Turning over a new Leaf

LAURA CZEKAJ -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Welcome to Condo 20.

Beneath the wind-whipped banner of Ottawa Senator Antoine Vermette in his No. 20 jersey, lies the tenant of this temporary outdoor abode, Danny Antle.

The self-employed businessman has been spending day and night in this same spot outside Scotiabank Place since Sunday morning waiting to purchase tickets for upcoming home games and Game 6 in particular.

But Antle is not your average Sens fan. In fact, Antle is not even a Sens fan. He is -- wait for it -- a LEAFS fan.

"I am a hockey fan bottom line," he says, his sleep-tousled hair standing on end after a late morning catnap on the pavement. "I've got no problem with Ottawa and if Toronto can't win why wouldn't I support Ottawa?"

'CANADA'S TEAM'

The 45-year-old Toronto man hastily adds that Toronto remains his favourite team. If cut, he would bleed Leaf blue, Antle stresses.

With the Leafs out of the playoffs and the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks fighting for the honour of taking on the Sens, Antle's national patriotism won out over his childhood forged allegiance to the boys in blue.

"I am a Leaf fan, but I want to see the Stanley Cup raised in Game 6 by a Canadian team," he says. "I think all of Canada should rally behind the Sens. They are Canada's team now."

Yes, you heard it. Out of the mouth of a Leaf fan.

Antle's dogged determination to witness the triumph of a Sens victory firsthand -- rather than watch the pixelated version on a Toronto-based television set -- saw him arrive in Ottawa on Saturday, spend a night at a hotel, then rent out a space in the Red Zone.

He thought tickets would go on sale yesterday. No such luck.

"I am too old for this," he grumbles. "It's like ticket survivor, you know like the Survivor show."

Now he's holding out for Thursday. But then again, what's a few more days sacrificed for the greater good of seeing Lord Stanley's Cup hoisted high above the head of a Canadian team captain?

BLUE BLOOD

Despite Antle's blue blood, he has become something of a legend amongst the trickle of people that have arrived after him to line up for tickets.

Ryan Watson is one of them. The 29-year-old Kanata resident didn't have as far to come as Antle did to get to this little tent city outside of Scotiabank Place.

"I have been here since Monday morning because I wanted to let the Sunday cold weather pass. Sunday was really cold," says Watson gesturing toward the lounging Antle. "This guy is brave, that's for sure. He's a trooper."

Trooper or not, Antle is making no bones about where he stands on the issue of the Sens.

"The only time I want the Sens to lose is when they play the Leafs."


Videos

Photos