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Toronto Maple Leafs apologize to fans for ‘unacceptable’ season, reiterate faith in plan

The Toronto Maple Leafs have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for seven straight seasons, the longest drought currently in the NHL (thanks, Florida) and the longest in franchise history. They finished 35-37-10 for 13th place in the East, thanks in great part to a 2-14-2 stretch from Feb. 7 through March 13.

What's an organization to do about this embarrassment and disappointment? Why, apologize, of course, as Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of the board for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, did in an open letter released Monday night. Here's a snip:

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As Sean Fitz-Gerald notes, the Leafs follow in the grand tradition of the Raptors and Canucks in apologizing to fans. Yet at the same time, the letter had a sense of defiance: The team "fell short," its season was "unacceptable," and the results speak for themselves. But hey, trust us: We have a plan!

[ Related: Nicholas J. Cotsonika hands out NHL regular-season awards ]

For a good look at that plan, check out the coverage over in Vintage Leaf Memories. And again, check out the Leafs' letter here, released the night before GM Brian Burke meets the media and 24 hours before the NHL Draft Lottery, in which the Leafs have an 8.1 percent shot at the first overall pick.

UPDATE: Go read Pension Plan Puppets' "first draft" of this letter. Now.

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