It's time to wrap things up, sports fans. If this was Hockey Night in Canada at playoff time, it'd be the cue for these guys to come out.
I think I know, and the Leafs know, where you all line up on this question. We'll see how Stumpy fares over the next week or so, and we'll be talking about it here.
|HANS DERYK/TORONTO STAR|
|Steve Thomas skates against Boston during pre-season action. Could be one of his final appearances in the blue and white.|
On that note, it's a wrap. Oh, and if you like baseball, I'll have details tomorrow of a special LIVE Jabs on Thursday afternoon in this space. Hope you'll look in.
Meanwhile, the final scoreboard:
Carla 10 (I mean, the girl sends in a photo from the Salt Lake victory party, that got the judges in a tizzy) ... She wins a copy of Reader's Digest! Congratulations
downtown 4 ... wins the dog-eared Leafs training camp guide!
A tie at 3 between tT, denial, Suburbanhockey, gadgetboy, Steve R, and JR
many at 1 and 2
So after a series of coin flips here, JR wins third prize of three juggling balls!
So there you have it. I'll be along with a final post for the day, with the answers to trivia questions that didn't get answered (if there were any).
And one more thing. Please don't bombard me with emails protesting the results. The judges' decision is final and binding.
"Won't you take me to -- Stumpytown!/ won't you take me to -- Stumpytown!" ... fadeout.
Yep, we're goin' overtime.
From John Richardson:
I may be coming late to the party but my son played select hockey in the North York league a number of years ago when Stumpy was a Leaf. Turned out his son was also in the league. Before my son's game Stumpey came into the room, shook hands with all the players, wished them good luck and signed autographs. Classy move or what.
And from beergirl:
It's all about foot soldiers. We lost a good one in Fitzy, and who now can fill that role? A guy who won't complain when he sits and still gives it his all every shift that he gets. A guy that's dependable enough to be a leader to the youngsters and humble enough to take directs from team leaders. Whether anyone would be willing to admit or not, those types of guys are worth their weight in gold and i hope JFJ realizes it and signs Stumpy.
Okay, it's clear: The Stumpython has been a hit. We've got to wrap it up. I'm going to go off and grab a coffee, then come back and hit ya with a scoreboard final and some closing
TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO Steve Thomas has the Air Canada Centre crowd at his mercy on April 15, 2000.
Judges ruling: Rui gets a point for the CHUM chart thingy. There are actually two different dates out there for Stumpy's signing -- one media guide (Leafs) has it as May 12, the other (Chicago, when Thomas was with Hawks) as May 30. So Rui, a correction. Thanks for pointing it out.
Rui, Steve R, bferg, downtown 3 each
tT, James Rankin 1 each
"Won't you take me to -- Stumpytown/ Won't you take me to -- Stumpytown ..." (everybody sing now!)
Okay, we're getting down near the end here, and feelin' punchy, but all the way from Connecticut comes this one from Doug Hall, PhD:
Simply put, Stumpy goes a long way towards filling the void left by the departure of Nieuwendyk and Roberts. That character, veteran presence, that means soooo much not just on the ice, but perhaps more importantly in the dressing room. There is something very special about those handful of players who not only want to play and win, but also want to be part of the sometimes punishing dynamic of being a hockey player in Toronto. Evident by the fact that we are participating in a "Stumpython", there is clearly a very special chemistry between Steve Thomas and hockey fans in this city. In a game where each team has talented players, the intangible quality that someone like Thomas lends can be the difference between winning and losing, it's that simple.
Man, we're chokin' up. Be right back with a scoreboard update. And oh, you're never going to get these two questions, it seems:
The No. 1 song the week Stumpy signed with the Leafs in 1984.
His first job (at least according to a very early archived Star story) was working in a lumber yard at $3.50 an hour.
TRIVIA: Name the movie that includes this quote (one point).
"All right, one period left. One period away from winning it all or losing to these miserable hackers with their s----eating grins and their Saturday night wrestling tactics. One period away from remembering something for the rest of your life or something you wanna forget."
And this from Spencer, via inter-office email:
Okay Chris, I can't believe you haven't seen it. But my first and best Stumpy memory is from 1986. That movie, and Rick Vaive, are the reasons I started following hockey as a kid. My question is: besides Thomas who were the THREE others in the movie that have connections to the Maple Leafs?
Carla hits the jackpot -- a five-pointer!
Lucky me, I was at the Team Canada party the night Canada won the gold here in Salt Lake and even though I was in a room filled with guys who'd just won it all, my heart went *zing* when I spotted Stumpy arriving (on crutches, the poor guy). Being a bred-in-the-bone Leafs fan, I *had* to speak with him. He couldn't understand why I'd want to talk to him when I was surrounded by Team Canada members. ;-) But I told him how much Leafs fans like me missed seeing him in the Blue and White and he told me he missed being a Leaf, too, and hoped to one day play for our team again. Now's his chance--I hope the team gives it to him! This guy has the heart and the guts our team *needs* this season
Some trivia answers: downtown scores for noting Ron Reagan's landslide election victory as all the buzz way back in the day when Stumpy was still using a safety razor. Good guess on Duran Duran topping the CHUM CHart, it's WRONG but the judges say they'll give you a point as it was No. 2). Rui correctly names "Game-winning goals" as the statistical category that Stumpy led the Leafs in in '86 and '87.
Suburban Hockey stumps me on who Stumpy's tied with for most regular season OT goals (13) -- so I'm throwing it on the list of our questions. Fire away.
One hour gone, and you guys are keeping it coming. Nice job. Stumpylike job.
Oh, and denial -- once the trivia question's been answered, it's CLOSED! So please, enough with the CAPS!
And this from the Coles Notes version of denial's "why stumpy should stay" bit, and the judges have given him a point for that:
What Thomas may lack in raw Sundin-like talent (no offense intended), he MORE than makes up for in embodying a concept that is worth admiring; a concept that goes beyond stats. In an age of cookie-cutter franchises that have no identity and stand for absolutlely nothing, the Leafs have a chance to redeem themselves. To remind themselves, and this city, that the Toronto Maple Leafs were never about something as crude as simply winning stanley cups; they were about earning and then representing the energy of an entire city; an entire country, really, and then taking that trust and (dare I say it) passion and showing what a group of people can do when they play FOR something bigger than themselves.
And from downtown:
It's the 2000 playoffs, the 5th game versus Ottawa. Stumpy scores to tie it and lift his wilting team. Then he steals it with an OT winner. 6 goals in that series. Truly Thomas was the key to beating Ottawa that year. He hasn't lost his touch either folks. Let's not forget his big ot winner 2 years ago while playing with Anaheim. You can see his love of the game in the glint of his eyes and in his huge smile.
|TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO|
|Steve Thomas and Adam Oates played on the same line for the 1981-82 Markham Waxers, where Thomas scored 68 goals and 125 points in 48 games.|
How old was Steve Thomas when he and his family emigrated from Stockport, England?
On the day the Leafs signed Thomas to a free-agent deal in May of 1984, what was the No. 1 song on the CHUM Chart? (2-pointer)
For one point each, name the players who earned assist on Thomas's first NHL goal.
True or false: Stumpy's favourite TV show when he was a kid was The Flintstones.
What was the No. 1 story in North America on the day that Stumpy made his NHL debut on Nov. 7, 1984?
Steve Rukavina 3
Rui, downtown, tT 1 each
James Rankin is on the board:
"I'm all for watching Steen and Wellwood play this year! But Perrot, Kilger and Wilm? Whould they get a job over Stumpy?"
James, you bring up a good point. This has turned, somehow, into a Stumpy vs. Wellwood debate. It shouldn't be, as denial has pointed out.
Meanwhile, bferg tries trivia. he snags one point for correctly answering "true" to the Stumpy AHL Rookie one. He guessed "peeling potatoes" for Stumpy's first job -- WRONG! Although it is close. And he guessed "playoff points" for the statistical category -- WRONG!! One point to bferg.
And a really good one, three points to Steve Rukavina for making us smile:
"I forget what year it was, 99 I think, and the Leafs were down 2-0 in the third period of game 2 of the first round against Philly, and down 1-0 in the series. They had played seven periods of awful hockey, and looked like they were done. I'll never forget stumpy scoring the first goal of the series for the leafs, the pumping fist, the sunken eyes, and the huge momentum shift. They crushed Philly after that. It was sublime."
bferg, rui, downtown, tT, denial* 1
(*judges ruling: denial awarded three points, but penalized one point for writing too long, one point for posting in Hockey Page after writing he was too lazy to come to JABS)
A Stumpython?!? Now, we're talking! And, I thought my day at work was gonna suck. Ok, I think for those of us who were there, Game 5 of the 2000 series vs. Ottawa has to be the ultimate Stumpy-Leaf moment. With the series tied, and all hope fading, he scores the tying goal with 4 mins to go, then nets the OT winner to erase any Ottawa hope of winning the series. I've been to dozens of Leaf playoff games and (this might be a sad comment actually?!?) that OT has to rank up there with the most exciting moments in the short history of the ACC.
this from Rui:
Look at the hit he layed on Pothier (Ottawa Senators) Sunday night. I know it was a penalty but you had to be cheering for the heart it showed. There's still a Tiger fuelling those 42 year old legs.
and from downtown:
Stumpy might just be my all time favorite Leaf. Noone else has the heart. Who's going to score the OT winner versus Ottawa? Stumpy, again...
Stumpy posseses the qualities we lost with Nieuwendyk, Roberts and Fitzgerald: He's shows true class and leadership.
CP PHOTO Steve Thomas's OT heroics are part of Leafs-Senators lore. His winner on April 22, 2000 gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead in their quarterfinal series.
True or false: Stumpy was the AHL's Rookie of the Year.
What was Stumpy's first job, and what did he earn (a 2-pointer here)?
What statistical category did Stumpy lead the Leafs in for two successive seasons before they traded him away in 1987?
A blast from the past here for you O-Pee-Chee fans.
We're open. And First out of the gate is -- STEVE THOMAS!
Yes, Stumpy hisownself is the first one on the Stumpython, thanks to our Mark Zwolinski tracking him down out at the ACC:
"I've heard comments on the radio and I've certainly seen (the Stumpython) and I'm pleased to know that I have fans pulling for me."
This is Toronto. You're a guy who bleeds blue and white. Could it be any other way?
"At first, I wanted to come to camp and just do my job. But I've been on Toronto before and I've had a good reception so it's not a suprise to me, it just makes me feel good."
So what does this kind of thing mean to you, man?
"I think the fan support during this camp has been overwhelming. It is wonderful for me to see it and it shows to me that people who watch hockey in this city really care about the game and are very knowlegdable about hockey. The reaction spurs me on, it give me that little extra I need at times."
"Can you change the photo in the Stumpython? The one of me bleeding? Otherwise, it's okay."
That was all Spencer's fault. And thanks again.
Okay, we're rollin'. Bring it on. And don't forget to keep refreshing.