In case you missed it, prior to last night’s riveting Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, veteran Leafs defenceman Ron Hainsey took time out of his warmup to send a special message to Leafs fans and indeed to everyone in Toronto affected by the tragic events that played out on in the Yonge and Finch area yesterday afternoon.
“On behalf of myself and my teammates, we’d like to extend our deepest thoughts and sorrows to all the victims, the families… the brave men and women first on the scene who do so much to keep everybody safe, thank you so much. Hold our loved ones tight. Give them an extra kiss tonight, I know I will. “
“As for tonight, we’re going to play our heart out for this city and the great fans here. Hopefully in doing that we’ll make it to Boston for a Game 7. Thank you.”
What a professional. So glad to have quality veterans like this guy around to help steer the Leafs ship.
Well said, Ron. Well said. If there was any question that this young Leafs squad is lacking in quality leaders, I present to you Exhibit A: Ron Hainsey. Hainsey’s simple, yet powerful, speech could not have been said any better. Leafs fans, and no doubt the Leafs players themselves, carried a lot of emotion into last night’s critical game and it showed on the ice. Leaders like Hainsey, Patrick Marleau and Tomas Plekanec all played huge roles for the Leafs when it mattered most, and that’s really all you can ask for from your leaders. They show up when it maters most.
So, while the city of Toronto grieves the loss of 10 innocent victims from yesterday’s senseless attack, we can at least take solace in the fact that we’ll always have the game that we love to bring us all together. I know I’m not the only one who was moved by what Hainsey said in his speech yesterday… much more so than by any statement issued by politicians or media pundits. Hockey players speak from the heart and we love them for it.