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Throwback Thursday: 15 years at Air Canada Centre

70115

Fifteen years ago today and after a long tenure filled with many memories at Maple Leaf Gardens the Leafs would move further south to a new arena constructed at Bay St. and Lakeshore Blvd. called Air Canada Centre. Occupying a site that previously housed Canada Post’s Toronto Postal Delivery Building, the new arena would retain some of the original building’s facade while the inside featured all the new bells and whistles.

In it’s first week, the building would host a Leafs game, a Toronto Raptors game, and soldout concerts of the ...

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Throwback Thursday: 1985

WENDEL

1985. Mullets, acid wash jeans, Wham, Madonna, and Foreigner topping the charts, Back to the Future and The Goonies at the movies, and The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and The Golden Girls on TV but more importantly Wendel Clark is chosen first overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The defenceman from the Saskatoon Blades transitioned to left-wing in the NHL and quickly stole the hearts of Leafs fans with his passion, fist, and bodycheck.

Here’s a look back to the day he was drafted….

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=190249&catid=35

But what I really ...

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#MusicMonday: Black Sabbath

ozzy1

For a hockey team, music can be relied on to set the tone, pump you up, or celebrate after a big win. And with the Leafs being one of the youngest teams in the NHL it’s easy to see why their playlist features a lot of top 40’s, rap and techno.

However, as we learned in the 2nd episode of HBO’s 24/7, Leafs Head Coach Randy Carlyle’s taste in music is quite different. Carlyle is more of a classic rock guy and specifically favours the musical stylings of one of the best ...

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#MusicMonday: Spotted in the Blue and White

LORDE

Over the years many famous faces have been seen rocking the Maple Leafs sweater. Actors, comedians, and of course some of our favourite musicians.

Last October this picture of Lorde circulated on Twitter after her show at the Danforth Music Hall. Seems fitting that she’s rocking the blue and white as her songs are often played in-game at Air Canada Centre. And while jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash may not impress her, maybe a fast paced hockey game would. HERE‘s a video of her performance.

(Photo ...

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Throwback Thursday: 1964

Armstrong and Bathgate with Cup

In 1964 and for the 3rd consecutive season the Maple Leafs would find themselves in the Stanley Cup Final. And for the 2nd year in a row it would be against the same opponent, the Detroit Red Wings. With a roster full of future Hall of Famers, the Leafs, down 3 games to 2, faced a dramatic Game 6. With the game tied 3-3 in the 3rd period, Bob Baun suffered an ankle injury off a Gordie Howe slapshot. After being carted off the ice on a stretcher the game ...

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Throwback Thursday: Forces Night

Canadian Forces 59

The connection between the Canadian military and the Leafs goes back to when Conn Smythe decided to use the maple leaf as the team’s logo. Smythe had served as a soldier in the Great War and his uniform proudly showcased a maple leaf which lead him to put the iconic Canadian symbol on the sweaters of his team. Not only did the team wear the leaf on their sweaters but many players would also serve our country throughout the years.

Today the connection continues in the form of Canadian Forces Night. ...

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Throwback Thursday: The masked men

Bower 2

In the words of Joe Bowen this week’s Throwback Thursday features ….”The Pillowed Protectors of the Pipes, Tenders of the Tinseled Twine, Representatives of the Roped Rotundas, Keepers of the Cabled Cabanas,” or in simple terms, goaltenders.

It has been long understood that goalies are interesting and maybe even a bit quirky. From stories of superstitions to just outward weirdness (Ilya Bryzgalov in 24/7) they’ve got to be a tad bit crazy to defend the net from high-speed rubber pucks.

What I’ve always found most interesting though is the headgear they sport. Over the years the style ...

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Throwback Thursday: Get your program!

Program Arena Gardens

For many fans, buying the Official Program at a Leafs game is routine. For others it’s a souvenir. Either way, $5 gets you a book with the starting line-ups, bios on the players, photos, recent news and community initiatives and some fun features.

Programs have been sold at sporting events for years. And while the layout and quality has changed, they remain a part of the experience. I mean how many times have you been greeted by the sound of “Get your program here!” when you enter the arena?

Today’s throwback is ...

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Throwback Thursday: Classic Memories

2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings

January 1st, 2014. A day I’ll never forget. Just over a week removed from the largest outdoor game in NHL history, the images are just as vivid in my head. While it may have taken many of us a while to thaw out from the cold, it will definitely take much longer to forget the atmosphere at the Big House on New Years Day.

With an abundance of snow falling and below zero temperatures, the #SEAofBLUE endured the elements to cheer the blue and white on to victory. Wings chants echoed ...

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Throwback Thursday: Darryl Sittler

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins

On December 31, 2013 many of your favourite Leafs of the past will lace ‘em up for a showdown in Motown. The Alumni Showdown between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings set to take place at Comerica Park will showcase some serious talent between the two rosters. So much talent that there will be two games taking place. Check out the roster’s HERE.

In anticipation of this big event, Real Sports Apparel will be hosting an All Access event with Darryl Sittler on Saturday, December 21st from 4:30pm-5:30pm, ahead ...

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Throwback Thursday: #SEAofBLUE

Opening Night Playoffs Tailgate Party

If you haven’t already heard the #SEAofBLUE movement is in full force. Leading up to the biggest outdoor game between two NHL teams EVER, we are uniting LeafsNation to bring the #SEAofBLUE to the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 1st, 2014.

I’m always amazed but not surprised by the passion of LeafsNation. Near or far there are always Leafs fans proudly reppin’ the blue and white. January 1st will be no different.

When I originally heard about #SEAofBLUE one image kept appearing in my head. This one:

 

Last May thousands ...

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Throwback Thursday: Watson and Gardner

Watson Gardner Broda Softball

Nowadays the off-season is an important time for players to rejuvenate and relax after a taxing season of hockey and travel. However, most players also use that time to continue their community efforts. Whether it’s charity golf tournaments, hockey clinics for youngsters or the many other appearances, the main goal is to raise funds for great causes.

As mentioned in last week’s Throwback Thursday, community has always been a large part of the Leafs organization. Today’s photo dates back to an off-season charity baseball game in 1951 and was snapped at ...

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Throwback Thursday: Leafs In The Community

horton500nov28

The Toronto Maple Leafs organization has long valued community and charity efforts. And while players can change the outcome of a game on the ice, off the ice they can change lives.

I’ve seen it happen.

Just a few weeks have passed since the Leafs annual visit to Sick Kids Hospital and my heart is still warmed by the smiles, high fives, and all around happiness that the players brought to those fighting the toughest of battles.

I’ve had the privilege to be a part of many events including ...

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Throwback Thursday: Cujo & Ovi

cujo600nov21

While the notion of standing in front of a net as a shot comes flying from Zdeno Chara seems insane to me, it also garners my utmost respect. One because I’d never do it and two because of the sheer fact that the game is literally in (or out) of their hands and that’s a big responsibility. Soft goals, good goals, ‘shouldn’t have been’ goals, ‘he never would have stopped that’ goals….it all comes down to the goaltending. As Jacques Plante put it….“Goaltender is a normal job. Sure! How would you like ...

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Throwback Thursday: Turnbull

Turnbull scrap

As the Leafs headed to Minnesota on Wednesday night to face the Wild we look back to this photo of Leaf Ian Turnbull surrounded by Minnesota North Stars at Maple Leaf Gardens. While the Wild have had a home in Minnesota since 1997 the original North Stars franchise actually became the Dallas Stars in 1993 after 26 seasons in Minnesota.

From the 1978/79 season to 1980/81 the Leafs and North Stars were Adams Division rivals and would later become Norris Division rivals until 1992-93. And you can tell by Turnbull’s intense glare ...

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Throwback Thursday: Breaking Records

Gilmour Star 10

Two of the most recognizable and storied Leafs of recent generations. Former captains of the Blue and White, Darryl Sittler and Doug Gilmour. Both have their numbers hanging in the rafters at Air Canada Centre, were inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and hold franchise records. And just over 20 years ago one of Darryl Sittler’s franchise records was broken by none other than Doug Gilmour.

With an assist against the Oilers on March 27, 1993, Doug Gilmour broke Darryl Sittler’s record for points in a Leafs single season. ...

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Throwback Thursday: Moustaches

wendelstache

Handlebar. Fu Manchu. Pencil. Duster. Goatee. Or just a MO. It’s that time of year ladies and gentlemen. That time to grow your mo’s for the month of November or rather…MOvember. It’s something that has become quite the movement here in Canada and around the world. The past few years Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has participated and our Leafs players and Alumni have jumped on board to shave and grow their moustaches for a great cause.

“During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches ...

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Throwback Thursday: Carlton the Bear

Carlton at 96 All Star 2

Number 60 in the program but number 1 in our hearts. Carlton the Bear is a staple at Leafs games and now in his 19th season he’s as old as Leafs rookie Morgan Reilly. Starting his career at Maple Leaf Gardens, the address to which his name is derived, his career is marked with countless community appearances, hundreds of Leafs games, and thousands of autographs signed.

He also holds the record for most All-Star appearances since 1996 of any mascot across the league with 13. So let’s go back to the ...

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Throwback Thursday: Wendel vs. Whalers

Wendel Clark Of Toronto

The Carolina Hurricanes are in town tonight to face off against the Leafs in the first meeting between the two clubs this season. So it’s rather fitting that today’s throwback photo is one that features the Leafs and Hartford Whalers. After the 1996-97 season the Whalers relocated to North Carolina and became the Carolina Hurricanes.

This picture was taken sometime during the 1986-87 season in Hartford, Connecticut. Wendel Clark can be seen moving in on a Whaler who is missing his stick. And if you look closely, adorned just under Wendel’s left ...

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Throwback Thursday: Signing Day

Signing Day 11

Autograph. Signature. John Hancock. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a part of the gig as an NHL player. But it’s also much more. In many cases it represents a moment or story that a fan will remember forever.

For some, an autograph can come out of a chance meeting, set appearance date, practice, game, or in this day and age certain online auctions and stores.

Throughout the season the Leafs will also have dedicated signing days. A time for players to filter through an abundance of merchandise, sign their autograph, and move on.

The ...

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