I wasn't born during the 80's to know much about the Ballard years first hand but I did read about the history of the Leafs...and I have to say he was just an idiot..
The Leafs right now spend to the cap, have like 100000000 people in their staff, have the most pro scouts, have the most money invested in player development, have the most loyal fanbase, make the most money, make the most profits and yet the team ****ing SUCKS.
So yes, this is the lowest point right here right now.
I feel like it's mostly all on Burke and all the big pronouncements he made. He's being humbled by the crowd turning downright sarcastic and nasty on him. He has no friends in the media to back him up, and his only resort is to go into hiding and have Nonis, Dudley and Poulin go to the media as damage control.
I've never seen that kind of anger towards the Leafs from the general fanbase. I feel like his time is running short, the atmosphere is too toxic around the Leafs now.
When the only bright spot you can point to is the AHL Marlies playoffs hopes, you know it's bad. And let's face it, the Marlies are way overrated as far as hope is concerned, how many impact players can we expect out of that roster outside of Kadri and maybe Blacker? Even Burke's prized Joe Colborne has gone rotten.
I watched all through the bad 80s years. No team I have ever seen has shown as little heart and emotion while getting stomped on home ice like this one.
Ashamed to be a fan of this team right now.
Would love to see a nuke dropped on the entire team.
I agree with you totally. Even when we had bad teams, we had pride, we had character, we had guys who step up to the plate and answer the call. None of these guys know what it means to wear the Maple Leafs jersey. They simply have no pride.
I hate to agree with Don Cherry, we really need some local boys to inject some pride, boys who watched and idolized leafs. Not bunch of Prima Donnas like Connelly, Lombardi.
1980's was much worse. Ballard was cheap. He hired cheap personnel whose duties were spread thinly. It was a decade of awful teams in an awful division which meant the occasional playoff qualification.
The trouble with current times is how hard they're trying to win. They hired an expensive and experienced GM who hired expensive and experienced coaches. They spend close to the cap maximum and court free agents every year. They have a huge scouting staff and the GM has hired a half dozen well known hockey men to support him.
I voted 80's, but watching us give up a 2nd overall pick to the Boston Bruins was I think the lowest point of my Leafs watching career.
I can't totally disagree.
But for me, the lowest point was the organization's refusal to tank the seasons when Stamkos and Tavares were on the draft board. I think in a few years time we will look back at that time period and wonder: "What the hell were those morons thinking?"
To me, that whole backward way of thinking (Let's win just enough games to get stuck drafting seventh!) was clear evidence that the organization was looking for a quick fix/short cut to the playoffs instead of a legitimate rebuilding effort to become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
I think the Kessel trade was just another symptom of the "we have to be in the playoffs no matter what" disease that has ravaged this organization since the Lock Out.
While I haven't lived long enough to see the Leafs win a Cup, I have spent the better part of my childhood and teenage years with Wendel, Dougie and Mats and playoff hockey. So based on my own experience, I'd have to say that this is my darkest period as a Leafs fan. This team was no lock for the playoffs, but this team certainly shouldn't be this bad and talent wise, they aren't this bad. The mental game has completely screwed them over and the only thing I know for sure about this team is that with the way they're closing out this season, personnel changes HAVE to be made. I can't see how this team can start next season more or less with the same roster of players and have any confidence that they can compete with the rest of the league.
But did Maple Leaf Gardens get all sarcastic on the Leafs during the Ballard years?
For years, it felt like the ACC was a completely different world than the fanbase that is seen on this boards. Now, the ACC is turning into one of the most sarcastic, negative fanbases in the NHL. The difference between how people act on here compared to at the game is practically gone.
If you would have told me Leaf fans would boo this team off the ice for a whole period, chant "LETS GO BLUE JAYS" louder than any GO LEAFS GO chant I've heard for years. It's great to see that the fanbase that pays the players salaries is finally fed up with the team.