In the past I’ve posted about my favorite all-time Leafs. Frank Mahovlich (seen above in early 1960s action against Charlie Hodge and the Montreal Canadiens) was my first hockey “hero” if I can use that term back in the late 1950s, when he was a young winger with the Maple Leafs.
But my real all-time Leaf favorite was Dave Keon, pretty much from the time he joined the big club in the fall of 1960. I have a much longer list of guys who I admired and simply enjoyed following their career.
For me, it’s always an enjoyable discussion to assess why there are certain players we really like. Earlier this week I wrote about Mikhail Grabovski and how, for whatever reason, he’s just not a player I really like. But many wrote to, quite accurately, praise his many fine attributes, which I absolutely acknowledge.
Who knows why we like or don’t like certain players? It can be their playing style, their grit, their leadership (or perceived lack thereof)—just something that, in our minds, somehow sets them apart and makes them our personal “favorite”—or not.
On the current Leaf team, I’ve kind of become a Kulemin guy over the past year or so. I like his play (most of the time) at both ends of the rink, and think he has a good future in blue and white, if he maintains a great attitude and a strong work ethic. Versteeg is slowly falling into the category for me. I have a fond spot for Gunnarsson, perhaps based on what I sense his ceiling could be.
I’d be very interested to hear from those following this site who were—and are— their favorite Maple Leafs. Whether you’ve been a fan since the 1950s and ‘60s, like myself, or grew up watching the Maple Leafs in the ‘70s and ‘80s, send your comments along about the guys you really liked, up to the current Leaf team.