Toronto Maple Leafs: 7 Leaf Fans Within the Organization

Curtis NgContributor IIIJuly 13, 2012

Toronto Maple Leafs: 7 Leaf Fans Within the Organization

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    Every player in the Leaf organization is a de facto Leaf fan, as are their moms and dads.

    For instance, Nazem Kadri and his dad Sam were huge fans of the Montreal Canadiens until the kid got drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009.

    However, there are a few people (not necessarily players) within the organization who actually bled blue and white long before they were required to.

    Here is a list (that isn't meant to be exhaustive) of seven people who play for or are somehow affiliated with the Leaf organization who happen to be lifelong Leaf fans.

Cody Franson (and Uncle Chris)

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    Although Cody Franson hails from Sicamous, British Columbia, he and his uncle Chris Franson have always been die-hard Leaf fans.

    As mentioned by Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, the 24-year-old defenseman played just four out of the Leafs' first 18 games during the 2010-11 season.

    Thankfully, although he was pretty vocal in his displeasure at getting benched so often, Franson is still around, still a loyal Leaf fan and eager to have himself the season he was expecting to have last year.

Jesse Blacker

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    As he mentions in the video, Jesse Blacker grew up in the Riverdale area of Toronto.

    It should come as no surprise, then, that he's a big Leaf fan.

    The 21-year-old defenseman had a goal and 16 points in 58 games for the Toronto Marlies last season and could be a dark horse contender to earn a roster spot with the big club this fall.

Stuart Percy

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    Oakville native Stuart Percy has had blue and white wallpaper in his room for the last 14 or so years and likely won't be taking it down anytime soon.

    The 19-year-old defenseman was allowed to play a regular season game and three postseason games for the Marlies earlier this year and did not look out of place.

    He won't be returning to the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors next year (owner Eugene Melnyk sold it to local business Elliott Kerr back in May 2012), but he could be returned to the newly-minted Mississauga Steelheads as their captain.

Tyler Biggs

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    Tyler Biggs has family from the Greater Toronto Area and actually played a year of minor hockey in Toronto with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, so he's no stranger to the city.

    The 19-year-old centreman was born in Binghamton, New York, but grew up watching the Leafs with his dad, former NHLer Don Biggs.

    From a report by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star:

    The 6-foot-3, 210-pound centre, who just turned 19, could sign with the Leafs, Marlies or could join the Oshawa Generals, the OHL team that owns his junior rights

    It is unlikely he'll make the Leafs out of camp, especially given the team's abundance of centremen, but you never know.

Mike Zigomanis

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    Mike Zigomanis is a Scarberian who joined the Leaf organization back in 2009, playing seven games with the Marlies before signing a contract with Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League. He finished the season in Europe and returned to Toronto the following year.

    Since then, he hasn't really had a shot with the big club despite his faceoff prowess, his good penalty killing and his work ethic.

    With David Steckel and the newly-signed Jay McClement taking care of faceoffs and penalty killing, Zigomanis will likely be with the Marlies for most, if not all of next year, assuming he is re-signed.

    According to this article in the Toronto Star, his favourite Leafs growing up were Wendel Clark and Gary Leeman.

Morgan Rielly (and Dad Andy)

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    The Riellys are from out west, but dad Andy is a huge Leaf fan, as evidenced by his reaction to his son's name being called by Brian Burke.

    Morgan is a well-spoken person and an intelligent hockey player who, along with Jake Gardiner, represents the future on D for the Leafs.

    For more about Morgan, check out his 11-minute-long chat with the media at the draft in Pittsburgh.

Matt Finn

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    Matt Finn, like Blacker and Percy, is another young defenseman from the GTA who was drafted by his hometown Leafs.

    His favourite Leafs growing up? Mats Sundin and Bryan McCabe.