Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stuff I Learned This Week

So, Bob Gainey is getting a little impatient waiting for Mats Sundin to make his decision, but how does he think I feel? If he'd only listened to me back on June 21st, he'd have known that Mats didn't want to be disturbed during his vacation. If, like most people in Montreal, he missed that post, he should've at least seen the one from July 9th that was addressed directly to the beautiful french city. Meanwhile, The Blood Of My Chief, Vol. IV is indefinately delayed, which means I've had to scramble my schedule, and led to me posting a ping-pong video as a Fanshot at Pension Plan Puppets. Hopefully, in time, Chemmy will forgive me, but at least I didn't post the Curling video or the guy who catches foul balls for a living video that I had lined up.

So this week some clever bloggers have been helping me relieve my frustration with a couple of rounds of trivia! The first one appeared at DownGoesBrown, and then the second (and vastly more challenging) one was posted by 1967ers at (where else?) Pension Plan Puppets. Loser Domi also re-introduced me to an old-fashioned method of relieving frustration, but that only led to some bizarre fantasies which now I wish I'd kept to myself.

So for this post I've decided to do something similar. I found a cool site - This Date In Leaf History - which you can read yourself if you want, but I've highlighted a few of the more interesting and obscure Leaf facts here for all of us to enjoy.

Did you know? - In 1930, King Clancy was purchased from Ottawa for, what was at the time, a huge amount of money, $35,000. The team's Board of Directors, however, balked at that amount and would only contribute $25,000. The remaining $10,000 came from a longshot bet on a race horse owned by Conn Smythe, named "Rare Jewel".

Did you know? - In March, 1934 the Leafs celebrated St. Patrick's Day with "King Clancy Night" at the Gardens. Clancy was honoured at centre-ice in a throne with ski-blades for legs, and wore a green uniform with a large shamrock on the back. The game began with Clancy wearing the green uniform, but NYRangers coach, Lester Patrick, complained that the uniform was a distraction and Clancy had to give up the green jersey for the regular Blue and White.

More King Clancy. Did you know? - For a short time in the 1930's, NHL goalies were required to serve their own penalties and a player was then forced to play goal while the team was shorthanded. During the 1930-31 season Clancy stood between the pipes, for the penalized Lorne Chabot, for 1 minute, allowing 1 goal. Thus, he is credited on the Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltending History website with a GAA. of 60.00! Other Leaf skaters who collected goaltending statistics are: Alex Levinsky, Red Horner, and finally, Charlie Conacher, who played 7 minutes in net spread over two seasons and never allowed a goal.

Did you know? - In 1948, in Syl Apps' final regular season game, he scored a hat-trick to reach exactly 200 career goals.

Did you know? - In 1951, the Leafs participated in the first ever "televised" hockey game, against the Montreal Canadians. The game, which the Leafs won 1-0, was a "programming experiment" witnessed only by CBC's employees.

Did you know? - Hap Day is the only human being in history to serve as Captain of the Maple Leafs (1927-37), Head Coach (1940-50), and General Manager (1958). This link here is a list of all Leaf Captains, head coaches, and GMs. Check it out.

Did you know? - In 1988, two days before New Year's Eve, Gary Leeman and Ed Olczyk teamed up to tie an NHL record by scoring 2 goals only 4 seconds apart, in a 6-5 victory over the Nordiques in Quebec City.

Did you know? - Most people think that the Leafs have not appeared in a Cup Final since 1967, however in 1993, the Leafs played 2 exhibition games against the New York Rangers at Wembley Arena in London, England, losing both contests. The Rangers were declared the winners of the "French's Cup", which makes absolutely no sense. Who knows whatever became of that stupid, inappropriately named trophy, and who cares.

Did you know? - In 1994, Felix "the Cat" Potvin became the first Leaf player ever voted to the starting line-up of an All-Star Game. Hard to believe.

Did you know? - In 2006, the NHL halted regular season play to allow NHLers to participate at the Olympics. Most everyone in Toronto will remember that Mats Sundin, the Captain of the Maple Leafs, led Sweden to the Gold medal, but there was also 3 other Leaf players who played in Turin and came home with hardware. Back-up goalie Mikael Telqvist also won Gold, while Aki Berg picked up the Silver for Finland, and Tomas Kaberle of the Czech Republic was awarded a Bronze.

Did you know? - Also in 2006, Chad Kilger earned a place in the history books by scoring on a penalty shot against Penguins' goalie Marc-Andre Fluery. It was the only goal of the game, giving the Leafs a 1-0 victory, and marked only the second time in NHL history where a succesful penalty-shot turned out to be the only goal of the game. Ironically, the Leafs were also involved in the other occurence as well, way back in 1936, this time on the losing end of a 1-0 score against the Rangers, when Brent Connelly scored a penalty-shot goal on George Hainsworth.

So there you go. Now you know, and as always, knowing is half the battle.

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