For me, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs had an added significance because I grew up in Toronto. I had spent several hours practising on the ice of Maple Leaf Gardens while growing up, and in those moments early in the morning, I would look around the rink at 6:00am, with the lights off, and allow my mind to think: what if? So when I was able to play for the Leafs, it was a childhood dream fulfilled. As I played a little more with the Leafs, I had an even better understanding of how much the Leafs mean to the fans of the team and the city that I grew up in. This was obvious when I could see the pride and joy shared by my parents, family and friends when the team or I had any degree of success. My three years in Toronto was an amazing, whirlwind experience that I was lucky enough to share with family and friends, and was a time in my career and in my life that I am very proud of. I wish it hadn’t ended as quickly as it did.
Mike Johnson, Player, 1997-2000
Feature photo courtesy NHL.com
To shop the entire xHockeyProducts store, click your link below: