The author of the Leafs’ demise one short win of the Stanley Cup final in 1993 took the Lightning in his NHL playoff bracket.

Wayne Gretzky has eliminated the Maple Leafs from the Stanley Cup playoffs again.

The Great One did it in 1993, famously eluding a high-sticking call in Game 6 of the Campbell Conference final and following up by playing the best game he’s ever played in Game 7 at Maple Leaf Gardens — sending his Los Angeles Kings to battle against the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup.

Now he’s done it again, fantasy-wise, by picking the Tampa Bay Lightning to beat the Leafs in seven games in the NHL’s Bracket Challenge, posted on the league’s Instagram feed.

Gretzky also picked Carolina to defeat Florida in the Eastern Conference final and win the Stanley Cup, over the St. Louis Blues. He figures the Blues will defeat the Flames in the Western final — but an ex-Oiler would, wouldn’t he. For that matter, he’s an ex-Blue, too.

In terms of his other former teams, he didn’t play favourites. He expects the Oilers to beat the Kings, but fall to the Flames. He also predicts the Rangers will beat the Penguins in the first round, then fall to Carolina in the second.

“I think Carolina is a sleeper team and they’re destined this year to get to the Stanley Cup finals,” Gretzky said on Instagram.

NHL legend Wayne Gretzky took the Lightning over the Leafs in seven in his playoff bracket.


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