Toronto Maple Leafs fans are really upset despite opening night win
Last night was the Toronto Maple Leafs' home opener, and the team is off to a great start so far.
They beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3, so you'd think Toronto hockey fans would be on cloud nine.
But despite the win, many fans are less than pleased with coach Mike Babcock over his decision to keep veteran player Jason Spezza off the ice during last night's game.
Spezza's at the twilight of his career. He was the former captain of the Sens, and he's played over 1,000 games within a 16 year period.
He accepted a minimum salary to play for the Leafs in order to work in his home town and potentially win a Stanley Cup.
Babcock said he chose to seat Spezza to give him more time to get comfortable killing penalties, but it seems nobody is buying it.
Shame on you Babs for how you’re treating Jason Spezza. The room will feel your childishness and hate you for it. No way to win a cup. It won’t happen with a corrupt culture— lou Quattro (@louQuattro1) October 3, 2019
Fans are particularly angry with Babcock's decision to seat him during the home opener in Toronto, saying he could have done it during any other game.
Folks...Spezza is a very well respected longtime NHL veteran...he signs with his hometown team, has a good camp...playing in Leafs home opener against his former team is a big deal for him...— Mike Commodore (@commie22) October 2, 2019
Babcock scratches Spezza. Textbook scumbag move from the biggest fraud in the game.
Some are also saying his decision to do so seems more like a statement to management than anything else, as they were the ones who signed Spezza in the first place and Babcock was not on board.
The most overrated coach in all of hockey, maybe all of pro sports! It's an a-hole move that he did. This is Babcock's way of telling management he didn't want Spezza! Team Canada coach my A*s! I could have coached that team to gold! When the TML's choke this year he's gone!— Bob Millaken (@MillakenMan) October 3, 2019
And many are saying the decision was outright disrespectful.
That's Jason Spezza... not a used dishrag, treat the man with the respect he rightfully deserves. Mike Babcock doesn't know the meaning of respect, biggest ego of any nhl coach by far...— 𝙂-𝘽𝙊𝙄 (@notabowl) October 3, 2019
Some are even calling for Babcock to be fired.
What Mike Babcock did to Jason Spezza last night is mich bigger than most people think. Awful leadership. #FireBabcock— Mitchell Y (@DJYampZ) October 3, 2019
Even former Leafs players are outraged by the decision.
"I quite frankly think it’s a joke," former Toronto Maple Leafs player and TSN 1050 OverDrive co-host Jeff O'Neill said on Leafs Lunch according to TSN.
"I mean Jason Spezza signed for peanuts to play here. He shows up early to help out with the young guys and then you put that in his face."
Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo and TSN 1050 host also said he disagrees with the decision.
"I think we can all agree how Mike Babcock feels about Spezza," he said.
"We knew it was going to be a rocky relationship. And that's fine, that happens. Don't make it an example on the first game of the season, especially the home opener. Just let the guy play and then you worry about everything else after."
The Leafs are playing their next game in Columbus tomorrow night, and Spezza will get to play this time — so hopefully the drama won't get in the way of another win for the team.
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