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8 former Toronto Maple Leafs who were one-hit wonders

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Shane Seney
8 months ago
The 2023 offseason continues to trickle by for the Toronto Maple Leafs, so let’s have a little fun and go down a rabbit hole, with a little inspiration from Connor Earegood of The Hockey News.
While the franchise has seen a number of players become legends due to their sustained success and shining bright in big moments, there’s also been a number of Leafs who have enjoyed 15-minutes of fame in Toronto.
Sure, some are big names who have storied careers with other franchises, but regardless, let’s focus in on eight former Maple Leafs who put up some decent numbers in one season then completely fell off the radar for a variety of reasons. Here’s eight Maple Leaf one-hit wonders, in no particular order:

Jason Allison

Darcy Tucker once told me Allison needed a golf cart for the shootouts as he usually looked like he was skating in mud. The not-so-fleet-of-foot forward joined the Maple Leafs for the 2005-06 season, which ended up surpringsly being his final professional season. He’d retire at 31 years old and now spends most of his summer months golfing in Muskoka, ON.
As a Leaf, he put up 60 points in 66 games and inserted some much-needed offence into Toronto’s lineup, which included Eric Lindros, Jeff O’Neill, Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle.

Lonny Bohonos

Bohonos burst onto the scene and directly onto Sundin’s wing for the 1998-99 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He put up nine points in nine games during the postseason, this coming after scoring three goals in seven games during the regular season. After this playoff run, Bohonos disappeared off the NHL map and never recorded another point in the league.
He wound up playing the next season in the AHL, followed by several years in Switzerland. This coming after a junior career where he spent some time playing for Mike Babcock in Moose Jaw. Bohonos moved on eventually to play for the Portland Winter Hawks and became a star, putting up 152 points in 70 games. He’d however go undrafted and would eventually wind up with the Vancouver Canucks organization before being dealt to the Maple Leafs straight up for former first-round pick Brandon Convery.

Nikolai Borschevsky

At 5-foot-9 and 180 lbs soaking wet, Borschevsky made up for his small stature with his fearless play. A former fourth-round pick in 1992, he wound up leaving Russia to join the Maple Leafs for his rookie season the very next year.
The skilled winger would put up 74 points in his first season and another nine in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games. It was his best season in the NHL by a country mile. He’d go on to score only 15 more goals in his entire career after stops in Calgary and Dallas, finishing with only 162 games played.
Borschevsky will always be known for scoring the overtime winner against the Detroit Red Wings to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff series in Game 7, ’93.

Robert Svehla

Svehla was a beast in Toronto after being acquired in a 2002 summer trade for the rights for Dmitry Yushkevich. At the time, Svehla was a 33-year-old right-handed defenceman with a ton of offensive game. He was playing a ton of minutes, ranking 11th overall in the league and led the Florida Panthers in ice-time the previous season.
The Maple Leafs were acquiring a top-four defenceman who they hoped would want to stick around and finish out the back nine of his career in Toronto. After putting up an impressive 45 points in 82 games, Svehla would never play another professional hockey game. He’ll always be known as the first Leaf to wear #67.

Viktor Stalberg

Back in 2006, Stalberg was a sixth-round pick and spent three seasons playing for Vermont in the NCAA. After being a finalist for the Hobey Baker award as the best player in college, he’d join the Maple Leafs in 2009-10, and burst onto the scene with his great speed and offensive instincts. The Stalberg hype-train was rolling through town hard.
The Swedish winger would record 14 points in 40 NHL games with the Leafs in 09-10, and it turned out to just be an audition to be moved in a big offseason trade for Kris Versteeg of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stalberg hype-train rolled through town pretty loud and proud, but it was very short lived. He did however go onto play 448 more NHL games throughout his career, spanning from Chicago to stops in Nashville, New York, Carolina, and Ottawa.

Mason Raymond

Raymond was a late summer signing for the Maple Leafs back in 2013, thanks to then GM Dave Nonis, who was very familiar with his game from their time together in Vancouver. It was a one-and-done for Raymond in Toronto as he would only spend one season as a Leaf, collecting 45 points in 82 games.
Raymond wasn’t physical, but he was a heady player who chipped in nicely with secondary offence for the likes of Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. He used his speed to his advantage and would go on to play parts of three more seasons in the NHL. His year in Toronto was not only his last full season but one of his more productive.

Brian Leetch

The good ol’ John Ferguson Jr (JFJ) era, when the Leafs had little to no actual direction and were just carrying on by the seat of their pants. Leetch, a New York Rangers legend who never should have played a game in any other jersey, was dealt to the Maple Leafs before the trade deadline in 2004.
JFJ acquired Leetch and a conditional draft choice from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Max Kondratiev, forward Jarkko Immonen, Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft and the team’s second-round pick in 2005.
Leetch would go on to play great alongside Bryan McCabe and put up an impressive 15 points in 15 regular season games, to go along with eight assists in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He didn’t re-sign with the Leafs and decided to finish out his career as a Boston Bruin. He never should have left Broadway.

Joe Nieuwendyk

Perhaps the biggest name of them all, Nieuwendyk completed a one-and-done in Toronto back in 2003-04 after signing with the Maple Leafs on the same day as best friend Gary Roberts and polarizing defenceman Aki Berg.
Nieuwendyk went on to have some spectacular moments as a Leaf, including scoring two goals on Patrick Lalime and the Ottawa Senators, leading the team to a Game 7 victory. This coming after a regular season where he collected 50 points in 64 games. He went on to play 80 more games in the NHL, spanning over two seasons with the Florida Panthers.

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