Leafs to add to Legends Row on Saturday

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will be adding some new members to Legends Row this week, revealing the inductees in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday night, as confirmed by the team today.


While it’s easy to make the “pretty early to give statues to Matthews, Marner, and Nylander” jokes, it’s also worth speculating a little as to who those players could be. Obviously, we don’t know how many people will be added, but let’s take a look at this list of the Top 18 Leafs on their Top 100 list, plus the two outside of it that have had their numbers retired:

Rk Name Retired? Row?
1 Dave Keon Yes Yes
2 Syl Apps Yes Yes
3 Ted Kennedy Yes Yes
4 Darryl Sittler Yes Yes
5 Mats Sundin Yes Yes
6 Tim Horton Yes Yes
7 Johnny Bower Yes Yes
8 Borje Salming Yes Yes
9 Frank Mahovlich Yes No
10 Turk Broda Yes Yes
11 Charlie Conacher Yes No
12 George Armstrong Yes Yes
13 Doug Gilmour Yes No
14 Red Kelly Yes No
15 Wendel Clark Yes No
16 Busher Jackson No No
17 Hap Day Yes No
18 King Clancy Yes No
25 Ace Bailey Yes No
36 Bill Barilko Yes No

There are a few ways you can go here. You can look at the old guard that hasn’t found their way in yet; specifically, Frank Mahovlich and Charlie Conacher. Both were among the best players of their generations, with Conacher in particular being arguably the closest thing Toronto has had to a generational talent.

Just below them, you have Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark. The Leafs are presently in a renaissance more drastic than they’ve had in decades, pointing back to an era where those two owned the hearts of the city. If you’re looking for the dramatic pull of the heartstrings on the present fanbase, they’d be the easiest to add.

A couple of other options that would be interesting would include adding Busher Jackson to make up for the fact that he’s the only player in the Top 20 to not be in the rafters, Red Kelly for the additional bit of public spotlight he’s had over the centennial festivities and a combo of Bill Barilko and Ace Bailey now that their retired numbers aren’t unique. Barilko’s iconic goal pose would make for a great statue in particular.

If I had to guess, a trio of Conacher, Mahovlich and Kelly would be the best bet. There’s likely still a lot of time to pull the Wendel & Dougie option and have them be present, more so than there is with the 79-year-old Mahovlich and 89-year-old Kelly. We’ll know for sure what the end result is in 48 hours or less, and I doubt there will be too many complaints either way.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    Rookie Mitch Marner didn’t finish the game because of a possible
    shoulder injury, but seemed okay in the dressing room afterward. He
    tried on two occasions to come back after a check from Boone Jenner.
    Marner didn’t speak to the media after the game, but Babcock said he
    would be evaluated Thursday.

    • LukeWarmWater

      Bro having followed the leafs for many, many, many, moons with a lot of full moons included, my gut feeling is that isn’t too serious. However Babcock said he will have an announcement after practice so we should know very soon. Similar to Bobby Baun we would have just shrugged it off, but those were the good old days. But on a serious vain in reality once the injury happened he should have called it a night. This is one talented young kid who will be a great one.

  • DukesRocks

    While I’m sure Conacher, Mahovlich and Kelly are deserving. There’s only been one guy in my era that has owned this city’s love and that is Clark. Salming and Gilmour were great as well but never had the fan fare Clark did. How Sundin got in before Clark is a mystery to me.

    • Matthew Rath

      Because sundin was better leader did more for franchise he was on the team years and only made like the 2nd round twice got betrayed by the franchise was a great captain leader levels above clark franchise leaders in most categories lol clark he will get a statue so.e day Gilmore is more deserving then Clarke

      • DukesRocks

        You have your opinion and I’ll respect that, however there is more to being a leader then just putting up points. It’s obvious you must be in your 30’s because if you watched Clark play game after game from mid 80s to mid 90’s, this would not be a discussion. Clark would be hands down the best Leaf to this day.

        • Matthew Rath

          he was a leader when they lost games he would never blame he would never blame anyone else that did less than either he would always blame himself he said even know if he scored a hat-trick he would always said he could do more he was a leader in the locker room he made everyone else around him even players that were very good at playing the game and we’re not very smart at playing the game before they before they were they played underneath him as a captain that is a true captain so yes he deserved a Legend row statue before Wendell Clarke

          • DukesRocks

            LOL…. Yeah whatever. Sundin was soft and wasn’t much of a leader in comparison to Clark. Clark was the type of guy who could put a team on his back and carry them. He would stick up for his team mates and was vicious if you took a run at a star player. Opponents feared Clark, do you think anybody feared Sundin… lol. The game plan playing the Leafs was don’t piss Clark off and keep your head up. Clark took the Leafs further into the playoffs then Sundin ever did. He bled blue and white, and wore his heart on his sleeve. You can’t say that about Sundin in reference to heart. Don’t get me wrong I like Sundin as a star player but he never had character and heart to the degree Clark displayed. Why do you think the Nordique were willing to trade Sundin for Clark in the first place. Because when you’re in the playoff, Sundin will not put you over the top.. Clark will.

          • Matthew Rath

            The game was difficult and many players feared sundin the game of hockey was different clark had a better team in front of him potvin better defense sundin had held out etc horrible goalies not do great great defense its not about points yet you say clark led them sooner do you really think clark would have stayed if Toronto didn’t win almost season playoffs and the 3rd round twice wins in was in the team when they would loose in the 1st round of playoffs every season even though he was the best player on the team he always could do more so y ok I can’t compare different teams different players

          • DukesRocks

            I’m 51 yrs old, so I’ve seen both Sundin and Clark play from an objective point of view. I was old enough to understand the game and the climate of the game during both players times. So my question to you is, how old are you? If you are 40 and under, you will not know the value of Clark and in what regard he is held in this city. Trust me when I say this, Sundin may have scored more points, but he will never be Clark in the hearts of Leaf fans.

          • Matthew Rath

            I am under 40 I understand what you said but sundown is regarded as not a great player because he never won a cup the leaf fans lost faith in him no matter if wasn’t all his fault they had some bad teams in 2000s and late 90s they think sundown betrayed the leads organization but I’m pretty sure he has a longer career in the blue and white then wendal clark I saw the last couple years of webcam Clark’s time in Toronto and all of sundins they were totally different style player splus different coaches

          • DukesRocks

            Alright Matt, good conversation… Look forward to the next generation of Leaf stars in Marner and Mathews. At least now we have something to cheer for and agree with.

          • Glen

            Hey guys I am almost 69 years old so I have seen a winning Leaf team. All I can say to you guys is Clark and Sundin have one thing in common they have led their teams nowhere. They have a total of zero stanley cups,zero trips to the finals. Both had flaws in their game. Clark was by far the most popular but on hockey skill the edge has to go to Mats. I respect both your opinions but the last true leaders on this team were playing long before you guys were watching.But hey the future looks good lets hope for a return to glory which to me means no less than the big silver mug.

    • LukeWarmWater

      Dukes I was working on parliament hill in the early 1970’s as an executive assistant for an M.P. and the leafs came up to Ottawa one late September weekend and played an exhibition game. They had this new rookie defenceman, a guy named Borje Salming. After a few shifts I could tell that this guy would be a great one. He too should be rewarded soon. Having an autographed killer Gimore sweater which I got as a retirement gift and watching for pound for pound the toughest leaf of all time and a guy who truly bled leaf blue, I absolutely agree Clark and Gilmore deservs to be also included very soon.

      • DukesRocks

        Salming is already on LR and rightfully so. He was the best Dman I’ve ever seen were the blue and white. Clark was special, tough, physical and could score. He put the fear of God into opponents and could match kids dads as being a hero figure.

  • LukeWarmWater

    Jeff great minds think alike as I too see Conacher and the two great leafs of the 1960’s the big M and Red Kelly who won a mind blowing 8 cups and was an all-star as a defenceman and then as a center with the leafs. When the big M took those big long strides and let that booming slap shot go he put total fear in the opposition goalies. He has always been my favourite leaf.

    • Glen

      Agree with you 100% the Big M was my hero growing up, and the Leafs have never made it to the finals since he was traded. That trade started the death spiral of the franchise .There is hope for this group.