Mitch Marner has come into this season and taken his game to another level – Offensively and Defensively. Marner just doesn’t want to be the best on one side of the puck, he wants his overall game to be the best and that’s exactly what the Toronto Maple Leafs need. But for the Maple Leafs and their fans – LeafsNation – this is not the most exciting part about their budding superstar.
Everyone who watched Hockey Night in Canada last night was treated to the appreciation and jersey retirement of Jarome Iginla – one of the greatest Ambassadors for Hockey, If not the greatest. Iginla stood for more than just what he did on the ice, he took time for people and fans, making their days better.
Mitch Marner is becoming one of those Ambassadors. We’ve seen some great ones of the years. Ambassadors are the people who stand for more than hockey and reach out to the community. We will look at some of Mitch’s work in a bit but for now, let’s look at the history of some Ambassadors. Here’s a few for your interest.
Alex Ovechkin – There was a story told while Washington was in Edmonton in 2017 that Alex Ovechkin and a few teammates were walking down the street and Ovechkin saw this homeless man sitting on the corner. The man looking like he was freezing, Ovechkin stopped took off his winter coat and hat and gave it to the man.
Jarome Iginla – This story was told of Iggy in another post of mine but it should be told again. Iginla met a few guys during one of the Olympics, he struck up a conversation with them and eventually found they had been sleeping in their cars just so they could come to watch him and the rest of the Canadian Team play. Iginla asked to be excused from the table and proceeded to books accommodations for all the men for the duration of the Olympics on him.
These are just two in a list of so many that should be inserted here.
- Teemu Selanne
- Henrik and Daniel Sedin
- Mike Fisher
- Derek Boogaard
- Josh Bailey
- Zach Parise
- Nicklas Lidstrom
- James Wisniewski
- Cam Ward
- Dustin Brown
- Shawn Matthias
- Brad Richards
- Ryan Miller
- Derek Roy
- Andrew Ference
- Carey Price
- Jason Spezza
- Shane Doan
- Joe Pavelski
- Vincent Lecavalier
just to give you an idea. Mitch Marner is becoming one of these guys who make the game better. Most of these guys have worn a Captain’s C or the Alternate A, because of the leadership they have shown on and off the ice. This has been Mitch Marner just this season:
Just found this one.
Marner, as you can tell, doesn’t see himself as a star but as someone who is blessed to be making a living doing something he loves and wants to use every last opportunity to give back to the Fans and especially those who are less fortunate. Marner is another classic example of someone who excels in what he does on the ice, but what defines him is what he does before games, after games and even during his time off.
The phrase coined a few times in the last few weeks on TSN, Sportsnet and other sports networks when discussing Mitch Marner was this….
“Mitch Marner, Amazing player and even better human being.”
and the statement couldn’t be truer as Marner truly pushes himself into a category of Ambassadors that stood in the game of Hockey for kindness and generosity. He is beginning the journey that will set him up like some of the players that have gone before him.
Think of what everyone said about Jarome Iginla last night. He gave everything on the ice and even more of himself as a human because that’s truly who Iggy was. A better Human.
Marner is building a legacy as a Toronto Maple Leaf. A legacy that will keep him in the hearts of Leafs fans for the rest of his career and beyond. Take notes young players, this is how you become a true professional.