Volume 93, Issue 64

Tuesday, January 25, 2000


Windsor sticks loss to Mustangs

6-0 spank in first of two

Western secures first place ranking

The judges say third

Once again for Wendel

Once again for Wendel

It's like that first girl in high school you fell for – no matter how much time passes, you never forget her.

The Toronto Maple Leafs don't have any problems with a girl in high school, but they have Wendel Clark – same issue, different arena. Clark's been in and out of a Maple Leaf uniform so many times he probably still has a locker waiting for him. However, is this hockey player is a blessing or a curse for the Toronto team?

Let's take a look back in time to when this love affair first began. Clark was drafted number one by the Leafs in 1985 and several years later, found himself wearing the big "C" on his shoulder.

Back then, not many people would argue the fact that Clark was the heart of the team. The Leafs were in the dumps, but Clark, a great captain and player, was always a shining light. Of course, nothing lasts forever and when the likes of Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett and Felix Potvin arrived, Clark was on his way out the door.

After Clark bounced around the league for a few years, the Leafs traded away the best of their talent to get their once intrepid captain back from the New York Islanders. Like a house of cards in a hurricane, the Leafs quickly fell apart. To make matters worse, Clark got injured, making the trade a bust.

Should the present Toronto team have pursued their former captain, who is prone to injury and whose presence could disrupt the atmosphere of a finally thriving team? Despite the history, regardless of when he has played or where he has been, Clark only belongs in one place – Toronto.

Yes, he was a part of all the bad times, but those were bad teams. There was a hope that Clark would be able to rejuvenate a team which had much more potential than it was showing.

The Leafs have a good shot at winning the Stanley Cup this year and on his own, Clark probably isn't going to change the fortunes of Toronto. However, he could contribute to an already strong team.

Clark played his best hockey in Toronto and at the very least, his addition would add some personality to the team. I know I'll be smiling when I see him wearing the white and blue uniform – just as if I were looking at the girl from high school one more time.

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