Leafs adding Keon, Horton and Broda to Legends Row

To celebrate their centennial season, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be adding three new faces to Air Canada Centre’s Legends Row.

Dave Keon, Tim Horton and Turk Broda statues will be unveiled next year, further cementing (no, bronzing?) their place as titans of Toronto hockey. They’ll join Mats Sundin, Teeder Kennedy, George Armstrong, Syl Apps, Borje Salming and Johnny Bower on the Row.

Keon, one of the finest two-way players to ever play the game, won four Stanley Cups with the Leafs in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967 and sits third in all-time team scoring with 858 points in 1062 games with Toronto. It was never a matter of if Keon deserved to be honour on Legends Row, but simply when he would be.

Horton is widely regarded as one of the best blueliners to ever pull a Maple Leafs sweater over his head. As I wrote in our ‘All-Time Maple Leafs Team’ feature this past summer, he was “one of the game’s best stay-at-home defencemen, back when such players were actually useful.” Horton was also a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning all four alongside Keon.

Broda, unlike Keon or Horton above, did not make the cut on our TLN All-Time Leafs team, having been beaten out of a spot by Johnny Bower, Curtis Joseph and Felix Potvin (Thanks, Dangle). That said, Broda is no doubt one of the best goaltenders the Leafs ever employed, and was a mainstay in Toronto’s crease for nearly 14 seasons. Another four-time Stanley Cup Champ, Broda won it all in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951. As fellow TLNer Jon Steitzer so eloquently put it, “Broda was the original Martin Brodeur – he won Vezinas, he won Stanley Cups, and everyone thought he should lose weight.”

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  • Jeremy Ian

    Keon, yes! I still have my ’70-71 Esso Power Player Saver hockey stamp of Keon, sideburns and all, framed on my bookshelf. The emblem of what was great and what became tragic about the Leafs. Might as well acknowledge the whole thing.

  • Gary Empey

    Good article Justin. Keon was such a gifted smooth skater who played a complete two way game. He was outstanding on the penalty kill, checked the opposing top center and was clutch when it came to scoring big goals including one in game five of the 1967 Stanley cup final as the leafs shut out the Habs in the old forum to take the series back to Toronto in which they won the fourth game for the cup.

    Sadly the despicable Ballard jerked Keon around and he left for the W.H.A. Keon was bitter for decades over his treatment.

    I never saw Broda but the record speaks for itself.

    Tim Horton was truly one of the great leaf defenceman. Paired with Alan Stanley who was actually the more stay at home defenceman, the two made one of the great shut down duos as they faced the likes of Hull and Mikita, Howe, Delvechio, Gilbert and Ratelle and a litany of great Hab players. Although only about 5 foot 11 and 185 lbs. he was considered one of the strongest players in the league. In the opening round of the 1967 playoffs he got into a wrestling match with big Phil Esposito. Esposito had his pants torn and actually missed a considerable amount of time in the game which the leafs won. He had a tremendous slap shot and one season played up on the right wing for a half year.

    One has to remember that the players were literally paid peanuts by the chintzy owners and thus most had to find a summer job. Horton got the bright idea of course of opening up a donut shop.

    He ended up his career with Buffalo and at age 41 was voted one of the three stars in his last game at maple leaf gardens. That night he speeded down the highway back to Buffalo and sadly died in a car crash. When ever I’m in a Tim Horton’s I always raise the cup of coffee in a toast to number 7 for the leafs.

  • Gary Empey

    From the total disinterest of the posters commenting on three leaf greats getting their statue it is obvious that this came 25 years too late. As I stated I knew very little about Broda as I was just a dream of my parents.

    It is the same way with probably 85% of the posters in here never having seen the great Tim Horton or Dave Keon.