Although the Maple Leafs haven’t made the playoffs in six years and so the sharpest Leaf me
mory of recent vintage is Jeremy Roenick’s killer goal eliminating Toronto from the postseason in 2004. I believe in the passion, track record and overall pugnacity of President and General Manager Brian Burke. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly and couldn’t care less what his critics think but his defence-first philosophy paid dividends for this club after the watershed Dion Phaneuf
Although ‘Burkie’ can be intimidating to some and appears gruff, I found him to be exceedingly kind towards me and always accommodating even when I asked him about areas in the Hartford area where I’m relocating in which to live. (For the record, when he was running the Whalers, he lived in Simsbury, a fine rural area and suggested West Hartford for my family and I, and raved about the fall in Connecticut as a wonderful place.) I’ll also keep a keen eye on my fellow Muslim Nazem Kadri
and hope he cracks the Leafs next year and provides instant dividends.RAPTORS
As for the Raptors, although they didn’t make the playoffs the last two season, it’s been a pleasure covering the team for the last six years. From Charlie Villanueva to Mike James to Rafer Alston to T.J. Ford to Jarrett Jack (a disparate collection I know), the Raptor players were always accessible and forthcoming with which to deal with, which sadly isn’t always an essential truth in this business.
It was a joy to follow Chris Bosh’s career trajectory and to interview his parents, high school coach, teacher and boyhood friends. All raved about CB’s class and passion which Toronto fans have been blessed to see on an up close and personal level. I hope he remains in Toronto but know that it’s a dual decision for both management and their star player. Special shoutout to both the Raptors and Leafs PR staffs for being so helpful and entertaining to deal with.OTHER STUFF ON MY MIND
I’ll miss m
y beloved Cumberland and Varsity Cinemas where I’ve seen so many wonderful independent and foreign films which I can only assume will be much more difficult to find in West Hartford (although I’m sure finding Iron Man 2 with my man Mickey Rourke won’t be too tough to secure a ticket too.)
And so the pseudo film critic that I am, I offer one last movie choice. The Academy Award winner from Argentina, the Secret In Their Eyes
-part police drama, murder mystery, love story, and all around worthy choice for your viewing pleasure. The less said the better but the soccer scene is an absolute stunner on all cinematic levels.
I’ll be watching You Don’t Know Jack
starring my man Al Pacino and early reviews are it’s one of his best works in years. Cleary, he dropped the bar low with Righteous Kill
and 88 Minutes
but al’s always number one in my heart.
Just like all of you dear readers. Thanks for all of your support.
Goodnight and Good Luck,