McDavid calls the Leafs one of his favourite teams to watch
No matter what he accomplishes in the NHL himself, it seems like Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid will always have some sort of attachment to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The runaway favourite to win the NHL’s Hart Trophy this year with 151 points through 80 games so far, McDavid has clearly established himself as the greatest player of his generation.
But as a native of Newmarket, Ontario, who played the majority of his minor hockey career in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, it’s no secret McDavid grew up cheering for the Leafs.
And in a three-part interview with NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger, McDavid admitted that the Leafs are one of the two teams he still watches the most, along with childhood idol Sidney Crosby.
“I like watching players obviously more than teams. So I like watching Pittsburgh for obvious reasons. And I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying this (chuckles) but I like watching the Leafs just with all the talent they have,” McDavid said. “Those are probably my top two.”
McDavid most recently visited Toronto on March 11, where his Oilers fell 7-4 to the Leafs at Scotiabank Arena, which Zeisberger inquired about.
“It’s fun to play in Toronto,” McDavid added about the energy in the city. “You know, obviously I’m a little bit biased. I’m a Toronto kid. But I strongly consider Toronto to be kind of the Mecca of hockey. I really do. Just with all the media and the fans and, obviously, the history of the Leafs.”
Outside of the Leafs, McDavid praised the Greater Toronto area for being the offseason training ground of many NHL players.
“When you grow up in the Toronto area, I feel the NHL presence is very strong. Obviously, with the Leafs being there, anyone who plays on the Leafs were kind of heroes and are to a lot of kids there to this day,” he added. “But also, there are so many different NHL players on different NHL teams that go back to Toronto in the summer. So I remember being 10, 11, 12 years old and being out there with NHL guys. So I definitely had plenty of those kinds of experiences around those types of guys. And I think it helps a lot.”
But it wasn’t all praise for just Toronto, with McDavid also speaking volumes about his joy playing in Edmonton.
“Obviously, it’s a crazy passionate hockey market. The fans love the Oilers and love their players,” he added. “It’s an amazing place to play. It’s great.”
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