Throwback Thursday: Forces Night

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. The tradition in its eighth season will take place this Saturday and honour members of the military in attendance at Air Canada Centre. Many season seat holders will give their seats to Forces members who will then be recognized with a special ceremony, videos during the game, prizes, and the opportunity to take to the ice after the game to meet the team and get photos, autographs, and share stories.

Today’s throwback photo goes back to one of the first Canadian Forces Night’s and features the ceremonial puck drop between Mats Sundin, Markus Naslund, and members of our military.
Canadian Forces 59
This is a photo after last year’s Forces Night as all the members in attendance took to the ice for a picture with the team.
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While Saturday is an annual event, every Leafs home game features a special salute to a current member of the Canadian Forces. Starting back on January 3, 2009 and since continued by Joffrey Lupul as ‘Lupe’s Troops’ in the 2012-13 season, the featured Forces member receives tickets to the game, is introduced with a read by Andy Frost, gifted a jersey and recognized by the fans and players on the ice. Joffrey also recognizes each member on twitter. You can follow HERE. 

 

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