I was planning on a Christmas post entitled “A Christmas Carlyle”, which told the story of a scrooge of a Maple Leafs coach, visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve and was compelled to perpetually scratch his goons and give more minutes and responsibilities to the talented Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, and Peter Holland.
The premise was good, but it was unfortunately too difficult to execute. I had written up a cute dialogue of Gardiner as Bob Cratchit (complete with Gardiner forced to do things like pick up Carlyle’s drycleaning and wash his car) but there was no real way to integrate him into the story. In my mind, the deposed Brian Burke played the role of Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past showed Carlyle how happy he was with all the skilled players he had in Anaheim, but that wasn’t entirely true either.
So in absence of a Christmas parody post, I just want to take the opportunity to wish a Merry Christmas to all the fine readers of The Leafs Nation dot com, or a happy secular day off to our non-denominational readers. It was a real tumultuous year, beginning with a lockout and the firing of Brian Burke, resulted in a playoff run and a series of bizarre offseason decisions that led a zillion new readers to the site to comment, whine, complain or otherwise.
Best to you and your families. I’ll probably take a couple days off from this page, but we’ll be back on… Friday to cover the Leafs’ game against the Buffalo Sabres, and some updates from the World Juniors. The Leafs have Frederik Gauthier, Fabrice Herzog, and Andreas Johnson playing for various teams at the tournament, and that’ll occupy us from now until the Winter Classic.
Merry Christmas and all that jazz.