Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Which Maple Leaf should be bronzed in front of ACC

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their impressive performance to start the season taking 9 out of a possible 10 points as the club looks to break their longest playoff drought in club history. The team is oozing confidence, looks faster and has one of the better back ends in all of hockey but there is something else brewing.... with the opening of  Maple Leaf Square the club has basically cornered off a section across from the Air Canada Center on Bremner Blvd and York Street, the club has opened the highly successful Real Sports Bar and Grill voted ESPN's Best Sports Bar already, Real Sports Apparel, and the soon to be opened Eleven Steakhouse, talk about making money.

There is something missing at this spectacular corner and that is a bronzed statue of one of the all time Maple Leaf greats. We have Wayne Gretzky outside Rexall Place, Vince Lombardi in front of Lambeau Field and even Rocky Balboa in Philadelphia but one of the greatest franchises in all of sports does not have a statue dedicated to one of their all time greats, something that could not only awe but inspire the club and Leaf Nation, something like we might just see in Rome.

The biggest question is not should the Leafs organization do this but more about when and who? The who question is the biggest question of all and this will rage debate back and forth between Leaf and Non Leaf fans alike. Who exactly do we honour with such a tribute, which Maple Leaf has earned this privilege to be enshrined for all of time, to be photographed endlessly by hordes of visitors and to have fathers, mothers, grandparents pass on who it is and what he did for the club to the younger generation of Leaf lovers.

This is not a simple question to answer but of course I will do my best to narrow it down to who I feel deserves such an honour. The first though is no ownership, management or coaches, the player should have won a cup with the club, be one of its all time leaders in various Leaf statistics. He should be a player that all Leaf fans know something about even if they never had the opportunity to see him play.

This process is not a simple one but taking what I have decided to look at this narrows the field down to five greats. Dave Keon, Tim Horton, Johnny Bower, Turk Broda and Frank Mahovlich. Keon has the most points, goals and assists from this group, while Horton has the most games played as a Leaf. Broda leads the group with five Stanley Cups. There needs to be another criteria added as this may just have one stand out a bit more then all the deserving candidates and that will be career in the NHL with the club.

This last criteria narrows the field to just one player, the late great Walter "Turk" Broda the only one in the group of five to play his entire career with the organization. Broda along with his five Stanley Cups, also captured two Vezina trophys and leads the club in all time wins, shutouts, games played in both the regular season and in the playoffs. The NHL Network has rated Turk Broda the 9th Best Goalie of All Time and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978.
 Well there you have it Leafs Nation, its time to honour a Leaf great with a bronzed statue in front of what is slowly becoming a hot corner in the city of Toronto. Walter "Turk" Broda the first and only Leaf to have this honour bestowed upon him, what do you think Leafs Nation is this the right choice or do you prefer to honour someone different?

1 comment:

  1. The problem here is that there are entire generations who have NO IDEA who these players are. That's due to the Buds beign such a horrible team for so long. It's not that these 5 you mentioned are undeserving, it's just that no one has seen them play!

    Heck, even if you put a statue of Sittler, Salming, Clark or Gilmour out front, there STILL would be legions of fans who never saw these guys play.

    Let's wait until there is another Leaf who has done something Special, and then do the Bronze Statue as part of his retirement ceremony.