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Some Late Off-Season Q&A

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs

“The great thing about the regular season is that after the post season and the off-season it’s not really not so regular at all but rather it is irregular, a dizzying kaleidoscope of games all swishing to and fro. I think.”

- Mike Ulmer, Maple Leafs senior writer.

Questions, questions, so many questions.

The Leafs don’t open their regular season until October 6 but as always, questions, serious questions, continue to torment Leaf fans.

To gain the greatest range of questions, we limited the queries to those luminaries from the worlds of entertainment, politics and, of course, textiles.

Should James Reimer be worried about the sophomore jinx?
J. Carey, Boston, Mass.

Great question. Statistically, the jury is still out on the diminished effectiveness of players in their second year, but the clean-living, non-smoking, well-spoken Reimer is more likely to be hit by a streetcar than rest on a season that did not finish in the playoffs. Big headedness isn’t usually an issue with kids from Morweena although they do show a tendency to bore listeners while expounding on the different varieties of wheat native to the prairies.

With so many Americans on the roster, shouldn’t they just add red to the uniforms? Get it, red white and blue?
R. Limbaugh, somewhere in the Ozarks with the extended family.

Dear Mr. Limbaugh. If you look at the Leafs roster and factor in players who had some chance of making the team, the total reads 16 Canadians, nine Americans, and three goalies who claim no nationality inside this solar system.

Who is Philippe Dupuis?
P. Dupuis, Laval, Quebec.

Let me tell you a story. When Jimmy Carson was traded for Wayne Gretzky, he found himself on a line with two Finns, Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen. Tikkanen was famous for what Wayne Gretzky called Tikkanese, a mix of gibberish, English, obscenities and Finnish. In their first game together, Tikkanen jabbered for the first three shifts. Unnerved, Carson turned to Kurri and asked what he had said. Kurri spoke to Tikkanen and turned to Carson. “I have no @#%$% idea,” he said.

What does the future hold for Ron Wilson?
B. Burke, Toronto, Ontario

Ron is conscious of his health. He doesn’t smoke, exercises regularly and toys with reporters as a stress relief. I would be very surprised if he didn’t live to be 80, maybe 85.

I understand Leaf prospect David Broll is nicknamed ‘The Steambroller.’ Any other nicknames worth trying out.
C T Bear, Toronto, Ontario

Glad you asked Mr. Bear. Top candidates: Darryl Rolls Boyce, Tyler Czecho Bozakian, Jolten’ Colton Orr. Keith Aulie Aulie All Come Free, Mike Komisavarek, Matt Laugh Your Lashoff, Joey Alaskan King Crabb.

The Leafs will go into the season with Tim Connolly, Mikhail Grabovski, Tyler Bozak, Darryl Boyce, Phillipe Dupuis and sooner or later, Matthew Lombardi at centre. Will this overcrowding hurt the Maple Leafs Hockey Club?
A Frost, Toronto.

Cher Mr. Frost: Yes it would, in the same way that excess revenues leave governments hamstrung and extra flexibility vexes trapeze artists.

Is this a make it or break it year for Nazem Kadri?
J. Tlusty, Raleigh, North Carolina.

I don’t think so, but his back is really going to be against the wall when he turns 21.

Will Leaf fans riot when the team wins the Stanley Cup?
Sgt. D Doright, Yellowknife, NWT.

Dear, Sgt. Leaf fans won’t break a single pane of glass, let alone overturn a car. They don’t roll that way. For that matter, neither do Canuck fans or Hab fans.

Will the Maple Leafs make the playoffs?
G. Kreskin, New York, New York.

Dear Mr. Kreskin. Have we ever met before? Do I know you in any way? For my opinion, please re-read the end of the Esa Tikkanen story.

What new rules would you endorse for the upcoming season?
G.Bettman, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Dear R. Bettman. Glad you asked. I would like to extend the parameters of the Kiss Cam if you get my meaning. I would like to see the officials wearing a headset, not to speak to each other, but to communicate to one chosen season seatholder through the entire game. I would make out of town three star winners have to face the boos and catcalls of the Air Canada Centre crowd on nights where the home team lost. I would make it mandatory for new players to write a test on Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Bill Masterton, Ace Bailey and Frank Brimsek and Hobey Baker before they play their first NHL game. I would make Bob Cole the voice of NHL Films. If there is no NHL Films, I would invent it just for Bob Cole. I would make Teemu Selanne play his last season in the NHL for the Winnipeg Jets. I would give a 10-minute misconduct for diving and make the offender watch soccer in the penalty box. I would begin sending escalating currents of electricity through the luxury boxes five minutes before the start of a period. I would permit sushi at the ACC but only if there was a stand for elk meat as well.

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