Top 30 greatest Toronto Maple Leafs of all time

Dave Keon, right, shakes hands with Johnny Bower, left, as Frank Mahovlich looks on during a ceremony honouring the 1967 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Originally published in The Big Book of Sports Lists

1. Dave Keon: Winner of four Stanley Cups, Keon could be the best player on the ice and the key to winning even when he didn’t score.

2. Syl Apps: He retired at 33, but Apps left an indelible mark on the franchise and the team’s trophy case. He won the first-ever Calder Trophy in 1937.

3. Charlie Conacher: He was big, he was fast, he put the puck in the net for the Blue and White. Conacher led the league in scoring twice and in goals five times.

4. Teeder Kennedy: Never the most skilled player, Kennedy worked harder than anyone on the ice and raised the play of his teammates through sheer determination.

5. Johnny Bower: Bower didn’t suit up between the pipes for the Leafs until he was 33, but became a star as soon as he did. He eventually played the second-most minutes of anyone in team history.

6. Frank Mahovlich: The highest-scoring left winger the franchise has ever seen, he nearly became the second 50-goal scorer in NHL history with 48 markers in 1960-61.

7. Tim Horton: Before his name became synonymous with coffee, the blue-liner was selected to six post-season All-Star teams in his 20 seasons with the Leafs.

8. Borje Salming: The Swede was a prototypical two-way defenceman, giving as good as he got to both ends of the ice and expanding the fans’ idea of what European players could bring to the NHL.

9. Darryl Sittler: Sidney Crosby’s nickname is “Darryl,” after Sittler. That’s really all you need to know.

10. Mats Sundin: While his teams never reached the pinnacle of NHL success, Sundin sits atop the Buds’ all-time leaderboard in both goals and points.

11. King Clancy: A true do-it-all player, Clancy played all six positions in an NHL game before he joined up with the Leafs in 1930. He held a position with the organization until his death in 1986.

12. Turk Broda: He was the winningest goalie in Leafs history, and hoisted the cup five times. Bet you didn’t know his real first name was Walter, though, did you?

13. Doug Gilmour: Played only seven seasons in Toronto, but in his first with the team in 1991-92, he put up 127 points on 32 goals and 95 assists – the best season by any Leaf ever.

14. George Armstrong: One of the greatest captains in franchise history, “the Chief” potted an empty-net goal to help the team seal its last Stanley Cup win in 1967.

15. Busher Jackson: Effortless scorer, smooth skater, singular talent, alcoholic, convict – Jackson’s playing days as part of the “Kid Line” were as bright as his post-playing days were dark.

16. Red Kelly: A Leafs fan long before he ever put on the sweater, the Toronto-born pivot made eight semifinals in his eight years with the team.

17. Hap Day: Day earned his nickname for his jovial spirit, but he stuck in the league with smart, creative play that translated into a long coaching career.

18. Wendel Clark: You didn’t mess with Clark, or any of his teammates, and you can’t mess with his playoff record now. He still holds the franchise lead in post-season goals with 34.

19. Red Horner: Described by Maclean’s in 1935 as “hockey’s bad boy,” Horner finished his career with 1,254 penalty minutes. He also finished it with the “C” on his chest.

20. Allan Stanley: Defined by rock-solid stay-at-home defence and, yeah, slow skating. Stanley could also provide a scoring punch when needed, and enjoyed his best years in blue and white.

21. Lanny McDonald: Far more than just the owner of the hockey world’s most recognizable ‘stache, McDonald had talent and a work ethic to match, and was a standout two-way player in seven seasons with the leafs.

22. Max Bentley: Known as the “Dispy Doodle Dandy from Delisle,” Bentley had an innate command of the puck to go with incredible speed. And to think he centred the third line behind Apps and Kennedy.

23. Joe Primeau: While Conacher and Jackson got a lot of the press, it was the playmaking of “Gentleman Joe” that was the driving force behind Toronto’s infamous – and productive – “Kid Line”.

24. Rick Vaive: Vaive’s teams didn’t win, but that was through no fault of his own. The right winger scored 299 goals as a Leafs at a rate of 0.56 per game, the best in team history.

25. Ron Ellis: A humble kid installed in a locker room full of stars, “Ronnie the Robot” made his bones by playing solid “D” and exhibiting an always underrated scoring touch.

26. Gordie Drillon: Drillon may have been allergic to back-checking, but he made two All-Star teams and once said he could score 20 goals “with a broom”.

27. Dick Duff: Undersized at five-foot-nine, Duff nonetheless would drop the gloves with anyone – even his own teammates in practice. He was a reliable point producer to boot.

28. Curtis Joseph: In five years with the team over two separate stints, Cujo made the kind of acrobatic saves they don’t teach you in hockey school, always giving the Leafs a chance to win.

29. Babe Dye: Dye was a three-sport star who got his nickname from playing baseball, and even suited up for a season with the Toronto Argonauts, but it was his snapshot that made him a legend.

30. Harry Lumley: Despite the fact that he wore no arm pads in net, (going black and blue over the course of a season), Lumley posted 13 shutouts in 1953 – still a Leafs record.

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