Brian Burke does not think the present 45-year Cup drought of the Maple Leafs should be hung like a millstone on the present team.
Fair enough, though we’d like to think those “1940” chants on Long Island eventually lit a fire under the New York Rangers. And the Chicago Blackhawks were sick of being reminded they had the longest Cup drought before passing that hex to the Leafs.
A bunch of players born in the 1980s and a few in the ‘90s, don’t need a history lesson drilled in them every night they play, but the day after another new champion is crowned, it’s worth pointing out how the Leafs have been lapped.
The L.A. Kings become the 17th team to win the Cup since the Leafs in ‘67 and the 12th to start from scratch. That field includes four of the six expansion teams after ‘67, L.A., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Minnesota (via Dallas). The eight others are the Islanders, Oilers, Flames, Devils, Avalanche, Ducks, Lightning and Hurricanes. Then add the other five Original Six clubs, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Boston and Montreal.
And as the Leafs haven’t made the final since ‘67, it bears noting the Blues, Canucks, Panthers, Sabres, Capitals and Senators were at least in the building when the Cup was presented.
Should all this be a taboo topic in Toronto? Or better yet, a motivator for players and management.