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War Stories: Conn Smythe And The Shrapnel That Found Steel

Conn Smythe loved the military life that nearly killed him.

Five times.

That was, by Conn Smythe’s own count, the number of times the odds were against him ever returning from war.

The man who founded the Maple Leafs fought in both World Wars and saw unspeakable carnage first-hand.

In World War I he fell into command when his superior was killed by mortar shell. It fell to him to move the battery’s 12 horse-pulled guns through heavy shelling. Many of the animals dropped dead when freed from their harnesses.

He collected guns and ammunition from dead comrades. At Vimy he charged into a […]

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War Stories: Hockey’s Unknown Soldier.

Windsor native Joe Turner was projected to be a star goalie with the Detroit Red Wings.

There is in the Hockey Hall of Fame a trophy called the Turner Cup.

Windsor native Joe Turner was projected to be a star goalie with the Detroit Red Wings.

When you won the championship of the old International Hockey League, they gave you the Turner Cup. It looks a bit like the Stanley Cup with a bowl on top and bands widening from top to bottom.

There was a bid to restore a new version of the IHL a few years back but that petered out. The Turner Cup is now […]

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Marlies embrace Royal road trip.

You need to remember three things on a road trip, said Leo Komarov.

You need to remember three things on a road trip, said Leo Komarov, a veteran of three KHL seasons but an AHL rookie.

Gentlemen of the Toronto Marlies, the world is yours.

Or more precisely, Abbotsford B.C, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

The Marlies will be on the road for two weeks while the Ricoh Coliseum is turned over to the Royal Winter Fair, an agricultural institution that gives new meaning to the term “hockey barn.”

The Royal is 90 years old, 83 years older than the Marlies. You may not […]

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Gardiner sharpening his aim with the Marlies.

Jake Gardiner is using the lockout to improve his shooting ability in the AHL. It's working. He has three goals in five games.

Jake Gardiner is using the lockout to improve his shooting ability in the American Hockey League. It’s working. The 22-year-old has scored three goals in five games.

Mats Sundin will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame November 12.

Let’s play a game.

Who is the best guess for the next Leaf to be inducted?

Stop thinking about it. The answer is Jake Gardiner.

The great thing about the Hall of Fame question is that it makes you consider posterity right away. Based on all the players in the system, who is the […]

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Rielly Racking Up The Points


It was another strong week for Leafs 2012 first round pick Morgan Rielly. The Mosse Jaw Warriors defenceman picked up one goal and three assists in four games last week. His lone goal was the game winner and pretty sweet as you can see in this video.

Rielly currently leads all WHL defencemen in scoring with 19 points (four goals, 15 assists). He has five points in the last five games and he was recently named to the WHL roster to face Russia in the Subway Super Series on November 14 & 15.

Another prospect […]

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Mike Kostka on loving the game and a little extra incentive.

Going into Friday's home game against Hamilton, defenceman Mike Kostka led the Marlies with five points.

Playing with prized defenceman Jake Gardiner, Mike Kostka had five points in the Marlies first five games.

A few months after he devastated the Marlies by accident, Mike Kostka has been handed the keys to the kingdom.

You might remember Kostka. His overtime ricochet off an uncovered stanchion at the Ricoh Coliseum put the Norfolk Admirals up three games to zero in what would soon become a sweep of the Calder Cup finals.

Unwilling to hold a grudge, the Leafs signed the free agent defencemen to a two-way deal this summer.

There will […]

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The Week That Was For Leafs Prospects


It was a relatively quiet week for the Leafs prospects playing in the CHL.

After a recording five assists on October 13th, Morgan Rielly has three points (one goal, two assists) in the last three games with a minus 1 rating. He is currently tied for second in the WHL scoring amongst defencemen with 15 points. His 12 assists lead all WHL defencemen.

Fellow 2012 draft pick, Matt Finn is also putting up solid numbers for the Guelph Storm. He sits fourth in OHL scoring for defencemen (12 points) but leads in […]

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Salming among those speaking out against bullying.

A father of four, Borje Salming has added his voice to the campaign against bullying.

Friday, 250,000 Toronto students observed a moment of silence in memory of British Columbia bullying victim Amanda Todd.

In the wake of that silence comes a cacophony of denunciation for bullying and support for the bullied.

Add the voice Borje Salming, often cited as the Leafs greatest player, to the chorus.

Like celebrities Lady Gaga, Eminem, Michael Phelps and Chris Rock, Salming endured a torrent of bullying. In the 1970s, the most prominent Swedish player to break into […]

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Johnny Bower Wins Poll. Too Bad You’re All Wrong.

The numbers don't lie.  Turk Broda, shown in a 1946 game is the Leafs greatest goaltender.

The great Johnny Bower acknowledges his fans.

Leaf fans: Johnny Bower says thanks.

The China Wall was voted the Leafs best ever-goalie by an overwhelming margin in our Facebook poll. .

“I’m just happy to be in the top 100,” said the Leafs Hall of Famer. “I’m so excited to hear that.”

Hard to argue with the ageless one who won the kudos a mere 42 years after his final Leafs game.

There are, however, a few dissenting opinions. Add an influential name to poll respondents William Fam, Paul Skinner, Steve Kis.

Nancy Bower.

That’s right. […]

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Hugh Arthur Smythe Passes Away


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 […]

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