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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

How good was Teeder Kennedy?

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Old
03-01-2013, 10:49 AM
  #1
markrander87
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How good was Teeder Kennedy?

From reading about him it seems as though he was a fan favourite in Toronto and a playoff monster.

How was he used while playing in Toronto? Was he a top Center during his career? Which modern center would you compare him to?

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03-01-2013, 05:46 PM
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Big Phil
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I guess you could compare him to Alex Delvecchio with less longevity. Although he was much more central to the Leafs dynasty of the 1940s than Delvecchio was to Detroit of the 1950s. His career overlapped nicely with Elmer Lach's another center. Lach was the better player though and always the better center. I also think Kennedy took a back seat to Syl Apps as well on his own team. "Teeder" is still a worthy HHOFer though. Has at least one retro Conn Smythe for my money. Was the face of a franchise during some memorable and succesful times.

To compare him to a center today? That's a tough one. The most recent one? Maybe Ron Francis?

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03-01-2013, 07:30 PM
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Killion
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Also been compared to Bobby Clarke & Jerome Iginla. Not the greatest skater, but an absolute hard nose. Would basically bust his way through the defence, his wingers picking up the puck in his wake of fallen bodies. Also played the PK, and as recently as 1998, SportsIllustrated had him ranked as the Greatest Face Off Man in the History of the NHL.

He'd actually originally been scouted by the colourfully named "Dinty Moore" of the Canadiens (Kennedy from Port Colborne in Ontario) at 15, offered a contract including paying for his education at Lower Canada College in Montreal which reservedly he accepted (he'd always wanted to play for the Leafs). Long story short, didnt like the way he was being treated in Montreal, so he quit, returning to Port Colborne and at 16 playing Sr.

Montreal however still held his rights, and while Conn Smythe was off in Europe during WW2 with Frank Selke minding the shop, acquired in a trade with Montreal for prospect Frank Eddolls, who Smythe was particularly keen on in 1942. Upon learning of the trade, Smythe went ballistic on Selke, precipitating, amongst other issues his eventual exit to Montreal himself, where he laid the tracks for Montreals great Dynastys' of the late 50's through the 70's, that thread & mantle picked up by Sam Pollock et al.

Many historians consider that Eddolls for Kennedy trade the greatest ever in Leafs history, as Kennedy went on to Captain the franchise, a fan & eventually Smythe favourite, winning multiple Cups, a boatload of personal trophies and silverware along the way. Selke truly a genius IMO, responsible in large part for the Leafs successes right on through until 67, and certainly in Montreal with the Habs. Kennedys playing days before my time Im afraid, never got to see him, but the Legend lives on.


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03-01-2013, 10:26 PM
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mbhhofr
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The first NHL game that I saw was in Nov., 1953 between the Habs and Leafs. I got to see Kennedy play.

Here is the Leafs tribute to "Teeder" after his death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpSOxtESeSc

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03-01-2013, 11:07 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
The first NHL game that I saw was in Nov., 1953 between the Habs and Leafs. I got to see Kennedy play.
Awesome, and yes, I do remember watching that tribute. The man was just adored by the Leaf faithful of older generations. Smythe himself saying contemporaneously while Teeder was playing & late in his life that Kennedy embodied everything he'd ever wanted in a player. The quintessential Leaf, the one transcending all ages & generations. High praise indeed, as despite his foibles, Conn did know a thing or two about hockey and hockey players, human nature.

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03-02-2013, 01:06 AM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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My dad grew up in Toronto in the 30's and 40's and he talked about Teeder a lot when I was growing up. A superb playmaker he would say. He would go watch the Leafs play and pay 50 cents for SRO ticket.

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03-02-2013, 01:45 AM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
My dad grew up in Toronto in the 30's and 40's and he talked about Teeder a lot when I was growing up. A superb playmaker he would say. He would go watch the Leafs play and pay 50 cents for SRO ticket.
So I guess your Dad saw him playing flat out in the 40's & 50's LBD. The .50ct SRO's at Maple Leaf Gardens back then actually excellent vantage points, located in the 2nd tier galleries on the ends, North & South. As a player (Junior), I was put on the "Guest List", and could attend any game (or event) at the Gardens through a private entrance and door at Wood & Church Streets, right next to the entrance of the old Hot Stove Lounge, taking my place amongst the SRO's. Really learned to appreciate that watching a game from the corners, up about 50' or more, quite possibly the best viewpoint in the house. Indeed, to this day, most serious Scouts park themselves in corners, at least 15+ rows up. You can really see the play unfold, how players react defensively, offensively. Goaltenders etc... I cant speak to Kennedy, before my time, but I got the impression he was of the Doug Gilmour meets Wendel Clark mold in terms of more modern day comparisons. Rugged but durable, some finesse. Beyond determined. Crash & bang, but without Clarks propensity to get hurt playing Maniac; smart & savvy like Dougie Gilmour. Crafty like Keon, two way.

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03-02-2013, 02:04 AM
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Dreakmur
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Which modern center would you compare him to?
Ryan O'Reilly

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03-02-2013, 10:39 AM
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Big Phil
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Ryan O'Reilly
hehe, yeah. Well I think Ryan's dad would agree with you on that one. If we didn't know any better O'Reilly is the "next one". A shame we'll leave him off the Olympic team next year........

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03-02-2013, 08:49 PM
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Dreakmur
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
hehe, yeah. Well I think Ryan's dad would agree with you on that one. If we didn't know any better O'Reilly is the "next one". A shame we'll leave him off the Olympic team next year........
I meant in style, not in all-time greatness.

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