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A great memory from ’93, Kadri's rebound, Morgan Rielly and much more on “Leaf Matters” Episode 7

For many modern-era Maple Leaf supporters, the playoff run in the spring of 1993 has been the highlight of their Toronto hockey “fandom”.  (I'm a fan of 2002 as well, but we can discuss that another day...)  Those of you who were around at the time understand why.  That was the year of the Doug Gilmour coming-out party.  He became, for many Leafers, "Dougie"--forever.  

A relatively healthy Wendel Clark took center stage as well with some dominant individual performances in each of the three series the Leafs were part of that magical spring—against the Red Wings, Blues and of course, Wayne Gretzky’s LA Kings.

A lot of us felt (the missed Gretzky high-stick on Gilmour aside, but we Leaf fans don’t hold on to things, eh?) that the blue and white deserved to be in the finals that year, but it wasn’t to be.  Wouldn’t it have been amazing to be able to play the hated Habs in the finals, in what would have been a rematch of sorts of the legendary ’67 Canadian Centennial year series.

Sadly, the classic head-to-head match of two historic franchises never happened.

Nonetheless, that was a fun team to follow—in part because of the emergence of the “kid” in goal, Felix Potvin (right), and that superb Pat Burns no-name defense of Gill, Lefebvre, Mironov, Macoun, Rouse  and Ellett.

Winger Mike Foligno was part of that team, and he of the famous Game 5 overtime winner against the Red Wings is one of the names discussed in the latest "Leaf Matters" podcast –Episode 7.

In this episode we talk a bit about that memorable Leaf squad but we also focus on the present.  In particular, Matteo Codispoti from We Want a Cup and I discuss Nazem Kadri's point production surge since his "healthy scratch" a couple of weeks ago (now 12 points in six games after Thursday's Marlie loss in Binghamton), and whether Morgan Rielly should even be considered as part of the Leaf training camp roster—if and when we ever have an NHL season. (Leaf GM Brian Burke recently stated that the 18 year-old Rielly would be invited to camp, and if he played well enough, could earn a spot on the team...)

As I’ve mentioned here before, Leaf Matters is what it is:  just two long-time Leaf fans, from somewhat different generations (I’m older than Matteo by close to 20 years) batting around the topics of the day.  We don’t pretend to be broadcasters or journalists or any of that.  We’re not trying to compete with the mainstream media or any other broadcasts out there.  We are simply two old-time Leaf observers who want to do a show by fans for the great Leaf supporters all around the world.

We have already done some interviews on the show (ex-Leaf goaltender Allan Bester was great when he joined us recently) and plan to do more.  We will also be chatting with fellow bloggers, writers and Leaf fans in the weeks ahead.

Of course, Matteo and I hope there will soon be NHL hockey, but surprisingly, there has still been plenty to talk about even without the Leafs in action.

For those interested, here is the link to the iTunes podcast link of “Leaf Matters”:

For those who don’t use or subscribe to iTunes, here is the link to the Podalmighty broadcast site (Leaf Matters is part of the “Podalmighty” network)

We invite anyone who enjoys the show to spread the word, if they can.  By all means encourage people to check us out and send their comments on the show via iTunes, or leave a comment here at VLM or at We Want a Cup as well.

Any show ideas, just send them our way.

With American Thanksgiving weekend in full swing, best wishes to the wonderful U.S.-based friends I’ve been able to connect with here and on Twitter since VLM was launched more than three years ago.

And thanks for visiting and staying with VLM during the lockout!


  1. Indelible impressions from 1993:
    -Clark and Gilmour weaving their magic on rush after rush
    -An incensed Pat Burns trying to get at Barry Melrose
    -The stellar defensive play of Dave Ellett and Silvain Lefebvre
    -Peter Zezel winning faceoff after faceoff
    -Wendel Clark jumping to the defense of Doug Gilmour, taking on the much bigger Marty McSorley
    -Felix Potvin's stellar goaltending
    -Incredulity at the realization that Fraser was not going to call a penalty on Gretzky
    -Anger when Gretzky scored the winning goal when he should have been ejected
    -the overwhelming feeling that the NHL and ESPN did not want two Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup final

    I am enjoying the podcasts immensely

  2. I'm with you on every one of those memories from that wonderful spring of '93, PeteCam. And great that you included Zezel.

    Thanks for mentioning the podcast- that's really good to hear. Take care, PeteCam.

  3. Hi Mike, just caught on to your podcast and I have to say "thank you" for great down-to-earth Leaf fan discussions! I'm really tired of reading about judging players based on their CORSI stats and so on. You guys hit the nail on the head about the current team, and being originally from Windsor, Ontario I really liked hearing about your story growing up in Episode 3. I grew up watching the Leafs with my dad, and my experience in the 90's felt more like Windsor was 50/50 Leafs/Wings.

    The team from '93 is still for me the best, because they were a pleasant surprise, overachieved and beat the hated Wings! Try as I might, I feel like I'll never connect with the time like I did at that time. My cat is named Felix. Period.

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Nick. I will definitely pass your comment on to Matteo, the co-host of "Leaf Matters".

    No question there was something special about that '93 team. So many fond memories jam-packed into a 5-week or so period. And yes, Felix was really good. He always seemed to bounce back after a tough game.

    Wonderful times. Flags flying, cars honking. Good stuff. Thanks Nick.

  5. "And thanks for visiting and staying with VLM during the lockout!"

    I must say thanks for going the extra mile with the website and podcasts during the lockout.

    There's some great new Leaf info out there. Even I am starting to get happy wih the Morgan Rielly pick. so are others:

    Leo Komarov looks like an ideal third liner and Kadri is coming along. Eakins says:

    “I think Naz is going to find a way to become a very, very good NHL player. He’s just too competitive not to succeed.”

    Finally, take a look at this. I can't remember a time in the last 10 years when the Leafs had this many prospects doing this well:

    Perhaps Kadri only becomes a Mike Ribeiro lite on the third line, but overall Komarov, Ranger Fraser, Frattin, Kadri, Holzer, Gardiner, Scrivens and the kids are looking pretty decent. The cupboard isn't bare anymore.

  6. Thank you for the good words, DP. I very much appreciate your contribution here.

    And I'm with you on Komarov. Useful player and his work ethic should translate to the NHL. Good to have some prospects on the way...