August 26 2015 04:44PM
I'm going to go ahead and call out my fellow TLN writers (except for Jeffler, who's more of a Canucks writer anyway, lol) for ranking Connor Brown too low. I had Brown as the Toronto Maple Leafs' fourth best prospect, while all of the other voters (except Jeff) did not. They are all wrong.
In last year's midterm ranking, Brown sat in the #4 spot (while I ranked him third). With no major prospect graduations, a great 2015 draft and a Phil Kessel trade since those rankings took place, it was to be expected that Brown could be pushed down a few spots through no fault of his know. But to drop all the way down to eight is insane and unjust. Maybe I am too bullish on Brown, but I think I have good reason.
August 26 2015 08:07AM
As we continue our TLN Top 20 Prospects countdown, it's important to remember and recognize the special players that paved the way for tomorrow's stars. Here's the next player to join our first ever TLN All-Time Greatest Leafs team...
With most of these player profiles, we often start off by describing the player's junior hockey career... Things like where they learned to play hockey, what junior league they came up through, and their statistical accomplishments at the amateur level.
For Syl Apps, that kind of stuff almost doesn't exist.
Yes, he played hockey with the varsity team at McMaster University, but Apps was probably better known as a Marauders football player. In fact, it was on the gridiron that Conn Smythe scouted the stand-out athlete and reportedly offered him an NHL contract before he even saw Apps on skates.
August 21 2015 02:24PM
According to his Hockey Hall of Fame bio, George Armstrong gained his famous nickname all the way back in his junior hockey days.
During the 1950 Allan Cup tournament where Armstrong was playing with the OHA Toronto Marlboros, the team visited Alberta's Stoney Indian Reserve. When the locals heard of Armstrong's Algonquin heritage, they presented him with a ceremonial headdress and named him "Big Chief Shoot the Puck".
Ultimately, it was only 'Chief' that stuck, but it was fitting nonetheless. Over his 21-year career, Armstrong played more games in a Leafs uniform, wore the 'C' on his chest for longer, and lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to more Stanley Cups - in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967 - than anyone else in team history. Never mind whether he should be on TLN's All-Time team; Armstrong probably has the greatest argument for being named the captain.
August 20 2015 06:26PM
Here's the funny thing about Cecil "Babe" Dye... He scored exactly zero points in the only six games he ever played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That said, Dye was an absolute stud in years prior with the Toronto St. Pats, joining the team in its inaugural 1919 season and leading the team in scoring from 1920 to 1925 when Dye himself was only in his early 20s.
Does that count? Sure it does. After all, the St. Pats changed their names to the Maple Leafs in 1926 when it was the club was sold to new ownership. For all intents and purposes, it's the same organization.
August 16 2015 04:19PM
Tim Horton is easily one of the most recognizable names in Maple Leafs history. It helps of course that his name is plastered on giant signs at 4,500+ coffee shops worldwide, but still pretty impressive nonetheless.
Just a heads up... There's going to be a few coffee jokes in here. Deal with it.
Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario in 1930, playing hockey in his hometown and in nearby Timmins. In his late teens, he was discovered and signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Horton would move to the big city and continue his development at St. Michael's College with the OHA Majors. Graduating to professional hockey in 1949, Horton spent three seasons in the American Hockey League with the Pittsburgh Hornets before breaking in with the Leafs full-time in 1952. Horton would remain with the organization until 1970.