On Saturday night the Leafs lost 3-0 to New York Rangers on the Canadian Forces special appreciation night at Air Canada Centre (ACC,) and the crowd was very receptive to the ceremony.
It was a very moving ceremony and over 400 troops were on hand as season ticket holders of the Leafs donated their tickets to the men and women of the Canadian Forces. One of the real highlights of the evening was when soldiers from the Warfare Centre in Trenton repelled down from the rafters. One of the soldiers even ripped open his uniform to display a Maple Leaf t-shirt to an astounding applause.
Old Maple Leaf Gardens chairs formed in the shape of a Maple Leaf
The Maple Leafs often hold special nights and this one was particularly special as there was not a dry eye in the rink or across Canada on CBC, during the opening ceremonies. A class act by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE,) as they are well know for running a classy organization.
Many of the players in the NHL always look forward to playing in Toronto, and this is one of the main reasons. Another is that many have always watched Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) as they grew up, whether they are from the USA or Canada.
A lot of the players in the NHL are from the Toronto area, as well as the rest of Canada and HNIC has always been the place they want to be on Saturday nights. When players on HNIC get interviewed between periods they always give them a special HNIC towel, which I am sure is cherished throughout the league.
Don Cherry of HNIC Coaches Corner has always been regarded as an expert on hockey and has supported the troops protecting our freedoms over the years. He has even traveled to the middle east and visited the troops at the front lines. When one of the military has been lost in Afghanistan, he makes a point of recognizing then on HNIC. Well done, Grapes.
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