Clearing the Air about the Leafs

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

This could be the season we quit calling it the Err Canada Centre.

Five reasons the Maple Leafs surroundings will be a happier place, and subscriptions to Leafs TV will go through the roof:

1) No daily distractions regarding talk of Mats Sundin’s future ... ditto Justin Pogge;

2) No daily handwringing about how Luke Schenn’s career will be ruined if he stays;

3) Brian Burke is here for the full season, and he has brought his hotdog cart;

4) These guys are so good they don’t even need Ryan Hollweg (remember him?);

5) A year ago Cliff Fletcher said the Leafs had only one top-six forward. Maybe that hasn’t changed, but they have lots of top-six fighters.

By the way, the first Toronto game on Leafs TV this season is Oct. 13. Let the bellyaching begin.

Memories of Mats

During his retirement announcement in Stockholm, Mats Sundin said that “Toronto is and always will be my second home.”

Some of Sundin’s detractors might misconstrue that and suggest the Maple Leafs were always No. 2 in his heart, behind the Swedish national team.

They’ll point out that Sundin led Sweden to an Olympic gold and three world championships, while the Leafs won no Cups under his captaincy.

That’s unfair. Other Leafs captains such as Darryl Sittler, Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour haven’t had to wear that “no Cup” albatross.

Smooth soothsaying

Last Sunday at the Rogers Centre, Matt Tuiasosopo hit the first homer of his major league career.

Mike Blowers knew it was coming.

Blowers, a radio voice for the Seattle Mariners, is the greatest prophet in baseball since Babe Ruth called a home run to centre in the 1932 World Series.

While Ruth’s famous bat-pointing call is in dispute by baseball historians, there is no question of Blowers’ prediction.

During the Mariners pre-game show Blowers suggested that Tuiasosopo would have a good game.

I expect him to hit the first homer of his big-league career, Blowers said, going out on a limb.

Pressed by his radio sidekicks, Blowers predicted the homer would come on the second baseman’s second at-bat, on a fastball, with a 3-1 count, and be launched into left-centre, landing in the second deck.

“I don’t believe it! I see the light! Unbelievable!” play by play man Dave Niehaus screamed amid much laughter in the Seattle radio booth in the fifth inning as Tuiasosopo followed Blowers’ script perfectly.

Now, there is a man you want as your lottery partner.

Just can’t win

A Chicago Tribune headline after yet another year without a World Series for the Cubs:

101 Damnations.

gary.loewen@sunmedia.ca


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