May 27, 2009
The following has been generously cross-posted over at Pension Plan Puppets ...
A severe injustice occurred that fateful night, 16 years ago. I was only 10-years-old, and I'm not quite sure I understood the magnitude of it all at the time. I was young, and full of hope. Not jaded. I simply figured a birth in the finals, and the winning of the Stanley Cup, was guaranteed with Doug Gilmour at the helm of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If not in 1993, eventually.
I watched game six at home, with my 13-year-old brother. (There's nothing I enjoy more than a west coast start-time in the playoffs.) The Leafs' 1993 playoff run - three seven-game series - had us captivated, and had led us across the bridge from casual fandom to die-hard. It was impossible not to be enthralled by the '93 Leafs, Wendel Clark's performance in game six part of the reason why.
Clark should have had an opportunity on the power play to score his fourth goal of the game that night and, in the process, send the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup final. Instead, Kerry Fraser chose to interfere with destiny. A blatant high-stick; a preposterous non-call; two incredulous and very upset young boys; Toronto's own little asterisk.
Looking back, while no team has ever come closer, I'm reminded of a quote by the Roman philosopher, Seneca:
"Injustice never rules forever."
Preach on, brother. When the Toronto Maple Leafs do win the Stanley Cup, and they will, a lifetime of cursing Kerry Fraser will be washed away. All will be forgiven.
Until then, Fraser can go fuck himself.