Toronto - March 22
As far as Canadian sports towns go, we grudgingly have to admit that Toronto is among the best markets in the country. Fielding/icing teams in all four major North American sports, the Big Smoke is a market that can handle not just having big name teams, but creating hype for them, too. In addition to the headlining matchup between the Habs and Leafs at the ACC on Saturday night, the Toronto Marlies are in action at nearby Ricoh Coliseum, the Toronto Furies are battling the Boston Blades for CWHL Clarkson Cup glory in Markham, the Argonauts are in scouting mode ahead of the CFL Draft, the Raptors lost a nail-biter to the OKC Thunder on Friday night and the Toronto Rock will be in action on Sunday after they clear out the ice at the ACC. Even with all that athletic action on the docket, the biggest sporting story in the city at the moment is arguably the Toronto FC home opener against D.C. United at BMO Field. After a busy offseason of wheeling and dealing that brought big name talent to this side of the pond, TFC is about to enjoy a capacity crowd ready to welcome superstar striker Jermain Defoe to the fray on home turf after luring him from Tottenham in the Premier League.
Seeing more fans sporting TFC scarves and jerseys than Leaf paraphernalia on the streets of Toronto for the first time, we can confirm that getting Defoe definitely was a “Bloody big deal” for the Toronto-based MLS club.
While looking at TFC swag at Real Sports we also happened upon a few interesting items on display, including a pair of Maple Leafs Stanley Cup rings. We couldn’t spot any dates engraved on them, so we have to assume they’re either vintage collectables from 1967 or just waiting for hopeful fans to finally get a chance to engrave them with a date in the 21st Century.