HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Origins of the Maple Leafs' Name

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
11-19-2012, 09:27 PM
  #1
charliolemieux
rsTmf
 
charliolemieux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,570
vCash: 500
Origins of the Maple Leafs' Name

While getting schooled in some English the other night this came up when looking for the famed Maple Leaf Regiment of WW1.

Thank you to The Blue Devil for finding the essay. It brings into question the whole Maple Leafs origin story.

The current version:
According to The Leafs site at NHL.com:
Quote:
In February of 1927, Conn Smythe, who had built the New York Rangers franchise but was dismissed in favour of Lester Patrick, raised enough money to buy the St. Pats and prevented the team from moving to Philadelphia. Smythe, a military man, immediately had the Toronto franchise name changed from the St. Pats to Maple Leafs. He also switched the uniform colours to blue and white from green and white.

Although it is not known as to why he changed the name to Maple Leafs, here was Smythe's reasoning:

“The Maple Leaf to us, was the badge of courage, the badge that meant home. It was the badge that reminded us all of our exploits and the different difficulties we got into and the different accomplishments we made. It was a badge that meant more to us than any other badge that we could think of... so we chose it... hoping that the possession of this badge would mean something to the team that wore it and when they skated out on the ice with this badge on their chest... they would wear it with honour and pride and courage, the way it had been worn by the soldiers of the first Great War in the Canadian Army."
According to (yuck)Wikipedia:
Quote:
After taking control on Valentine's Day 1927, Smythe immediately renamed the team the Maple Leafs (the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team had won the International League championship a few months earlier and had been using that name for 30 years). The Maple Leafs say that the name was chosen in honour of the Maple Leaf Regiment from World War I. As the regiment is a proper noun, its plural is Maple Leafs (not Maple Leaves). Another story says that Smythe named the team after a team he had once scouted, called the East Toronto Maple Leafs, while Smythe's grandson stated that Conn named the team after the Maple Leaf insignia he had worn during the First World War.[9] Initial reports were that the team's colours would be red and white,[10] but the Leafs wore white sweaters with a green maple leaf for their first game on February 17, 1927.[11] The next season, the Leafs appeared for the first time in the blue and white sweaters they have worn ever since. The Maple Leafs say that blue represents the Canadian skies and white represents snow, but it also followed the Toronto sports tradition of using blue as the primary colour, which started with the Toronto Argonauts in 1873 and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in 1877 (and later the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977).
Atleast they mention the Baseball team.

It also mentions the missing Maple LEaf Regiment.

I am sure most of you have heard something similar as to what is mentioned above.

Now read this essay and see if you think the history of the Maple Leafs should be re-written?

http://1967ers.wordpress.com/2012/05...led-the-leafs/

Again thanks to The Blue Devil for finding the essay.

Thoughts?

charliolemieux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-19-2012, 10:21 PM
  #2
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
... interesting, hadnt heard this one before, and completely plausible. I was under the impression Smythe named them the Maple Leafs not after a Regiment (that didnt even exist) but based on the small Leaf emblem worn on the arm of all servicemen during WW1.

The name was changed from St.Pats to appeal to a broader audience (beyond Irish Catholics) and for the first year, though the team was called the Maple Leafs the colours remained green & white which makes more sense than blue & white from an organic & militaristic perspective. However, Toronto's colours, the Baseball Maple Leafs, the Toronto Argonauts & University of Toronto's Varsity Blues were all, well, Blue. Tradition, precedent, so Smythe joined in.

Important to remember as well, that he had a real connection to UofT & the Varsity Blues, so that too may have been another factor in dropping the green. That he also changed the name to capitalize on the pre-existant & very successful Maple Leafs Baseball club who's owner also ran the Mutual Street Arena in currying favour? Very likely. The name change to the Maple Leafs & colour scheme to blue & white worked on a multitude of levels, and Smythe was ever the opportunist. Ive concluded that all of these factors contributed to the name change & colour scheme. A confluence of many factors all arriving at the same place in time.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-19-2012, 10:34 PM
  #3
dubey
So hot right now
 
dubey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Hackey Mecca
Country: Canada
Posts: 19,930
vCash: 500
I'm not sure where the confusion is?

Conn Smythe named the team and you have a quote from him explaining why the name was chosen..

dubey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-19-2012, 11:17 PM
  #4
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubey View Post
I'm not sure where the confusion is?... Conn Smythe named the team and you have a quote from him explaining why the name was chosen..
... well, did you read the essay linked dubey? Its an interesting hypothesis & question. Did Smythe "really" re-name the St.Pats the Maple Leafs altruistically based on the inspirational emblem worn on the sleeves of Canadian Soldiers who sacrificed & died for King & Country?

Or did he piggyback, call them the Maple Leafs in order to capitalize on the success of the Baseball Team while simultaneously patronising the owner of that club who also owned the largest arena facility in Toronto at that time, a guy he'd need on-board and on-side in the early years if he was going to have a chance at success? Entirely possible.

And then when asked "why Maple Leafs Major Smythe"? Concocting that Mothers Milk story about the Maple Leaf being selected for purely honourable reasons. Revising history. Turning himself into a Saint. I love it. Makes perfect sense. No one would ever dare question his patriotism or motives the minute he invoked that whole "we are Marshall" and "The Maple Leaf Forever" palather. Conn Smythe was an outright Irish Huckster. Believe me. Know all about the type. I come from a long line of em.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 12:46 AM
  #5
tarheelhockey
Global Moderator
 
tarheelhockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
Country: United States
Posts: 34,422
vCash: 500
That's a fantastic article. And I have to say, the argument laid out is nearly airtight unless some basic facts have been misrepresented.

tarheelhockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 11:17 AM
  #6
lampshade*
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,094
vCash: 500
O boy, decided to take this to the main board hahaha.

lampshade* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 12:27 PM
  #7
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by lampshade View Post
O boy, decided to take this to the main board hahaha.
... your Evil. Why not just go all out & take it to the Leafs board? Fact is, regardless of the aforementioned theory, which is indeed highly plausible, it works/worked for Smythe on every level. Right guy, right time & place.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 05:33 PM
  #8
charliolemieux
rsTmf
 
charliolemieux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,570
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... your Evil. Why not just go all out & take it to the Leafs board? Fact is, regardless of the aforementioned theory, which is indeed highly plausible, it works/worked for Smythe on every level. Right guy, right time & place.
What gets me is why no one questioned this before.

For over 80 years people just took the story at face value.

Now try and find out where the Baseball Maple Leafs got their name and that is difficult.

If you go back and read the comments at the bottom of the essay they discuss it a bit. Without any real answer.

charliolemieux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 08:52 PM
  #9
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliolemieux View Post
What gets me is why no one questioned this before.... For over 80 years people just took the story at face value.... Now try and find out where the Baseball Maple Leafs got their name and that is difficult.... If you go back and read the comments at the bottom of the essay they discuss it a bit. Without any real answer.
... I guess no one really questioned it because Smythes explanation made perfect sense to anyone who knew the guy, in addition to which it was not uncommon in the late 19th & early 20th century for city teams competing in multi sports to share names & colours.

As for the roots of the handle "Maple Leafs" & why the Baseball Team mightve decided upon it, and Im guessing here, but I suspect we can trace that to the unofficial "Canadian Anthem" of the time called "The Maple Leaf Forever" along with the fact that Toronto itself was and still is absolutely full of Maple tree's.

Written by a local Torontonian by the name of Alexander Muir (a member of Torontos Queens Own Rifle Regiment) in 1867 to honour & celebrate Confederation, it was a staunchly pro-British piece of work that many in Quebec actually found rather offensive, words changed to reflect Quebec francophone interests rather than the Torontocentric english Canadian perspective. Often used/sang in replacing God Save the Queen at formal functions, in schools, before events & so on but I digress...

So I did some more digging, and interestingly, none other than J.P. Bickell seems to have had a greater hand in all of these permutations than ever suspected as well. Bickell was a beyond wealthy businessman (mining etc) who had bought shares in the Toronto Arenas', converted them into the Shamrocks, and when Smythe bought the Shamrocks, retained them as a minority partner. And heres where it really starts to get interesting;

Bickell was also involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club. On its Board of Directors from about 1922 (prior to which time the club was financially challenged, unstable despite there successes on the diamond) onward or so. After Smythe bought the St.Pats, changed the name to the Maple Leafs, looks like he also had an "inside man" in old J.P. there. Bickell seems to have been the "unseen hand of power" behind much. He was instrumental in helping to acquire the land upon which Maple Leaf Gardens was built, the buildings financing, a member of Maple Leaf Gardens Board of Directors for years afterwards, and indeed, you'll find the mans' name enscribed on the Stanley Cup 6 times; Winner. Inducted into the HHOF in 1978 in the Builders Category.


Last edited by Killion: 11-20-2012 at 08:59 PM.
Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 10:57 PM
  #10
charliolemieux
rsTmf
 
charliolemieux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,570
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... I guess no one really questioned it because Smythes explanation made perfect sense to anyone who knew the guy, in addition to which it was not uncommon in the late 19th & early 20th century for city teams competing in multi sports to share names & colours.

As for the roots of the handle "Maple Leafs" & why the Baseball Team mightve decided upon it, and Im guessing here, but I suspect we can trace that to the unofficial "Canadian Anthem" of the time called "The Maple Leaf Forever" along with the fact that Toronto itself was and still is absolutely full of Maple tree's.

Written by a local Torontonian by the name of Alexander Muir (a member of Torontos Queens Own Rifle Regiment) in 1867 to honour & celebrate Confederation, it was a staunchly pro-British piece of work that many in Quebec actually found rather offensive, words changed to reflect Quebec francophone interests rather than the Torontocentric english Canadian perspective. Often used/sang in replacing God Save the Queen at formal functions, in schools, before events & so on but I digress...

So I did some more digging, and interestingly, none other than J.P. Bickell seems to have had a greater hand in all of these permutations than ever suspected as well. Bickell was a beyond wealthy businessman (mining etc) who had bought shares in the Toronto Arenas', converted them into the Shamrocks, and when Smythe bought the Shamrocks, retained them as a minority partner. And heres where it really starts to get interesting;

Bickell was also involved with the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club. On its Board of Directors from about 1922 (prior to which time the club was financially challenged, unstable despite there successes on the diamond) onward or so. After Smythe bought the St.Pats, changed the name to the Maple Leafs, looks like he also had an "inside man" in old J.P. there. Bickell seems to have been the "unseen hand of power" behind much. He was instrumental in helping to acquire the land upon which Maple Leaf Gardens was built, the buildings financing, a member of Maple Leaf Gardens Board of Directors for years afterwards, and indeed, you'll find the mans' name enscribed on the Stanley Cup 6 times; Winner. Inducted into the HHOF in 1978 in the Builders Category.
The name's origins very well might come from the song. There were several teams called Maple Leafs in English Canada.

Nice investigation. This is turning into a Brad Meltzer Decoded episode. The accepted history appears wrong. There is a Military Regiment that doean't exist. There is a man behind the scenes possibly manipulating things, who ends up in the HHoF. Finally a perfectly plausible alternative to what is conventially believed.

Think there is enough to offcially re-write the origins of the Maple Leafs?

charliolemieux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-20-2012, 11:46 PM
  #11
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliolemieux View Post
The name's origins very well might come from the song. There were several teams called Maple Leafs in English Canada.... Nice investigation. This is turning into a Brad Meltzer Decoded episode. The accepted history appears wrong. There is a Military Regiment that doean't exist. There is a man behind the scenes possibly manipulating things, who ends up in the HHoF. Finally a perfectly plausible alternative to what is conventially believed.... Think there is enough to offcially re-write the origins of the Maple Leafs?
... the truth Im afraid is far more insidious. What if I was to tell you that J.P. Bickell was also a member of a small group of men who were also responsible for building Toronto's Masonic Temple at 888 Yonge Street?... That Conn Smythe, along with multi generations of the Eaton family (who owned the land at Church & Carlton where Maple Leaf Gardens now sits) were also Free Masons? That "Big" Jim Norris & his sons, James D. & Bruce, Clarence Campbell & the Molsons, indeed, every single franchise owner & executive of the NHL including the Chairmans of the HHOF & Stewards of the Stanley Cup itself were and still are to this very day members of the Brotherhood? Oh, I could lay it all out for you alright. However, Im afraid Id have to go into hiding. Plastic surgery. A new identity. Leave the country, possibly the planet. And even then I wouldnt be safe.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2012, 01:55 AM
  #12
charliolemieux
rsTmf
 
charliolemieux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,570
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... the truth Im afraid is far more insidious. What if I was to tell you that J.P. Bickell was also a member of a small group of men who were also responsible for building Toronto's Masonic Temple at 888 Yonge Street?... That Conn Smythe, along with multi generations of the Eaton family (who owned the land at Church & Carlton where Maple Leaf Gardens now sits) were also Free Masons? That "Big" Jim Norris & his sons, James D. & Bruce, Clarence Campbell & the Molsons, indeed, every single franchise owner & executive of the NHL including the Chairmans of the HHOF & Stewards of the Stanley Cup itself were and still are to this very day members of the Brotherhood? Oh, I could lay it all out for you alright. However, Im afraid Id have to go into hiding. Plastic surgery. A new identity. Leave the country, possibly the planet. And even then I wouldnt be safe.
Haha that is just awesome.

Consipracy at it finest. Always seems to come back to the Free Masons doesn't it?

charliolemieux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2012, 02:25 AM
  #13
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliolemieux View Post
Haha that is just awesome.

Consipracy at it finest. Always seems to come back to the Free Masons doesn't it?

Meltzer
always opens with that "What if I was tell you" bit. Dramatic effect. However, the theory & facts I presented with respect to the building of the Masonic Temple, the Eatons, Bickell, Smythe, the Norris family and all of the rest of it? Completely true, absolutely authentic.

The numbers two and seven, 27 or 72, The DaVinci Codex; multiplications, divisions & fractions, percentages of same? You'll see them built into every single arena in all 30 NHL cities, be it ceiling tiles, number of interconnected boards surrounding the ice surface, steps between seating sections & bowls, number of luxury suites, dimensions & measurements of the very ice surface upon which the game is played...

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2012, 12:26 PM
  #14
Morgoth Bauglir
Master Of The Fates
 
Morgoth Bauglir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Angband via Utumno
Posts: 3,267
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post

Meltzer
always opens with that "What if I was tell you" bit. Dramatic effect. However, the theory & facts I presented with respect to the building of the Masonic Temple, the Eatons, Bickell, Smythe, the Norris family and all of the rest of it? Completely true, absolutely authentic.

The numbers two and seven, 27 or 72, The DaVinci Codex; multiplications, divisions & fractions, percentages of same? You'll see them built into every single arena in all 30 NHL cities, be it ceiling tiles, number of interconnected boards surrounding the ice surface, steps between seating sections & bowls, number of luxury suites, dimensions & measurements of the very ice surface upon which the game is played...
I suspect aliens were involved.....

Morgoth Bauglir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2012, 01:14 PM
  #15
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
I suspect aliens were involved.....
... they werent directly involved this time around. No, I was
able to conduct my investigation through the usual channels.


Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-22-2012, 01:15 PM
  #16
Morgoth Bauglir
Master Of The Fates
 
Morgoth Bauglir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Angband via Utumno
Posts: 3,267
vCash: 500
Cue the Twilight Zone theme

Morgoth Bauglir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-15-2014, 04:59 PM
  #17
Jack Butler
Registered User
 
Jack Butler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
vCash: 500
Origin of the name - Toronto Maple Leafs

There's evidence that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been around since 1895 - the baseball team, that is.

The question is, where did the name originate?

Was there a sports team in existence before 1895 called the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Do we know who it was on the Toronto baseball club that came up with the name, and why?

Jack Butler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-15-2014, 06:07 PM
  #18
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Merging this older thread with this new one...

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
09-15-2014, 07:07 PM
  #19
Killion
Global Moderator
 
Killion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Casablanca
Country: Morocco
Posts: 23,202
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Butler View Post
There's evidence that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been around since 1895 - the baseball team, that is.

The question is, where did the name originate?

Was there a sports team in existence before 1895 called the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Do we know who it was on the Toronto baseball club that came up with the name, and why?
Not entirely sure but its not original to Toronto; there was a baseball team playing inter-county in the 1880's called the Guelph Maple Leafs (later on a team in Winnipeg also adopted the name - hockey). The Toronto baseball clubs had been called the Canucks & then the Royals before landing on Maple Leafs, a fairly popular cultural icon of sorts at that time in terms of Canadian identity, popularized in song by the Maple Leaf Forever written in 1867 the year of Confederation by Torontonian Alexander Muir. Inspired supposedly by a couple of large Maples in front of Muirs home, Maple's a fairly major constant in Lower & Upper Canada then as now. The song served as Canadas' unofficial National Anthem for the latter half of the 19th century & with its somewhat pro British leanings very popular in Toronto, well known by everyone. Muir had served in the military with Toronto's Queens Own Rifles in Ireland (putting down the Fenians in the 1860's), possible that back then that Regiment did have a Maple Leaf crest or emblem, badge of some sort identifying them as Canadians. But as for which owner, who specifically picked out that name for the Ball Club, no idea, and ya, they were the first to use it in Toronto, the colors following the University of Toronto's Blues, Varsity.

Killion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
09-15-2014, 09:57 PM
  #20
DJ Man
Registered User
 
DJ Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: East Central Florida
Country: United States
Posts: 330
vCash: 500
Just curious, but ...

Was "leafs" at one time a proper plural form of "leaf"? You'd think they'd be The Maple Leaves, right? Or is it a rule that a national symbol can't be pluralized, except obliquely?

DJ Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-16-2014, 04:18 PM
  #21
Jack Butler
Registered User
 
Jack Butler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 39
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Man View Post
Just curious, but ...

Was "leafs" at one time a proper plural form of "leaf"? You'd think they'd be The Maple Leaves, right? Or is it a rule that a national symbol can't be pluralized, except obliquely?
It's been suggested that since Toronto Maple Leaf is a proper noun / name, the correct pluralisation is Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jack Butler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-16-2014, 05:04 PM
  #22
Kane One
HFB Partner
 
Kane One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Brooklyn, New NY
Country: United States
Posts: 29,229
vCash: 823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Butler View Post
It's been suggested that since Toronto Maple Leaf is a proper noun / name, the correct pluralisation is Toronto Maple Leafs.
That's correct. If my last name is "Child," like the author, Julia Child, a group of members of my family would not be "the Children." We would be "the Childs."

__________________
Kane One is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
09-17-2014, 10:12 PM
  #23
DJ Man
Registered User
 
DJ Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: East Central Florida
Country: United States
Posts: 330
vCash: 500
I guess that makes some sense. Thanks -- I've wondered about that for decades.

DJ Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-18-2014, 11:34 AM
  #24
who_me?
Registered User
 
who_me?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,717
vCash: 500
Weak.

Is the Colorado Avalanches the correct pluralization of the Colorado Avalanche?

Is the Tampa Bay Lightnings the correct pluralization of the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Is the Minnesota Wilds the correct pluralization of the Minnesota Wild?

If anything, the team should've been called the Toronto Maple Leaf.

who_me? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
09-18-2014, 11:52 AM
  #25
Melnyks Mirage
We're doomed.
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cumberland
Country: Canada
Posts: 8,262
vCash: 200
Leafs is accepted as a plural in Merriam-Webster at the very least.

In the case of the team, there are a lot of theories, that Smythe borrowed the name from an actual army regiment so it stuck. There's the IBL team as well, but there's no record of there being any connection. It could be simple for euphonic reasns as well, Leafs is a little shorter to pronounce than Leaves or perhaps more in tune with the "common man".

Melnyks Mirage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:43 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.