Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Toronto Maple Leafs in the community

Our friends at PPP had a nice writeup about Luke's Troops, a program in which Leafs' rookie Luke Schenn donates a pair of seats for each game to a member of the Canadian Armed Forces returning home from service.

While this program is certainly admirable, it got me wondering about what other types of charitable donations and community service the Leafs are up to. So after making a few phone calls, I've compiled this list of programs that current and recent members of the Maple Leafs organization are involved in.

Burkie's Boys
A local orphanage receives a donation of a nickel every time Leafs GM Brian Burke makes a media appearance. Note: shortly after the trade deadline, the orphanage relocated to a small Caribbean island they'd purchased.

Howard Helps Out
Leafs beat reporter Howard Berger donates his time to the local sick kids hospital. This program has been dormant for several months, since Berger did all his giving in November when it actually mattered.

Fergie's Friends
Selected charities are given the opportunity to approach former Leafs GM John Ferguson with a request for what they feel would be a fair donation. Ferguson then immediately responds by offering them triple that amount, every year, for all of eternity.

It Could Be Worse
Victims of serious car crashes, workplace accidents and other life-altering injuries are shown videos of Wendel Clark fighting guys like Dave Mackey, Slava Fetisov and Bob Brooke, and come away realizing that things could be a lot worse.

The Martin Gerber Second Chance Program
Out-of-work derelicts who have been deemed unemployable due to a lack of marketable skills are given an opportunity to work again. Note: Gerber himself is not actually involved in this charity; it's named after him because he was the program's first recipient.

Kyle's Kupboard
This popular program by former Leaf Kyle Wellwood encouraged fans to drop potato chips and candy bars into a large box near Wellwood's locker. While nobody's sure exactly which food bank received the donations, they obviously worked fast because by the next day there was never anything left but empty wrappers and crumbs.

The Mats Sundin "Entire Journey" Program
This program was established by Mats Sundin when he first arrived in Toronto fifteen years ago. As of today, no final decision has been made on the campaign's format, goals and participants.

Pogge's Posse
Young fans who would otherwise have only a slim hope of ever being part of a Maple Leafs game at the ACC are invited to spend some time commiserating with Marlie's goalie Justin Pogge, who informs them that he can definitely relate.

Gabbing with Grabby
Mikhail Grabovski speaks at local high schools, reminding socially challenged kids that it's still possible to be marginally successful in your chosen career even though you're generally creepy and weird and everybody you meet feels a strong urge to punch you.

Blake's Buddies
Jason Blake speaks to cancer patients about his own battle with the disease, giving practical advice such as "Make sure you sign your $20M contract before the final tests come back," and "Look on the bright side, at least this will give everyone something to talk about instead of your albinoism".

The NHL's Revenue Sharing Program
Don't spend it all in one place, Phoenix.

Habitat for Kubanity
Leafs defenceman Pavel Kubina performs advocacy work on behalf of Toronto's many homeless squatters, due to his deep personal empathy for people who absolutely refuse to leave a hopeless situation even though it's obvious that nobody wants them there anymore.

Rolling the Dice With Dominic
Buffalo Sabres forward Dominic Moore returns to Toronto periodically to lecture on the dangers of gambling, delivering a moving speech called "How trying to get a little more money can unexpectedly result in you winding up stuck in a terrible hellhole that reeks of misery and hopelessness".

Mike Van Ryn Inspirational Hospital Visits
In an attempt to raise spirits and bring a sense of hope to a difficult situation, local children go to the hospital to visit Mike Van Ryn.


  1. Where can I sign up to volunteer?

  2. If it wasn't a forgone conclusion before, this post has sealed it.

    The private "DGB regulars only" celebratory evening you're going to throw when you get picked up by a major daily is going to be awesome.

    Oh, and incidentally, if you ever sell out or attempt to please the legion of ass-hats you offend, you will not be funny anymore.

    Stay gold,


  3. Please don't ever, ever change. We love you just the way you are. :)

  4. Beauty. Van Ryn, Moore, and Grabbo were all great, but I liked Sundin's "entire journey" the best.

  5. I'm not a Leafs fan yet posts like this and your trade deadline analysis force me to come back regularly.
    Great stuff!

  6. If you do sell out, please have Ted Dibase's theme song playing in the background. That way, you'll go out in style when you get deservedly read by more and more people.

  7. dude, your'e a genius, who deserves to be rewarded for comdeic gold. more interestin than mike ulmer for sure. Keep at it. You the man

  8. I too enjoyed the jab at Sundin.

    And the Van Ryn one was straight golden.

    You the man, DGB.

  9. Wow, that's a really great post, I love your blog more and more!

  10. Hey, you tell jokes. Good for you. How about some serious analysis? Not so funny now eh?

    p.s. don't change.

  11. You 'f' ing rock... Berger eat your heart out

  12. "Don't spend it all in one place Phoenix"

    Were we not supposed to build a casino with it? Crap.

  13. Great stuff once again. I loved the one about Grabs in particular (yeah, I admit it, I hate the guy) although they're all funny.

  14. Why do the Leafs have all the hilarious bloggers?

    I'm a damn Sabres fan and I look at like, eight times more Leafs stuff on the Internet than Sabres stuff.

    Your posts make me lul out loud. Awesome, awesome jabs.