Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 24 2015 07:52AM
As we embark on our annual TLN Top 20 Prospects series, it's important to remember and recognize the special players that paved the way for tomorrow's stars. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing our first ever TLN All-Time Greatest Leafs Team, announcing a new player every day until we've filled out our 23-man roster.
You can't have a Leafs all-time team without the first member of Legends Row, can you? In a game that's progressively become mercenaries playing well for the employer that hires them, it's always good to look back at players who weren't just Toronto Maple Leafs on their tax forms, but in their hearts as well. Ted Kennedy matched this description from the moment he joined the team until the moment he passed away.
August 23 2015 05:07PM
Despite what his nickname suggests, Red Horner was 100% a Blue and White man at heart. A product of the Toronto Marlboros junior hockey club, Horner never played for a team outside of the Toronto area his entire career. Born in Lynden, (just outside of Hamilton), Horner was a 1930s version of a hometown hero and elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965. (Despite this, his number is not among those honoured at the Air Canada Centre. The Leafs are funny sometimes.)
In an era where teams typically carried just two pairs of defencemen, Red Horner was arguably the Leafs #3 behind King Clancy and Hap Day for much of his career. However, he was quite the player in his own right.
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 21 2015 07:49AM
Continuing with our annual Leafs prospect rankings, the 11th-ranked player on our list is Nikita Korostelev, this year's seventh-round pick out of Sarnia of the OHL. You're probably wondering why a newly-drafted player who was taken so late could be this high on our list, so let us explain after the jump.
Nation World HQ
August 21 2015 06:45AM
Pavel Bure's Legends Hockey League, Trevor Linden defends GM, is Babcock really better than Carlyle, Flames new arena, Sam Bennett at centre, McDavid and Hall get head start on season, free agency and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen