January 06, 2009

Save Your Boos

Bryan McCabe, now a Florida Panther, anticipates being booed by you, by us, the Toronto Maple Leafs faithful, in his return to the Air Canada Centre tonight. 

Let's prove him wrong.

Look, I know the McCabe chapter in Leafs history had a shitty ending, but no matter what you think of him today, how about we show him some love tonight. What do you say?

We had some good times. Eight years. Over 520 games in the blue and white; 523 to be exact. Even 50 playoff games, including one of our deepest runs. Seasons of 43, 53, 68, and 57 points. A Team Canada selection. The can-opener. Dude was good.

And don't you forget the beautiful music McCabe and Tomas Kaberle made together. They were a lovely tandem back there. My lasting memory of McCabe, own-goal be damned, is him one-timing a cross-ice pass from Kabby, served up on a pillow on the power play, into the back of the net.

McCabe's trade out of Toronto has worked out for both teams. He's logging a ton of minutes on the Panthers' blue line and has responded well, as anticipated, to the fact that no one gives a shit about hockey down in Miami.

Mike Van Ryn, whom Toronto received in return, of course, has arguably been the best Leafs defenceman when he's in the lineup. Unfortunately he just can't stay in the lineup, thanks to douchebags who hit from behind.

So, do me a solid and save your wrath. McCabe doesn't deserve it. Even during his darkest days in a Leafs uniform, no one could accuse #24 of not playing with passion, or not trying. By all accounts, McCabe tried too much; tried too hard. He wanted nothing more than to live up to the massive contract John Ferguson Jr., aka the Antichrist, gave him, and his career in Toronto ended because of that desire and what it did to his game.

In the end, in my zen-like hold-no-grudges fashion, I wish McCabe nothing but good luck and all the success in the world. I'm glad to see him succeeding in Florida, and here's hoping he gets a warm ovation from the crowd tonight. Here's hoping the fans remember the good times. There were plenty.

Save your boos for Raycroft.


Pension Plan Puppets said...

in my zen-like hold-no-grudges fashion

The Raycrap Report wants a word with you.

McCabe physically tried hard but mentally could not have tried any less. Fuck him and the Karpotvsev he rode in on.

eyebleaf said...

McCabe was good more than he was bad in Toronto. At least that's the way I remember it.

And, come on, Karpovtsev for McCabe was a steal if there ever was one.

Down Goes Brown said...

I really wasn't a fan of McCabe by the end of his stint -- all the whining and excuses really got to me. Still, I don't see the point behind booing the guy. I don't think he needs a standing ovation either, but he played as well as he could and he did waive the NTC (eventually). It worked out for everyone.

Then again, I wouldn't boo Raycroft either.

eyebleaf said...

I wouldn't boo Raycroft, either, DGB. I'd throw something at him instead.

blurr1974 said...

the only standing o should be for Belak when he returns with the Preds...

you know it's true.

daoust said...

i'm indifferent on mccabe. he had some very decent years in TO, until they took his canopener away and the rest of the league wised up to his shot from the point. by the end he was nothing but a $6M powerplay decoy occasionally tripping on and scoring on his own net. but the huge contract wasn't his fault, and he left town in as classy a fashion as possible, so to boo him now seems a bit juvenile and bush league. i don't think i'd give him a standing O, but i might give him a half-hearted "thanks for the good times, too bad you sucked near the end" polite clap.

general borschevsky said...

Cheers, eyebleaf! Well written. You almost got me over too. I'm still gonna boo him on his first shift, but not every time he touches the puck like I had originally planned, and I might even give him a cheer at the very end of the game as long as the Leafs win.

Oh please, please please let McCabe score the winning goal into the back of the Florida net tonight!

40 said...

I like that you have come to the defense of my boy! I supported him through thick and thin, nice to see he was appreciated in TO by someone else other than me!

Anonymous said...

McCabe was a serviceable defenseman. He was among the league leaders in points for defenseman in the NHL a few years here. He struggled near the end, but then again who didn't? Besides It wasn't McCabe. IT WAS FUCKING RAYCROFT and JFJ. I agree with eyebeleaf, throw things at Raycrap. In fact i'd pay to see someone throw a kitchen sink at him. In fact, i'll even offer to pay the bail when they get arrested.

eyebleaf said...

@ Blurr: There's going to be a standing O on Feb. 21st. I can't wait.

@ Daoust: A half-hearted polite clap is good enough for me. I'm not calling for a standing O, just for the boo-birds to go easy on him.

@ General: Cheers, fella. I have a feeling McCabe will score tonight. On which net, I'm not so sure.

@ 40: I too supported McCabe through thick and thin. Always had a soft spot for the guy. He was appreciated. And I thought of you when I was writing; you rocked that #24 jersey with immense pride.

@ 25th: I'm in on the bail money as well. Unless it's me throwing the sink. Then you need to round up people to pay to bail my ass out.

Loser Domi said...

maybe this is why Kaberle's been playing without oumph--he's like a woman whjo, after the last child leaves the house, doesn't know what to do with all her time after spending 20+ years raising kids. In short, Kabs has empty nest syndrome.

/not a psychologist

woodpeck said...

Caber was a nice guy. too bad it appeared he mailed it in on too many nights. was that because our expectations were too high or because he just isn't that good? i wouldn't boo him just for that. raycrap is another entity all 2gether. i'd give him the gears as much as possible. when do the Avs come to town?

fantasybaseballmacbookpro said...

By the reaction at the ACC I guess the fans didn't read your blog post.

eyebleaf said...

@ Woodpeck: I don't think they're coming to town this year. We're going over there, I think.

@ Fantasy: Those bastards.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I respect that McCabe backed Sundin in the papers...although maybe that makes him even more hated to others.