Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has a favourite CFL franchise that he follows and his hockey team will play in the same stadium as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2022 Heritage Classic.
The 36-year-old Dubas became a fan of the Ticats while attending Brock University in nearby St. Catharines, the campus is approximately 45 minutes away from the black and gold’s home field. That’s where the Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
“It’s pretty cool and very unique. For 11, 12 years now we’ve been coming as season ticket holders. It started off with a group of friends after university and now our family,” Dubs said on Hockey Night in Canada.
“It’s a great opportunity and very unique. Never really expected to be playing an NHL game in Hamilton at Tim Hortons Field, so just enjoying it.”
Dubas lived in the Steel City while he worked for his hometown Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and wife Shannon is from Hamilton. The Dubas family has quietly attended Ticats games for years and continue to support the three-down franchise.
“To be able to actually play a game here where we’ve spent probably more time as fans than anywhere else, it’s a really cool experience for our family,” Dubas said.
“I’ve spent a lot of time at this stadium and at Ivor Wynne, it’s really exciting for me personally. It’s great for the city of Hamilton to have the game here and it’s a very passionate sports town, as I have lived firsthand.”
Dubas and his Leafs share a dubious distinction with the Tiger-Cats: both teams have the longest active championship droughts in their respective leagues. The blue and white have famously not won a Stanley Cup since 1967 while the Tabbies last Grey Cup title was in 1999.