December 29, 2013

Leafs Alumni: Who's Your Favorite Player?

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star recently asked several high profile members of the Toronto Maple Leafs alumni who were their Leafs idols when they were growing up. There were some great answers

Darryl Sittler

“Dave Keon was the guy that I really admired for his skill and his penalty killing, his backhand shot, his work ethic. I also really liked Normie Ullman and the consistency in his game. Ronnie Ellis was great — classy guy. Even George Armstrong — I roomed with Chief in my first year. With those guys you got to feel the tradition, the passion and all that sort of stuff that those guys had gone through to win those cups. But even my own teammates — Borje, to me, he was one of the finest defencemen in the game. He didn’t win the Norris, but to me that didn’t matter. He was a very competitive guy, very good offensively, excellent defensively and tough. Not tough that he had to fight anybody, but blocking shots, taking the body, taking punishment and not being intimidated by the opposition. He was a target, but he played through all that.

Wendel Clark 
“I loved Darryl (Sittler) and Borje (Salming). They’d be the guys we watched as kids. And then, getting traded for Mats and getting a chance to watch him play for 10 years, that was special, too.”
Tie Domi
“That whole era of Salming, Sittler, McDonald and (Tiger) Williams was unbelievable. But being able to play in a game with Mike Walton, who was on a Stanley Cup team is pretty special for all of us. I’m really looking forward to that.”
Darcy Tucker
“First it’s Johnny Bower. The amount of respect that he gets from the fans and the fan base and how revered he is throughout the city of Toronto, that’s number one. Number two for me is Gilmour and Clark.”
Gary Roberts
“For sure Lanny McDonald. I wore number 7 as a Leaf because of my relationship with Lanny. Me having an opportunity to watch him conduct himself on and off the ice as a young player (with the Calgary Flames) was a huge benefit to me throughout my career, and every opportunity I get to visit with Lanny or be part of something with Lanny it’s pretty special. I’m probably going to have to give up #7 in the game, though, eh?”
Curtis Joseph
“Lanny McDonald, for sure. I was never a goalie fan, really. Lanny was just a great scorer, a great character. That’s an easy choice.”

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