Friday, October 19, 2007


Knick-Knack Paddywhack

by Jes

OK, so you are asked to do a list of the top Toronto Maple Leafs players of all time.

Once you automatically eliminate Ken Klee and Peter Ing, you have a pretty daunting task ahead of you.

One player that should easily make the top 3, if not the Top 1, is Mats Sundin, only the most consistant and reliable player to ever play in the NHL.

Yet, some schmuck put together a survey, and Sundin ended OUT of the Top 10. HUH?

Dave Keon #1? You gotta be kiddin me.

One can quibble with where players are ranked in "Maple Leafs Top 100" but there's no knocking the technique used by Mike Leonetti.

He assembled a jury of 14 and gave each a ballot consisting of 140 players in alphabetical order covering the years 1927 through 2007. Write-ins were allowed. Each panelist came up with his own rankings during the summer and autumn of 2006 and results were finalized earlier this year. Points were allotted to each player corresponding to his ranking on each list.

When it was all computed, Dave Keon landed in the No. 1 position. Rounding out the top-12 were Ted Kennedy, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich, Darryl Sittler, Charlie Conacher, Johnny Bower, Tim Horton, Turk Broda, Borje Salming, Red Kelly and Mats Sundin.

"I'm happy with the product," says Leonetti. "A lot of work went into it.
Now, most of the panel appears to be all over the age of 92, which tells you why so many of the old players were favoured over the new bunch.

I recognize the greatness of some of these players in this list, but they do not hold a candle of what Mats Sundin has done in the NHL.


Wayne, our Southern correspondant, wonders aloud who might be the next coach of the Atlanta Thrashees:

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Jacques Demers? I was hoping he would have been the Thrashers' coach back when Curt Fraser was let go years ago? On the other hand, he might not be able to read the contract...(Imagine being illiterate in TWO languages...)

For all of us in Thrasher Nation, we should all be grateful that Psycho Mike Keenan already has a job, or else he'd be pushing his name in the hat...

I know, for a fact, that Jacques Demers is out and about the country (Canada) promoting literacy. Remember, he was functionally illiterate during his coaching days, and held that secret until just recently. I don't know if he's really thinking about going back to the NHL right about now.

Other candidates?

Pat Quinn - He might be old, but he's an offensive-loving guy and could rip out your throat. He seems well-liked by his player, and will be a lot less whiny without that TO spotlight shining so brightly on him.

Mike Kitchen - No.

Mike Milbury - That would be funny.

Honestly, until Don Waddell is out as GM, this club is just going to continue to tread water and barely survive.

Waddell is in his sixth season as GM of the Thrashers, and they made the playoffs only once, thanks to some desperate trading and giving away of big assets. The club cannot stop opponents from scoring, and its top stars have all sorts of warts.

He's no Doug MacLean, but Waddell isn't exactly Brian Burke, either.

Today is the 50th anniversity of Maurice "Rocket" Richard's 500th career NHL goal.

You just know that Joe Pelletier has a hella lot of coverage and stuff to show you about it over at The Legends of Hockey.


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Granted, I'm not old enough to have seen him play, but wasn't Charlie Conacher named the Greatest Canadian Athlete of the first half of the 20th century?
Sundin, will all due respect, might not even be considered the best Maple Leaf on his roster.
That was Lionel Conacher, Chuck's brother. I'd put Sundin about fifth, behind Apps, Kennedy, Bower and Salming. We can quibble about the order but the top 12 does sound about right (having said that, did they have to exclude the old Toronto St Pats from the survey? Babe Dye ought to be right up there). As far as Sundin being the "most consistant and reliable player ever to play in the NHL"... uh no, that would be Gordie Howe.
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