Photo credit: NHL
NHL takes a cheap shot at the Leafs with image of McDavid to celebrate his 60th goal
BY MIKE ARMENTI MARCH 23, 2023 (11:53)
McDavid's season is certainly cause for celebration, as it's one of the absolute best seasons in roughly 30 years. But leave it to the NHL to somehow make it all about the Leafs.
At 1:22AM this morning, the NHL shared an image on Twitter of McDavid to honour him after he scored his 60th goal. Pretty typical of an organization wanting to celebrate its brightest star. In case you have yet to see it, here's the image the NHL shared.
Pretty normal image, right? Well, as it turns out, not so much. Take another look, this time at McDavid's stick - more specifically, at the puck on McDavid's stick. A Toronto Maple Leafs puck.
Whether this was a photoshop done as a way of giving Auston Matthews a bit of a nod for his MVP season last year or a public shot at the Leafs since McDavid did it faster, that's really anyone's guess. There's also the possibility that it was a completely random coincidence that the NHL's social media manager or graphic designer simply selected a photo that randomly had a Leafs puck in it, but I sincerely doubt it and here's why.
The Oilers hosted the Arizona Coyotes last night in Edmonton. It was a home game and the image that was used was not only not from the game in which McDavid scored 60 goals - they didn't even use a photo from any home game. They chose to use a photo from a road game. In this case, one against the Leafs - unless the puck was, as I mentioned earlier, photoshopped in.
All signs point to this one being a bit of a slap in the face to the Leafs and Leafs Nation. We know that the NHL doesn't favour the Leafs in any way, despite the Leafs franchise helping to bankroll the struggling teams in the southern US markets like Arizona and Carolina, among others. We see it all the time in the way Leafs games are officiated. Would it be such a reach to assume that the NHL's social media/graphic design team might have wanted to take a shot at Toronto?