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

Did you agree with Keon's anti-Leaf stance?

View Poll Results: Do you agree with Keon's anti-Leaf stance?
Yes, he was right 11 57.89%
No, he needed to stop holding a grudge 7 36.84%
Unsure 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-02-2007, 08:19 AM
  #1
Big Phil
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Did you agree with Keon's anti-Leaf stance?

Dave Keon finally showed up at the '67 Leafs pre-game celebration. It had been years since he set foot in either the ACC or MLG. He wasn there for the closing of Maple Leaf Gardens in '99. He's been a bitter man since '75 when Ballard - who was an idiot - mistreated him.

Don Cherry tells the story about how he got so bitter. It was apparently when the Islanders were looking for a final piece of the puzzle. This had to have been before the '79-80 season but apparently they wanted the services of Keon who was still under the rights to the Leafs in the NHL - Keon had bolted to the WHA. The Leafs didnt budge and insteadthe Isles eventuall got Butch Goring. I dont know how true this is but alas its a story.

Anyways regardless of that is Keon right to be bitter. He may ahve softened up a bit, but was he in the right? Sittler, McDonald and co. were mistreated by Ballard. They show up at events. Ballard went "underground" back in '90. So what are your thought?


Oh and by the way I just want to squash the notion that Keon is the best Leaf of all-time. Off the top of my head I'll take Broda, Apps and Kennedy over him at least. In the '60s I think Mahovolich was the better Leaf, not Keon.

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Old
03-02-2007, 08:39 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Dave Keon finally showed up at the '67 Leafs pre-game celebration. It had been years since he set foot in either the ACC or MLG. He wasn there for the closing of Maple Leaf Gardens in '99. He's been a bitter man since '75 when Ballard - who was an idiot - mistreated him.

Don Cherry tells the story about how he got so bitter. It was apparently when the Islanders were looking for a final piece of the puzzle. This had to have been before the '79-80 season but apparently they wanted the services of Keon who was still under the rights to the Leafs in the NHL - Keon had bolted to the WHA. The Leafs didnt budge and insteadthe Isles eventuall got Butch Goring. I dont know how true this is but alas its a story.

Anyways regardless of that is Keon right to be bitter. He may ahve softened up a bit, but was he in the right? Sittler, McDonald and co. were mistreated by Ballard. They show up at events. Ballard went "underground" back in '90. So what are your thought?


Oh and by the way I just want to squash the notion that Keon is the best Leaf of all-time. Off the top of my head I'll take Broda, Apps and Kennedy over him at least. In the '60s I think Mahovolich was the better Leaf, not Keon.
Unless you want to count King Clancy (more a Senator than a Leaf) or Red Kelly (more a Wing than a Leaf) I would say Ted Kennedy is the greatest Leaf of all time.

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Old
03-02-2007, 11:02 PM
  #3
ClassicHockey
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I've tried to set the record straight about Keon but those newspaper guys keep coming out with those hate Ballard stories.

First of all, Keon has come back before - a few times. The last time was a few years ago when he attended a game at the ACC sitting with Steve Stavro. He was in plain view of 19,000 fans at the ACC and thousands more on TV.

Keon does not disrespect the fans. He came willingly to St. Michael's College all the way from Florida to speak and did not ask for anything. He had a great time talking about the great Leaf days. He was asked why he didn't return more often. He said that he has been back (true) and just doesn't feel comfortable. He was being truthful and really wanted to explain himself. He never mentioned Ballard. He never does. He never has.

All people have to do is watch the interviews Keon did when he played for the Leafs - he is exactly the same. He felt uncomfortable then and he hasn't changed. That's the way he is. We are all different.

Sure, he was treated badly when he left and it bothered him, mostly because he gave it all he had for the Leafs. He did say he didn't agree with the way the present management 'honoured' the great Leafs. He feels that if its done properly in Montreal then Toronto should be able to do the same. I agree with him and so do the Leaf players that he is speaking on behalf of.

Keon agreed to come back and now he gets bad press for coming back. The poor guy can't win. He is different. He's sensitive and I guess stubborn but he doesn't owe anyone anything. He was swarmed everytime he moved when he returned to the ACC for the tribute that night. He was apprensive but he got through it. It wasn't easy for him.

Keon has every right to be any way he wants to be. Just like you and me.

By the way, there is a book in the planning stages that would be out this fall about the Top 100 Leafs. A panel of 20 knowledgeable Leaf historians, broadcasters etc. participated in creating the order.

Broda, Apps and Kennedy were great Leaf players but, if you don't mind me asking, did you watch Mahovlich and Keon play in the 60's?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Dave Keon finally showed up at the '67 Leafs pre-game celebration. It had been years since he set foot in either the ACC or MLG. He wasn there for the closing of Maple Leaf Gardens in '99. He's been a bitter man since '75 when Ballard - who was an idiot - mistreated him.

Don Cherry tells the story about how he got so bitter. It was apparently when the Islanders were looking for a final piece of the puzzle. This had to have been before the '79-80 season but apparently they wanted the services of Keon who was still under the rights to the Leafs in the NHL - Keon had bolted to the WHA. The Leafs didnt budge and insteadthe Isles eventuall got Butch Goring. I dont know how true this is but alas its a story.

Anyways regardless of that is Keon right to be bitter. He may ahve softened up a bit, but was he in the right? Sittler, McDonald and co. were mistreated by Ballard. They show up at events. Ballard went "underground" back in '90. So what are your thought?


Oh and by the way I just want to squash the notion that Keon is the best Leaf of all-time. Off the top of my head I'll take Broda, Apps and Kennedy over him at least. In the '60s I think Mahovolich was the better Leaf, not Keon.

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Old
03-03-2007, 02:35 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey View Post
I've tried to set the record straight about Keon but those newspaper guys keep coming out with those hate Ballard stories.

First of all, Keon has come back before - a few times. The last time was a few years ago when he attended a game at the ACC sitting with Steve Stavro. He was in plain view of 19,000 fans at the ACC and thousands more on TV.

Keon does not disrespect the fans. He came willingly to St. Michael's College all the way from Florida to speak and did not ask for anything. He had a great time talking about the great Leaf days. He was asked why he didn't return more often. He said that he has been back (true) and just doesn't feel comfortable. He was being truthful and really wanted to explain himself. He never mentioned Ballard. He never does. He never has.

All people have to do is watch the interviews Keon did when he played for the Leafs - he is exactly the same. He felt uncomfortable then and he hasn't changed. That's the way he is. We are all different.

Sure, he was treated badly when he left and it bothered him, mostly because he gave it all he had for the Leafs. He did say he didn't agree with the way the present management 'honoured' the great Leafs. He feels that if its done properly in Montreal then Toronto should be able to do the same. I agree with him and so do the Leaf players that he is speaking on behalf of.

Keon agreed to come back and now he gets bad press for coming back. The poor guy can't win. He is different. He's sensitive and I guess stubborn but he doesn't owe anyone anything. He was swarmed everytime he moved when he returned to the ACC for the tribute that night. He was apprensive but he got through it. It wasn't easy for him.

Keon has every right to be any way he wants to be. Just like you and me.

By the way, there is a book in the planning stages that would be out this fall about the Top 100 Leafs. A panel of 20 knowledgeable Leaf historians, broadcasters etc. participated in creating the order.

Broda, Apps and Kennedy were great Leaf players but, if you don't mind me asking, did you watch Mahovlich and Keon play in the 60's?
Good post, I like it. Keon as Harry Neale once said is a misunderstood man. Now is he one of the best Leafs of all-time? Yes. Personally I like Apps better, he had a better peak value as was just as important to the Leafs winning in the '40s. Broda like Apps won the Cup before and after WWII. Broda is on a lot of top 10 goalies lists. Mahovolich and Keon are closer. I wouldnt raise an eyebrow if you put Keon ahead of Big M but I like Mahovolich's peak value as well. As a Leaf he contributed as much as Keon. I know Keon's game is more than numbers and his overall game beat Big M's but I personally have him a touch ahead of Keon. Big M was more explosive and during his Leaf years was a 6-time postseason all-star. Hey it's close, you want Keon over Mahovolich? That's fine. Keon was a notable ommission on Team Canada '72. I like him, I just dont like when people say he's the greatest Leaf ever. He's great but I think at least Broda and Apps were better.

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Old
03-03-2007, 02:25 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey View Post
I've tried to set the record straight about Keon but those newspaper guys keep coming out with those hate Ballard stories.

First of all, Keon has come back before - a few times. The last time was a few years ago when he attended a game at the ACC sitting with Steve Stavro. He was in plain view of 19,000 fans at the ACC and thousands more on TV.

Keon does not disrespect the fans. He came willingly to St. Michael's College all the way from Florida to speak and did not ask for anything. He had a great time talking about the great Leaf days. He was asked why he didn't return more often. He said that he has been back (true) and just doesn't feel comfortable. He was being truthful and really wanted to explain himself. He never mentioned Ballard. He never does. He never has.

All people have to do is watch the interviews Keon did when he played for the Leafs - he is exactly the same. He felt uncomfortable then and he hasn't changed. That's the way he is. We are all different.

Sure, he was treated badly when he left and it bothered him, mostly because he gave it all he had for the Leafs. He did say he didn't agree with the way the present management 'honoured' the great Leafs. He feels that if its done properly in Montreal then Toronto should be able to do the same. I agree with him and so do the Leaf players that he is speaking on behalf of.

Keon agreed to come back and now he gets bad press for coming back. The poor guy can't win. He is different. He's sensitive and I guess stubborn but he doesn't owe anyone anything. He was swarmed everytime he moved when he returned to the ACC for the tribute that night. He was apprensive but he got through it. It wasn't easy for him.

Keon has every right to be any way he wants to be. Just like you and me.

By the way, there is a book in the planning stages that would be out this fall about the Top 100 Leafs. A panel of 20 knowledgeable Leaf historians, broadcasters etc. participated in creating the order.

Broda, Apps and Kennedy were great Leaf players but, if you don't mind me asking, did you watch Mahovlich and Keon play in the 60's?
Classic, are you one of those knowledgeable historians working on the top 100 Leafs of all-time list? If you are, I might just have to pick up a copy. (Even though I am not a Leafs fan. My Dad is [Heaven help him], so he might enjoy it). Any sneak peaks as to what to expect?

Forgive me if I'm misquoting you, but I believe you said (about a year ago) that when trying to compile the Leafs all-time team for the 75th anniversary, Keon was the one player who was in the top three of everybody's list. The Leafs don't have that clear cut No. 1 of all-time (like say, the Hawks with Hull or the Red Wings with Howe), or even a clear cut top 5. That's why it's surprising that anyone would be on everyone's list for the top 3.

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Old
03-03-2007, 04:03 PM
  #6
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It was a fun process and yes, I'm part of the committee. Not speaking for myself, but you will see that the other committee members are the best that could be found - including one who watched and reported on the some of the Leafs who played in the 30's.

Obviously, I can't tell you who came out as #1 but it wasn't unanimous. I think that with Detroit that Gordie Howe would be a clear cut #1. Bobby Orr for Boston and Maurice Richard for Montreal. The term 'greatest' encompasses all that is important - statistics, leadership and other intangibles. You guys know I'm big on intangibles. When I did my list, I made sure I took into account what a player's teammates and opponents said about a certain player. And I've said this before as well - the players really know.

Very rarely do we see lists of the greatest Rangers, Hawks etc. I'd like to see that.
And, I think a top 100 for the Montreal Canadiens would be a challenge. You certainly wouldn't have trouble with identifying players for the last 75 to 100 like you would with the Leafs. The Habs had so many great players. And their top guys were more of icons than the Leafs top players were.

With the Leafs, I think most people would agree on who would be in the Top 10 although the order would differ, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Classic, are you one of those knowledgeable historians working on the top 100 Leafs of all-time list? If you are, I might just have to pick up a copy. (Even though I am not a Leafs fan. My Dad is [Heaven help him], so he might enjoy it). Any sneak peaks as to what to expect?

Forgive me if I'm misquoting you, but I believe you said (about a year ago) that when trying to compile the Leafs all-time team for the 75th anniversary, Keon was the one player who was in the top three of everybody's list. The Leafs don't have that clear cut No. 1 of all-time (like say, the Hawks with Hull or the Red Wings with Howe), or even a clear cut top 5. That's why it's surprising that anyone would be on everyone's list for the top 3.

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Old
03-03-2007, 04:09 PM
  #7
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Keon was a great player but he is one to hold his hate. Better if he let it go, especially since Ballard is gone.

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03-03-2007, 04:16 PM
  #8
ClassicHockey
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I'm glad that you recognize the older Leaf players. Its easy to forget about the great stars of the past because most people remember the players that they actually watched.

In my opinion, you aren't wrong if you say Mahovlich was better than Keon in terms of size and skill and offensive ability. But I think the term 'greatness' includes clutch performances, consistency and other factors. There wasn't a more consistent performer than Keon. It was said that he never played a bad game. He always showed up. When discussing the top Leaf players, the statistics really are secondary. And because of the other things that Keon did, he rates higher in my view - but not a lot. That's hard for me to say because Mahovlich was my favourite player growing up.

Regarding the 1972 Summit Series, Keon was not selected because of lack of ability but because of politics. Remember that Alan Eagleson was running things and his history with Keon went back a number of years. There was an outcry on why Keon wasn't selected but Eagleson made sure no answers were allowed. Keon wanted to play so much in the series that he specifically asked to be a part of it. And, with all due respect to the Big M, Keon would have been much more effective against the quick Russian skaters. I would have loved to have seen Keon with his anticipation play against those Russian greats.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Good post, I like it. Keon as Harry Neale once said is a misunderstood man. Now is he one of the best Leafs of all-time? Yes. Personally I like Apps better, he had a better peak value as was just as important to the Leafs winning in the '40s. Broda like Apps won the Cup before and after WWII. Broda is on a lot of top 10 goalies lists. Mahovolich and Keon are closer. I wouldnt raise an eyebrow if you put Keon ahead of Big M but I like Mahovolich's peak value as well. As a Leaf he contributed as much as Keon. I know Keon's game is more than numbers and his overall game beat Big M's but I personally have him a touch ahead of Keon. Big M was more explosive and during his Leaf years was a 6-time postseason all-star. Hey it's close, you want Keon over Mahovolich? That's fine. Keon was a notable ommission on Team Canada '72. I like him, I just dont like when people say he's the greatest Leaf ever. He's great but I think at least Broda and Apps were better.

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Old
03-03-2007, 04:18 PM
  #9
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Please read my first post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GNick42 View Post
Keon was a great player but he is one to hold his hate. Better if he let it go, especially since Ballard is gone.

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Old
03-03-2007, 05:15 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey View Post
It was a fun process and yes, I'm part of the committee. Not speaking for myself, but you will see that the other committee members are the best that could be found - including one who watched and reported on the some of the Leafs who played in the 30's.

Obviously, I can't tell you who came out as #1 but it wasn't unanimous. I think that with Detroit that Gordie Howe would be a clear cut #1. Bobby Orr for Boston and Maurice Richard for Montreal. The term 'greatest' encompasses all that is important - statistics, leadership and other intangibles. You guys know I'm big on intangibles. When I did my list, I made sure I took into account what a player's teammates and opponents said about a certain player. And I've said this before as well - the players really know.

Very rarely do we see lists of the greatest Rangers, Hawks etc. I'd like to see that.
And, I think a top 100 for the Montreal Canadiens would be a challenge. You certainly wouldn't have trouble with identifying players for the last 75 to 100 like you would with the Leafs. The Habs had so many great players. And their top guys were more of icons than the Leafs top players were.

With the Leafs, I think most people would agree on who would be in the Top 10 although the order would differ, of course.
That's great to hear that you were a part of this. I'll be sure to look for the book when it's released.

Obvious question time: who did you pick for No. 1 and why?

I definitely agree that there isn't a clear cut No. 1. I think there are several guys you could rate as the No. 1 Leaf of all-time: Charlie Conacher, Syl Apps, Teeder Kennedy, Dave Keon and Tim Horton. I think the Rangers are the only other Original 6 team with as many candidates for No. 1. And I agree that there are many factors for determining No. 1. It's not just a matter of career numbers; you have to look at overall play, playoff performance (and yes, Cup wins should be a factor) and leadership. And while it's harder to really determine, I think community contributions should be considered if at all possible.

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03-03-2007, 06:03 PM
  #11
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ClassicHockey,

Do you think that if Mahovlich had played under a different system in Toronto, one less rigid than that which Imlach coached, that he would have possibly been a more clear cut choice for top Leaf?

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Old
03-03-2007, 10:26 PM
  #12
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All those Leafs you mention are in my top 10 but we all had to agree not to release the rankings. You can send me an email and I can discuss it with you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
That's great to hear that you were a part of this. I'll be sure to look for the book when it's released.

Obvious question time: who did you pick for No. 1 and why?

I definitely agree that there isn't a clear cut No. 1. I think there are several guys you could rate as the No. 1 Leaf of all-time: Charlie Conacher, Syl Apps, Teeder Kennedy, Dave Keon and Tim Horton. I think the Rangers are the only other Original 6 team with as many candidates for No. 1. And I agree that there are many factors for determining No. 1. It's not just a matter of career numbers; you have to look at overall play, playoff performance (and yes, Cup wins should be a factor) and leadership. And while it's harder to really determine, I think community contributions should be considered if at all possible.

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Old
03-03-2007, 10:33 PM
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We had a nice discussion about that. Mahovlich says that once when he was playing as a Leaf against Montreal, Jean Beliveau mentioned to him that his style was more suited to the Canadiens style of play. Mahovlich knew that and felt stifled by Imlach's defensive system. Mahovlich said that had he played his entire career with Montreal, that he might have scored 1,000 goals. While that might have been an exaggeration, I could see how much that bothered him.

So, yes, in a different environment with the Leafs in his prime, there is no telling how great he could have been - maybe the best Leaf ever. Not just because he would have scored more, but he may have become more of a leader as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yes Im Peter Ing View Post
ClassicHockey,

Do you think that if Mahovlich had played under a different system in Toronto, one less rigid than that which Imlach coached, that he would have possibly been a more clear cut choice for top Leaf?

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