Born a Leaf fan in St Thomas, and have always been one. Favourite player is Salming followed closely by McDonald and Sittler. I've been fortunate to meet Sittler and McDonald (sold him a 50/50 ticket at a Flames game.)
Came to Canada in '92. First hockey I caught a glimpse of was '92 playoffs, Montreal vs. Boston. I remember liking Andy Moog and Raymond Bourque (I was really happy to see him win the cup with the Avs after all those years). Started watching the Leafs around 94/95 and turned my Pops into a fan. Favourite Leafs player was CuJo .. till he left for (what he thought were) greener pastures.
I remember being more of a Toronto Blue Jays fan as a young kid during the ALCS and World Series runs and needed something else to watch in the winters which the Leafs filled. One of the biggest reasons why I got really into it was this:
Essentially I became a leaf fan because I live in Toronto.
My All-time favourite player is Joe Sakic. I'm 18, so when I was a young kid Sakic and the Avs were one of the best teams in the league. Burnaby Joe was incredibly clutch, and the epitome of class. Also the Avs were out West so they never played the Leafs in the playoffs.
I would like to think it was given, but it probably was chosen. As kids in school we collected those cool hockey cards and I chose to collect Potvins. It stuck, never have been fan of any other NHL club. In 94 cup finals I cheered for Rangers(guess I have always been Canucks hater), but still didn't consider myself as fan. Tikkanen, Richter, Messier and Leetch great players. Still I was always more Gilmour, Clark and Potvin guy. Always followed Teemu Selanne and other Finns(don't like Saku Koivu that much, but I respect), but my favourite club has always been Toronto.
Odd and funny, because I have never been in Canada. I would love to and will visit Toronto someday. It would be some much easier there. To be a fan, here your always alone with your passion. There are many NHL enthusiasts but not that many pure fans of one team or Leafs fans.
Born and raised in Burlington. Pretty hard to grow up as a hockey fan but not a Leafs fan at that age given the attention the Leafs rightfully receive here and the hometown connection. My best friend was also a rabid Leafs fan too, moreso than I was even, which helped cement it.
Immigrated to Toronto 10 years age at the age of 10, and since I was/am a huge sports fan(particularly Hockey and Football), I got into it and became a big fan of the Leafs. So u can say I was basically raised one.