ALL-TIME ROSTER: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

The next instalment of this series is the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The team was founded in 1917, first being known as the Toronto Arenas, then as the Toronto St Patricks from 1919, and finally as the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1926, and has an amazing array of great hockey players throughout their history.  I’d hesitate to put many in the same league as some of the stars from the Montreal Canadiens – given the “influence” the Habs had on the game and the league throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s, they were nearly guaranteed most of the top players in the game – but many of Toronto’s alumni are legends in their own right.  The team owns the league record for most Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) wins with 9, and have the most number of players inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame out of any team, with 55 inductees.  No doubt, as with all these lists, their will be some disagreement as to what line or pairing a player should be on (I predict great upset over the placings of Kessel and Sundin!), but this isn’t so much about ranking the players, as it is about recognising what they did whilst a member of the team.  And sometimes there just isn’t room to have players where you’d like them to be!  There aren’t a great deal of current, or even recent, Leafs players on this list; that is perhaps an indictment of their ineptness over the last decade or so.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the not too distant future though, with young players like Gardiner and Rielly coming through, just to name a couple.

Thanks to the Legends of Hockey website and Wikipedia for providing some of the information used, as well as NHL.com for the statistics provided.

FORWARD LINES

1ST LINE:

Frank Mahovlich

FRANK MAHOVLICH—-DOUG GILMOUR—-LANNY MCDONALD

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Mahovlich: 720 Games, 296 G – 301 A – 597 P 
    -Gilmour: 393 Games, 131 G – 321 A – 452 P
    -McDonald: 477 Games, 219 G – 240 A – 459 P
  • “The Big M” was a favourite of many Canadian fans during the 1960s.  A big, skilled, fantastic hockey winger, he joined the Leafs in 1957, won the Calder Trophy on the back of scoring 20 goals, and basically didn’t look back.  He formed a formidable duo with star centre Red Kelly, but was dogged by constant run-ins with Toronto GM/Coach Punch Imlach, firstly over salary disputes and later over Mahovlich’s issues with depression – something Imlach perceived as a weakness and was possibly part of the reason for trading him away.  He stayed with the team until 1968, when he was traded to Detroit for future Leafs stars Norm Ullman and Paul Henderson.  He continued to be a star for Detroit and later Montreal (playing with his younger brother Pete, where he had his highest scoring seasons), but it is as a Leaf that he is perhaps best remembered.
  • Mahovlich had the following achievements as a member of the Maple Leafs:
    -Calder Trophy (1958) as Rookie of the Year;
    -9 NHL All-Star Game appearances;
    -twice named to the 1st All-Star Team, and four times to the 2nd All-Star Team;
    -four Stanley Cup Championships;
    -four 20+ goal seasons, three 30+ goal seasons and a high of 48 goals in 1960/61;
    -three 30+ point seasons, two 40+ point seasons, three 50+ point seasons, two 70+ point seasons, and a high of 84 points in 1960/61;
    -made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994;
    -inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by Toronto.
  • Doug Gilmour is a hero to many (if not most) Maple Leaf fans.  The small centre was a late-round draft pick of St Louis back in 1982, with many being concerned that his small stature and slight frame would hold him back from being an effective NHLer, but he soon established himself as a strong defensive specialist, earning the nickname “Killer” for his on-ice intensity (as well as his apparent similarity in appearance to serial killer Charles Manson…).  His scoring during this time was OK, but given the high scoring era, he was pretty much an afterthought in that area until 1986/87, when he exploded for 42 goals and 105 points.  In 1988 he was traded to Calgary following a lawsuit, and this is where he really began to blossom, becoming a key piece in the Flames’ march to the Stanley Cup in 1989 – Gilmour would score the Cup-winning goal against Montreal superstar goalie Patrick Roy.  By this time he was one of the top two-way forwards in the entire league, able to stop the other teams’ best players from scoring whilst inflicting no end of damage at the other end of the ice with his shooting and passing skills.  He was traded in 1992 to Toronto in what remains the largest deal in NHL history, involving 10 players moving teams.  He immediately became a fan-favourite in Toronto, and was an absolute force in leading the Maple Leafs to the 1993 Conference Finals, where they lost to Wayne Gretzky’s LA Kings in seven (controversial) games.  Eventually being made captain of the team, cementing his place in the hearts of Maple Leaf fans.  He was traded to New Jersey in 1997, and later played for Chicago, Buffalo, Montreal, before being traded back to Toronto – where he played in one game, in which he was unfortunately injured and forced to miss the remainder of the season, and ultimately end his career.
  • As a Maple Leaf, Gilmour’s achievements were:
    -nominated for Hart Trophy as League MVP (1992/93);
    -won Selke Trophy as NHL’s best defensive forward (1992/93);
    -played in two NHL All-Star Games;
    -holds the Toronto record for most points in one season with 127 (1992/93);
    -holds the Toronto record for most assists in one season with 95 (1992/93);
    -holds the Toronto record for most assists in one game with 6 (1992/93);
    -recorded two 30+ goal seasons, one 20+ goal season and three 10+ goal seasons;
    -recorded one 40+ point season (in 40 games), one 60+ point season, one 70+ point season, a 111 point season, and a career high 127 point season in 1992/93;
    -in 52 playoff games with the Leafs, scored 17 goals and an incredible 77 points, including a career high 35 points in 21 games in 1992/93;
    -captain of the team from 1994 to 1997;
    -is second all-time in points-per-game for the Leafs franchise, behind only Babe Dye who played for the Toronto St Patricks in the 1920s;
    -was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and had his jersey honoured by the Leafs.
  • Known as much for his big bushy red moustache as he was for his skilful, physical game, Lanny McDonald is perhaps most remembered for his time as a Calgary Flame.  But it was the Maple Leafs who drafted (4th Overall in 1973) and developed him into the player he became, and he had several fantastic seasons in the white and blue.  He possessed a wicked wrist shot which he utilised to great effect over 6 and a half seasons with the team from 1973 to 1979.  His first two NHL seasons were underwhelming, but he exploded in year 3 (1975/76) with 93 points, which would remain as his career high until he put up 98 points in 1983 with Calgary.  As a Leaf, he had one 30+ goal season, three 40+ goal seasons, two 90+ point seasons and two 80+ point seasons.  He was named to the NHL 2nd All Star Team in 1976/77, and played in two All-Star Games.  In December 1979, then-new Toronto GM Punch Imlach traded McDonald to the Colorado Rockies (now the NJ Devils) for Wilf Paiement and Pat Hickey, in order to anger star player and team captain Darryl Sittler with whom he clashed quite spectacularly (Sittler himself had a no-trade clause).  The deal devastated McDonald and outraged Toronto fans, as Lanny was one of the league’s most popular players; Sittler resigned as captain following the trade.  McDonald’s image of leadership and respect has endured along with his great playing career.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

2ND LINE:

Wendel Clark

WENDEL CLARK—-TED KENNEDY—-CHARLIE CONACHER

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Clark: 608 Games, 260 G – 181 A – 441 P 
    -Kennedy: 696 Games, 231 G – 329 A – 560 P
    -Conacher: 326 Games, 200 G – 124 A – 324 P
  • Short but thickly built, Wendel “Captain Crunch” Clark was a formidable player for the Leafs in three separate stints, from 1985-1994, 1996-98 and 2000.  Drafted 1st Overall by Toronto in 1985, remarkably he was drafted as a defenceman but converted to forward, and was renowned for his high-end offensive skills combined with intense physical play.  He was regarded as fearless as well as feared, frequently challenging some of the league’s toughest players and throwing ferocious hits despite his smaller size.  However, this reckless style led to numerous injuries that ultimately would effect his ability to become an elite NHLer, in particular an incident in 1987 where he was cross-checked into the crossbar of the Leafs’ goal, resulting in quite a serious back injury.
  • He was named team captain in 1991, and held that position until he was traded in 1994 to the Quebec Nordiques (then in the process of becoming the Colorado Avalanche) for Mats Sundin, who was to become a legendary Maple Leaf in his own right.  Clark was instrumental in the teams stunning run to the Conference Finals in 1993, as he posted 20 points in 21 games.  As a Leaf, he posted six seasons of 10+ goals, three 30+ goal seasons and a career high 46 goals in 1993/94, but it is definitely worth noting that in most of those 10+ goal seasons he was on pace for 30+, or even 40+ goals if it wasn’t for injury.  An extremely talented player, I feel he deserves to be this high on the roster in spite of the games (and consequently goals) that were taken from him.  He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1986 and was third in voting for the Calder Trophy that same year, and played in the 1986 All-Star Game.  He had his jersey honoured by the Leafs.
  • Regarded by some as the best player in Leafs history, Ted Kennedy was the team’s star centre for his entire career from 1942 to 1957.  He also captained the team for eight seasons.  He was an intense, hardworking player who forechecked hard and was a skilled passer, and gained a reputation for leadership, strong two-way play and for raising his game in the playoffs when it mattered most, not to mention being regarded even now as one of the best face-off men ever to have played in the league.  He holds the Leafs’ all-time record for career points scored in the Stanley Cup Final and is the youngest ever NHL player to have scored a Cup-winning goal.
  • As a Maple Leaf, his achievements were as follows:
    -youngest player (22) to score 100 career NHL goals;
    -five 20+ goal seasons;
    -three point-per-game seasons and several more approaching that rate;
    -winner of the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1955;
    -named to 2nd All-Star Team three times;
    -60 points in 71 playoff games;
    -five Stanley Cup Championships (the first NHL player to win that many);
    -named to Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by the Leafs.
  • Charlie “The Big Bomber” Conacher was one of the first power forwards in the NHL, and primarily plied his trade for the Maple Leafs, from 1929 to 1938.  He had an overwhelmingly powerful shot and as such was a talented goal-scorer.  He led the NHL in goal scoring five times, and in overall points twice.  Along with Busher Jackson and Joe Primeau, these three formed the original “Kid Line” and began terrorizing teams around the league with their skill, all three of them often finding themselves among the NHL scoring leaders.  As a Leaf, he had two 20+ goal seasons and four 30+ goal seasons, as well as having four seasons scoring at over a point-per-game pace.  He won two Art Ross Trophies as the NHL’s leading scorer (’34, ’35), was named to the 1st All-Star Team three times and the 2nd All-Star Team twice, won the Stanley Cup in 1932, is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by Toronto.

3RD LINE:

Phil Kessel

DAVE ANDREYCHUK—-DARRYL SITTLER—-PHIL KESSEL

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Andreychuk: 223 Games, 120 G – 99 A – 219 P 
    -Sittler: 844 Games, 389 G – 527 A – 916 P
    -Kessel: 234 Games, 99 G – 102 A – 201 P
  • Dave Andreychuk arrived in Toronto in 1993 after 11 seasons with Buffalo in exchange for goalie Grant Fuhr, and had a brilliant impact, tallying 25 goals and 38 points in just 31 games, bringing his season totals (between BUF and TOR) to 54 goals and 99 points, and he continued his great play into the playoffs with 12 goals and 19 points in 21 games as the Leafs reached the Conference Finals.  In 1993/94 he matched his previous season’s output with another 99 points (53 goals), followed by a 38 point (22 goals) effort in the lockout-shortened 48 game season in 1994/95.  His last season in Toronto was 1995/96, and whilst his production was slipping by this point he still managed 20 goals and 44 points in 61 games before being shipped to New Jersey.
  • His time with the team was relatively brief, but he had a couple of extraordinary scoring seasons for them and was a massively talented part of the mid-90s team.  Andreychuk would finish his career overall as the NHL’s all-time leading powerplay goal scorer with 274, played the 5th most games in NHL history with 1639, scored the 14th most goals in NHL history with 640, tied with Denis Savard for the 27th most points scored in NHL history with 1338, and finally won his first Stanley Cup at the age of 40 with Tampa Bay in 2004.  He played in one All-Star Game as a Maple Leaf in 1994.
  • A high draft pick in 1970 by Toronto, Darryl Sittler took a couple of years to really round into form as an NHL player, but when that time came he really took off.  After years of 10 goals and 15 goals, he shot up to 29 goals and 77 points in 1972/73, in the process becoming Toronto’s most valued centreman.  He stayed with the team until being traded mid-way through the 1981/82 season following a long dispute with GM Punch Imlach and owner Harold Ballard, but remains much beloved by Maple Leafs fans.  The fact he isn’t higher up on this roster is not a detriment to Sittler, rather it’s a testament to the number of great centres that have played for the team over the decades.
  • His achievements as a Leaf are as follows:
    -one 20+ goal season, four 30+ goal seasons, and four 40+ goal seasons;
    -one 70+ point season, three 80+ point seasons, three 90+ point seasons, one 100+ point season and one 110+ point season;
    -first Maple Leaf ever to reach the 100 point mark (1975/76);
    -second all-time on Maple Leafs scoring list (behind only Mats Sundin);
    -in 1975, he tied the playoff record for most goals in a game with 5 against Philadelphia;
    -owns the NHL record for number of points in one game, with an incredible 10 point effort on February 7th 1976 against Boston, on the back of 2 hat-tricks and 4 assists;
    -2nd NHL All-Star Team in 1978;
    -his 117 points in 1978 remained a Leaf’s single-season record until Gilmour broke it in 1993;
    -captained the team from 1975 to 1979 and 1980 to 1982;
    -three All-Star Game appearances;
    -member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and had his jersey honoured by the Maple Leafs.
  • I know I’ll get some flack for this selection, but whilst I’m not a huge Phil Kessel fan, I do believe he has earned his spot on this roster.  Ever since arriving in Toronto from Boston in 2009 in the controversial trade (Boston got two first rounders which turned into Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, the former of which is blossoming into a star and the latter of whom stands a good chance of doing the same), nobody can really argue that Phil Kessel isn’t doing what he was brought in to do: score goals.  And in that regard, he’s one of the finest in the league.  Since that trade, he’s never finished lower than 21st in NHL goal scoring, and last season finished joint 6th.
  • He’s not a 50 goal scorer, not yet at least, but he’s had four straight seasons of 30+ goals, three of those with Toronto.  In this day and age of the NHL, that is extremely hard to do, and 30 goals nowadays is pretty much the equivalent of scoring 40 goals a couple of decades ago.  He’s a pretty one-dimensional player, in that he’s not a two-way forward but a pretty simple sniper, but it’s a great dimension that not too many NHL players possess.  His playmaking finally caught up with his goal-scoring this past year as he found chemistry with new team-mate Joffrey Lupul to put up an impressive 82 points and 37 goals, both career highs.  I wouldn’t count out Kessel on scoring 40 goals in the next few seasons, as he’s still only 25 and the Leafs should be getting better.  He has played in 2 All-Star Games as a Leaf, and has led the Leafs in both goals and points every season since coming to the team.

4TH LINE:

Mats Sundin

BUSHER JACKSON—-MATS SUNDIN—-RICHARD VAIVE

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Jackson: 432 Games, 186 G – 165 A – 351 P 
    -Sundin: 981 Games, 420 G – 567 A – 987 P
    -Vaive: 534 Games, 299 G – 238 A – 537 P
  • Part of the infamous “Kid Line” with Joe Primeau and Charlie Conacher, Harvey “Busher” Jackson was a great player in his own right, being highly skilled with a “wicked backhand”, according to the Hall of Fame.  Joining the Leafs in 1929, he would play 10 seasons for the team, posting five 10+ goal seasons and five 20+ goal seasons, and would lead the entire league in scoring in 1932 with 53 points in 48 games to win the Art Ross Trophy.  He was four times named to the 1st All-Star Team, and once to the 2nd All-Star Team.  He was traded to the New York Americans in 1939.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • As with Sittler, it might be somewhat controversial that the all-time leading scorer for the Maple Leafs is on the 4th line, but that is just proof of the exalted company that he belongs with.  Sundin was just the other day inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and many have said he didn’t do enough in his career to earn that.  I am inclined to agree that being inducted on his first go round is somewhat surprising, but Mats was an absolutely terrific player who in my mind did do enough to eventually get in, so what’s the harm in him getting in now?
  • Already a prolific scorer in the league, and notable for being the first ever European to be drafted 1st Overall, for the Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche) by the time he was traded to Toronto in 1994 in exchange for team captain and fan favourite Wendel Clark, Sundin made an immediate impact by scoring 47 points in 47 games in the lockout shortened 1994/95 season.  From that season to when he left in 2008, Sundin would be at or over the point-per-game pace in 8 of 13 seasons, including a 41 goal, 94 point campaign in 1996/97 – his highest total with the team and second highest of his career.  When Doug Gilmour left in 1996/97, he was made team captain, and would become one of the most beloved players in Toronto Maple Leaf history.
  • Sundin’s achievements with the Leafs are:
    -three 20+ goal seasons, eight 30+ goal seasons, and two 40+ goal seasons;
    -one 47 point season (in 47 games), eight 70+ point seasons, three 80+ point seasons and one 90+ point season;
    -led his team in scoring in all but one season during his 13 seasons (finished narrowly second to Alex Mogilny in 2002/03);
    -in 77 playoff games with the Leafs, registered 32 goals and 70 points, including 16 points in 17 games in 1999 as the Leafs made it to the Conference Finals;
    -scored his 500th NHL goal in October 2006;
    -first Swedish player to reach 1000 career points (finished with 1349);
    -leading goal and point scorer in team history, and team record for most career assists by a forward;
    -first player to score 400 career goals as a Leaf;
    -in December 2007 he broke Babe Dye’s 83-year-old team record when he scored in 15 straight home games;
    -named to 9 NHL All-Star Games;
    -twice named to NHL 2nd All-Star Team (’02, ’04);
    -awarded the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2008;
    -member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by the team.
  • Traded from Vancouver to Toronto in 1980, young Rick Vaive became a prolific scorer with the team over seven and bit seasons and later became their captain from 1982 to 1986.  He had four 30+ goal seasons with the Leafs, and three 50+ goal seasons.  The 54 goals he scored in 1981/82 marked the first time in franchise history a Maple Leaf scored 50 goals in a season.  He had four 60+ point seasons, a 70+ point season, an 80+ point season and a 90+ point season.  In 32 playoff games with the team, he scored 14 goals and 23 points.

13TH FORWARD:

RED KELLY

  • Already a legendary defenceman for the brilliant Detroit Red Wings of the 1950s, when Kelly arrived in Toronto in 1959 he made the unusual conversion to playing centre – and he excelled at it.  He played for the team until his retirement in 1967, posting three 20+ goal seasons and a career high of 70 points in 1960/61.  He scored 119 goals and 351 points in 470 games for the Leafs.  It was Kelly’s playmaking ability that helped turn Frank Mahovlich into one of the most lethal forwards of the day, and he won a Lady Byng Trophy and 4 Stanley Cups in his 8 years there.  He’d already won 4 Stanley Cups with Detroit, so with 8 total Cups this makes him the only player in NHL history with that many wins who didn’t play for the Montreal Canadiens, and the only player in NHL history to have played for two of the nine recognised dynasties in NHL history.

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

1ST PAIRING:

Borje Salming

BORJE SALMING—-TIM HORTON

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Salming: 1099 Games, 148 G – 620 A – 768 P 
    -Horton: 1185 Games, 109 G – 349 A – 458 P
  • Borje “The King” Salming was an absolutely legendary defenceman for Toronto for 16 seasons.  Big, tough, skilled and fearless, he was among the first of the Swedish – and indeed European – players to come over to the NHL, and that would make him notable enough – Mats Sundin described him as a trail-blazer to young Swedish players at the time.  However, he carved out an incredible career in which he was highly respected for his two-way ability and his stamina.  As a Maple Leaf, he was 5 times named to the 2nd All-Star Team, and once to the 1st All-Star Team.  H was runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s Best D-man in 1980.  Three times he won the Viking Award for Best Swedish Player in North America, and played in 3 All-Star Games.  He holds the Toronto Maple Leafs record for most career assists, most career points by a defenceman, most career goals by a defenceman, best career plus/minus and the most assists in a season by a defenceman, and the NHL record for most career points by an undrafted defenceman (with 787).  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • The late, great Tim Horton played for the Maple Leafs full-time from 1952 until 1970.  He pretty much did it all for the team, being an effective two-way defender, tough, durable, and more than willing to stand up for his team-mates.  He had a reputation around the league as perhaps the strongest man in hockey, although he didn’t often need to use that in a vicious manner.  As a Leaf, he had eleven 20+ point seasons, three 30+ point seasons and a high of 40 points in 1969, he won four Stanley Cups, was named to the 1st All-Star Team and 2nd All-Star Team three times each, and played in six All-Star Games.  In 1962 he set a Leafs record for points by a defender in the playoffs with 16 points (in 12 games), later matched by Ian Turnbull and broken by Dave Ellett, although it took both of them more games to do it.  From February 1961 to February 1968, he appeared in 486 consecutive games – which remains a Leafs franchise record, and was the NHL record for a defenceman until 2007 when Karlis Skrastins broke it.  He is a member of the Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by the Leafs.  In 1964 he opened the first branch of Tim Horton’s Doughnut Shop; this is now a multi-million dollar franchise chain of fast-food restaurants with thousands of stores across Canada and the US.  He died in 1974, whilst a member of the Buffalo Sabres, in a tragic car accident.

2ND PAIRING:

IAN TURNBULL—-AL IAFRATE

  • Stats in an Leafs Uniform:
    -Turnbull: 580 Games, 112 G – 302 A – 414 P
    -Iafrate: 472 Games, 81 G – 169 A – 250 P
  • Paired most often with Salming to create one of the most feared defence pairings of their era, Turnbull was a fantastic player for the Leafs from 1973 to 1981.  His NHL career was relatively short, only playing in 48 more NHL games after he left Toronto, but he made the most of it by being a very effective puck mover.  He had two 30+ point seasons, one 50+ point season, three 60+ point seasons and a career high of 79 points in 1977.  He also had two 20+ goal seasons.  Those 79 points in 1977 remain the Leafs’ franchise record for single-season scoring by a defenceman; he played in his only NHL All-Star Game that same season.  He also holds the NHL record for goals in a single game with 5; he did this on only 5 shots, making him the only player in NHL history to go 5-for-5 in one game.
  • He may have been renowned for his peculiar personality and even more peculiar “balding mullet” hair style, but Iafrate was a heck of a player in the NHL.  His slapshot is one of the most powerful in the history of the game, and he held the All-Star Game hardest shot record for 16 years until Zdeno Chara broke it.  He put that shot to good use, along with his huge size and great speed, putting up two 20+ goal seasons in Toronto, as well as one 20+ point season, three 30+ point seasons, a 50+ point season and a 60+ point season.  He played in 2 NHL All-Star Games as a Leaf.

3RD PAIRING:

TOMAS KABERLE—-KING CLANCY

  • Stats in an Leafs Uniform:
    -Kaberle: 878 Games, 83 G – 437 A – 520 P
    -Clancy:  Games,  G –  A –  P
  • He might be a bit of a laughing stock in the NHL right now following his lacklustre play since being traded from Toronto, but Kaberle was absolutely brilliant during his time in the blue and white.  From 1998 to 2011, he was undoubtedly the team’s number one defenceman, and in 2009 passed Tim Horton to become the second all-time leading scorer on defence for the Leafs franchise.  As a Leaf, he registered one 20+ point season, five 30+ point seasons, four 40+ point seasons, two 50+ point seasons and a career high of 67 points in 2005/06, and played in four All-Star Games (in 2008 he became only the 4th player in NHL history to hit 4 targets on 4 shots in the accuracy competition).  He was traded to Boston in 2011 where he won his first Stanley Cup, and is currently a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
  • After a distinguished career playing for the original Ottawa Senators franchise as one of the league’s best defenceman, Frank “King” Clancy was traded to Toronto in 1930.  He continued his strong play there, putting up four 20+ point seasons (this in an era when the league played 48 games a season) and helping to lead the team to the 1932 Stanley Cup (his third).  Tiny, but tough and fast, he is today remembered in the NHL via the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for Leadership and Humanitarian Contributions to the community.  As a Leaf, he also was named to the 1st All-Star Team and 2nd All-Star Team twice each.  He would later win three more Stanley Cups with the team in the 1960s as an assistant manager/coach, and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

7TH D-MAN:

HAP DAY

  • Hap Day was a brilliant NHL defender in his day, playing for the Toronto Maple Leaf/St Pats franchise from 1924 to 1937.  He served as team captain from 1927 onwards and registered 199 points in 543 games for the team.  He formed a solid pairing with fellow defender King Clancy, and the team won the Stanley Cup in 1932.  He later became coach of the team from 1940 to 1950, winning five more Stanley Cups in that period.  He won his 7th Stanley Cup as Assistant GM in 1951.  He is a member of the Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by the Maple Leafs.

GOALIES

STARTER:

JOHNNY BOWER

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Bower: 475 GP, 219 Wins, 160 Losses, 79 Ties
  • A Hall of Fame goalie for the team from 1958 to 1969, Bower had toiled in the minor leagues for most of the first half of his career, with a few stints with the New York Rangers interspersed in this time.  However, the Maple Leafs picked him up in the inter-league draft in 1958, and he remained in the NHL with them for the rest of his career.  He was an integral part of the fantastic Leafs teams of the 1960s, winning three consecutive Stanley Cups from 1962 to 1964, and became known for his intense, aggressive style.  He won another Cup with the team in 1967 in partnership with fellow Hall of Fame goalie Terry Sawchuk, and the two also shared the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalies in 1964/65, an award he had also won himself in 1961.  He was named to the 1st All-Star Team in 1961, and played in that year’s All-Star Game.

BACK-UP:

Curtis Joseph

CURTIS JOSEPH

  • Stats in a Leafs Uniform:
    -Joseph: 270 GP, 138 Wins, 97 Losses, 27 Ties, 10 Overtime Losses
  • Having risen to prominence over a three year stint in Edmonton, “CuJo” signed as a high profile free agent with Toronto in 1998 and did not disapoint.  He verged on superstar status during his time with the Leafs, and was extremely popular with the fans.  He had three consecutive 30+ win seasons and was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy as the League’s best goalie in both 1999 and 2000, as well as being a finalist for the Lester Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) for the NHLPA’s Player of the Year in 1999, and won the King Clancy Trophy in 2000; he also played in the 1999 All-Star Game.  He took the Leafs to the Conference Finals in 1999 and 2002, but left the team after that latter run to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.  He later returned to Toronto in 2008 as a back-up goalie, and played the last 21 games of his storied career there.
  • He finished his career as the goalie with the 4th most wins in NHL history with 454, behind only Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy and Ed Belfour, joint 22nd in career shutouts with 51, 12th all-time in career playoff wins with 63, 3rd all-time with 16 playoff shutouts, and holds the unfortunate distinction of having the most career wins (454) of any goalie in NHL history who has never won the Stanley Cup.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

  •  NORM ULLMAN – skilled centre had played several years for the Detroit Red Wings before joining the Maple Leafs in the Mahovlich trade in 1968, where he continued his strong play, having three 20+ goal seasons and two 30+ goal seasons, along with two 60+ point seasons, two 70+ point seasons and and 85 point season.  It was tough to leave him off the main roster, as he is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players ever, being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he best work was probably as a Red Wing, and the All-Time Maple Leafs have a very strong line-up at centre.
  • DAVE KEON - another tough player to leave off, Keon was a brilliant NHL centre from the time he entered the league with the Leafs in 1960 to the time he left in 1975 (though he later returned with Hartford in 1979).  As a Leaf, Keon won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year in 1961, two Lady Byng Trophies for Gentlemanly Play (’62, ’63), made the NHL 2nd All-Star Team twice (’62, ’71), played in 8 NHL All-Star Games, won four Stanley Cups, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP in 1967, had eight 20+ goal seasons, three 30+ goal seasons, six 50+ point seasons, four 60+ point seasons, two 70+ point seasons, and was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • DICK DUFF – diminutive left winger for Toronto from 1955 to 1964, had three 20+ goal seasons for the team, and was regarded as one of the best small players of his era.  He won two Stanley Cups with the Leafs, and won four more with Montreal.  He is a member of the Hall of Fame.
  • HOWIE MEEKER - joining the Leafs in 1946, the talented right winger won the Calder Trophy that season as Rookie of the Year, also playing in the 1947 All-Star Game and tied the NHL record for goals in a game by a rookie with 5.  He was an important part of the first NHL “Dynasty” team, as he won three straight Stanley Cups with the team from 1947 to 1949, and won another in 1951.  He played in three more All-Star Games.  He later coached and managed the team for a short time, and in the 70s and 80s became a renowned hockey broadcaster on TV, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the broadcaster category.
  • BABE PRATT - a big, tough, skilled player with the versatility to play either defence or wing, Pratt is also regarded as one of the finest ever hockey players.  He is primarily remembered as a NY Ranger, but his time as a Maple Leaf from 1942 to 1946 were perhaps more prolific, at least in terms of scoring.  He won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 1944, won the Stanley Cup in 1945, was named to the 1st All-Star Team in 1944 and the 2nd All Star Team in 1945, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
  • ALEXANDER MOGILNY - the highly skilled Russian right winger was somewhat enigmatic over his career, sometimes putting up huge numbers and sometimes not so huge, but there was no denying his talent.  By the time he reached Toronto in 2001 he was past his prime at the age of 32, but he was still an impact forward, putting up a 24 goal, 57 point season (in 66 games) and then a 33 goal, 79 point season (in  73 games), followed by a 30 point season in 37 games in an injury shortened campaign in 03/04.  He played in two NHL All-Star Games as a Leaf, and won the Lady Byng Trophy in 02/03.  That same year he became the only player to top Mats Sundin as the team’s leading scorer since Sundin joined the team.
  • JOE PRIMEAU - Primeau was an early star for the Maple Leafs, playing for them between 1927 and 1936 and three times topping the point per game mark as a centre for the team.  He won the Stanley Cup in 1932, the Lady Byng Trophy that same year, and was named to the 2nd All-Star Team in 1934.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, being regarded as one of the finest players of his generation.  He went on to coach the 1951 Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup.
  • TURK BRODA - a talented goalie for the team from 1935 to 1952, he was one of the league’s best goalies over that span winning two Vezina Trophies (at that time awarded for allowing the least goals in a season) and four Stanley Cups with the dynasty Maple Leafs of the time.  And that was with a two and half year gap as he joined the army for WWII!  He was named to the 1st All-Star Team twice and the 2nd All-Star Team once, whilst winning 302 games in 629 appearances for the Leafs, managing to sustain a career goals against average of just 2.53 – a total he bested in the playoffs, averaging a 1.98 GAA and winning 60 of 101 games.
  • TERRY SAWCHUK – the late, great Sawchuk only played three seasons for Toronto from 1964 to 1967, and was not quite the great he once was by that time, but still won 42 games in 91 appearances, the 1965 Vezina Trophy as goalie with fewest goals allowed, and was an important part of the Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup Championship.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame as one of the best all-time NHL goalies.
  • TODD GILL – a defender for the Leafs from 1984 to 1996, Gill was a good two-way d-man, five times hitting the 20+ point mark, twice hitting 30+ points and reaching a career high of 43 points in 1993.  He was also pretty tough, three times registering over 100 penalty minutes in a season.  He put up 269 points in 639 games for the team.
  • BRYAN McCABE -  in serious consideration for the main roster, McCabe was a talented puck-moving defender for the Leafs from 2000 to 2008, registering 297 points in 523 games for the team.  This included three 20+ point seasons, one 40+ point season, two 50+ point seasons and a 68 point season in 05/06.  He also was only a “minus” player in terms of his +/- rating in only two of his 7 seasons, on a pretty bad team.  He was named to the 2nd All-Star Team in 2004.
  • LARRY MURPHY – a fantastic defender over the course of his career, one of his many stops along the way was a short stint with Toronto from 1995 to 1997, registering 100 points in 151 games, though apparently he was not popular in his hometown due to the team’s lack of success with him there.  He played in the 1996 All-Star Game, and was traded to Detroit late in the season in 1997 where he won his 3rd and 4th Stanley Cups.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • FELIX POTVIN – played in goal for the Leafs from 1991 to 1998, mostly as the team’s starter, he had two 30+ win seasons and three 20+ win seasons, and was a pretty big part of the team’s run to the Conference Finals in 1993.  He was twice named to the NHL All-Star Game, was named to the All-Rookie Team in 1993, and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
  • ED BELFOUR - another goalie, “Eddie the Eagle” was past his prime when he reached Toronto in 2002, having been one of the best goalies in the league throughout the 1990s, but still had a lot left to give.  In three seasons with the team, he put up seasons of 37 wins, 34 wins, and 22 wins, with a GAA of 2.56 and SV% of .910 over that span.  In his first season with the team he was runner up to Martin Brodeur for the Vezina Trophy for Best Goalie, and was named to the NHL All-Star Game in 2003.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  • LORNE CHABOT - goalie for the Leafs from 1928 to 1933, Chabot registered 20+ wins four times in five seasons whilst winning the Stanley Cup in 1932 and being regarded as one of the best goalies of his time.
  • WILF PAIEMENT – another guy it was tough to leave off, this right winger had two and a half great seasons for Toronto from 1979 to 1982 after being acquired in the trade that sent Lanny McDonald to the Colorado Rockies (formerly the Kansas City Scouts and now the New Jersey Devils).  He registered 48 points in just 41 games in 79/80, 40 goals and 97 points in 80/81, and 58 points in 69 games in 81/82.  That 97 point season is the best ever by a right winger for the Leafs.
  • RON ELLIS – right winger spent his entire 16 season NHL career with the Leafs, playing 1034 games and registering 332 goals and 640 points.  He had nine 20+ goal seasons, two 30+ goal seasons, six 40+ point seasons, four 50+ point seasons and a career high of 61 points in 1974/75.  He won the Stanley Cup in 1967 and was named to four NHL All-Star Games.
  • GEORGE ARMSTRONG - a big centre for the Leafs from 1951 to 1971, he is the longest tenured captain in the Leafs’ rich history with 11 seasons in that position, and is regarded as a great leader, having led the team to four Stanley Cups.  He was named to seven NHL All-Star Games, is the all-time leader in games played for the Leafs with 1187, scoring 713 points.  He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and had his jersey honoured by the Leafs.
  • GARY LEEMAN – originally drafted as a defender, he converted to wing to play in the NHL, a move which paid off.  Fast and tough, he played in 545 games for the team between 1983 and 1992 and put up 393 points, including a 21 goal season, two 30+ goal seasons, and a career high 51 goals and 95 points in 1990.  He played in one NHL All-Star Game.
  • DARCY TUCKER - tough (but often dirty) winger played 7 and a half seasons for Toronto from 2000 to 2008, scoring 319 points in 531 games, including four 20+ goal seasons.
  • EDDIE OLCZYK – skilled center had perhaps the three best years of his fairly prolific career with Toronto from 1987 to 1990, tallying 116 goals, 267 points in just 257 games, including two 30+ goal seasons, a 42 goal season, and a high of 90 points in 1989.  He also had 12 points in 11 playoff games.
  • TIE DOMI – Domi was a tough customer, despite his lack of height, and was regarded as a great fighter and dirty but capable hockey player.  He’d never be confused for a star player, but did register 196 points in 777 games for the Leafs, far better numbers than the typical “goon” player would generally put up.  Often controversial and receiving many suspensions, he is the Leafs’ all-time leader in penalty minutes, and 3rd all-time in the NHL.
  • ACE BAILEY – a right winger for the Leafs from 1926 to 1933, Bailey was a star in his short time in the league.  He had three 20+ goal seasons (including leading the league in that category in 1928/29, and won the Stanley Cup in 1932.  He is most famous however for a gruesome incident whereby he was hit from behind by superstar player Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins, hitting his head on the ice and fracturing his skull.  He almost didn’t survive, but did manage to recover – though not by enough to resume playing hockey.  The first NHL All-Star Game was played in his honour in 1934 to raise money for Bailey and his family, and there is a famous photo of Shore and Bailey shaking hands at this games.  He is a member of the Hall of Fame.
  • VINCENT DAMPHOUSSE - Damphousse was a prolific player during the 1990s, and that all started in Toronto.  He played for the team from 1986 to 1991, registering 329 points in 394 games including 94 points in 1989/90.  He played in 1 NHL All-Star Game as a Leaf, being named MVP of that game in the process.
  • BABE DYE – one the NHL’s early marquee players, Dye was a star right winger for the Toronto St Patricks from 1919 to 1926, as well as six games for the Maple Leafs in 1930/31.  He was the league’s top goal scorer of the entire 1920s.  He scored an amazing 173 goals and 213 points in 171 games in Toronto, and holds top spot in points per game for the franchise.
  • MAX BENTLEY – a small centre who played for the Leafs from 1947 to 1953 following some great years in Chicago (he led the league in scoring twice in his time there), Bentley was regarded as one of the greatest players of his era.  He used his speed to make up for his lack of size, and with his skill he immediately became popular in Toronto upon being traded there.  He had four seasons of 20+ goals, four seasons of 40+ points and 62 points in 1950/51 – remember this was an era when scoring was lower and less games were played.  He won three Stanley Cups with the Leafs, and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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