Toronto Maple Leafs

December 20, 2018 7:00 am

Rick Zamperin: Maple Leafs must win the Stanley Cup in the next 12 years

Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews (34) and teammate Mitch Marner are two of the cornerstones of the franchise.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
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The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ window to win the Stanley Cup is now officially set. That’s right, Leafs fans — Toronto’s magic number is 12.

How did I come up with that number, you ask?

Well, I can tell you that it is not based on a convoluted mathematical equation, player statistics, analytics, roster moves, league trends or the salary cap.

No, it is quite simple.

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The Leafs have an incredible foundation of young stars such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander to go along with talented veterans John Tavares, Frederick Anderson, Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri, and one heck of a head coach in Mike Babcock. So 12 years should be more than enough time for this team to finally satisfy Toronto’s Cup-starved fanbase.

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But why 12, as opposed to any other number?

Come 2030, 12 years from now, the Stanley Cup will no longer include the words Toronto Maple Leafs.

That’s right, the Leafs have to win the Cup in the next dozen years before their name is removed from the world’s most famous trophy.

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The Hockey Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it has placed the latest band from the Stanley Cup on permanent display, featuring the 12 championship teams from the 1953-54 NHL season to the 1964-65 season.

The next band to come off, a dozen years from now, will include Toronto’s last National Hockey League championship team from 1966-67.

If the next 12 years pass without a Stanley Cup parade in the Mecca of hockey, fans will be unable to find Toronto Maple Leafs etched into the shiny silvery side of the iconic Cup when they visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto.

Picture a wide-eyed child who is having their picture taken with the Stanley Cup and asking their father, mother or grandparents where the Maple Leafs championship teams of the past are carved into the trophy.

Telling them that the Leafs are no longer on the Cup because, by that time, they hadn’t won it all in 63 years would be a travesty.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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