Maple Leafs’ 5 Best Canadian-Born Players of All-Time
With greater than 5,300 Canadian-born athletes having already performed within the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had their fair proportion of homegrown expertise. As an Original Six franchise, getting into the league in 1917-18, Torontonians have witnessed a whole lot of their nationwide neighbours go well with up for the blue and white.
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But who stands out amongst that crowd? Rather than solely counting on level totals or shutouts to craft this listing, there will likely be some added context to help why every of these Maple Leaf greats deserves such recognition.
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Let’s discover the top-five Canadian-born Maple Leafs of all time. In true Canadian style, I’ll apologize upfront if you happen to don’t agree.
5. Mitch Marner (Markham, ON)
Easily one of at present’s most artistic playmakers, Mitch Marner continues for instance why he’s one of the league’s greatest. The solely energetic athlete on this listing, Marner has already made his mark in Toronto’s document books and time will inform simply what number of extra pages he’ll find yourself writing.
Having solely performed seven seasons up to now, Marner already owns two of the franchise’s prime six spots for single-season help totals. That he’s set a tempo of over a degree per sport by that span helps help how Marner already ranks tenth in complete manufacturing for the group.
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While there are a plethora of former Maple Leafs who had achieved way over Marner has so far, the truth that the 26-year-old remains to be undertaking by his prime works to his benefit. Yet to win any main particular person award or his first Stanley Cup, time is on Marner’s aspect as he continues to climb Toronto’s all-time ladders.
In truth, as a present Maple Leaf, the Markham native is the one one right here who has the chance to enhance this rating earlier than he retires. Given his influence to this point, odds are in his favour that he does.
4. Tim Horton (Cochrane, ON)
It wouldn’t be proper to have a listing of all issues Canadian and never embrace Tim Horton. Although this former Leaf is the explanation the favored espresso store chain exists, he was revered for his influence on the ice properly earlier than the restaurant became the national staple it’s at present.
One of solely three defensemen in Toronto’s prime 15 for total level totals, Horton is the only Canadian amongst them. Having accrued 109 targets and 349 assists with the membership, his plus-151 additional exemplifies the optimistic affect he had each time he was on the ice. It’s additionally Toronto’s greatest plus/minus of all time.
What’s extra, Horton’s 1,184 video games performed with Toronto is probably the most of any defensemen and second amongst all positions for the franchise. The Hall of Famer gained 4 Stanley Cups by the 20 years he spent as a Maple Leaf and maintains his place among their all-time greats to this day.
Horton would go on to additionally play for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. But his greatest performances stay on the stat strains he earned as a Maple Leaf — the one Canadian franchise he suited up for.
3. Doug Gilmour (Kingston, ON)
One would suppose Doug Gilmour spent his whole 20-year profession in Toronto, given the impression he was capable of cement on the town and its fanbase. Gilmour’s ardour was second to none and that was on full show by some of the franchise’s most significant and memorable playoff runs of the Nineteen Nineties.
Despite being unable to carry a Cup house for Toronto, Gilmour introduced them as shut as he was capable of earlier than a missed penalty call ruined the remaining of that run in 1993. That wasn’t his solely impactful efficiency, both. Gilmour stays the highest playoff producer for the franchise up to now, of any nationality, having accrued 77 factors by 52 postseason contests.
The centreman’s 452 factors by 393 regular-season video games in Toronto definitely illustrate his prowess. However, what proves the heights of his total influence is the truth that he’s the one Maple Leaf to earn the Selke Trophy — awarded to the best two-way player within the sport.
To this present day, Gilmour is well known all through the town with a sort of legendary standing that’s removed from fading. Add that his 127-point marketing campaign in 1992-93 nonetheless holds up as the best in franchise historical past and it’s apparent that this Hall of Famer will preserve his maintain on Toronto’s most loyal for years to come back.
2. Darryl Sittler (Kitchener, ON)
Having spent 12 of his 15-year profession in Toronto, Darryl Sittler was granted sufficient of a possibility to take advantage of of his time there. However, a prolonged tenure doesn’t robotically assure that manufacturing ranges will align.
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That stated, Sittler definitely completed what an offensive ahead is meant to all through his almost 850 video games with Toronto. One of solely three Maple Leafs to achieve the 100-point inside one marketing campaign, Sittler’s title seems 4 occasions on the franchise’s listing of prime 10 single-season performances.
Sittler’s 916 factors place him second on Toronto’s listing of all-time totals, behind solely Mats Sundin’s 987. Being that Sundin is a local of Sweden, that positions Sittler because the highest-producing Canadian in crew historical past. Although his influence wasn’t sufficient to earn him extra profession accolades, Sittler’s dominance all through the Seventies was sufficient to land him a spot within the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Add in that Sittler owns the document for most points in an NHL game, having earned 10 in opposition to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 7, 1976, and that’s motive sufficient to put him amongst Maple Leafs royalty. That a Canadian holds that kind of elusive document within the sport that his nationwide ancestors created is just becoming.
1. Johnny Bower (Prince Albert, SK)
No, Johnny Bower didn’t acquire probably the most video games performed, wins, and even shutouts as a member of the Maple Leafs. Each set by one other all-time nice, Turk Broda. But that doesn’t negate the general influence he was capable of have, not to mention the spectacular numbers he frequently put up, throughout his 12-year stint in Toronto.
Having performed 475 video games for the group between 1958-59 and 1969-70, Bower accrued a document of 219-157-71. 32 of these victories have been shutouts. Most spectacular, although, is the truth that he was capable of preserve a goals-against common (GAA) of 2.50 and a save share (SV%) of .922 whereas in Toronto. Metrics that put him among the many elite of each then and now.
An apparent choice for his Hall of Fame class, the all-star had earned two Vezina Trophies together with 4 Stanley Cups as a member of the Maple Leafs en path to being inducted. Bower was additionally half of Toronto’s final Cup-winning lineup, in 1967.
While Broda and Bower share a nationwide heritage, what provides the Saskatchewan-born star the sting as Toronto’s all-time biggest Canadian is the mixed influence he was capable of have both on and off the ice.
“Johnny Bower was the best standup goaltender I’d ever seen, even better than Turk Broda,” former Maple Leafs ahead Howie Meeker stated on the “Legends of Hockey” TV sequence. “He played his angles better than anybody else, he stood on his feet better than anybody else, and he stopped the puck very, very well.”
Either could be a justified decide to land on this spot for a spread of causes distinctive to their very own careers, however that Bower was acting at his peak into his 40s units him aside. Besides, with regards to evaluating Canadians, being beloved issues and Bower tops that list.
Too Many Maple Leaf Greats
It’s exhausting to compete in opposition to a lineup that features Marner, Horton, Gilmour, Sittler, and Bower. Yet, one may look to the names omitted and positively make their case. Far from detracting from what different legends have been capable of accomplish in Toronto, these are merely the 5 that rise to the highest when reflecting on all that it means to be a Canadian star on this metropolis.
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As is the case with any such rating, this one is certain to be outdated within the close to future. The second that Toronto hoists its subsequent Stanley Cup, those that helped them get there will likely be perpetually immortalized. Expect any Canadian-born gamers who see their names etched on that yr’s trophy to right away overshadow those that have been merely unable to achieve that peak as a Maple Leaf.