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Was Keon's #1 Leaf status a suck up?

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Old
01-04-2008, 10:09 PM
  #26
backliner
 
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Seems to me for Leafs fans to come to terms with this, they first need to define exactly what a "true Leaf" is, i.e., the sort of all-around player/solid citizen worthy of this honor. No doubt, there have been numerous forwards who have played for the team with as much, or more, talent than Keon, and with careers every bit as accomplished. Depending on what type of player you're looking for, of course, it could be argued that Mahovolich, Ullman and Sittler were each better than Keon.

I'm going to assume that a certain longevity and dedication to the franchise is a criterion here, and that's a good thing. After all, as a Ranger fan, I might say the two best forwards who ever pulled on the Blueshirt were Gretzsky and Messier, but absolutely no argument can be made for Wayne in the all-time Ranger pantheon. Meanwhile, one could be made for Mess, based on all that he brought to the City, but there's no question that his truly finest years were in Edmonton. And I guarantee you, if there were a vote of all the fans, there'd be an awful lot cast for the likes of Gilbert, Ratelle and Bathgate, who were not "hired guns" but Rangers from the start. (Not that there's anything wrong with a hired gun, mind you; most Cup-winners in history required one to put them over the top.)

Almost no one in hockey spends an entire career in one city. Between Keon and the three others I named, Keon had the most in Toronto (15), but the Big M had 12, and both were there for all 4 Cups in the '60s.

Leafs fans are a notoriously finicky lot, and once they make up their mind about somebody, they rarely change. What always pissed off Mahovolich was that he could never get it right in Toronto, no matter what he did. When he focused on two-way hockey, they wanted him to score more. When he scored big, they said he was selfish.

Reminds me of Ted Williams in Boston, and both retained the same sour taste in their mouth about their first cities.

Big M, Ullman and Sittler were all traded away. Keon is the only one who voluntarily left the Leafs, going to Minnesota of the WHA in '75. Granted, I cannot blame anyone for leaving the Ballard freak show in the mid-'70s, but he did leave the franchise of his own accord, and that remains a fact.

Finally, I find one thing about this "sucking up" story very disturbing. If I think a guy is the type who, upon not being named the all-time greatest of his franchise, is then going to get all pissy and maybe not show up anymore, then is that really the type of player I like to call a rock of my franchise?

Certainly not. So, either the Leafs misjudged him and truly did suck up for no reason, or they had it right all along, and handed the guy an honor for all the wrong reasons.

So, Leaf fans, which is it?


Last edited by backliner: 01-04-2008 at 10:21 PM.
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01-05-2008, 01:25 AM
  #27
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Finally, I find one thing about this "sucking up" story very disturbing. If I think a guy is the type who, upon not being named the all-time greatest of his franchise, is then going to get all pissy and maybe not show up anymore, then is that really the type of player I like to call a rock of my franchise?
Humm... What about this "not being named the all-time greatest of his franchise..."? I always thought Keon's actions were such because he felt fleeced by management...

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01-05-2008, 11:05 PM
  #28
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I don't know what more Mats Sundin needs to do to get into Leaf's fans hearts. He is the leading scorer in your teams' history, the leading goal scorer, the most talented player to ever wear the weed on his chest, yet he is somehow pushed down below players like Wendy Clark and Aki Berg on all-time greatest Leafs lists. Wake up and realize he is a treat to watch and a great hockey player who just happened to be born somewhere outside of Toronto.

Dave Keon was a very, very solid player for many years. But was he better than Frank Mahovlich or Charlie Conacher? That is up to each person to argue. I don't think so, but that's just my opinion. Obviously Keon was a big part of the Leafs in the 1960's and early 70's, before he bailed out. But it is funny that a team that some people think is Canada's team doesn't really have a "face" or name player for the ages. Anyone who says Sittler is misguided, even though Darryl was a very good player in TO. But no name like Orr, Richard, Sakic, Howe, Yzerman, or anything like that. Strange.

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01-06-2008, 04:34 PM
  #29
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I don't know what more Mats Sundin needs to do to get into Leaf's fans hearts. He is the leading scorer in your teams' history, the leading goal scorer, the most talented player to ever wear the weed on his chest.
That is why. That statement is simply not true.

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01-06-2008, 05:22 PM
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That is why. That statement is simply not true.

I'm curious. Who do you think has had more talent as a Leaf? This leaves out short-timers like Gilmour, Sawchuk, etc. who only played a few years there in long careers. But Sundin is quite a ways ahead of Darryl Sittler in terms of sheer talent and use of it as a Maple Leaf. Who else would you put ahead of him? Conacher? Maybe, but I obviously never saw him play, just read about him. Obviously a great player for that era, but without actually seeing him play I don't want to make a judgement.

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01-06-2008, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jiggs 10 View Post
I'm curious. Who do you think has had more talent as a Leaf? This leaves out short-timers like Gilmour, Sawchuk, etc. who only played a few years there in long careers. But Sundin is quite a ways ahead of Darryl Sittler in terms of sheer talent and use of it as a Maple Leaf. Who else would you put ahead of him? Conacher? Maybe, but I obviously never saw him play, just read about him. Obviously a great player for that era, but without actually seeing him play I don't want to make a judgement.
Turk Broda...?!

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01-06-2008, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jiggs 10 View Post
I'm curious. Who do you think has had more talent as a Leaf? This leaves out short-timers like Gilmour, Sawchuk, etc. who only played a few years there in long careers. But Sundin is quite a ways ahead of Darryl Sittler in terms of sheer talent and use of it as a Maple Leaf. Who else would you put ahead of him? Conacher? Maybe, but I obviously never saw him play, just read about him. Obviously a great player for that era, but without actually seeing him play I don't want to make a judgement.
Conacher, Mahovlich, Kennedy, Bailey, Apps...

I think that Sundin is overrated. He has never been a dominant NHLer save for one or two seasons where players like the ones listed above were dominant for several seasons or more. Sundin has been good for a long time but there have been several Leafs that were dominant.

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01-06-2008, 09:30 PM
  #33
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There's an expression that says that most of these "best of all-time" lists of any genre tell you more about the panel of voters than it does about the subjects that they're ranking.

I'm just curious how many of the voters on the panel are in the 45-55 age range which would've made them kids during Keon's heyday. Was Keon a favourite player to any of those guys as youths? Because as much as we may try to be unbiased, most of us are always going to subconsciously put our heroes from when we were young on a higher level than everyone else.

What I'm getting at is if this list was made 30 years ago, would Keon still be #1? With more voters alive back then who actually saw Apps and Conacher play, would those players likely be rated higher?

The question for anybody who remembers: when Keon played for the Leafs, did everyone at the time call him the greatest Leaf ever?

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01-06-2008, 09:40 PM
  #34
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I know Milt Dunnell was on the selection committee. He just died at 102. I wonder who he picked. He saw the leafs as far back as the 1930's.

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01-06-2008, 09:54 PM
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Reminds me of Ted Williams in Boston, and both retained the same sour taste in their mouth about their first cities.
Luckily for all of us, Mahovlich is mature enough to put the past behind him and not hate the fans/organization of today with that of the past.

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01-10-2008, 01:43 AM
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Turk Broda...?!
I personally have always believed in keeping discussions of goalies and all others separate. No amount of debate will ever resolve which is more important to a team, but we all know netminding is always of utmost importance.

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01-10-2008, 01:44 AM
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Luckily for all of us, Mahovlich is mature enough to put the past behind him and not hate the fans/organization of today with that of the past.

Let us hope so.

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01-10-2008, 01:48 AM
  #38
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Let's be honest. I like Keon and have no beef with him whatsoever but with his indifferent relationship with the Leafs was his status as the #1 Leaf of all time (in a recent well respected vote) a little way of sucking up to him? Personally I dont think its a good thing when Keon is the best player that has played for the Leafs. The Habs have Beliveau/Lafleur/Harvey/Richard, Boston has Orr/Espo, Chicago has Hull/Mikita, Detroit has Howe/Lindsay....Anyone else feel what I'm feeling?
You're one of my 6 most respected posters, but if you're saying there's not even a possibility that Yzerman and Lidstrom are as good as Lindsay, then I think what you're feeling is Molsons.

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01-10-2008, 03:33 AM
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There's a possibility, but it's not very likely.

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01-11-2008, 03:36 PM
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There's a possibility, but it's not very likely.
According to Lindsay, Yzerman was better than Ted was. Also, I saw a post from a ATD guy who said 7 of his top 10 played pre expansion. ATD #8 results do not reflect this sentiment:

1 pitseleh - Nanaimo Clippers - Bobby Orr
2 Nalyd Psycho & Sturminator - Oakland Seals - Wayne Gretzky
3 nik jr & Agent Dale Cooper - Seattle Thunderbirds - Gordie Howe
4 BM67 - New Jersey Devils - Mario Lemieux
5 pappyline - Guelph Biltmores - Bobby Hull (I include in pre & post)

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01-11-2008, 03:52 PM
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According to Lindsay, Yzerman was better than Ted was. Also, I saw a post from a ATD guy who said 7 of his top 10 played pre expansion. ATD #8 results do not reflect this sentiment:

1 pitseleh - Nanaimo Clippers - Bobby Orr
2 Nalyd Psycho & Sturminator - Oakland Seals - Wayne Gretzky
3 nik jr & Agent Dale Cooper - Seattle Thunderbirds - Gordie Howe
4 BM67 - New Jersey Devils - Mario Lemieux
5 pappyline - Guelph Biltmores - Bobby Hull (I include in pre & post)
Well....
Richard, Shore, Beliveau and Harvey would follow next, and the 10th spot is often anybody's guess (I would opt for post-expansion Bourque). If Hull is both pre and post, that would make 6 Pre and 5 posts....

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01-11-2008, 06:16 PM
  #42
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Well....
Richard, Shore, Beliveau and Harvey would follow next, and the 10th spot is often anybody's guess (I would opt for post-expansion Bourque). If Hull is both pre and post, that would make 6 Pre and 5 posts....
Guy LaFleur went 10th this time. Good luck in #9, MXD. Why is Iron Maiden so popular with hockey fans?

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01-11-2008, 06:29 PM
  #43
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You're one of my 6 most respected posters, but if you're saying there's not even a possibility that Yzerman and Lidstrom are as good as Lindsay, then I think what you're feeling is Molsons.
Lidstrom vs Lindsay would be an awesome debate. I'd take Lindsay in the end. Yzerman is a step behind both of 'em. It doesn't matter though because Red Kelly is better than all three of them IMO.

In fact, I just realized, Kelly is probably the best skater to ever play for the Leafs. Again though, probably not the best Leaf. Kinda cool though, I'd say that Kelly and Sawchuck are the best players to ever wear Leaf jerseys and they played their primes together in Detroit.

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01-12-2008, 04:58 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Johnny O View Post
According to Lindsay, Yzerman was better than Ted was. Also, I saw a post from a ATD guy who said 7 of his top 10 played pre expansion. ATD #8 results do not reflect this sentiment:

1 pitseleh - Nanaimo Clippers - Bobby Orr
2 Nalyd Psycho & Sturminator - Oakland Seals - Wayne Gretzky
3 nik jr & Agent Dale Cooper - Seattle Thunderbirds - Gordie Howe
4 BM67 - New Jersey Devils - Mario Lemieux
5 pappyline - Guelph Biltmores - Bobby Hull (I include in pre & post)
Yzerman was more skilled for sure. But Lindsay had a killer instinct that may be unparalleled in hockey history.

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01-13-2008, 02:58 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Yzerman was more skilled for sure. But Lindsay had a killer instinct that may be unparalleled in hockey history.
Yzerman was drafted 4 spots higher in ATD #8. Who can argue with those experts? Not me.

26 BlueBleeder - St. Louis Eagles - Steve Yzerman
Round #2
30 doctordark - Portage la Prairie Plains - Ted Lindsay

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01-13-2008, 06:33 AM
  #46
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Yzerman was drafted 4 spots higher in ATD #8. Who can argue with those experts? Not me.

26 BlueBleeder - St. Louis Eagles - Steve Yzerman
Round #2
30 doctordark - Portage la Prairie Plains - Ted Lindsay
Most felt Lindsay was a steal at #30.

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Old
01-13-2008, 02:51 PM
  #47
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Yzerman was drafted 4 spots higher in ATD #8. Who can argue with those experts? Not me.

26 BlueBleeder - St. Louis Eagles - Steve Yzerman
Round #2
30 doctordark - Portage la Prairie Plains - Ted Lindsay
Well... Ted Lindsay is a nearly-unanimous call as the 2nd best LW here on HFboards (it's my call as well). Not necessarily the most skilled one, but extremely useful overall. I do think one of the guys ranked lower (Dickie Moore) could have be considered even better, should he have a just a little better longevity... or should his knees remained healthy a little longer, or should he have started his career a little earlier -- Habs lineup wasn't something easy to crack by then.

Steve Yzerman isn't a Top-10 C. Hence why, while Stevie Y was probably the best player of them, Lindsay is considered more useful as he's one of the gamebreakers still available -- I don't consider Stevie Y to be a gamebreaker at that point -- considering his position.

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01-14-2008, 12:00 AM
  #48
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As always I enjoyed all 3 of your well written and thought out replies.


Last edited by Hawkman: 01-14-2008 at 09:29 PM.
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