The Toronto Maple Leafs will play their first Stanley Cup Playoffs game since 2004 on Wednesday night, as they open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series at the Boston Bruins. Tens of thousands of blue-clad fans will fill watering holes around Ontario to watch the action and raise a glass to Reimer.
Question is, will they have to pay for that beer? Or do the offers not stand?
One of the great running gags for bars within the Maple Leafs’ empire, at least over the last decade or so, was to offer free libations during Toronto playoff games – knowing full well that a Leafs playoff game was about as likely as Phil Kessel offering a provocative sound-byte.
So … are these promotions still in effect now that the Leafs have finally made it back to the postseason, at places like the Iron Horse Bar in Cookstown?
We called them to find out.
“Definitely not. That was a long time joke that’s now getting us back,” said Erin, who works at the Iron Horse.
She said that the 2007 sign was the work of one of the co-owners, who is a Montreal Canadiens fan.
Joke or not, fans have called the bar with the Leafs in the playoffs, looking for their free suds.
“People have called requesting free beer and wings,” she said, adding that there are 50-percent off wings tonight.
Maybe the Walker House in Southampton would be willing to extend the promotion?
“No, I hardly think it would [be offered],” sad Linda, who works at the Walker House. “Not from what I understand”
It was suggested that the Walker House place their infamous sign back on their Facebook page in anticipation of the game.
Linda nixed the idea, for fear of confusion: “I said ‘oh dear god don’t do that.’”
Your friends at Puck Daddy implore all Maple Leafs fans to hold their local bars accountable for their snarky faux-promotions and demand at least one on the house for Game 1.
Then, when you belly up to the bar with your free drink and begin watching the Leafs battle the Bruins, turn to your left and thank Brian Burke personally for his service to the Buds.
You know, assuming he’s there. In a bar. In Toronto.
By the way: Filmores is off the hook for this. Hooray for specificity!