Nylander's number switch infuriates Maple Leafs Twitter

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Kyle Cantlon
·Editor
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(Getty/Yahoo Sports Canada)
(Getty/Yahoo Sports Canada)

33 games. 574 minutes of total ice time.

That was the extent of the Eric Lindros era in Toronto. During his very short time with the the club, Lindros amassed a whopping 11 goals and 22 points, leading the Maple Leafs to exactly zero (0) playoff berths as he trudged his way through an injury-plagued, penultimate NHL campaign.

But if you happened to torture yourself by scanning through a small, vocal segment of Leafs Twitter as William Nylander announced his number switch from 29 to 88 on Monday, you may be under the impression that the Big E is sacred to Leafs Nation beyond measure — an absolute legend who dare not have his number worn by some little puke with the audacity to demand his worth in free agency.

Here’s the well-intended news that had some people very Mad Online:

Cruise through the comments on this post and the corresponding one tweeted from the official Maple Leafs account and you’ll find a tonne of comments and a plethora of general outrage from the usual crowd of suspects — the “back in my day” Don Cherry disciples, the faction of people who think stats and “grit” are in someway mutually exclusive, that troll who wears a paper bag on his head, etc — just waiting to pounce on anything Nylander does.

A quick search of “Nylander jersey” or “Nylander, Lindros” or “Nylander number switch” on Twitter will provide more context, but here’s just a few glaring examples of the buffoonery I’m talking about here:

Digging through that rabbit hole of filth has brought me enough trauma for one day, so feel free to do some hunting on your own if you really want to paint a picture of how the internet soldiers took this “news.”

Remember when Mitch Marner switched from his Lou-designated No. 84 to 16 — that of Maple Leafs legend Darcy Tucker? Qhat about that time Ron Hainsey straight up jacked Hall of Famer Brian Leetch’s famed No. 2? Jeff Finger (JEFF FINGER) wore No. 4 and no one said a word.

Andreas Borgman rocked No. 55 last year, which belonged to both Jason Blake and Ric Jackman (LEGENDS). Travis Dermott features Todd Gill’s No. 23 on his tarp, while the utterly-disrespectful David Clarkson had the audacity to rock Mike Foligno’s No. 71 during his short time in Blue and White. How dare you, sir.

There’s literally a hundred more examples, and it’s all crickets. Not a word or lick of fake outrage, hmmm. Not only is getting angered over an inanimate object such as a jersey number pointless, but the arguments against the switch are just plain bad.

It’s not actually possible that anyone cares that Nylander is rocking the same number that Eric Lindros did. It’s very selective outrage targeted at a non-North American player who got paid his proper value despite not being a bruising, big, physical prototype of a player.

And I again want to clarify that it’s just a tiny fraction of actual Leafs fans who are this dumb and most of the reaction to the jersey change was light, fun and measured.

To the rest: be careful out there, your hypocrisy is showing and you look like a putz.

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