She may be far from home, but Stacey Saul is a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan and her allegiance to her team surpasses that of her own flesh and blood.
The Mississauga, Ont., native who now resides in Tampa Bay, Fla., moved her son Logan’s entire bedroom out of the house and into the front yard before the start of the NHL playoffs.
“He kept on trash talking and I told him I was going to do it and that we couldn’t have a Lightning fan in the house, so here we are,” Stacey laughed.
Ahead of Game 1 and on her lunch break, Stacey said she took his entire bedroom, including his Lightning gear, and set it up outside under a little tent. She also left him a suitcase and toilet paper in case nature called.
The prank has been well received by Logan who simply pointed to the success that his team has had as the defending and back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.
“It was fine, I’m not too worried about it. We’ve won a lot and it’s all in good fun,” he said.
Stacey said the entire family outside of Logan, including her daughter who is born in Florida, are massive Leafs fans. She said despite living in Florida for nearly two decades, it’s seldom that she won’t catch a Leafs game.
“We’re a hockey household, but we went wrong somewhere with him,” she said of Logan.
Logan’s love of the Lightning started in 2010 when he went with his grandparents, who are also Lightning fans, to a game. He was hooked and has been cheering for his hometown team since.
“I think I made the right choice. Look at the cups we’ve won. This team is fun and exciting and they get it done,” he said.
Being on opposite ends of the series resulted in a lot of trash talk between Logan and the rest of his family, which is why the prank happened in the first place, according to Stacey.
“He’s got a mouth and loves to rub it in, so we kept warning him and we did it,” she said.
With the Leafs dominating the Lightning in Game 1, the family has really rubbed the win in Logan’s face knowing that there is still a lot of hockey left to be played.
While Stacey is wary of making a prediction, she does ultimately think the Leafs will come out on top in the series. She added that until they win four games, she’s going to be sitting on pins and needles.
Logan is the opposite, and despite a 5-0 loss in Game 1, he’s confident that the Lightning’s championship pedigree will help them get past Toronto.
“Lightning in seven,” he said.
While she’s in enemy territory, Stacey said that she and her family would love to go support the Leafs when they play Games 3 and 4 in Tampa Bay.
“I’m ready to be there and make it happen,” she said.
Ultimately, Stacey has her eyes on the prize noting that watching a Leafs Stanley Cup Final game would be “the best day of her life,” joking it would mean more than the birth of her kids.
“If (the Leafs) get (to the final), I already told my husband we’re going back, no matter the cost.”