Were the Toronto Maple Leafs Robbed of Connor McDavid?


Were the Toronto Maple Leafs Robbed of Connor McDavid?

If you think about it, there’s no other possible explanation: the NHL must’ve conspired with the other teams to prevent the Toronto Maple Leafs from landing Connor McDavid in this year’s entry draft.

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Connor McDavid puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number one overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After all, the Leafs did an exceptional job at losing games last season – perhaps the best job in team history. They lost 34 of their last 43 games on the season and finished with a league-worst 8-27-6 record on the road. Their collapse in the second half of the season is now the stuff of legend.

The team fired a mediocre coach in Randy Carlyle and replaced him with an absolute dud in Peter Horachek; they traded several of their most reliable players, including Daniel Winnik, Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson, at the trade deadline; they made the Air Canada Centre hostile territory for the home team; and they entered the uncomfortable realm of internal team discipline. All of this speaks to a truly disastrous season and it’s hard to believe anyone could do a better job at sinking this low than without some outside assistance/interference from the NHL along the way.

Three teams finished below the Leafs this season: the Arizona Coyotes, the Edmonton Oilers and the Buffalo Sabres. These are also the same three teams that finished ahead of the Leafs in the race for McDavid as the draft lottery system (once again) failed to move the Leafs into a winning position (coincidence?).

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  • Now let’s take a look at those teams that somehow managed to finish below the Leafs in the regular season.

    Arizona: if the people of Arizona don’t know they have a hockey team, how do we – the “true” hockey fans – know the team really exists? From what I can gather, the Coyotes are simply a product of popular imagination – a team that exists through myth and in the dark recesses of reality. What can actually be found in Arizona is an empty arena and a bunch of neatly folded but godawful ugly jerseys.

    Edmonton: there’s no way a team with that much talent up front (Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov) and decent, if not impressive, pieces on the blue line (Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz) would rely on the shaky goaltending abilities of Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth unless they were told it was worth the risk. It just doesn’t make sense and neither does giving up on a young goaltending prospect like Devan Dubnyk for nothing substantial in return. Something went on here – some kind of insider trader situation where the Oilers were (once again) told to tank.

    Jul 2, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; NHL draft number one pick Connor McDavid talks to the media after taking part in the Edmonton Oilers rookie camp at the Rexall Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

    Buffalo: if we’re being honest, Buffalo the city and Buffalo the team scream AHL franchise. These’s no way they landed an NHL club unless it was meant to block a certain other team from reaching the playoffs or claiming top prize in the draft. I can’t think of any other reason for having a team in Buffalo.

    I mean it: there’s no other way to understand what happened in this year’s draft. The Leafs tried their best (and they’re really only good at losing hockey games) to land McDavid, but the mysterious figures behind the curtain kept them just far enough back of Arizona, Edmonton and Buffalo for the grand prize to allude them (once again). We’re being manipulated here and it’s time for someone to expose it.

    The truth is out there (while McDavid is in Edmonton).

    In other news, it’s summer and some people are bored. Thus, I wouldn’t believe everything you read.

    Follow me on Twitter for regular posts about sports (especially the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays), politics and other news topics: @williamefwilson