Celebrating the Leafs Centennial in Words and Pictures
A Journey into Hockey
So I don’t sound like some crass huckster, I need to disclose up front that I am not at Toronto Maple Leafs fan. 1967 still pains me. To me, Punch Imlach had a sound hockey mind, and is given points as Jean Beliveau’s coach, but that is about it. And, how about Harold Ballard ?
All that having been said, Kevin Shea and Jason Wilson have authored a masterpiece in “The Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club”. The book is being published by Penguin in partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is officially licensed by the National Hockey League. It is the official Toronto Maple Leafs publication.
Kevin Shea is an is an accomplished hockey historian, bestselling author and proud recipient of the Society for International Hockey Research’s (SIHR) Brian McFarlane Award for Excellence in Hockey Research and Writing. Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame and teaches a hockey course at Seneca College. He is also a wonderful person. He prepared this project not just as a pro but also as a lifeline Leafs fan.
As an official chronicler and because of the quality person that he is, Kevin gained unprecedented access to players — past and present — as well as team executives to offer this book the most compelling, informed, and accurate portrayal of Toronto’s historic hockey team and their important place in both the world of hockey and the culture of Canada. Combined with incredible archival photographs and a truly incredible design, this is the definitive and must have book for fans of the Blue and White.
It’s all there. From the players: Teeter, Bill Barilko, Big M, George Armstrong, Tim Horton, Keon, Sittler, Gilmour, and of course Johnny Bower to management and coaches Imlach, Conne Smythe, Dick Irvin, King Clancy, Roger Nielsen, Red Kelly, Pat Quinn, Pat Burns and Mike Babcock to the buildings (Mutual Street Arena, the Air Canada Centre and of course Maple Leaf Gardens) to those surrounding the game (Foster Hewitt, former PA. announcer Paul Morris and those who followed the team in print)
With the Chicago Cubs and their fans finally having reached their promised land, I now find myself among those believing that the Leafs have been refugees in hockey’s wilderness long enough. It’s now been generations since the Leafs have been at the top. For too many of those years they were not near contenders. So, as much as it has been enjoyable to exact revenge against the Leafs for 1967 and other perceived acts of arrogance against Canadiens in an earlier place and time, enough is enough.
We wish Kevin Jayson, Brandon Shanahan, Lou Lamierello and all who care about the Toronto Maple Leafs an Happy anniversary celebration. Love the team or not, the Leafs matter. The play an important role in the game and beyond. May they endure and thrive in the years to come.