Toronto is a very fickle market.
The "regular folks," people like me, and probably you too, have pretty much been priced out of seeing the Leafs live.
By the time you add in parking, an over-priced hot-dog, an over-priced beer, two people taking in a Leafs game is a $500 touch.
Contrast that to the sixties, when guys who worked in factories held season tickets. For everybody in their family. I'm willing to bet there's not a single factory worker holding a Leafs season ticket today.
The game has changed.
The world has changed.
The Leafs are the richest franchise in the NHL.
They just made Mike Babcock the richest coach in the NHL.
I think Mike and his agent made a great deal for themselves. Even when this joyride ends in three or four years, (eight year contract means nothing)Mike's gonna be set for life.
All those chairs in the Air Canada Centre are corporate assets on somebody's balance sheet these days. The Leafs have fans, but they don't have real old-school working-class fans any more, the folks who would call in sick and miss a day's pay to catch the Leaf's live.
Ya, that used to happen a lot when you worked second shift.
But that was then.
Now, those fancy seat-owners like to glory in the ownership of a seat at the ACC. The only thing that is more cool among the nouveau rich who rule Toronto these days is having a seat and not using it!
That's the fan mentality Babcock will be facing. The beautiful people will want results right away. Otherwise they'll leave their seats empty. The guys on the ice will despair at the lack of fan support. Morale will go for a shit. A team that should have won (on paper) will just be another bunch of losers.
But the Maple Leaf brand will continue to be the most valuable in the NHL.
It's just a matter of time before Mike Babcock realizes he has been pre-ordained to fail.