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Toronto was slow to enter the competitive hockey field, by the late 1890s the city had a number of competitive teams, including the Toronto Granites, one of the founding teams of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1890. In 1909, the National Hockey Association (NHA) was founded, with teams in Quebec and Ontario.
Another Toronto team in the NHA was the Toronto Blueshirts, founded in 1911, who also played home games at Arena Gardens upon its completion in 1912. Although the Blueshirts were initially blocked from the NHL, the team was allowed to enter the league when the Quebec Bulldogs could not organize a team.
As the team's popularity increased, Smythe recognized the need for a new home for the Leafs. The Leafs were involved in an infamous incident on 12 December 1933, while playing against their chief 1930s rival, the Boston Bruins. However, the team lost many star players to the armed forces in the Second World War, including 1942 Cup stars Apps and Broda.
In 1945, the Toronto Maple Leafs met the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of playoffs.
Though the team failed to reach the playoffs in 1946, they were soon strengthened by the return of many star players from the war. Toronto's return to the Cup final was an all-Canadian battle, with the Leafs meeting the Montreal Canadiens in 1951. Changes arrived in the form of a relatively unknown Punch Imlach, the Leafs' new general manager. Punch Imlach is often credited with choosing veteran players from other NHL clubs to finish their careers in Toronto. The team went on to their second consecutive Cup in 1963, and the following year tied their record of three Stanley Cups in a row. Although Imlach attempted to bolster the Leafs in 1968 with a number of ill-advised trades to Detroit for Norm Ullman, Paul Henderson and Floyd Smith, his magic was gone.
With Imlach gone, the Leafs were led by coach John McLellan and general manager Jim Gregory.
General Manager Jim Gregory went on a mission to rebuild the team roster, acquiring Lanny McDonald, Bob Neely and Ian Turnbull.
By the 1977–78 season, Kelly was relieved of his coaching duties and replaced by Roger Neilson.
In 1979, owner Harold Ballard made the unexpected decision to fire Neilson and Gregory, and re-hire Imlach to run the franchise. The 1980s are considered the darkest period in Leafs’ history, remembered not for the stellar play of the team, but for the antics of its owner, Harold Ballard. One highlight came in 1985 when the team had the first pick overall in the NHL entry draft. Perhaps most significantly for the Leafs, the end of the Ballard era arrived on 11 April 1990, when the owner passed away. By the beginning of the 1990s, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans were looking to put the dismal past decade behind them.
Before the 1994–95 season began, Fletcher unexpectedly traded many Leaf stars, including captain Wendel Clark, for Swedish centre Mats Sundin, who went on to become one of the most popular Leaf players and captains. The decade ended with a new coach behind the bench, Pat Quinn, a new goaltender, Curtis Joseph, and a new venue. The Leafs continued to improve into 2000, the first year they reached the 100-point mark and their first division title in 37 years.
In 2004, the Leafs accumulated a franchise record for points and finished second in the Northeast Division. Pressure was on the club to hire a general manager to take the team back to its glory days of the 1960s.
After struggling throughout the 2011–12 season, the Leafs dismissed head coach Ron Wilson on 2 March 2012. Not long after the 2012–13 season began, the Leafs fired Brian Burke as the team’s general manager, replacing him with assistant general manager Dave Nonis. The Maple Leafs’ return to the postseason was short lived, as they were unable to clinch another playoff berth the following season, and finished 23rd in the league with a 38–36–8 record. It’s no secret that the Toronto Raptors will be undergoing a jersey redesign and rebranding this coming summer. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. The Maple Leafs are one of the "Original Six" NHL teams, and have won the Stanley Cup 13 times (11 as the Maple Leafs, one as the Arenas and one as the St.
Toronto's first professional hockey team was the Toronto Professional Hockey Club, also known as the Torontos, who first played on 28 December 1906.
In the 1913–14 season, the Blueshirts became Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Victoria Aristocrats from the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL).
The Blueshirts, owned by the Toronto Arena Company, kept the playing roster intact, but cut its ties with Livingstone and adopted another name, the Toronto Arenas. The Toronto Arenas won the NHL's first Stanley Cup against the Pacific Coast Hockey League's Vancouver Millionaires.
Patricks to the Toronto Maple Leafs – although his reasons for this change are not clear, the team may have been named in honour of a First World War fighting unit, the Maple Leaf Regiment. New additions to the team included Joe Primeau, Red Horner and goaltender Lorne Chabot for the 1928–29 season.
With their lineup of Gordie Drillon, Syl Apps and goaltender Turk Broda, the stage was set for Leaf success.
Detroit eliminated Toronto from the 1943 playoffs, while the Montreal Canadiens did the same in the 1944 playoffs. The Canadiens, who had not lost as many players to the war front, were considered the superior team; nonetheless, Toronto eliminated the Canadiens in six games.
They finished the 1951–52 season in third place, and were swept by their Detroit rivals in the semi-finals. Almost immediately, Imlach fired coach Reay, named himself coach and declared that Toronto, despite sitting at the bottom of the league, would reach the playoffs in 1959. However, the team's playoff successes could not stop the Montreal Canadiens from taking the Cup in 1965.
The 1967 playoffs were the last of the NHL's "Original Six" era — the six teams that formed the basis of the NHL from 1942 to 1967. Players became disgruntled, and, although the team did advance to the playoffs in 1969, they were quickly beaten by Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins. Although the team finished out of the playoffs, their low ranking allowed them to draft Darryl Sittler, who would come to dominate the Leafs through the 1970s and become the second highest scorer in the team’s history. In 1969, Leafs president Stafford Smythe and vice president Harold Ballard were charged with tax evasion. Not long after taking control, he was convicted of tax evasion, fraud and theft, and spent a year behind bars.
Despite Neilson leading the team to the playoff semi-finals, the team continued to be plagued by the antics of team owner Ballard.


Throughout the 1980s, the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to be in disarray at the hands of Ballard, who replaced three general managers and seven coaches during the decade. Leafs star Darryl Sittler demanded to be traded midway through the 1981–82 season, and was subsequently sent to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Following Ballard's death in 1990, supermarket entrepreneur Steve Stavro purchased the team. Nevertheless, the Leafs lost in the first round of the 1995 playoffs, and followed this with a slump in the 1995–96 season.
The Leafs played their last game at Maple Leaf Gardens on 13 February 1999 and a week later, played their first game in the new Air Canada Centre.
The team reached the second round of playoffs in both 2000 and 2001, losing both times to the New Jersey Devils. However, after the NHL lockout (which cancelled the 2004–05 season), the Leafs struggled, failing to qualify for the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons.
Eventually, they secured Brian Burke, who left the GM position with the Anaheim Ducks to join the Leafs in November 2008. Wilson’s time with the franchise, dating back to the 2008–09 season, had not been successful and he finished with a coaching record of 130–135–45. In the offseason that year, the Leafs hired the National Hockey League’s former head of player safety, Brendan Shanahan, to become the club’s president of hockey operations and alternate governor. On 6 January 2015, the team fired Carlyle and appointed assistant coach Peter Horachek as the interim bench boss. On 20 May 2015, after months of speculation and rumours, Toronto hired Mike Babcock as the team’s new head coach. And with the recent release of an alternate logo, and possible teaser for things to come, we thought we’d try our hand at some possible Raptors redesigns. We update our iPhone wallpapers and iPod Touch wallpapers daily so be sure to check back often. The Torontos initially played exhibition matches against other professional teams in North America. Although the Tecumsehs did not initially have a home arena, on 28 December 1912 the team played in the newly constructed Arena Gardens in Toronto.
The team struggled the following season, however, and finished the 1914–15 season in fourth place. New player additions to the team included Clarence "Hap" Day for the 1924–25 season, and Irvine "Ace" Bailey for the 1926–27 season. The new name and the new players drove the Leafs to the playoffs for the first time since 1925. During the 1942 Stanley Cup final series against the Detroit Red Wings, the Leafs were thought to be the team to beat. During the first game, Red Wing Gordie Howe was seriously injured when he crashed into the boards, an incident involving Leafs player Theodore Kennedy. Despite orders from coach Joe Primeau to stay put in his defence position, Barilko scored the winning goal in overtime. They went on to finish out of playoff contention in 1953, their first time missing the playoffs since 1946. Imlach's prediction came true, and the Leafs made the playoffs on the last night of the season, their first appearance since 1956.
Leafs President Stafford Smythe soon after fired Imlach, bringing an end to what would be the first Imlach era.
Despite the team’s promise, it was knocked out of both the 1971 and 1972 playoffs in the first round.
Although John Bassett tried to limit the influence of both men, between them, they owned almost half of the company’s shares. More significantly for the team, Ballard did not respect his players and lost many of them to the newly formed World Hockey Association (1972–79). Along with Sittler, who scored 10 points in a victory over the Boston Bruins on 7 February 1976 (the best-ever offensive game in league history), these additions brought new life to the team.
Late in the 1978–79 season, Ballard fired Neilson, only to reinstate him a few days later due to the lack of a replacement. Leafs players feuded with Imlach for the better part of the 1979–80 season, and, by the end, Imlach had traded nearly half the Leafs roster. The Leafs experienced little success at the start of the decade, and missed the playoffs in 1982, 1984 and 1985.
Although the team managed to secure these draft picks, Ballard refused to pay the salaries they demanded and the talent was soon lost to other NHL teams.
Clark went on to become one of the most popular players in Leafs’ history, serving as the team's captain.
Hope came in the form of General Manager Cliff Fletcher, who had led the Calgary Flames to success.
Coach Burns was fired, and Doug Gilmour, who had twice led the team to the third round of the playoffs, was traded to New Jersey. They celebrated the year with a trip to the Stanley Cup semi-finals under coach Quinn, but were knocked out by the Buffalo Sabres. In 2002, with many of their players (including captain Mats Sundin) sidelined with injuries, the team lost in the Eastern Conference finals in six games.
Star player and long-time captain Sundin left as a free agent in 2008 and signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
He made an impression early by trading away the team's first round draft choices in the 2010 and 2011 entry draft to get forward Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins. The Leafs replaced Wilson with Randy Carlyle, who, as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, had won the Stanley Cup in 2007. They faced long-time rivals the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Babcock had previously been the bench boss of the Detroit Red Wings, guiding the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 2008. BarDown artist blkoutln designed a few possible Raptors redesigns and a couple bonus redesigns just for fun. However, the team was under constant criticism from the Ontario Hockey Association for its professional status. Following the 1914–15 season, the NHA lost many players to the expanding Pacific Coast Hockey League. The Toronto team played its first NHL game on 19 December 1917 at Arena Gardens (also known as the Mutual Street Arena). The Leafs played their first game at the new arena on 12 November 1931, when the Chicago Blackhawks defeated them.
Although Detroit won the first three games, Toronto went on to win the next four games handily, and took home their second Stanley Cup.
Toronto lost 6–0, which prompted the Canadiens to accuse them of not belonging in the final. The Red Wings were furious, and swore to bring down Kennedy and the Leafs, whom they accused of deliberately causing the accident.
With players like Keon, Kelly, Tim Horton, Carl Brewer and captain George Armstrong, the Leafs had a strong line-up.


However, they were still eliminated three playoffs in a row by the physically-dominant Philadelphia Flyers. Sittler and fellow teammates were incensed by the new management and the loss of star players such as Lanny McDonald. The new team appeared to have a winning lineup, with the Leafs finishing the 1992–93 season in third place with a team record of 99 points. Not long after Horachek assumed his new role, the Leafs set a franchise record when they recorded an 11-game winless streak. He had also been at the helm for Canada’s gold medal wins in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. Consequently, the team became a founding member of the Ontario Professional Hockey League, one of Canada’s first professional hockey leagues. As a result, the Toronto Blueshirts absorbed the Shamrocks players to form one team under the Blueshirts name. The team was so named in the hopes that Toronto's large Irish population would attend home games. Together, Primeau, Conacher and Jackson would make up the "Kid Line" of the Leafs; nevertheless, the team failed to make the 1930 playoffs. Inspired to prove their rivals wrong, Toronto edged the Canadiens in six games, and won the 1947 Stanley Cup.
Detroit finally succeeded in beating the Leafs in the seventh game of the series, and went on to defeat the New York Rangers in the final.
Celebrations were short lived, however, as Barilko went missing in the summer following the Cup win, having never returned from a fishing trip. In an attempt to spruce up the team, owner Smythe brought in a series of new players and traded away many of the Leafs' former champions. Although it was not to be, the Leafs, who had begun the season in the bottom of the NHL, did meet the Montreal Canadiens in the 1959 Stanley Cup final.
However, in the 1961 playoffs, the team was riddled with injuries, and was defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round.
The Leafs are the only one of the Original Six not to have won the Stanley Cup since the expansion of the league. However, Smythe died not long after and Ballard bought his shares, given him a controlling interest in the team. With Clark, the team made it to the second round of playoffs in both 1986 and 1987, and the first round in 1988. One of Fletcher's first moves was a seven-player trade with the Edmonton Oilers that brought goaltender Grant Fuhr and winger Glenn Anderson to the Leafs.
Although the team re-signed Doug Gilmour, he suffered a season-ending knee injury and retired after the 2003 regular season.
He was replaced on an interim basis by Cliff Fletcher while the team searched for a replacement.
In the final game in Boston, the Leafs were leading 4–1 with less than 15 minutes remaining in the third period, but a series of miscues allowed the Bruins to tie the game. The Leafs inked him to an eight-year contract worth approximately $50-million, making Babcock the highest paid coaching in NHL history. The Torontos unsuccessfully challenged the Montreal Wanderers for the Stanley Cup in 1908, before disbanding in 1909. The team operated under that name until 1915, when they were renamed the Toronto Shamrocks. The amalgamation of the two teams, both operated by Eddie Livingstone, bothered other NHA owners, who were annoyed by Livingstones's business practices. The new team was off to a good start in the early 1920s, claiming the Stanley Cup once again from the Vancouver Millionaires in 1922. Fortunately, an investor named Conn Smythe came forward to purchase the team, and raised enough money to keep the team in Toronto. So, Smythe returned to the bargaining table, and purchased "King" Clancy from the Ottawa Senators for the unprecedented sum of $35,000 and two players. From his perch, Hewitt began his famous Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts (originally known as the General Motors Hockey Broadcast).
However, their luck in the post-season ran out as the team was knocked out of the finals from 1935 to 1940. Convinced that their star was returning, the team began the 1951–52 season with Barilko's locker ready to go. Replacements included Tim Horton, George Armstrong, Ron Stewart, Dick Duff, Bob Pulford, Carl Brewer and Frank Mahovlich. That series was the last Conn Smythe would enjoy as Leafs' owner; that year, he relinquished control to his son, Stafford Smythe, Harold Ballard and John Bassett. Despite the heartbreaking loss to Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings in game seven, it was the furthest the team had made it since 1967. After once again failing to qualify for the playoffs, the Leafs parted ways with general manager Dave Nonis (and much of their coaching staff) on 12 April 2015. The Shamrocks operated for just one year, finishing in fifth place, ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens. Consequently, by the end of the 1916–17 season, these owners decided to form a new league known as the National Hockey League (NHL), without Livingstone. As if in celebration of the team's new beginnings, the Toronto Maple Leafs won their first franchise Stanley Cup in 1932.
Although the 1930s had seen the team reach the finals seven times, they only won the Cup once.
Years later, Barilko's body, and that of his pilot friend, was found in the wreckage of an airplane crash north of Timmins. The following season, the Leafs took home the 1962 Stanley Cup, 11 years after their last win at the hands of Barilko's overtime winning goal. Lamoriello had been the general manager of the New Jersey Devils for 28 years and presided over three Stanley Cup–winning teams. Consequently, coach Dick Irvin stepped down, and was replaced by former Leaf defenceman Hap Day.
Once again the Leafs triumphed and swept the Red Wings in four straight games for their sixth Stanley Cup. Poignantly, soon after their 1962 win, the cause of Barilko's disappearance was finally discovered. Though they returned to the playoffs in 1990, they were knocked out in the first round by the more disciplined St Louis Blues. On 1 July 2015, the Maple Leafs made a big splash by trading one of the franchise’s most prolific goal scorers, Phil Kessel, to the Pittsburgh Penguins as the club continued with plans to rebuild the team.
By 1958, they were in fifth place of the six-team league, with their fourth coach of the decade, Billy Reay.



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