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A one-sentence horror story for every player on the Toronto Maple Leafs

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Alex Hobson
8 months ago
Good morning and Happy Halloween Leafs nation! The Buds are in action tonight as they’ve returned home to host the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Arena. 
I’m not gonna beat around the bush here. We wanted to get some Halloween-related content up today, so I’m going to try and come up with a one-sentence horror story for each Maple Leafs player. It might turn out completely terrible, but hey, it’s free. You get what you pay for. 

Auston Matthews: A beige dress shirt, beige pants, and a beige tie

Nobody on the Maple Leafs (and honestly? Or in the league) has better drip than Auston Matthews. He subtly called for a relaxation of the team’s dress code a few years back, and given the many fits we’ve seen this 60-goal-scorer rock, I’d imagine the thought of an all-beige suit would scare him away from signing a new contract. 

Mitch Marner: Bedtime 

Don’t know how else to explain this other than Mitch strikes me as a Monster energy drinking, Call-of-Duty-playing 14-year-old boy trapped inside the body of a 25-year-old hockey star. I say this as somebody who WAS one of those kids. Bedtime sucked, and I’d imagine Marner wasn’t, and still isn’t a fan.

Tyler Bertuzzi: Going to the Dentist 

Let’s be honest, I don’t think there’s a single person out there that enjoyed going to the dentist as a kid. Half an hour strapped to a chair while a scary person in a mask pokes around the inside of your mouth with sharp tools? Who really does enjoy that? Nobody, and I’d imagine probably not Bertuzzi, who looks like he’s skipped his fair share of appointments in his day.

John Tavares: A bowl of ice cream for dinner 

Tavares is a simple man who enjoys simple things. Spending time with his family, reading a good book, going for long walks on the beach, and the occasional kale salad, as a treat. I don’t know for sure that he does enjoy these things, but he seems like he would. He also seems like he’d shriek at anything junk food. How could he not with the season he’s having at age 33? 

William Nylander: A single thought in his head 

As the years go by, it becomes more and more apparent that Nylander truly is the perfect fit for the Toronto market. He’s got reporters writing columns comparing him to Ikea furniture, radio hosts trading him every offseason, and the only thing that seems to cross his mind is whether he should order the prosciutto or the cauliflower bites for the table. I’d imagine there’s nothing more scary to the Canadian-born Swede than the prospect of a thought running between his ears.

Matthew Knies: Whatever John Tavares makes for dinner 

Knies has the rookie privilege of rooming with Tavares, his wife, and his two kids this season. Considering that this is a guy who’s fresh off a sophomore year of college, he’s going from playing beer pong and ordering takeout at 2am to a firm 10pm bedtime and a bowl of greens every night, it’s probably a rocky transition if not a horror story. To make matters worse, his roommate Fraser Minten just made his way back to junior, but if it’s any solace, he’s probably getting a similar treatment from his billet family.

Calle Jarnkrok: Nothing 

This is honestly the only player I couldn’t come up with a horror story for. Jarnkrok is as calm, cool, and collected as it gets, never stands out in a bad way, and never lets his emotions get the best of him. That’s not to say he’s a boring guy (I think I already gave that title to John Tavares), but he strikes me more as the guy to say “really?” when his friends try to jumpscare him

David Kampf: Never achieving “runner’s high”

Ask any runner what “runner’s high” is, and they’ll launch into a tirade about how awesome it is and how it keeps them getting up at the crack of stupid. Kampf ran a marathon this summer, sporting a Leafs tank top, and I can only imagine how awful the race would have been for him if he never hit that peak. Any runner’s worst nightmare! 

Max Domi: Pissing off Tie Domi 

Everyone remembers a time when we got a little too competitive with our siblings and heard the terrifying sound of Dad’s thundering footsteps coming downstairs. Now take that feeling of fear I just unearthed from your childhood, and imagine your dad is a furious Tie Domi? Maybe Max is stone cold and has been whipped into a shape enough times to get over the fear…but I don’t know if I ever would.

Noah Gregor: Definitely not Connor Murphy 

On October 16th, during Connor Bedard’s debut in Toronto, Noah Gregor laid out former Leafs legend Nikita Zaitsev and despite it being a clean hit, had to answer the bell later in the game. Up to the task was Blackhawks defenceman Connor Murphy, and it would have been a nothing fight if not for the fact that Gregor and Murphy fought last season as well. He held his own in the most recent one, more than I think he would have if he was scared of Murphy.

Pontus Holmberg: Going back to the AHL

Holmberg was right on track to make the NHL out of training camp and probably would’ve instantly gotten the job if not for Fraser Minten’s strong preseason performance. He more than looked comfortable last season, but fell down the depth chart as the Leafs loaded up for a playoff run. Now that Minten’s out of the picture, I can’t imagine anything scares him more than going back to the AHL. 

Ryan Reaves: A tiny mouse 

I was originally going to give Reaves the “nothing” tag because this guy looks like he’d hold the same expression he always does while looking death straight in the face. But then I remembered that old wives’ tale that elephants are afraid of mice, and while Reaves isn’t an elephant, he does seem like he’d ignore every skeleton, scarecrow, and ghost in the book while shrieking at the sight of a mouse.

Morgan Rielly: He’s married to Tessa Virtue…what could he be afraid of?

Ok ok…go ahead and chirp me for technically reusing the “nothing” one. But seriously, when you’re married to the Queen of Canada, what in life would actually scare you? Maybe the idea of her leaving you? I guess we can go with that.

T.J. Brodie: Making a speech at the Cup parade 

There is nobody on the Leafs, and hell I’d even say nobody in the world who’s more soft-spoken than T.J. Brodie. It’s reminiscent of his game. Consistent, quiet, and never noticeable (which can be a good thing). If the Leafs ever SOMEHOW manage to pull off the impossible, put this guy at the bottom of the list for Cup parade speech contenders.

Mark Giordano: Disappointing his Nonna 

Nothing scares an old (sorry Mark…by hockey terms 40 is old) Italian man more than his Nonna. Specifically, disappointing her. That said, Giordano has spent his entire adulthood making money playing professional hockey for a living. I’d be shocked if he found a way to disappoint anyone in his family.

Timothy Liljegren: Showing up late to the jobsite 

For a 24-year-old Swedish man…Liljegren looks a little bit more like your average Joe putting in work at the construction site. Speaking as somebody who used to work as a plumbing apprentice, there is nothing scarier than the sight of an angry foreman. Sheldon Keefe can get angry when he wants to, so I hope for your sake you never miss a team meeting, Tim.

Jake McCabe: Pulling a Bryan

Here, while I’m busy coming up with all of these fake horror stories for Leafs players, let me read one I know for a FACT will scare Leafs nation. “Bryan McCabe, Buffalo, overtime”. 

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Yeah….let’s hope Jake never has this happen to him. 

John Klingberg: The defensive zone 

I feel bad doing my boy John like this because I’ve been on his side since the signing while a good chunk of the fanbase has already written him off as a poor man’s Tyson Barrie. But, for as majestic as he looks patrolling the blue line on the power play, there’s gotta be a deep-seated fear in his gut when he turns his shoulder and looks at his own zone. 

Ilya Samsonov: Having no smile 

It’s been a tough start to the season for Ilya Samsonov, and he’s admitted it himself. One thing he does have going for him, and he’ll need to secure it if he wants to bounce back soon, is his smile. Imagine a world where nobody is having some smile? Can’t imagine it’s one the Russian tender wants to be part of. 

Joseph Woll: A teammate getting traded 

I’m sure this is something that you could use for a number of players, but it would hit Joseph Woll especially hard considering he doesn’t have social media. Last year, after the Leafs traded for Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, he said he was shocked showing up to the rink and seeing the new-look lines. Imagine the shock if the team trades one of his best friends and he doesn’t find out until practice the next day? I’m sure they’d let him know, but you never know.
Happy Halloween Leafs fans. Stay safe and have fun out there tonight.

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