The Curse of the Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs - Losers since '67Hello out there we’re on the air, it’s hockey night tonight…

It is the time of year where Torontonians bleed blue blood and although our team is the worst in the league, our passion for hockey is unwavering. Unfortunately, this year we have already been voted the worst franchise in ANY league before the puck even dropped.

Still we hold second for the most cups ever won, and at one point the Leafs were a team not to be messed with, so how did we become so bad? The Curse of the Maple Leafs is a folklorish tale involving death, missing players and 46 years of barely coming close to a cup. For any Tragically Hip fans, you may be familiar with part of this story.

It all started with Bill Barilko, a Leafs defenceman that (only had scored six goals during regular season,) scored the winning goal after meeting up with Canadiens in five consecutive over-time games in 1951. At this point the Leafs and the Canadiens were competitive rivals and battled regularly for the hockey reign. But all of Barilko’s glory was short lived, as he went missing four months later on a fishing trip.

As The Tragically hip wrote in their hit song Fifty Mission Cap, Bill Barilko disappeared, that summer, he was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored, won the Leafs the cup. They didn’t win another, ’till 1962, the year he was discovered.”

And that’s the truth! They won the cup in ’42, ’45, ’47, ’48, and ’51, but after Barilko’s disappearance they didn’t take home a cup for 11 years, until Barilko’s body was found in 1962 in a plane wreckage 36 kilometres off course. He was on his way home from Quebec where he was on a fishing trip with his dentist.

The Leafs didn’t win another cup for another 11 years after they found Barilko either. In ’62, Leaf lovers thought their curse was broken and they continued to win three consecutive cups and four in total that decade (’62, ’63, ’64, ’67).

They’ve not had a single cup since. 46 years since Toronto gained the glory, although we still are number two for most cups won.

Also, in ’62 Conn Smythe, the owner and coach who dubbed their grammatically wrong name Toronto Maple Leafs”, sold nearly all of his shares to his son, Stafford and a couple other conglomerates. Immediately following the transaction, the Leafs won a hat-trick of cups, along with the victory in ’67.

Soon after Stafford fell ill and died in ’71. All of his shares were quickly bought by his partners and Maple Leaf Gardens commercialized, ripping out the 48-year-old gondola games were once broadcasted in, replacing them with private boxes. The Gardens slowly became more tainted and was sold and turned into a Real Canadian Superstore in 2004.

During the 70’s, the World Hockey Association was born and 12 teams were added. Everything we knew and loved about hockey was changing forever. What does that say about our beloved Leafs? Once triumphed over all others (minus those Habs) now voted worst team, ever. Yet still social media is filled with banter about how this year is going to be the year.

How has this become of the team that once introduced Wendel Clark, Darryl Sittler, Doug Gilmour and Felix Potvin, who coincidentally all made names for themselves on other teams.

What is it that has stained the franchise so? Barilko? Smythe and The Gardens? Although Toronto is the NHL’s most valuable team, valued at 1.15 BILLION DOLLARS, it is no longer the team of Johnny Bower and Tim Horton, (both who have been idolized by corporations,) all of that revenue has not made a difference in our success rate.

One thing we do know- The Leafs are cursed!

Oh the good old hockey game, it’s the best game you can name…

Toronto Maple Leafs - 3x5 Flag - Blue

Why Autumn Is The Best Season

The summer is coming to a close and it will be officially fall in just a few days. Most people love the fun and warm weather that summer brings, but comparatively summer falls short of autumn. Here are ten reasons that autumn is the best time of year.


Courtesy of Pinterest

1. Activities are inexpensive. Summer fun is all about theme parks, attractions and expensive excursions, but this season is filled with hayrides, baking, leaves, and pumpkin patches. The only expensive thing about October is Halloween, and lets face it, dressing up for free candy is a win-win.

2. Everything becomes itself again. It is true that leaves are actually the colour we see them in fall. They return to their natural colour after a summer of photosynthesizing, which fills them with so much chlorophyl that they turn green! On that note, say goodbye to diets and squeezing into fashionable clothing, and hello to big warm sweaters and ass-widening baked goods and comfort foods.

3 Sports fans reunite! Here come the world series, regular season football and hockey all in one big a-game-for-every-night-of-the-week kind of way. Although get use to people whining about how bad their favourite teams are doing, because somehow we all love the underdog.

4 Halloween. FREE CANDY AND DRESSING UP?! Oh, yes. Plus who doesn’t love a good scare? Around Halloween you can expect a good horror movie to hit theatres, Monster Mash to be playing in stores and the best thing about Halloween… haunted houses!

5 Thanksgiving. Turkey! Gobble gobble gobble! It has been ages since it was cold enough outside to dare to even turn on the over, never mind spending all day baking a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings. Suddenly family comes out of the woodwork to gather around an amazing feast and be thankful just to have the time to spend with one another.

6 Apples. Apples are just as important to fall as pumpkins. Apple pies, caramel and candy apples, apple bobbing, apple picking, and the list can really go on forever… Apple cider!? Fresh?! From a farm!! Sign me up! Along with apples it is harvest season, so all the good pickings just in time for Thanksgiving.

7 TV is back! Summer re-runs are over and new episodes of all your favourite shows are on every night of the week. Between that, sports, and all these baked goods, it looks like were packing on the winter weight early.


Courtesy of Pinterest

8 Extra sleep because of daylight savings time. Are you going to complain with an extra hour of sleep? Granted that it gets darker faster and colder by the day but that makes it even easier to get in that comfortable hibernation mode. No more 5 in the morning sunshine blaring through your window and annoying blue jays squawking in the tree outside making it impossible to sleep in. Warm comfortable bed on a chilly night, no more sweating buckets sleeping with only a sheet on praying for a breeze to appear at your window. Now we can brake out the warm cost blankets and fuzzy socks.

9 The sheer beauty of the season. Leaves may be the best and worst thing about autumn. The colour change is one of natures on phenomenon that you can see from space. The earth turns from bright green to a rustic red and jumping into piles of leaves is hilariously fun. But, you have to rake them and those piles consist of dirt and bugs. Either way, a nice drive through the country is breathtakingly beautiful this time of year.

10 Last, but agreeably the greatest thing in the world- NO MORE MOSQUITOES! No more bites and itching and bussing in your ear! No more gross, stinky, chemical-filled repellents or spending money on products that don’t work.

All in all the wonders of the season have just begun! So goodbye summer and hello fall, we welcome you with open, and not-so-sweaty arms. Some are reluctant to say goodbye to beaches and sunburns, but we have a lot of wonderful festivities to look forward to and some much needed family time, and that is why autumn is the best season.

Port Hope designers up for CCMA Award


Photo Credit: DARKO - New Port Hope residents Brandon Heard and Sheila Hash, who run Mediavandals, are nominated this week for a Canadian Country Music Association award for Album Design of the Year - Jess Moskaluke's Light Up the Night.

Photo Credit: DARKO – New Port Hope residents Brandon Heard and Sheila Hash, who run Mediavandals, are nominated this week for a Canadian Country Music Association award for Album Design of the Year – Jess Moskaluke’s Light Up the Night.

By JEFF GARD, Northumberland Today
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 2:14:49 EDT PM

PORT HOPE – Still being new to town, Sheila Hash and Brandon Heard may not yet be well known in Port Hope, but they certainly are making a name for themselves nationally.

More specifically, with their company Mediavandals – a website and graphic design agency – and on the Canadian country music scene.

They are headed on Thursday to Edmonton where they are nominated for a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Award this week for Album Design of the Year (Jessica Moskaluke’s Light Up the Night).

This is the third CCMA Award nomination for Mediavandals following previous album design nominations for Chad Brownlee’s Love Me or Leave Me and Hey Romeo’s Twist of Fate.

“Everyone who makes the final ballot has excellent work. It’s nice to be recognized by our peers for the work that we’ve done,” Hash said. “It’s a great feeling and we’re really proud of the work that we do for all of our artists – not just the ones that are nominated.”

To get through the balloting system with several rounds of voting and emerge as an award nominee, Heard said it’s rewarding to be considered “one of the best in Canada” in that category.

After arriving in Edmonton today, there are a few different award shows leading to the main televised broadcast on Sunday night. The awards ceremony that will include the Album Design of the Year award will be held on Friday.

Hash and Heard said there are plenty of conferences, seminars and showcases to attend. The CCMA nomination only helps them grow their business.

“When we go to the award shows, you’re bumping elbows with some of the best in the industry,” Heard said. “This gives (the artists) even more exposure too.”

While they work with numerous country music artists now, Hash and Heard started out with independent of any genre.

“We got Chad Brownlee when he was just starting out and everything just kind of snowballed from there,” Hash said.

“Typically we offer website and all different types of graphic design and album artwork,” Heard noted. “We’ve worked with musicians since the very beginning and musicians need albums design, poster design, logo design, all the social media banners and of course the website. We can offer them the full package. Not only musicians, we do work for small businesses, lawyers, accountants, NHL players.”

Now Mediavandals is based out of Port Hope after the couple relocated from Oshawa. Heard likes that the work can be done from any location while Hash appreciates still being close enough to Toronto and have the chance to meet with clients face-to-face on a regular basis.

They certainly are enjoying being Port Hope residents since moving here in July.

“Absolutely amazing. People are great, friendly – big difference from big cities,” Heard remarked.

Added Hash, “mainly just the small-town vibe,” is what they enjoy.

“I mean, it’s obviously not a small town with 16,000 people but it’s got a small-town vibe,” she continued. “Everyone is really friendly, the landscaping is gorgeous, we love the community. When we were doing our house hunt, we pretty much went everywhere between here and Toronto and all the way up to Peterborough and something kept bringing us back to Port Hope.” | [GO TO FULL ARTICLE]