The team that has become the laughing stock of the National Hockey League has one word for its fans: “sorry.” After missing yet another shot at the playoffs, the seventh in a row and the current longest drought in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs published an open letter to fans, posted on its website and printed in Toronto’s newspapers, humbly apologizing for its poor performance on the ice. Signing the letter on behalf of players, coaches and managers, was Laurence Tanenbaum, chairman of the board of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto NHL franchise. Although, control of the team is in the process of being partially sold to Rogers Communications Inc., owner of Maclean’s.
The Leafs had spent most of the season in a position to make the playoffs, but won just seven of their last 29 games (losing 15 out of 17 games since February), finishing in a bitter 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Firing coach Ron Wilson from his job and replacing him with Randy Carlyle last month didn’t help matters.