The intra-city rivalry. Could it happen in Toronto?
The idea of an internal Greater Toronto Area rival for the Maple Leafs gained some legs early Wednesday when Markham council approved a funding arrangement for an NHL-sized arena.
"I love the idea," said Nazem Kadri, the Leafs' leading scorer. "I think it would be great for the city. For all those people who can't, unfortunately, make it to our games, there'd be a second option.
"But the chances of that getting passed, I don't know what they are."
Indeed, there are many hurdles. The building isn't built. The would-be owners are saying they could make a go of it without an NHL team. The Leafs might put up all sorts of legal challenges to hold on to their local monopoly. The league is not talking about expansion and is loath to relocate teams.
But the idea is intriguing.
Long Island, N.Y., native Mike Komisarek remembers Islanders-Rangers games so intense that fans fought in the stands.
"My dentist had second-row seats off the glass," said Komisarek. "There was fights in the stands all the time. I remember the backup goalie, I think it was Jamie McLennan, looking back in the stands while the game was going on checking out who's winning the fights. The fans were beating the snot out of each other. That was back in the day."
New Jersey native James van Riemsdyk — who grew up a Rangers fan — remembers Devils-Rangers games and Flyers-Rangers games that reached another level of crazy. "I remember one game, Ulf Samuelsson tackled Eric Lindros with 20 seconds left and he was offside, but they kept holding the puck outside and the Rangers couldn't get the puck, so the game just ended with Samuelsson holding him on the ice for like 20 seconds. That was pretty funny."
Maple Leafs: Players back idea of second NHL team in Toronto
Toronto Star | Jan 31