"I went out with an old friend (John Anderson of the Nordiques), we had a bull session and I just never got out of bed. They (management) did what they had to do."
In light of current Leaf Nazem Kadri being a healthy scratch as punishment for being 20 minutes late for a team meeting, recall the time Leaf captian Rick Vaive did the exact same thing and suffered a far worse punishment.
The date was February 21, 1986 as the Maple Leafs waited to play the Minnesota North Stars on the 23rd. The Nordiques were visiting Minneota that night and lost 5-2 to the Stars, afterwards Vaive hooked up with his ex-linemate Anderson for a "bull session" that caused the over-sleeping. Coach Dan Maloney had called an important 7:15am Saturday practice at the Met Center in Bloomington.
Leafs owner Ballard characteristically chimed in with his normal lack of diplomacy,
"He was not acting as a captain should. You can't loll in bed in the morning. The captain should be the first there...He'll be a lot better player than he was without the captaincy. He just wasn't the right temperment for a captain. In a nutshell, he wasn't a leader. I don't think he was good material for a captain, and I selected him myself four years ago."
Leafs General Manager, Gerry McNamara also fined Vaive $500 for his tardiness. Vaive added, "Sure, guys have slept in and missed practice before, but when you are captain of a team, you can't do it. It was a stupid mistake, that's all."
Borje Salming and Brad Maxwell were named as alternate captains in Vaive's place. Incidentally, Toronto would lose the Sunday game 4-3 to Minnesota. Vaive notched 33 goals in 61 games during this 85/86 season and followed that with 32 the next year. He would finally be traded to Chicago prior to the 87/88 season along with Steve Thomas and Bob McGill for Al Secord and Eddie Olczyk.