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01-24-2012, 11:11 PM
Snubbed Again
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With the 44th pick, the Seattle Metropolitans select Syl Apps.

#10 - SYL APPS

Regular Season: 423 Games, 201 Goals, 231 Assists, 432 Points
Playoffs: 69 Games, 25 Goals, 29 Assists, 54 Points


Stanley Cup Champion (1942, 1947, 1948)
1st All-Star Team Selection (1939, 1942)
2nd All-Star Team Selection (1938, 1941, 1943)
All-Star Game Participant (1939, 1947)
Conn Smythe Award (1942)**
Lady Byng Trophy (1942)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1937)


Top-10 Goals (1938, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1948)
Top-10 in Assists (1937, 1938, 1939, 1941)
Top-10 in Points (1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1948)
Points Per Game (1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948

* Bold refers to years that Apps was top-5 in the category.
* Bold+Underline refers to years that Apps led the category.

Playoff Accomplishments

Stanley Cup Championships (1942, 1947, 1948)
Top-10 Playoff Scoring (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 8th, 10th)
Top-10 Playoff Goalscoring (1st, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th)
Top-10 Playoff Assist (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 6th)

Voting Records

Top-10 Hart Nomination (2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd)
Top-10 Lady Byng Ngomination (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th)


Inducted into HHOF (1961)
His #10 is Honoured by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization
#34 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players
#38 on History of Hockey list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (2008 edition)
#38 on History of Hockey list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (2009 edition)
Named the best skater of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
Named the finest athlete of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
Named the most admired player of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
He was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame (1975)


He's the father of Syl Apps Jr.
Apps never drank smoked or swore
In 1934, he won gold medal in pole vault for Canada at 1934 British Empire Games with a jump of twelve and a half feet
In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Apps competed for Canada as a Pole Vaulter and finished 6th
Apps captained the McGill University football team to an inter-collegiate title in 1936
First Calder winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization
He missed 21 games with a broken collarbone in January 1940. He also missed one month of the 1940-41 season with torn cartilage in his left knee, occurred against the New York Americans on February 25th, 1941
His performance in the 1940-41 season is considered the best by a center by Ultimate Hockey
In the 1941-42 season, Apps receive no infraction for a complete season. He was honored with the Lady Bing trophy at the end of that year
Apps didn't played for the majority of 1942-43 season, recovering from leg injury suffered in game against Boston on January 30th, 1943. That year, Apps offered 1000$ of his 6000$ he was payed a year to owner Conn Smythe, because he thought he was getting payed more than he deserved. Smythe refused the money
In his final regular season game he scored a hat trick to give him a career total of 201 goals. He was the first 200 goalscorer of the Toronto Maple Leafs
In his career, Apps only received three fighting penalties
Apps served 12 years as an elected Ontario Provincial Parliament deputee. He also served as a Minister of Correctional Services
He is the only member of all three Hockey Halls of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Amateur Athletics Hall of Fame
Syl Apps passed away on Christmas Day, 1998 after a long battle with a neurological disorder that doctors were never able to properly diagnose

What do the Experts Say?

Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Perhaps never has a finer man played in the NHL than Syl Apps. A remarkably skilled hockey player, he was big and strong and possessed one of the best shots in the league. He never drank or smoked, never swore and was as loyal to his boss, Conn Smythe, as to his team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In his first NHL season with the Leafs, he won the Calder Trophy, the first Leaf so honored, and his career continued to flourish. During that first year, many players thought he was too nice and not tough at all. Flash Hollett discovered this belief was mistaken one night when he high-sticked Apps, knocking out two teeth. Apps dropped his gloves and pummeled Hollett, but he got into only two other skirmishes in his whole career. In 1941-42, he went the whole season without getting a single penalty and was awarded the Lady Byng Trophy for his gentlemanly play. At the end of that season, he led the Leafs to the most improbable Stanley Cup win in NHL history, a series against Detroit that he calls his career highlight. The Leafs lost the first three games of the finals to the Red Wings but somehow won the next four in a row to win the Cup, the only time this has happened.

Apps played on a line with Gord Drillon and Bob Davidson, and this unit quickly became the team's best line. He teamed with Harry Watson and Bill Ezinicki after the war, once again forming a powerful offensive unit. Watson and Ezinicki were ideal linemates for Apps because they could score goals and take advantage of Apps' ability to draw players to him before passing the puck.

Apps once crashed into the goal post during the 1942-43 season, breaking his leg. He missed almost half the season, and one day during his time off for his injury he went into owner Conn Smythe's office with a check for $1,000. "He was getting $6,000 for the season," Smythe recollected, "and he came to me and said, 'Conn, I'm making more than I deserve. I want to give you this check.' Well, I almost died of heart failure. Of course, I refused his check. I felt that anyone who thought in such terms was bound to square off what he thought was a debt the following season." At the end of that season, while in the prime of his career, he left the team to join the Canadian Army. There he stayed for two years until the war was over. When he resumed his career, he put the captain's "C" back on his sweater and promptly picked up where he left off.

In 1947 he was appointed the athletic commissioner for sport in Ontario. Later he became a Conservative member of the Legislature, representing Kingston. Apps was chairman of the select committee on youth until appointed Correctional Services minister in 1971. He is the only member of all three Hockey Halls of Fame, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Amateur Athletics Hall of Fame, and in 1993 his number was honoured at Maple Leaf Gardens, one of only six so designated in franchise history.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey-Spotlight (1-on-1)
Following the Olympics, Apps signed to play hockey with Toronto, joining the Maple Leafs for the 1936-37. Some questioned whether the non-drinking, non-smoking, non-swearing Apps was simply too nice to play in the National Hockey League. While the smooth-skating centre played the game with gentlemanly finesse, he was not to be crossed. When Boston's Flash Hollett highsticked the placid Leaf, knocking out two teeth, he quickly learned that Apps could more than take care of himself. Syl pummelled Hollett before being restrained and escorted to the penalty box. It was the first of but three fights in which Syl would be engaged through his NHL career.

But because he was gentlemanly didn't mean Apps was soft or ineffective. The rookie stepped in to replace another clean player, 'Gentleman' Joe Primeau on what had been the Maple Leafs' strongest trio, the Kid Line, centring Charlie Conacher and Harvey Jackson. Although Conacher injured his wrist early that season, he was replaced by another sniper, Gordie Drillon, who would team with Apps through the early part of his career. In his first NHL season, Apps scored 16 goals, an NHL-best 29 assists and collected a team-best 45 points, second-best in the entire league. He was named the league's rookie of the year for 1936-37.

By his sophomore season, Syl Apps was already being recognized as one of the finest players in the league, securing a spot on the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1938-39 after finishing second in the NHL scoring race with 50 points. By 1938-39, Apps finished sixth in league scoring and was selected for the NHL's First All-Star Team.

On his retirement, Syl Apps had scored 201 goals, assisted on 231 others and accumulated 432 points in 423 regular season NHL games. During that time, he had but 56 penalty minutes. In post-season play, Apps played 67 games, scoring 25, assisting on 29 and collecting 54 points, and served just 8 minutes in penalties. Apps was well-rewarded for his exemplary play. In 1998, the three-time Stanley Cup champion was ranked thirty-third on The Hockey News' list of 100 Greatest NHL Players. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. In 1975, he was elected to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and he is also a member of the Canadian Amateur Athletics Hall of Fame and McMaster University's Sports Hall of Fame. Apps was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1977.
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey - Spotlight (Pinnacle)
While there were several astonishing moments that spring, there was no surprise in the leadership of Syl Apps. He led the playoffs with 9 assists and tied with Don Grosso of the Red Wings with 14 playoff points. In the final alone, Apps scored 3 goals, assisted on 4 others and collected 7 points.

While the Conn Smythe Trophy was still more than two decades away from being introduced, a group of hockey historians with the Society of International Hockey Research (SIHR) judged that had there been such a trophy in 1941-42, it would have been presented to Syl Apps. He was named one of the Three Stars in four of the six semi-final games against the New York Rangers and helped turn the Stanley Cup final around with a goal and an assist in the pivotal fourth game and then scored two goals and added three assists in Toronto's 9-3 laugher over Detroit in Game Five.

Syl Apps enjoyed many pinnacles, but no finer moment than accepting the Stanley Cup on behalf of his Toronto Maple Leafs in the most dramatic comeback series ever to be played in the National Hockey League.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Syl Apps ranks as one of the greatest captains in Toronto Maple Leaf history. A team captain from 1940 through 1943 and again from 1945 until his retirement in 1948, Apps was the star of the 1940s dynasty that captured 3 Stanley Cups with him at the helm.

Apps was an artistic a player as have ever played in the National Hockey League. They called him the “Nijinsky of the Ice,” comparing his graceful skating abilities to the happy feet of the great Russian ballet dancer Naslav Nijinsky. Equally as impressive were his puck skills – he had one of the most accurate shots and loved to set up his teammates – particularly Harvey “Busher” Jackson and Gordie Drillon. He could do tricks with the puck as he stickhandled down ice unlike almost any player of any era. Comparisons to modern day superstar Joe Sakic are not without merit. Several of the few old timers who are still with us insist Syl was the greatest player they had ever seen.

Born in Paris, Ontario where his father ran a drug store, Apps was the typical “All Canadian” boy. Not only was he a hockey hero, but an exceptional athlete all around. Apps captained the McMaster University football team to an inter-collegiate title in 1936. A two-time Canadian pole vault champion, Apps was the British Empire champion in 1934 and placed sixth at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

It was hockey that Apps loved most, although it was his performance in a football game that earned him an invite to the National Hockey League. Conn Smythe had heard from a hockey partner about Syl's exploits with the McMaster University hockey team. Smythe was in attendance when the McMaster football team travelled to play the University of Toronto. Smythe was so impressed with the athleticism of Apps that reportedly by half time he had contacted National Hockey League offices to claim Apps on the Leafs protected list.

Apps burst on to the NHL scene when he joined the Leafs in 1936-37. He captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie as he led the Leafs in scoring, finished second overall in the entire league, just 1 point behind Sweeney Schriner. Apps’ 29 assists led the entire league.

There was no such thing as a sophomore jinx for the lanky star, as he took his game to an even higher level in year two. He again led the league in assists, most of which were on linemate Gordie Drillon’s goals. Drillon led the whole league in scoring, while Apps finished just 2 points behind. Apps was rewarded for his fine play with a Second Team All Star selection.

By 1939-40 defensive specialist Bob Davidson replaced Busher Jackson on the Leafs' top line with Apps and Drillon. Over the next several seasons the "DAD Line" as they were known were the toast of the entire league.

1941-42 was a special season for Apps and for the Leafs. Apps tied Drillon for the team scoring lead with 41 points, but if he had not missed 10 games due to injury he likely could have challenged the New York Rangers Bryan Hextall for the NHL scoring championship. Apps did earn the Lady Byng trophy as he turned in one of the rarest of all hockey feats - a penalty free season.

But that season was memorable for the post season dramatics. The Leafs had advanced to the Stanley Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings. For the first three games the Leafs looked overmatched as the Wings took a commanding 3 games to none lead in the series. Apps, who was held pointless in those first three contests, engineered the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup history. Apps scored 7 points, including 3 goals, as the Leafs eliminated the 3-0 deficit and amazingly captured Lord Stanley's Cup in game 7!

He played seven seasons with the Leafs before enlisting in the Canadian Army in 1942. He also played three years after his return from World War II, retiring after the 1947-48 season. He went out in style. In his final regular season game he scored a hat trick to give him a career total of 201 goals in an era when 200 goals was looked upon as highly as 500 goals is in today's game. He posted career highs in both goals and points and was a finalist for both the Hart and Byng Trophies. In the playoffs he orchestrated he led the defending Stanley Cup champions to a rare repeat victory.

Known as a modest, quiet individual who lived his life as cleanly as could possibly be, never smoking, drinking or cursing, Apps was captain of the Leafs for most of his career, which he finished with 201 goals and 432 points in 423 games. He also had 25 goals and 54 points in 59 career playoff games. He only had 56 penalty minutes in his entire 10 year career!

In addition to the Calder Trophy, Apps won the Lady Byng Trophy in 1942 for gentlemanly play. He was twice a first-team all star and three times a second-team all-star center and played on three Stanley Cup champion teams. Apps received the highest honor in all of hockey when he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.
Originally Posted by Syl Apps: My Grandfather's Leafs
When you get into the stories of most players, they basically come off as human. They have their strengths and their faults, some tending more to one side than the other, as we all do. Syl Apps, though, reads as though he was something dreamed up by a comic-book writer. Tall, athletic, a beautiful skater with fantastic hands, he captained one of the most famous hockey teams on the planet to multiple championships. At the same time, he's the sort of ramrod-straight character who never so much as utters a curse word. He's Clark Kent as well as Superman. Jack Batten described him as "the Stainless Hero."

Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Though a big man for his time, Apps moved with speed and grace and possessed one of the most accurate shot around.

Peak Years 1939-43
Comparable Recent Player Joe Sakic
Originally Posted by Maple Leafs Top-100
The six-foot, 185-pounds centre had a determination to go to the net. Apps was a clean player and would rarely display any temper, but woe to anyone who dared to challange him too strongly. His leadership skills were never more evident than when he led the Leafs back from a three-game-to-none deficit against Detroit.
Originally Posted by The Trail of the Stanley Cup, vol.2
Jack Adams, the Detroit manager, was particulary impressed with Apps whom he rated as even greater than Howie Morenz.

He was a bigger player than most of those he faced but he never took advantage of his size to intimidate an opponent. However, his great stickhandling and finesse attracted holding, tripping and boarding.
Originally Posted by The All New Hockey's 100
To begin with, his virtues were beyond reproach. He played the game with infinite finesse, yet with a courage and vigor that inspired every hockey-loving father to tell his son that that was the way he wanted his kid to do it.
Originally Posted by Who's Who In Hockey
Syl Apps was the Bobby Orr of the pre-WWII era (except of course, that Bobby was a defenseman), and for some time beyond...long and lean, Syl developed a graceful skating style...thanks to Syl's crisp passes, Drillon led the NHL in scoring...
Originally Posted by Great Centremen: Stars of Hockey's Golden Age
When one mentions the “prototypical” captain of a NHL team, the first name that often comes to mind for long-time hockey fans is Syl Apps…similarly, although Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur and Dave Keon are contenders for the title of the best skater in league history, once again, the choice of most experts is Syl Apps…Apps was a hard working but clean player, seldom putting his team at a disadvantage by taking penalties…in contrast, with that one do-or-die win under their belts, and Syl Apps’ highly focused leadership, the Maple Leafs were on fire…Apps’ skating abilities were legendary around the league. He was not only a graceful skater, he was also very fast…to raise funds to help him out, the Leafs held a contest at Maple Leaf Gardens to see who was the fastest skater in the league. Each NHL team sent their fastest skater to compete. Apps easily defeated great skaters like William “Flash” Hollett and Doug Bentley, to claim the crown as the NHL’s fastest man.
Originally Posted by Jack Adams
He's a better player than Howie Morenz was at the same age.
Originally Posted by Jim Dorey
He represents what pro athletes should be. He was the Jean Beliveau of English Canada.
Originally Posted by Ted Kennedy
Everyone who ever wanted to play for the Leafs looked to Syl as their inspiration. He was a great, great man.
Originally Posted by Ron McAllister
His dazzling bursts of speed and great sweeping strides made him an exciting player to watch, and he soon discovered that he was gaining quite a reputation among sports fans in his hometown.
Originally Posted by The Toronto Telegram on App's rookie season performances
Apps made the best impression of the newcomers. It was thoight he might display nervousness, but instead he acted like an old-timer. Some of his passes were beauties and he played his position to the king's taste.


Last edited by chaosrevolver: 01-28-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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