February 15, 2007

Celebrating the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs

This Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their last Stanley Cup championship - the magical Canadian Centennial 1967 Stanley Cup victory over the arch rival Montreal Canadiens. It is a moment that has lived on in hockey lore forever.

The moment is even more special as Dave Keon will end a 30 year cold war between himself and the Leafs. Finally the Maple Leafs fans will have a chance to thank Keon. Of course, I'm already on record stating Matt Stajan should honour Keon as well.

Below I celebrate in typical Network style by profiling every single player of that Leafs 1967 championship team.

George Armstrong - Hall of Famer "Chief" Armstrong was the long time captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs..

Bob Baun - Bob Baun will forever be remembered for just one goal - he scored a playoff over time goal on a broken leg.

Johnny Bower - "The China Wall" was an aging superstar goalie before he even made it to the NHL. His profile includes war stories and a full version of his song Honky The Christmas Goose.

Brian Conacher - Perhaps better recognized for his famous family or as a broadcaster, Brian Conacher joined the Leafs just in time for the 1967 Stanley Cup championship.

Kent Douglas - Another long forgotten member of the Leafs dynasty, the former rookie of the year struggled for ice time on the legendary Leafs defense in the 1960s.

Ron Ellis - A very steady, two-way influence on the Leafs in the 1960s and 1970s, Ellis was asked by Ace Bailey himself to wear jersey #6.

Larry Hillman - A well traveled Larry Hillman was in and out of the Toronto line up for most of the 1960s.

Tim Horton - Known now for Honey Dip TimBits, Double Doubles and Rrroll up the Rrrim to Win, Tim Horton was originally a Hall of Fame blue liner.

Larry Jeffrey - A long forgotten about utility player, Larry Jeffrey had to overcome serious injuries just to play in the National Hockey League.

Red Kelly - A superstar defenseman with the Detroit Red Wings, he later became one of the most cerebral centers in hockey history while with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dave Keon - This beloved Toronto Maple Leaf was an offensive threat and defensive ace, he did it all while picking up only 151 PIMs in 1725 big league games.

Frank Mahovlich - The Big M is one of Toronto's most cherished superstars. He led the Leafs to 4 Stanley Cups, but his detractors, namely coach Imlach, made sure he paid a heavy price.

Jim Pappin - Struggled to find a regular role in Toronto, but Jim Pappin found a home in Chicago along side Pit Martin and Dennis Hull.

Marcel Pronovost - A fearless, rugged rearguard with Detroit Red Wings and later the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pronovost won 5 Stanley Cups

Bob Pulford - A very dedicated two way player, Bob Pulford was such a big part of the Maple Leafs success that he ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Terry Sawchuk - Though modern fans will likely choose Patrick Roy or Dominik Hasek, veteran fans will tell you Terry Sawchuk is the greatest goaltender of all time.

Eddie Shack - Clear the track for Eddie Shack. Best known as a Toronto Maple Leaf, Shack's beloved antics on and off the ice make him a true legend of hockey

Allan Stanley - Old "Snowshoes" escaped unreal expectations in New York to become Tim Horton's long time defense partner in Toronto.

Pete Stemkowski - The aggressive and likeable Pete Stemkowski was one of the rare youngsters on the magical 1967 Stanley Cup championship Leafs team. He'd go on to become a great New York Ranger.

Shakey Walton - Just a youngster on the "Old Fellows Athletic Club" that magically won the 1967 Stanley Cup, Shakey Walton has plenty of memorable stories to be told.

In addition, Autrey Erickson and Milan Marcetta, two minor leaguers that season, got the call ups of their lifetime in the 1967 playoffs. Both played, Erickson in 1 game and Marcetta in 3, and as a result have their name on the Stanley Cup. Erickson, who had NHL experience with Boston earlier in the decade, benefited from expansion and returned to the NHL the following season with the Oakland Seals. Marcetta was a career minor leaguer. In fact, his three playoff games with Toronto were the first games of his NHL career. He would get a chance to participate in 54 more NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars following expansion.

By the way, the London Free Press tells us what each of these guys are up to nowadays.

Other players to play for the Leafs that season but not get their name on the Stanley Cup include John Brenneman, Kent Douglas, Bruce and Dick Gamble, Gary and Al Smith, Brit Selby, Wayne Carleton, Duane Rupp and Jim McKenny. Lance Hornby of Sun Media looks at these forgotten men of 1967.

For the most comprehensive collection of online articles about the 1967 reunion, check out Eyes on The Prize.

Lastly, you can actually watch the entire game 6 of the '67 Cup finals absolutely for free, courtesy of Google and NHL.com. Run time is 1 hour, 27 minutes


Anonymous said...

Sawchuk should have won the Conn Smyth trophy that year. Keon was good, but Sawchuk won the cup for the Leafs..no doubt in my mind or Terry's. He wanted that recognition more then anything.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what social change took place in Toronto after this major event took place...

Anonymous said...

I have an autographed Stanley cup picture,would anyone know what its worth??