It is with sadness that the Maple Leafs organization learned of the passing of Hugh Arthur Smythe the son of Leafs founder Conn Smythe. Hugh passed away at his home in Toronto Sunday at the age of 85.
The Smythe family will always be connected with the Maple Leafs as Hugh’s father Conn bought the Toronto St. Pats in 1927 and immediately had the Toronto franchise name changed from the St. Pats to Maple Leafs. He also switched the uniform colours to blue and white from green and white.
In 1931, Maple Leaf Gardens opened thanks in large part to the Smythe family. The building started construction on June 1, 1931 and was ready on November 12, 1931. Conn was the principal owner of the Maple Leafs until 1961.
Hugh Smythe was a hockey player as a boy and as a young man he was very proud to be the team doctor for Toronto Maple Leafs from 1949-1969, during which time they won four Stanley Cups.