A load of centers and a lack of Stanley Cups.
These two factors – and the network’s condition that a current leaf is among two goalkeepers, six defensemen, 12 forwards and one founding player – have sent two of the franchise’s icons, Darryl Sittler and Doug Gilmour, to the bench.
Rather than compiling its list by simple popular vote or opening it to up to 100 players as the Leafs organization did when it asked the media to classify its centennial team in 2017, TSN put in places much stricter selection criteria for a smaller group. All had to be in their natural position, with a line of control and a defensive stop pairing included.
The network builds an all-time team for each of the seven Canadian clubs in the league.
When Auston Matthews, not right winger Mitch Marner or defender Morgan Rielly, was chosen as the 2019-20 representative, this added to an already stacked situation in the midst where most of the franchise’s greats played.
The inclusion of Ted (Teeder) Kennedy and Syl Apps will undoubtedly satisfy the Leafs’ fan base elder who saw neglected pre-video stars. Kennedy is a five-time Cup champion and the most recent Hart Trophy Leafs winner for the premier player in the league. Apps won three titles and was a star of the first and second teams. Kennedy was a member of the second team.
“The most difficult challenge in the whole process was designating the Leafs’ centers,” agreed Steve Dryden, senior editor of TSN Hockey after the Toronto list was released. “No story in the Canadian NHL team has been as center-centric as the Leafs. There were seven authentic candidates for up to five positions. “
Dave Keon, elected No. 1 in 100 in 2017 when the first five were all centers, was hosted by TSN in the role of control center, behind Apps, the leader of the franchise Mats Sundin and Matthews. Kennedy, who was called “the ultimate leaf” by garden patriarch Conn Smythe, was named a founding player.
But all of this brought out Sittler, who ranks second in franchise scorers and played more than a decade as head of a potential Cup contender who was torn apart in the late 1970s. one of the many Leafs and Hall of Fame captains in and around the list, including Gilmour, whose star burned brilliantly here for two years, was among the top 13 Leafs in 2017, but also been far from a Cup final.
In the goals, the choices of Turk Broda and Johnny Bower were clear, both running away in matches, victories and cups. A trio from the 1960s dynasty – Tim Horton, Allan Stanley and Bob Baun – occupy three places in defense, with Horton in the top pair alongside franchise leader Borje Salming.
Up front, Kid Line winger Busher Jackson is first in the left wing, joined by Charlie (The Big Bomber) Conacher between apps. Sundin centers on another 60s star Frank Mahovlich and three-time right winger 50 goals Rick Vaive, a rare bright spot in the 80s. Matthews, at the dawn of 50 goals when this season was interrupted, centers the spark plugs Wendel Clark and Lanny McDonald. Keon is between Bob Pulford, winner of the 1960s Cup, and the franchise games played point guard George Armstrong as ladies.
“Kennedy and Sittler have both bled deep blue for the Leafs,” said Dryden. “They were the two clear options for a founding player. In the end, Kennedy won on the basis of five cups and his immense contributions. “
The right wing also tightened at the end of the poll, with Marner, Phil Kessel and the club’s most recent champion, Gordie Drillon, missing the cup.
TSN MAPN LEAFS ALL-WEATHER TEAM
Left Defense Right defense
Borje Salming Tim horton
King clancy Horner red
Allan Stanley Bobby Baun
Left wing Right central wing
Busher Jackson Syl Apps Charlie Conacher
Frank Mahovlich Mats Sundin Rick Vaive
Wendel Clark Auston Matthews Lanny McDonald
Bob Pulford Dave Keon George Armstrong
Goal: Curtis Joseph
LD: Thomas Kaberle
RD: Jimmy Thomson
LW: Sid smith
VS: Darryl Sittler
RW: Ron Ellis
TSN Leafs List Eligibility Criteria:
* Members must have played at least 225 games with Toronto.
* At least one member must be part of the 2019-20 team.
* Players are placed in positions they have played with the Leafs.
* A line must be made up of defensive exhibitions (control line).
* A pair must be made up of suffocating defenders (pair of saves).
* Lines and pairs are brought together in the spirit of chemistry, not because they are necessarily the first, second and third best at their positions.
* The founding player is defined as part of the fabric – DNA – of a franchise.