Nobody likes a one-upper.
You know the type. Whenever you tell a story or share some news, they have to come back with a better story or a tidbit about their life that’s more impressive.
Former Toronto Maple Leaf Connor Brown is not one of those people.
A couple days before he was dealt to the Ottawa Senators in a six-player trade that became official on July 1, the 25-year-old received a call from his agent letting him know that his days in Toronto were over. The next day, at Zach Hyman’s wedding, he began to let his now ex-teammates know. However, he didn’t want to potentially ruin his good friend’s big day.
Brown recently recalled how it all played out while chatting with TSN’s Mark Masters.
“I kinda broke the news to everyone there (at Hyman’s wedding),” he said. “It was fun, you know, to see everyone and go through that together. Obviously (it was) emotional...”
“You know what? I didn’t tell Zach. Me and Zach are pretty close and... I don’t know how he would have reacted,” Brown later added when asked for a few more details. “He ended up texting me the next day when he found out about it... It was an interesting experience. It was definitely a life experience. You know, it’s the business...”
With Mitch Marner being one of the first to know, word spread amongst the boys in blue and white pretty quickly.
“I told Mitchy so he was helping me break it,” said Brown with a smile. “Every guy that I’d tell would be like ‘Oh yeah, Mitchy told me.’”
While Brown was drafted by Toronto in 2012 and Hyman acquired via a trade with the Florida Panthers in 2015, they’ve had similar career paths within the Maple Leafs organization. Both played for the team’s AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — during the 2015-16 season and made their NHL debuts late in that campaign.
The two then cracked the Maple Leafs’ roster ahead of 2016-17 and have been key contributors for the squad over the last three seasons.
And while the move to a new team and organization will be difficult, especially after so many years of growth with Toronto, Brown is ready for the opportunities that will available in Canada’s capital after spending most of his time with the Maple Leafs in a bottom-six role.
“It’s going to be a big change,” he said. “It’s going to be weird to start. But, like I said, I feel I have more to give in this league... I’m excited for an expanded role and for that challenge.”
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