Leafs fan paper bag

Pompous columnist takes aim at society that cares so much about the Leafs


National Post columnist Jonathan Kay is outraged that so many people are outraged with the Maple Leafs.

Referencing a Toronto Star column by Dave Feschuk that called for Leafs GM Brian Burke to apologize to the fans, Kay wrote:

I’m very sorry that the Leafs (apparently) aren’t heading to the playoffs. And no doubt, well-apprised fans have all sorts of ideas for improving the team’s performance. But when did we, as a society, decide that losing at sports is some kind of moral sin — one that requires public shaming, histrionic lamentations, and the sort of grand appeals for “forgiveness” (Feschuk’s word) that we more traditionally associate with the legacy of Indian residential schools? Feschuk informs me that a pair of Leafs gold-section season tickets cost $16,000 per year. That’s a lot of money. But anyone who pays that price isn’t “owed” anything — except the right to be admitted to the arena and watch 60 minutes of NHL hockey.

You expect people to get crazy and irrational in the actual heat of sporting competition. What is the act of “rooting for laundry” after all, except an institutionalized, socially acceptable outlet for the thinly suppressed tribal passions and hatreds encoded in our evolutionary psychology? Instead of Hutus and Tutsis, Sunnis and Shiites, we’re Leafs and Canadiens, Cowboys and Steelers. I get that. And in the immediate agony of defeat, it makes sense that we would demand abject “apologies” from our tribal overlords for shaming us in our failed show-battles against rival tribes. But once the players file into their dressing room, it’s time for people to wake up to the amoral reality of modern professional sports. Losing isn’t a sin, just as winning doesn’t make us all better people. No one owes you an apology just because the lions ate the wrong gladiator.

In a related story, Jonathan Kay is a real hit at parties.

Derek Roy continues his career in Switzerland

Alex Tanguay, Derek Roy
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Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.

Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.

The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).

His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.

Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.

He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.


Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.