I recently interviewed Toronto radio host John Derringer from ‘Derringer in the Morning‘ on Q-107. Anyone who listens to the morning show will know that Derringer is a huge fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
For this interview, I will refer to John Derringer as JD and myself as JR.
JR: First of all John, thank you so much for doing this.
JD: My pleasure Jeremy
JR: What would you say is your earliest Maple Leafs memory?
JD: My uncle took me to my first game when I was six or seven years old. Leafs versus Penguins at Maple Leaf Gardens. We sat in the end blues. I learned quickly that in those pre-netting days, you had to keep your head up in those seats. I should have worn a helmet.
JR: Who was your favourite Leaf player growing up?
JD: The first guy I ever felt any personal attachment to was #33 goaltender Doug Favell. I don’t know why. I thought he was a cool guy, I guess. His was the first jersey I owned.
JR: What is one hockey memory that you cherish the most?
JD: This may not go over well with my fellow Leafs fans, but I was fortunate to live in Edmonton in 1984. The Leafs were at (or close to) their all-time worst and the Oilers were lighting it up. it was a very, very good party when they beat the Islanders in the spring of 1984. I want that party back, but in Toronto.
JR: That would be an awesome party indeed.
JR: What would you say is your favourite hockey-themed song?
JD: I’ll go with the obvious here: Fifty Mission Cap by the Tragically Hip
JR: Do you have any game day traditions?
JD: Not during the regular season, but I go off the deep end in the playoffs. It’s sick. I will wear a shirt, socks, jersey, whatever every game until they lose. Unlaundered, of course and that’s just the start of it. Unfortunately, my routine has not helped the team much the last few Aprils.
JR: Who is your favourite current Maple Leafs player?
JD: I am really impressed with Ilya Mikheyev. What a find. On a very personal note, my eldest daughter began her love of hockey because she developed a crush on William Nylander. I have been fortunate enough to have her meet him a few times and he has been the epitome of a gentleman. Totally top notch. I understand the varying opinions on his play, but I am always on the side of a guy who treats my child the way he has. That’s way more important than hockey.
JR: What do you think of this years Maple Leafs team?
JD: Could they be tougher? Absolutely. A little more grit, sandpaper, bite? Sure, but if this talent can take us places as is, I’m in for the ride. I see next year as the pivotal year.
JR: If you could add one thing to this year’s team, what would it be?
JD: Since we can’t afford to add much without subtraction, there’s not much that can be done without giving up a piece. We’re capped out, so we’re supposed to be pretty good.
JR: Very true. I guess time will tell.
JR: Who is your favourite person to watch a hockey game with?
JD: My wife. We watch and go to a lot of games together. She is from Winnipeg and worked for the Jets for years in the 90’s, but she’s a full-on Leafs fan now. Plus, she’ll probably see this.
JR: A wise choice.
JR: From what you’ve seen so far, how far do you see the Maple Leafs going in the Playoffs?
JD: I’ve said since the summer, this year has no middle ground for me. Either they don’t make the playoffs or they make at least the conference final. Just a feeling.
JR: Well John, once again thank you so much for doing this. It has been awesome.
JD: You’re welcome Jeremy, my pleasure.
If anyone would like to follow John Derringer on Twitter you can do so @JohnDerringer
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