Thursday, March 12, 2009

Loafs aren't that bad

Being a Buffalo Sabres fan, it is my Hockey Gods-given duty to heap as much grief upon the Toronto Maple Loafs organization as I can. However, seeing that I'm a hockey fan as well, I feel the need to honor the Original Six franchise.

With that in mind, allow me to introduce to you the hockey-hounding efforts of my Canadian friend, Al, a long-suffering Loafs fan since childhood and, much to his credit, someone taking the time to do the hobby right. He's Hound Central 4.0's latest correspondent.

Here's a look at some of Al's recent and ongoing efforts:

Toronto Maple Leafs all-time jersey

Take a look at some of the top-shelf signers on this sweet Dave Keon replica jersey, a project spanning 15-plus years.

Toronto Maple Leafs team stick

Al had 19 players sign this stick recently at Lakeshore Lions Arena, the Leafs' practice facility, missing only Curtis Joseph, who blew right on by, and Luke "L.S." Schenn, who said he was running late and would sign after the practice.

From left: Nikolai Kulemin, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Tomas Kaberle, Jonas Frogren, Justin Pogge, Vesa Toskala and Dominic Moore (since traded to the Buffalo Sabres);

From left: Nik Antropov (since traded to N.Y. Rangers), Boyd Devereaux and Mike Van Ryn;

From left: Jason Blake (partially obscured), Jeff Finger, Jaime Sifers and John Mitchell;

From left: Pavel Kubina, Ian White and Lee Stempniak; and

From left: Lee Stempniak (again), Niklas Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski.

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