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Who say you can’t something for nothing in the NHL?

Not the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is going to play a home preseason game against Buffalo and the tickets are free. You read that right.When you have been waiting for a Stanley Cup for 41 years, you start to get a little anxious. Such is the case with Toronto Maple Leaf fans, whose team hasn’t even made the finals since winning the 1967 Cup in the last year of the six-team National Hockey League.

The club missed the playoffs last year and coach Paul Maurice was fired. That  satisfied some people but, in a town where the passion for the sport rivals many U.S. cities’ passion for football, it wasn;t enough for some folks.

But the team won some goodwill this week it was announced that tickets for a September 22 preseason game against Buffalo at Air Canada Centre will be free. Coca-Cola, a longtime team sponsor, is footing the bill for the tickets and the Maple Leafs are picking up the tab fopr all staffing issues. 

“The Leafs have the most loyal and passionate fans in the NHL,” said Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher. “Giving away the tickets to a game is our way of thanking them for their on-going support.”