Allow me to reiterate, that for me, Leafs Hub has never been about the actual hockey but more about the camaraderie that goes with it. As Keon first wrote last year when The Hub first sprouted up, “we are Hubbers!” Having already been to the first annual summer summit at Chez Otis, I can honestly say I have never partied with a nicer bunch of guys. So, when the opportunity presented itself to bring the summit to a Marlies game, I jumped at the opportunity.
Arriving at the pub, I was greeted by the head waiter and said I was meeting some friends, for which he asked what they looked like. After pausing for a moment I attempted to explain that I’ve never actually met some of them (he looked at me kinda strange, but that’s how we roll here at the Hub). Disgruntled Hopeful and his buddy Dave were over at the bar saying; “Leafs Hub?” as he saw me. I instantly smiled and introduced myself. One-by-one, fellow Hubbers walked through the door. I remember looking at the front entrance and seeing HH standing there. We pointed at each other through the window and smiled. I’ve been wanting to hug it out with HH for awhile now (I turned to Ingy and said he looks like Eugene Levy). Was surprised to see Jude arrive at the pub as I thought he may have stayed at The Ricoh with Phook (and let me tell you folks, Phook and Jude are dialed in. To see them later on throughout and after the game with the media scrums and such really put things into perspective, for me anyways. Professional and class acts, both of them).
We walk into the arena and up the walkway towards our seats when Ingy points out Kyle Dubas as he walked past us. I didn’t realize how young he looks (like a 17-year-old kid in high school). I will say this, Dubas looked positive. All smiles, yet very business-like.
As we made it to our seats (basically we had most of the row to ourselves, just a few rows up from the Marlies bench). It didn’t matter who was sitting where or with what tickets, as folks played musical chairs throughout the game.
Now, don’t ask me about the game itself. I wasn’t paying attention to the players themselves, though I was happy to see Nylander up close. That kid’s got some moves, and I can’t wait to see him make the jump to the big club. Sosh looked very poised and able to compete with any situation (I think he will challenge for a roster spot with the Leafs by the end of this season or early next). The Goat is massive, but he’s gotta use his size to his advantage if he wants to make the jump. He needs to develop a mean streak. Other standouts (to me anyways) would be Hyman and Valiev.
During the 3rd period the game became out of reach as the Marlies gained a good lead and shut things down. Had to laugh whenever a scrum broke out on the ice and this row of five-year-old kids behind us would rise to their feet and fist pump yelling “FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!” In saying that, I’ll add that there are a ton of kids out there for these Marlies games. Nice to see that! Get them indoctrinated at a young age and bleed blue and white throughout their lives.
Overall, I had a fantastic time. As I explained to Phook, things at my work are a bit tense at the moment and I’ve been laying a bit low, but I really needed a night out like this. Glad everyone made it home okay as the weather was a bit cold and wet. Special thanks to UK for picking up the tickets and putting this summit into gear. Great bunch of guys and I can’t wait to go to the next summit down the line.
Dave aka Bon Scott was a Leaf Fan