Hey, rest of Canada, sick of the Toronto Maple Leafs yet?
It’s going to get worse before it gets better and that has nothing to do with the fact that the team finally ended its nine-year playoff drought last spring, albeit in heart-breaking fashion.
But Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, Phil Kessel and company will get even more exposure on the small screen as participants in this year’s Winter Classic and the accompanying HBO documentary, 24/7.
As a rule, the NHL would prefer two American teams for ratings purposes. Toronto and the rest of the country do not register in U.S. ratings, of course, but with more than 100,000 seats to fill at Michigan Stadium, the league tapped into one of the largest fan bases in the league.
So now, the spotlight around the Leafs will be even brighter leading up to the Jan. 1 game against the Red Wings.