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Who is the greatest Maple Leaf ever?

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Old
11-21-2005, 09:49 PM
  #1
arrbez
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Who is the greatest Maple Leaf ever?

Mahovlich? Sundin? Sittler? Horton? Salming? Broda? Kelly?

It's something I've been thinking about, and I really don't know what to make of it right now.

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11-21-2005, 09:53 PM
  #2
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Why does this seem like such an odd question?

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11-21-2005, 10:00 PM
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lol, yes, we in Leaf land humbled in the presence of that mighty list of Canuck greats you guys have out there

um...they drafted Cam Neely...and Mark Messier spent some time there, did he not? I think he'll make the hall.

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11-21-2005, 10:06 PM
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My pick for greatest Leaf is Syl Apps Sr., though Charlie Conacher is a close second. Apps was a great all-around player. He was a small, fast playmaker who was one of the cleanest players in NHL history, both on and off the ice. However, when challenged to a fight, he would occasionally drop the gloves (and win!). He never won the Hart but finished either 2nd or 3rd for five years in a row (1939-'43). I'd guess that less than a dozen players in NHL history have ever done that. Apps never led the league in scoring, though he led the league in assists twice and was runner-up for the Art Ross three times. In 1942, Apps was captain of the Leafs and helped them rebound from a 3-0 finals series deficit to beat Detroit in 7 games. He tied for the playoff lead in scoring and probably would have won the Conn Smythe, had it existed then. He helped lead the Leafs to two more Stanley Cups. I think a good modern comparison is a more dominant version of Ron Francis, or perhaps a faster, more dominant Adam Oates.

My second pick is Charlie Conacher, a power forward who played with the Leafs from 1930 to 1938. During that time he led the league in goals five times and is the only Leaf to ever lead the league in scoring twice (1934 and 1935). The only players to have led the league in goals more often were Hull and Esposito; Conacher tied Richard, Gretzky and Howe in that category. Conacher had an extremely hard shot (hard enough to dent the boards!) and was equally adept at deking out opponents, or just skating through them. He was a five-time all-star and was runner-up for the Hart in 1935. A good modern comparison is probably Cam Neely in terms of style and the fact that they both had a short career, but Conacher was far more dominant.

I'd probably take Bower, Horton and Salming to complete my top five.

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11-21-2005, 10:18 PM
  #5
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wait are we talking about greatest player to ever play for the leafs?

if so, i say sawchuk

if we are talking about the player who had the greatest career as a leaf, i would say keon, salming or sittler.

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11-21-2005, 11:26 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
lol, yes, we in Leaf land humbled in the presence of that mighty list of Canuck greats you guys have out there

um...they drafted Cam Neely...and Mark Messier spent some time there, did he not? I think he'll make the hall.

But when you compare the Leafs with the rest of the Original 6, it's kind of sad. Montreal has Beiveau, Richard, Plante, Roy, LaFleur, Harvey, Morenz, etc. Chicago has Hall, Hull and Mikita. Boston has Orr, Shore, Bourque and Esposito. Detroit has Sawchuk, Lindsay and Howe. Only the Rangers are worse than the Leafs when it comes to all-time greats among the Original Six teams.

Frank Mahovlich is my pick. He's likely the No. 3 LW of all-time (after Bobby Hull and Ted Lindsay), he won four Cups with Toronto, had some dynamite seasons and playoffs. But even his best statistical years, both regular season and playoffs, were in Montreal.

Red Kelly is one of the top 10 defencemen ever, and won his Hart Trophy in Toronto and won four Cups with the Leafs, but he spent most of his career outside of Toronto.

Sawchuk is one of the top five of all-time, but his best days came outside of Toronto. Apps, Conacher, Keon, Salming, Sittler, Bower and Horton are likely the best players to ever spend unarguably the best years of their career in Toronto.

In the end, though, the Leafs do have the most important number of all: 11. That's for Stanley Cups, second only to Montreal. I'd rather have 11 Stanley Cups and lesser players on my all-time team, than three or four Cups and a plethora of all-time greats (witness Boston and Chicago).

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11-21-2005, 11:31 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
In the end, though, the Leafs do have the most important number of all: 11. That's for Stanley Cups, second only to Montreal. I'd rather have 11 Stanley Cups and lesser players on my all-time team, than three or four Cups and a plethora of all-time greats (witness Boston and Chicago).
It is weird that we've never had an "all-time great", but instead have had a ton of second-tier HOF'ers

I've heard people say that Toronto played a system that kind of stifled offensive production of thier players during a lot of their most successful years (60's)...maybe that has something to do with it? Apparently there's been a few guys who's stats jumped up after they left Toronto

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11-21-2005, 11:47 PM
  #8
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Tim Horton COnacher Apps Salming Kennedy
Broada Sawchuck Sittler Sundin Gilmour Bower

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11-22-2005, 12:02 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
It is weird that we've never had an "all-time great", but instead have had a ton of second-tier HOF'ers

I've heard people say that Toronto played a system that kind of stifled offensive production of thier players during a lot of their most successful years (60's)...maybe that has something to do with it? Apparently there's been a few guys who's stats jumped up after they left Toronto
I'd rate Kelly, Sawchuk and Mahovlich as all-time greats, it's just that it's debatable whether their best years actually came in Toronto. Apps and Conacher warrant consideration as all-time greats, too.

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11-22-2005, 12:05 AM
  #10
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well, I'm thinking more like a top 10 or 15 player of all time

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11-22-2005, 07:59 AM
  #11
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The greatest Leaf ever has got to be Sawchuk simply because the other great leafs are not top 5 ever in their positions while Sawchuk is.

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11-22-2005, 08:55 AM
  #12
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Leafs on THN's Top 100 NHL Players of All Time List

9. Terry Sawchuk - 3 years
13. Jacques Plante - 3 years
22. Red Kelly - 8 years
26. Frank Mahovlich - 12 years
31. Dickie Moore - 1 year
33. Syl Apps - 10 years (2 years lost to WWII)
36. Charlie Conacher - 9 years
43. Tim Horton - 20 years
46. George Hainsworth - 4 years
47. Max Bentley - 6 years
52. King Clancy - 7 years
54. Eric Lindros - 1 year
55. Busher Jackson - 10 years
57. Teeder Kennedy - 14 years
58. Andy Bathgate - 2 years
59. Pierre Pilote - 1 year
60. Turk Broda - 14 years (2+ years lost to WWII)
63. Bernie Parent - 2 years
69. Dave Keon - 15 years
70. Grant Fuhr - 2 years
71. Brian Leetch - 1 year
74. Borje Salming - 16 years
83. Babe Dye - 8 years (Only 1 year as a Leaf)
84. Lorne Chabot - 5 years
87. Johnny Bower - 12 years
88. Sprague Cleghorn - 1 year (Toronto but not a Leaf)
89. Mike Gartner - 3 years
90. Norm Ullman - 8 years
91. Sweeney Schriner - 6 years
92. Joe Primeau - 9 years
93. Darryl Sittler - 12 years
96. Babe Pratt - 4 years
100. Frank Nighbor - 1 year

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11-22-2005, 09:13 AM
  #13
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33 ??

One third of the top hundred hockey players of all time were Leaf players?

Hard to believe.

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11-22-2005, 09:40 AM
  #14
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Syl Apps. No question.

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Old
11-22-2005, 09:45 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
Mahovlich? Sundin? Sittler? Horton? Salming? Broda? Kelly?

It's something I've been thinking about, and I really don't know what to make of it right now.
One name really doesn't belong on that list. BM67's list covers most the important names. Put Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark ahead of Sundin on any great Leafs list. If this makes sense, Sundin has been a great player, but not necessarily a great Leaf.

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11-22-2005, 09:49 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander
33 ??

One third of the top hundred hockey players of all time were Leaf players?

Hard to believe.
Only 4 of them spent their entire career as a Leaf, and I'd only call a dozen or so "Leafs", certainly Sawchuk and Plante aren't "Leafs".

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11-22-2005, 09:54 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander
33 ??

One third of the top hundred hockey players of all time were Leaf players?

Hard to believe.
Well that is the opinion of one publication (THN) so it is by no means a definitive list.

As well, this just states that at ONE time or another, a third of the 100 greatest hockey players played for the Leafs.

It does not make them "Leaf players". For a recent day comparison - Brian Leetch and Eric Lindros are both on that list and I'd hard call Leetch a "Leaf".

Keep in mind that a vast majority of the players on this list are from the days of the Original 6.

As for the the original question, I don't think you can go wrong with anyone on this list:

Ted Kennedy, Dave Keon (my personal favourite), Borje Salming, Charlie Conacher, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich (he won 2 cups in 4 years in Montreal but his 4 cups in 12 seasons in Toronto, make him a Leaf IMO), Johnny Bower, Turk Broda and Tim Horton.

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11-22-2005, 09:59 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
Leafs on THN's Top 100 NHL Players of All Time List

9. Terry Sawchuk - 3 years
13. Jacques Plante - 3 years
22. Red Kelly - 8 years (tough call)
26. Frank Mahovlich - 12 years
31. Dickie Moore - 1 year
33. Syl Apps - 10 years (2 years lost to WWII)
36. Charlie Conacher - 9 years
43. Tim Horton - 20 years

46. George Hainsworth - 4 years
47. Max Bentley - 6 years
52. King Clancy - 7 years
54. Eric Lindros - 1 year
55. Busher Jackson - 10 years
57. Teeder Kennedy - 14 years

58. Andy Bathgate - 2 years
59. Pierre Pilote - 1 year
60. Turk Broda - 14 years (2+ years lost to WWII)
63. Bernie Parent - 2 years
69. Dave Keon - 15 years
70. Grant Fuhr - 2 years
71. Brian Leetch - 1 year
74. Borje Salming - 16 years
83. Babe Dye - 8 years (7 St. Pats, 1 Leafs)
84. Lorne Chabot - 5 years
87. Johnny Bower - 12 years

88. Sprague Cleghorn - 1 year (Toronto but not a Leaf)
89. Mike Gartner - 3 years
90. Norm Ullman - 8 years
91. Sweeney Schriner - 6 years
92. Joe Primeau - 9 years
93. Darryl Sittler - 12 years

96. Babe Pratt - 4 years
100. Frank Nighbor - 1 year
I highlited the guys who I would consider Maple Leafs at a glance

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Old
11-22-2005, 10:00 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob
One name really doesn't belong on that list. BM67's list covers most the important names. Put Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark ahead of Sundin on any great Leafs list. If this makes sense, Sundin has been a great player, but not necessarily a great Leaf.
In a word, no.

He's currently in the top three in points and goals, fourth in assists, and 8th in games played.

Sundin when he retires will probably be number one in points, goals and possibly assists and top five in games played.

Those are hardly numbers of what I'd consider from someone who is "not necessarily a great Leaf".

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11-22-2005, 10:06 AM
  #20
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Here's an interesting webpage:


http://www.tmlfans.ca/misc/top25.php

"A list of 14 esteemed hockey experts got together over the summer of 2001 and came up with a list of the top 25 Leafs players of all time. The committee of experts included: Milt Dunnell, George Gross, Scott Morrison, John Iaboni, Frank Orr and Brian McFarlane, Joe Bowen, Howie Meeker, Harry Neale, Mark Askin, Jim Gregory, Dan Diamond, Tommy Smythe and Frank Selke Jr. "

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11-22-2005, 10:07 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob
One name really doesn't belong on that list. BM67's list covers most the important names. Put Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark ahead of Sundin on any great Leafs list. If this makes sense, Sundin has been a great player, but not necessarily a great Leaf.
Say what? No way does Doug Gilmour or Wendel Clark go ahead of Sundin. I'm sure a few Dougie fanboys will come in behind me and say otherwise but no way is he even close to Mats. Clark was drafted by the Leafs, so he might get some extra consideration, but by the time Mats is finished here he will be the club's all time leading scorer. It would be asinine to even think that Mats shouldn't be on there.

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11-22-2005, 10:16 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob
One name really doesn't belong on that list. BM67's list covers most the important names. Put Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark ahead of Sundin on any great Leafs list. If this makes sense, Sundin has been a great player, but not necessarily a great Leaf.
He's been the captain 10 years running and one day will probably be atop the list of carreer points as a Leaf. Why would he not be a great Leaf? Because he played in Quebec?

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11-22-2005, 10:30 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
I highlited the guys who I would consider Maple Leafs at a glance
You forgot to highlight Norm Ullman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAndWhite
Sundin when he retires will probably be number one in points, goals and possibly assists and top five in games played.

Those are hardly numbers of what I'd consider from someone who is "not necessarily a great Leaf".
Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514
He's been the captain 10 years running and one day will probably be atop the list of carreer points as a Leaf. Why would he not be a great Leaf? Because he played in Quebec?
Points isn't the only method for measuring success.

* Gilmour, almost singlehandedly, led a few less-than-exceptionally talented Leafs teams to Conference Finals, at a time when they were still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Harold.

* Clark's motivation was 100% every shift .

Sundin was fortunate to play in Toronto during a free-spending times, for years, on teams loaded with talent. Did he help make his teammates play better like Gilmour? Did he dedicate himself to the game and the team the way Clark did?

Sundin's heart has been brought into question many times...and with good reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakes
I'm sure a few Dougie fanboys will come in behind me and say otherwise
Good. Hope they do.

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Old
11-22-2005, 10:32 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob
Sundin was fortunate to play in Toronto during a free-spending times, for years, on teams loaded with talent. Did he help make his teammates play better like Gilmour? Did he dedicate himself to the game and the team the way Clark did?
Jonus Hoglund.

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11-22-2005, 10:42 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger Bob

* Gilmour, almost singlehandedly, led a few less-than-exceptionally talented Leafs teams to Conference Finals, at a time when they were still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Harold.

* Clark's motivation was 100% every shift .

Sundin was fortunate to play in Toronto during a free-spending times, for years, on teams loaded with talent. Did he help make his teammates play better like Gilmour? Did he dedicate himself to the game and the team the way Clark did?

Sundin's heart has been brought into question many times...and with good reason.
Wrong again.

Sundin played on team's loaded with talent and Gilmour lead a bunch of hacks ?

I guess Steve Thomas (whose career was ressurected by Sundin singlehandedly), Derek King, Sergei Berezin, Igor Korolev, Yanic Perrault, Todd Warriner, Garry Valk, a young Mike Johnson and Freddie Modin were the real reason the Leafs teams went to the Conference finals.

Sundin was just along for the ride.

Your comments are borderline absurd. Did Sundin make his team-mates better ? Ask Stumpy Thomas or Jonas Hoglund about that.

Your comments on Clark are subjective opinions. Tie Domi gives it 110% for the Leafs. I guess he should be ranked ahead of Sundin as well.

Sundin's heart has only been questioned by the meatheads who can't deal with a European captain, particulary a finesse player. The same meatheads that have posters of Don Cherry in their homes. The same meatheads that call in after Leaf games and would rather have Domi be the captain. The same meatheads that resent Sundin that he was traded for their hero, Wendel Clark (a good Canadian kid!!).

Here's another tidbit for you:

Sundin has the most game winning goals in Leafs history and he's got about 4 years of hockey left.


Last edited by BlueAndWhite: 11-22-2005 at 10:51 AM.
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