Maple Leafs alight for Dart Guy: ‘He’ll be on the big screen’

Nick Kypreos calls in to HC at Noon to discuss the merits of head coach Mike Babcock this time of year, and what Kasperi Kapanen has infused to the Maple Leafs 4th line.

TORONTO – Dart Guy can even make Auston Matthews break his game face.

“I saw him on Twitter a little bit,” the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar said of the Toronto Maple Leafs superfan.

“Pretty cool. Interesting face mask and everything. I didn’t know they let cigarettes in the building. I think he’s coming tonight, so that’ll be pretty fun.”

True story.

Embracing the Dart Guy phenomenon, the franchise extended an invite to 37-year-old man/meme Jason Maslakow for Game 3 Monday at Air Canada Centre.

The Sudbury-born, Waterloo-residing Maslakow painted a Maple Leafs logo on his face, shaved his hairdo into a Stanley Cup, dyed his beard blue and drove nine hours with his friends to attend Game 2 of the Maple Leafs–Capitals series at Verizon Center because playoff tickets at ACC ain’t cheap.

Maslakow’s image was caught on TV, an unlit cigarette poking out his maw.

A couple of overtime periods later, thanks to the power of Photoshop and an excellent Washington Post piece by Dan Steinberg, Dart Guy had become a viral sensation. A Tony X. Leafs Nation could call its own.

Media requests and ticket offers flowed like sweet, dangerous nicotine. Maslakow’s Twitter following, which wallowed in the low hundreds, spiked to more than 5,800 by Monday. There’s been a call for true Leafs fans to change their avatar to the Dart Guy screengrab.

Toronto’s John Derringer, a Q107 morning host, publicly extended an offer to take Dart Guy to Game 4 Wednesday, and there’s another offer on the table for Game 5 back in Washington.

“That’s good. I read the thing. He was like, it’s too expensive to go to the ACC so he drove down with his buddies,” says an approving Brian Boyle. “Good. He’ll be on the big screen.”

Put on your war paint.

We could hit peak Dart Guy Monday night, as Dart Guy copycats are expected to be in the building as well. The backlash has already begun, with some fans viewing his 15 minutes of fame as an endorsement of cancer sticks. And generally, the lifespan of these jokes is brief (no more Dart Guy stories from This Guy, promise).

But(t) even if his fame turns to ash in five minutes, Dart Guy is savouring the flicker.

“Being a Leafs fan since I was a kid, it’s phenomenal,” Maslakow explained to his hometown radio station. “It’s absolutely amazing. I mean, who gets free tickets to a Leafs game, let alone two playoff games?

“I could never imagine that something like this was going to happen. I’m just a passionate fan. I did the makeup and everything and the beard to show my love for the Leafs and my support for the Leafs.”


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