Leafs fan in Canucks town can't let go of true passion
Our Game Star has adjusted to west coast life but not its team of choice
Two years ago, when Craig MacBride moved out West from Ontario, he left his beloved Maple Leafs behind.
In Victoria, he remained an avid hockey fan.
But as he transitioned well into West coast life, switching from the Leafs to the Canucks proved a more difficult task.
"I tried to watch Vancouver games. I made it through a couple, usually on mute while reading a book, but I just couldn't make myself care."
Trying to watch the Canucks was not the only change for the Oakville, Ont., native.
"It was a huge change watching hockey on the West coast. I started making dinner at 2:30 so I didn't miss any of the game," he chuckled.
"But it is amazing because the games are all done by 10:30 p.m., which is great, especially during the playoffs if the games go into overtime," he added.
MacBride became this week's Our Game Star after creating a profile and writing blogs about the Stanley Cup playoffs. He also wrote about the torment of being a Leafs fan in a Canucks town.
As an Our Game Star, MacBride will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada and could win tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Growing up a devoted Toronto Maple Leafs fan, MacBride said his favourite hockey player was rough and tumble forward Wendel Clark.
"I was a defenseman so I connected with Wendel Clark and Ray Bourque. It seemed like [Clark] could do no wrong and played with a gritty style in the corners and along the boards which was something I connected with," he said.
MacBride grew up playing hockey in Oakville's Minor Oaks Hockey Association. He also volunteered as timekeeper and has fond memories of playing on the city's 16 Mile Creek.
MacBride says the sport plays an important role in kids lives both on and off the ice.
"Minor hockey teaches important lessons at an early age, and forces kids to work as a team to accomplish goals," he said.