“If you like hockey and travel, you’ll love this book.” — Rick Vaive, Leafs captain and three-time 50-goal scorer
The Ultimate Leafs Fan attended every Toronto Maple Leafs contest of the 2018–19 NHL season and in this lively account makes it his mission to figure out what makes fans bleed blue
Through 89 games, from October to April, Mike Wilson, a retired Bay Street trader, traveled to 31 rinks to document stories of Leafs love. Mike took every conceivable mode of transport, stayed in team hotels and on the couches of family and friends, then went into the cheap seats, private suites, the streets, sports bars, hotel lobbies, and many other unique locations where Leafs Nation gets together, to gather tales both hilarious and heart-wrenching. Media personalities, former players, and NHL celebrities gave Wilson their thoughts on what fuels the Leafs passion.
With a foreword from club president Brendan Shanahan and colourful souvenir photos, The Ultimate Road Trip allows fans to vicariously experience the journey of a lifetime, and explores the passion of the sign-waving, fully costumed diehards who fill arenas from Alberta to Anaheim.
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Born and raised in Toronto, Mike Wilson began his love affair with the Leafs at age six with a Carl Brewer game-used stick. He grew this into the largest privately held collection of Leaf memorabilia. He still lives in Toronto. Lance Hornby has been covering the Maple Leafs and the NHL for the Toronto Sun and Postmedia since 1986. The Toronto native has written, edited, and contributed to a number of hockey books and has traveled throughout North America, Europe, and Asia covering the game. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Published: October 2020
Dimensions: 6.25 x 8.75 in.
“As someone who played for the Leafs, who spent the season always on the go, home and road, seeing all our fans, I was amazed at Mike Wilson’s journey. If you like hockey and travel, you’ll love this book by ‘The Ultimate Leafs Fan.’” — Rick Vaive, Leafs captain and three-time 50-goal scorer
“I’d love to think Mike just wanted to feel what it was like to be a team broadcaster, but his journey was fuelled by passion alone. I see many Leafs fans on the road in every city, but it seemed fitting to see ‘The Ultimate Leafs Fan’ in all of them, even for one season.” — Jim Ralph, Leafs radio analyst
“Getting the personal stories of Toronto fans who help fill all 30 visiting rinks, plus ex-Leaf NHLers, VIPS and bits on each town’s hockey and sports history sites made his seven-month trek worth every stop.” — The Chronicle Herald
“‘The Ultimate Leafs Fan’ took to the road with his beloved team and found out it wasn’t all fun and games. There is certainly some work to it!” — Joe Bowen, “Voice of the Leafs”
“While certainly Maple Leaf fans will love this book, hockey fans of any team will enjoy reading about one fan who was able to complete an incredible hockey journey.” — The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books blog
“A window into the Leafs fans that exist in every market, and gives you an idea of why this team is so popular.” — TheSpec