Video: Leafs Nation Newfoundland Sells out Preseason Game In 20 Minutes - Here's Why

Widely regarded as one of the strongest Leafs fan bases outside the GTA, Leafs Nation - Newfoundland proves it, as they sell out upcoming preseason game in just 20 minutes. I couldn't resist doing some digging into this.

It didn't take long, which is exactly what everyone expected.

At noon yesterday, seats went on sale for the Leafs vs Sens preseason tilt on Sept 17th in St.John's Newfoundland.

Popular Facebook fan group "Leafs Nation - Newfoundland" has been buzzing ever since the 3 day training camp was officially announced in the inaugural season of the Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers.

We have reached out to Leafs Nation - Newfoundland group Administrator, Chad Newman and another couple of members for their take on Leafs mania in Newfoundland.

So Chad, What makes Newfoundland such a strong fan base for the Maple Leafs?

The strong fan base here in NL would have started with the Original 6 teams. The rival Eastern Canada teams, Montreal and Toronto, would naturally be dividing the fan base early over the American teams. All this even though NL wasn’t a part of Canada until a few decades later. So for many of us, myself included, were born into a Leafs family.
What makes your Facebook fan group different from others out there?
What sets LNNL apart from other groups is that we really try to maintain a friendly, respectful atmosphere in the group so anyone can comfortably post or jump in a discussion without the worry of trolling or unnecessary harshness that appears too often in social media sports discussions. LNNL is basically the online equivalent  hanging out at your favourite local bar with friends talking about hockey

Anything planned for your group during the training camp?
Absolutely! We are organizing some meetups surrounding the events when the Leafs are in town. Also trying get this group recognized by MLSE now to see if we can get some extra access. 

Chad, when the Leafs eventually do win the Stanley Cup again, how do you plan to celebrate?
I’ve played that scenario in my head a billion times since the ‘80’s(with some changes due to age and stage of life lol). So, besides the obvious overboard party, is that I’d have to go in person to read those names on the side of the cup with my kids.

So Kylie, I'm told you have forgotten more about the Leafs then most fans actually know! Why do you think the fan base is so strong in Newfoundland?

I honestly think it’s in part because of the St. john’s Maple Leafs and also our family heritage. My dad is a die hard fan and for as long as i can remember, I’ve sat on the couch with him cheering on the leafs.

What is your favourite, in game, Leafs memory as a kid? and now as an adult? 

First one that comes to mind is Sundin tying up game 6 vs Carolina back in '02 with like 20 seconds left... unfortunately the leafs lost in OT. As an adult, id have to say it would be Kappy’s goal from Boyle in double OT during the Washington series.

Rhetorical question: Would you date a Habs or Bruins fan? 

Never! I probably wouldn’t even be friends with one to be honest.

Kylie, when the Leafs eventually do win the Stanley Cup again, how do you plan to celebrate?

I would definitely go to Toronto to celebrate! Take in the game hopefully but if not, outside at Maple Leaf Square with the crowd!!! Lots of cold ones, hugs and tears for sure .

Paddy, I hear you are the memorabilia guy and Wendel Clark is your favourite all time player. Why is this fan base so far from Toronto, so strong?
I think having the St. John’s Maple Leafs here for 14 years was huge. In my case I cheer for the Leafs because my father did and the same is holding true for my daughter.

Not an unpopular choice, but why Wendel Clark?
From a young age, Clark just appealed to me as a player who worked hard every shift. He could just do it all which is very rare in hockey players presently

What got you collecting?
My parents were a big part of my early collecting as they would always pickup a few packs of hockey cards for me wherever they would go. Three of us would spend a lot of time organizing my cards. At an early age I was a big fan of collecting autographs at St. John’s Maple Leafs games and as I got older, I just loved buying autographed memorabilia.

Favourite piece in your collection?
I like to think my favourite piece of memorabilia is probably worth the least from a monetary perspective. As a kid around 7 or 8 my parents purchased a Wendel Clark watch for me that of course I would never take off. Like many things as a child you tend to lose some of your items which was the case for that watch. So, 10 years ago while searching through Ebay I found the exact watch still in its original package for $12. This was a no brainer purchase and it remains in the package to this day. 

 What's your "White Whale"? That one missing piece to the collection?
I've been searching to no avail. I would love to have a ticket stub that matches my Maple Leaf Gardens seat.  Section 46, Row D, Seat 16

Paddy, when the Leafs eventually do win the Stanley Cup again, how do you plan to celebrate?
Well I’m hoping I’m at that game when they win but in the case that I am not then I definitely plan to celebrate at my house with my family. I only want die hard fans in my house that night. I do plan to buy every piece of memorabilia or clothing recognizing the Cup win. And I guarantee I will be at the parade no matter the cost. I suspect I will be taking a couple of weeks vacation celebrating that win.

First off, a huge thank you to Chad, Kylie & Paddy for doing this. I had far more fun than I initially expected, but from what I hear that's status quo when dealing with Newfoundlanders.

What have I learned?

Well, in Newfoundland, it seems being a Leafs fan goes beyond watching the games, beyond being a "Die hard", beyond passion and even beyond bleeding blue and white.

Newfoundlanders are and have always been fiercely loyal and family oriented and that appears to be a theme through all the answers I received.  If you are a member of Leafs Nation - Newfoundland, the Leafs are not just the team you cheer for, the Leafs are family, part of your up bringing and part of your culture and heritage.

I have 3 wishes after writing this article:

1. When the Leafs win the cup, if Toronto is not available to you, "The Rock" might just be your next best option for a celebration to end all celebrations.

2. Maple Leafs, When you win the cup, bring it to Newfoundland, share it with family.

3. If anyone out there reads this article and has access to someone at MLSE who understands why this group needs a "nod of approval" during the next pre-season, please pass it along to them. Kyle Dubas, look me up.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you too can relate to these people, give it a share.


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