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Letter to Mitch Marner – What is the price of a Dream?

sexta-feira, 13 setembro 2019 Deixe um comentário

Mitch, I’m sure you don’t know this blog of mine, but everything here is in Portuguese, with the intention of spreading Toronto Maple Leafs news to potential fans who don’t have access to the English information.

I am Brazilian and met the Leafs and NHL during a trip I made to Atlanta in January 2002, my first overseas trip, when I saw the team led by Mats Sundin defeat the Atlanta Thrashers by a 6 – 0 shutout. From then on I became interested in the sport and never stopped following, either on the Internet, or in some live games, when I had the opportunity to visit some North American cities like New York, Toronto and Fort Lauderdale. I’m a Leafs fan for just 17 years, much less than many who have been waiting for a new Stanley Cup since 1967 for this “Original Six” team.

In these 17 years I’ve seen a lot of changes and good and bad teams, but the hope of seeing a team of skilled players who could bring the Stanley Cup back to Toronto is unshakable. After seeing the team not qualifying for the playoffs for years at a time, we changed direction and were headed in the right direction and wisely using our draft picks, which in previous years we traded for rental players near the trade deadline and they were only kept until the end of the season. The team is no longer a destination that no one want and has become a destination coveted by ice hockey players, despite all the pressure Toronto has on the team. This started to happen when we started picking better in the draft and showing that Brendan Shanahan’s path, Shanaplan, could really bring back a competitive team and even chances to play for the Stanley Cup.

Within this new Leafs management period, under Shanaplan, we managed to have one of the best coaches in the league, Mike Babcock, a very talented young team formed by you, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Frederik Andersen, Auston Matthews, Travis Dermot, Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen, as well as several players still awaiting the chance to play on NHL such as Timothy Liljgren, Justin Holl, Jeremy Bracco and Rasmus Sandin, and attracted players as the newcomer Jason Spezza.

Another great player who agreed to come to Toronto after being an idol at the New York Islanders was John Tavares, who accepted a smaller financial offer to achieve his childhood dream, playing for the Leafs.

Training Camp is about to begin and you, one of the team’s most beloved players, have not yet renewed your contract. Not training with his teammates, not preparing to defend the Leafs, in short, seeing it all from the outside. And what is the reason? There is a lot of speculation about the offers that Kyle Dubas made to you and your non-acceptance and we all don’t know what the problem is. Whether it’s the value, or the contract time, or both. What we do know is that it would be great to have you on the team and we are sure you would make it even more complete.

All this stalemate is making many fans accept that you are negotiated out of Toronto! You are one of the team’s idols and this is affecting your image for the fans. Other than the fact that while still dealing with you, the Leafs are taken as hostage, unable to use the budget to hire another player, because if it does, it will not have enough to propose you a good salary.

I know every professional should look for contracts where they feel their contribution to the team is rewarded and get the best possible salary, but I also believe that to be part of a competitive team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup, especially when that team is your childhood’s team, is priceless. Does staying in this endless negotiation, looking for the most advantageous contract in the face of a dream, make sense? You are only 22 years old and you can be sure that you will have contracts that will recognize your qualities and contribution to the team. But put it all in the balance. You grew up dreaming of being able to play on the NHL and wondered how it would be even better if you could play for the Leafs! This dream you have already realized and with praise! You are already a team idol! Now, have you ever thought of the Toronto Maple Leafs bringing the long-awaited Stanley Cup to Toronto after more than 50 years, and you being part of that story? Now, have you ever thought that could happen, and you, for demanding something that you think is fair, and may even it is, be negotiated to a team that doesn’t even have a real chance of going to the playoffs? At the end, what is the price of a Dream?

Hope to see you in the Leafs uniform as soon as possible!

Hugs from a Brazilian Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

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Realmente estamos precisando de Hóquei! Venha logo temporada 2019-20!!

segunda-feira, 15 julho 2019 Deixe um comentário

Hoje, William Nylander divulgou em seu Twitter oficial que vai passar a usar o número 88 em sua camisa, em substituição ao 29 e, num ato muito nobre, informou que os fans que queiram trocar os números das camisas já compradas, que ele pagará pela troca, mas só na loja oficial no Scotiabank Arena.

Bastou isso para que a Leafs Nation, que é enorme e tem gente com todo o tipo de opinião, começasse uma discussão sem fim sobre o direito dele de usar o número 88, uma vez que esse é o número que o Hall of Famer Eric Lindros, que ficou famoso jogando pelos Philadelphia Flyers, usou em sua carreira. E algumas pessoas estão realmente muito aversas a alguém usar o número 88! Eles citam que Nylander quer aparecer, que devia ter mais respeito por se tratar de um número de um jogador do Hall da Fama, entre outras opiniões.

O foco realmente saiu da contratação de Mitch Marner, que ainda não assinou contrato e não sabemos exatamente como anda essa negociação, ou o que pode estar travando a decisão de Marner e dos Leafs.

Na minha opinião, William Nylander, assim como qualquer outro jogador da NHL tem o direito de escolher o número que quer usar em sua camisa, por fatores pessoais, sempre que aquele número estiver disponível na equipe em que ele joga. Lembro aqui que o único número retirado pela NHL, é o número 99, usado por Wayne Gretzky. Todos os outros, mesmo os que são homenageados por equipes, com seus jogadores lendas do hóquei, podem ser usados sem qualquer problema. Pelo que li, Nylander sempre usou o número 88 e a Leafs Nation devia se focar em apoiar a equipe e seus jogadores, ao invés de criar esse clima de pressão e de “mimimi” que pode fazer com que ótimos jogadores deixem de ter interesse de vir defender a equipe que tanto amamos!

O mais engraçado é que o número 88 é usado por vários jogadores na NHL como: David Pastrnak, Patrick Kane e Andrei Vasilevskiy, e eles não tiveram nem 5% da discussão que alguns membros da Leafs Nation estão fazendo.

Vamos deixar os jogadores serem jogadores e cobrá-los por suas performances no gelo quando a temporada começar! Esse tipo de discussão sobre o número que vai usar não nos leva a nada!

Imagina se alguém quiser usar números já consagrados e homenageados pelos Leafs? Imagina alguém com a camisa 13 de Mats Sundin, 17 de Wendel Clark, 14 de Dave Keon, 21 de Borje Salming, 27 de Frank Mahovlich e de Darryl Sittler ou a 93 de Doug Gilmour?

Go Leafs Goooooo – com ou sem Marner!

Atingimos o marco de 10 anos de Maple Leafs Brasil! Parabéns pra gente!

sexta-feira, 08 fevereiro 2019 Deixe um comentário

Nem havia me dado conta, mas hoje completamos 10 anos de Maple Leafs Brasil!

É um marco na história desse blog, que comecei apenas para compartilhar informações do Toronto Maple Leafs em português para possíveis torcedores dos Leafs no Brasil. Por muito tempo tive muitos poucos page views, ainda continuo tendo, mas nunca pensei em abandonar o blog. Sei que torcedores de hóquei já são difíceis no Brasil, e torcedores dos Leafs é ainda mais difícil, principalmente devido ao time não ser campeão da Stanley Cup desde 1967. Mas estamos aqui para ver eles vencerem novamente e destruírem a cidade de Toronto nas comemorações!

As gerações que começaram a acompanhar a NHL no Brasil vieram dos jogos de videogame ou de transmissões da NHL pela ESPN e quem se interessou por esse esporte, que os meios de comunicação no Brasil insistem em rotular como violento, somente dando importância às brigas, sem explicar o esporte, viram os Penguins, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Kings, Bruins, etc., vencendo a Stanley Cup. Então os torcedores acabam por se identificar com tais equipes, claro.

No início, minha idéia foi apenas a de representar esse time que tanto amo já que haviam blogs de outras equipes (New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, entre outros), mas não havia um dos Leafs!

Cada ano que passa fica mais difícil conseguir manter esse blog atualizado devido a compromissos profissionais, mas sigo postando tudo sobre os Leafs, quando posso! HEHEHEHEHEHE

Quando comecei, a equipe tinha Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Tie Domi, Brian McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Eddie Belfour e outras lendas! Muita coisa mudou e, apesar de seguirmos na seca pela Stanley Cup, estamos cada vez mais perto dela com a chegada de Brendan Shanahan, Mike Babcock, Kyles Dubas e com Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly e cia. Agora voltamos a ter uma equipe competitiva, como quando comecei o blog!

Não cobri momentos de glória como o gol de número 500 de Mats Sundin em 14 de outubro de 2006, mas cobri a saída dele da equipe, quando a Leafs Nation se dividiu entre os que apoiaram a decisão dele de não ser negociado e outros achavam que ele devia ter aceitado ser negociado para que os Leafs recebessem algo em troca. Eu, como fã do Sundin obviamente apoiei a decisão de um jogador que quis se manter na equipe até o término do seu contrato! Também vimos quando ele teve o seu número imortalizado no teto do então Air Canada Centre!

Tivemos também momentos tristes com a equipe sendo a pior da NHL! Bom … esse não é um post para lembrar de momentos tristes!!! HEHEHE Deixa pra lá!

Aqui deixo o link para o primeiro post deste blog como forma de comemorar esses 10 anos! Que venham muitos mais, e com a tão sonhada Stanley Cup em nossas mãos! (Que os deuses do hóquei me ouçam!!!!)

GO Leafs Gooooooooooooo

 

A Lenda, Johnny Bower, falece aos 93 anos

quarta-feira, 27 dezembro 2017 Deixe um comentário

Após o Natal e antes de postar sobre o último jogo dos Leafs, contra o New York Rangers, todos recebemos a triste notícia de que uma das maiores lendas do Toronto Maple Leafs e da própria história da NHL, o goleiro Johnny Bower, faleceu em Toronto, por ter contraído pneumonia, aos 93 anos.

Johnny Bower foi um jogador que passou muito tempo de sua carreira na AHL e somente aos 34 anos foi chamado por Punch Imlach, o técnico dos Leafs e acabou ajudando a equipe a vencer 4 Stanley Cups na década de 60, incluindo a última Stanley Cup dos Leafs, em 1967.

Bower também foi nomeado ao Hockey Hall of Fame e sempre foi um dos mais ativos participantes em ações sociais dos Leafs na cidade de Toronto.

Em sua vida esportiva, Bower jogou muitos anos sem a proteção de uma máscara, o que o fez perder, praticamente, todos seus dentes, devido a chutes que ele acabava defendendo com o rosto. Era uma época em que as máscaras não eram obrigatórias.

Perdemos não somente uma lenda, mas uma pessoa, que todos que tiveram contato com ele diziam ser muito humilde e que era parte de um grupo seleto de ex-jogadores dos Leafs, também homenageado no Leafs Legend’s Row. Quando os correios do Canadá lançaram uma coleção de selos com os principais goleiros da NHL, Bower agradeceu e disse que somente tinha tido como objetivo, vence a Stanley Cup, e que queria muito que o amigo Gump Worsley, outra lenda no gol, estivesse vivo para ver isso!

Que Deus o tenha a seu lado Mr. Johnny Bower! O rink no céu ganhou mais um goleiro de excelência invejável! Descanse em paz! #RIPJohnnyBower

Aniversário de 7 anos do Maple Leafs Brasil

quinta-feira, 09 fevereiro 2017 Deixe um comentário

Foi ontem, 08/02/2017, mas na correria do dia-a-dia acabei não conseguindo escrever este post. 

O Maple Leafs Brasil está online a 7 anos, trazendo notícias e resultados dos jogos do Toronto Maple Leafs. 

A idéia inicial foi a de criar um blog específico para os Leafs já que haviam outros blogs na época, para o Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings e outras equipes que aqui no Brasil são mais conhecidas. 

É um prazer escrever sobre os Leafs e ajudar a divulgar o hóquei no gelo da NHL aqui no Brasil, um país sem conhecimento desse esporte e de suas regras. 

Infelizmente devido à vida profissional, não tenho muito tempo para complementar meus posts com fotos e outros recursos, mas mantenho foco no conteúdo e, mesmo sem um volume substancial de acessos, me mantenho aqui, firme e forte, cobrindo toda a temporada e também fatos ocorridos na pós e pré-temporada! 

Espero que esteja cumprindo com o meu objetivo de divulgar notícias do Toronto Maple Leafs em português, já que notícias em inglês são abundantes!

Vida longa ao Maple Leafs Brasil e Stanley Cup ao Toronto Maple Leafs!!! Hehehehehe

My history in the Leaf’s Centennial

domingo, 11 setembro 2016 Deixe um comentário

Brendan Shanahan announced the start of the Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Season with an special exhibition at NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. This made me think in writing about how I became part of the Leafs Nation, mainly because I’m not even born in North America or Europe, the biggest markets for ice hockey, I was born in Brazil, a country with no knowledge or culture of hockey.

This is my history and it is also part of the 100 years history of this franchise as it is not only the history of the team located in the center of hockey universe, but a team that developed a Leafs Nation all around the world!

Back in January 2002, just months after the 9/11 terrorist attack took place, I worked for a consulting company in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and as I grew up playing basketball and watching Los Angeles Lakers games, Magic Johnson Era, I was excited to have my first travel to US to a one week training, when I would also go to Philips Arena and watch a Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks. It was just amazing! At that time, it wasn’t possible to buy tickets in internet, so just after one friend and I got to Atlanta on a Saturday, we went directly to Philips Arena and bought tickets for the game of our dreams! It would be played on Tuesday. The game was awesome! Watch players as Shaquile O’neal and Kobe Bryant on the court was great! That was an unbelievable night!

You may be asking why am I writing about basketball, but this fact will take me to the beginning of my love for Hockey.

Unfortunately we had nothing to do on Wednesday night and started to search what was available to do in Atlanta. At the same venue, Philips Arena, there would be an NHL game and all information I had ever had about hockey was that they played on ice, there were fights and it was an sport Canada loves. I didn’t even know the teams or the rules. At the end we bought tickets to Toronto Maple Leafs @ Atlanta Thrashers on January 30th, 2002. At least I was expecting a good game since a team from Toronto should be a good team, based in my sparce hockey knowledge.

We went to Philips Arena and although the seats were far from ice (we bought cheap tickets as we were not hockey fans at that time), but the experience was amazing for me! I saw a team on the ice with players I have never heard of as Mats Sundin, Curtis Joseph, Alexander Mogilny, Tie Domi, Gary Roberts, Brian McCabe, Darcy Tucker, Mikael Renberg, Jonas Hoglund and Tomas Kaberle. Hockey fans were also amazing, passionate and I just became one of them right in my first game! There was a lot of energy in the air! It was an awesome feeling! The score was a shutout by 6 goals for the Leafs. I was so amazed that I started to look for more information about the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Internet e it was when I got to the NHL website and the mapleleafs.com. It was love at first sight and I became a Maple Leafs fan.

I returned to Brazil and unfortunately there were no NHL game broadcasts here on that time, so the only way to follow the team was through the Internet. I was always looking for the Leafs’ game scores and I just consumed all NHL content I could. After some years, I guess in 2005, there were some NHL games broadcasted by ESPN, but they were not live and usually only were transmitted at 02:00am. It was almost no TV coverage.

There was the lockout in 2004/05 and it was very said to have the season totally cancelled and no hockey at all, even through websites. After that, the Leafs started a period where the team did not even classified for the playoffs, but at least the team had Mats Sundin, my Leafs legend of all time, playing for the team, and his 500th goal, in overtime while short-handed, completing a hat-trick, was awesome! It just shows the kind of captain he was to the Leafs and the rock solid effort he had in every game he played! I will still have a Leafs jersey autographed by him! I know the list of Leafs Legends are endless, but as I’m a Leafs fan for the last 14 years, he was the only I was fortunate to watch playing! Obviously Johnny Bower, Wendel Clark, Darryl Sittler, Doug Gilmour and Curtis Joseph were stellar players and I’m proud for everything they did for the Leafs’ history.

I was fortunate to go to Toronto on vacation (October 2008) and watch a Senators @ Leafs game, the famous Battle of Ontario. From the begging it was just amazing to be at Air Canada Centre and feel how it is to be in a place where everybody knows the game you love and shares the same love for the team! Even before the game, I was coming from the Union Station and getting to the Air Canada Centre and I saw a place to buy the game program (a Leafs Magazine). It was being offered by CAD 5.00 and for my luck, when you bought one you would win an autograph from Darryl Sittler! Yes!! He was just there! Obviously I got it and also took a picture! That was unbelievable! For me, a fan from Brazil, to have the opportunity to get an autograph from a Leafs legend, it was a dream come true! It was the first time I felt I was part of the Leafs Nation!

In the beginning of 2009, I knew various blogs in Brazil focused on NHL hockey teams and there was even an online magazine for all information about hockey (www.theslot.com.br). They were all created by fans that got to know the NHL by very different ways, from NHL video games to vacations in North America. The guys were very well informed and followed their teams with passion. They were sharing their passion for the sport, news about the legends of the game and explaining the rules.

There was not a blog for the Maple Leafs, so I decided to start one, to provide all information I could about the Leafs. In February 2009 it was created the MapleLeafsBrasil.com, a blog to the Portuguese speaking fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. And counting back, it is seven years covering every Leafs game, player negotiation, draft, history, change in the management, change in the coach and its staff. During these seven years of the blog I also used Twitter (@mapleleafsbr), that allowed me to get in contact with very special Leafs fans all around the World and understand that I was part of a Leafs Nation that truly has fans from Brazil, Croatia, Great Britain, Germany and so on!

Here in Brazil, I’m always trying to get my friends and colleagues to watch games on TV! My wife became a NHL fan, but cheering for the Blackhawks (I can say she is 99.9% perfect! Hehehehehehe). I’m always trying to explain NHL rules, the NHL teams and Leafs history to my friends, but at the end, I feel that I’m an apple in a basket of bananas! This is the soccer country and I’m a NHL fan, owner of a Leafs blog!

I thank God everyday I was fortunate to go to Toronto and New York and I have been able to buy tickets and watch the game and the team I love! I even have a canvas of James Reimer I got during one of my vacations in Toronto. He was just outside the Hockey Hall of Fame store, signing the canvas and I could not let this opportunity pass away! Reimer was very kind and to have a picture of a guy I just have seen on TV playing for the Leafs was a gift I was not even hoping for! I was able to visit the Legends Row and it was also amazing! Of course I took a picture besides Sundin’s statue!! Hehehehe

Nowadays, ESPN has the rights to broadcast live NHL games to Brazil and I also sign the NHL Centre Ice, so I can watch every Leafs game in the season! It would be awesome to have the opportunity to sign Leafs TV, as I would love to watch it’s contents, but it is not possible, not even through the Internet.

This is my history. A history of how a Brazilian guy became a Leafs fan! A history that is a little part of the 100 years history of this team! A history to be shared!

Maple Leafs Brasil completa 7 anos

segunda-feira, 08 fevereiro 2016 2 comentários

Pessoal, hoje, 8 de fevereiro de 2016, este blog de notícias do Toronto Maple Leafs em português, que tenho o prazer de ser o administrador, completa 7 anos!

Não tem sido fácil manter as notícias sempre em dia e vocês devem ter notado que ultimamente não tenho sequer colocado quaisquer figuras nos posts, simplesmente pois devido à correria do dia-a-dia, acabo sem tempo para parar e selecionar as fotos ou figuras e depois entrar no post e inserí-las no local correto, com o nome correto, etc. Peco desculpas por isso, mas felizmente tenho mantido o mais importante, que são as notícias e informações sobre os jogos!

São 7 anos onde encontrei muita gente boa, torcedores dos Leafs, ou de outros times, mas que dividem comigo a paixão por este esporte que nunca teremos aqui em nosso país, mas que é apaixonante.

Espero estar contribuindo para divulgar este esporte e principalmente a equipe pela qual torço e que, apesar de estar numa fase terrível, tem um passado glorioso é um futuro que tem de tudo para ser tão bom quanto o passado!

Parabéns Maple Leafs Brasil! Obrigado aos meus leitores e Go Leafs Gooooo sempre!!!! 

Vida longa ao Maple Leafs Brasil! E volta à Stanley Cup para os Leafs em um futuro breve! 

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