately for fans in Ontario this is not the case and the elite players from the Toronto area are dispersed around the NHL. But recent rumbling have Tampa Bay Lightning star and Markham native Steven Stamkos “considering” the Leafs when his contract is up in 2016.
Before the hockey aspect is analyzed, the timeframe is ludicrous — so much can happen in two years that what looks appealing now may the opposite by then and vice versa. Besides, the Lightning are committed to building their team around Stamkos with eyes to winning the Stanley Cup in Florida. Those two factors alone should be enough to put such nonsensical rumors on the backburner, but given that it’s the Leafs they won’t be going away any time soon.
Between now and when Stamkos can hit the market in July 2016, look for the Lightning to be one of the league’s best teams over both seasons and in all likelihood sign Stamkos to an extension before Toronto can get a whiff at the star center. But it won’t kill the rumors just yet.
While NBA superstar LeBron James made going “home” after playing in Florida the cool thing to do, the circumstances couldn’t be more different. This is just the latest example of the Toronto media and fan circus blowing things way out of proportion. Leafs rumors are like a Charlie Sheen rant: 99% of the time they have no basis in reality and never seem to end.