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2010 Vintage Leaf Memories in review


Vintage Leaf Memories has continued to evolve over the past twelve months.  Along with providing a number of personal memories (often nostalgic, I realize), looks back at individual Maple Leaf players, games and moments from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, I have tried to intersperse some commentary on the current state of the Maple Leaf hockey club. 

I launched this site in September of ’09, and have very much enjoyed trying to offer that mix of old and new.  For those of you who are visiting this blog for perhaps the first time, you may not be aware that I also conducted a number of interviews in 2010 with former Maple Leafs (Andy Bathgate, Pat Quinn, Paul Harrison).  Just click on “new audio interviews” under the right–hand section categories bar to have a listen.

What topics do I cover?  Well, anything about the old days, for sure.  How the game was so much different—for example, the seemingly three-minute shifts that many forwards took advantage of.  The number of giveaways (lots) compared with the modern game.  Goalies without masks.

I also enjoy harkening back to some great Leaf rivals—Rocket Richard, Doug Harvey, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and of course Bobby Orr and many others. (Click on their names to read about them or visit the "categories" section on the right-hand of the site for more stories.)

I also discuss not only the current Leafs but topics of interest around the hockey world, including trades, moves by various teams,  the shoot-out (I keep hoping for that to be eliminated) and a host of other things.

I look to provide old-time memories and current opinion, but more than anything to make this a place where hockey fans can visit, enjoy and feel comfortable and informed.  I’m always happy to post reader comments— provided they are not insulting or mean-spirited.

I want to thank those who have taken the time to post comments.  I’ve included (below) a few of the comments from those who have come across the site in recent months:

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Thanks for the reads, great site for a realistic opinion from a long time Leafs fan.

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Michael-
Awesome, and thanks for sharing and all that you do.

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Great story! Wonderful site...thanks for sharing.

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Michael, nice blog you run here: classy and professional while still having strong opinions and an obvious passion. This is what blogs were meant to be.

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As always, pal, a great story.
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I am so happy to find this! Like you, I was born in 1953 and grew up in the thick of the fever.

While I would never consider myself an expert in hockey, I remain a fan of the Leafs.
Thank you for creating this trip down memory lane. I will follow your musings with great interest.  
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Keep doin' exactly what you're doin'. I for one find it very enjoyable and thoroughly enjoy the history articles about the days I never saw, but have heard so much about from my late father who was a true-blue Leafs fan all his life.
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Keep doing what you are doing. I've really enjoyed reading your stuff unfortunately you may not get many comments here, but you have certainly inspired a lot of debate elsewhere such as in Pension Plan Puppets. You are a valuable part of the Barilkosphere.  Thanks.
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Hi Michael, first time commenting here, really enjoy your work.
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Far more interesting than what is presented on sports radio.
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Your contribution to preserving and renewing Leafs' history is phenomenal- don't ever forget it.
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Again, thanks to everyone who has become a "follower" (see the "follow" link on the right-hand side of the site) and to those who visit regularly and hopefully enjoy the site.

Warm wishes for 2011.

2 comments:

  1. Long suffering Leaf fanJanuary 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Hey Mike, I Know that you have mention about the 70-72 Leaf teams that almost was, but could you give us more of your thoughts about those two seasons. Who did you like and didn't like on those teams? How did you feel about the trading of Jim Dorey to New York Rangers? I know that Jim Gregory was looking for added scoring at the time, but in my humble opinion I felt it was a bad mistake! Dorey was one of my favorite whom I thought played a similar game, if not, a little nastier than my other favorite Leaf Tim Horton. And beside the Leafs had better goal scorers in the system at the time in the likes of Rene Robert and Rick Kehoe than Pierre Jarry. Also can you find out why the Leafs drafted Ernie Moser and why he never made it to the NHL? Was he to slow, uncoachable or had an attitude problem? There is very little information on him expected what Hockey data base offers.

    As for the audios, great listening! If you can love to hear from George Armstrong, Johnny Bower, Jim Gregory, and Bobby Hull in the New Year if all possible. Again thanks for the memories

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  2. Hi Long suffering...thanks as always for a thoughtful comment. That early '70s era is one of my favorites, for sure. I really liked the team Gregory was building and agree that as much as I, overall, supported the way Jim re-built the old Imlach team, I didn't like trading Dorey. No offense to Jarry who was a nice little player. But Dorey could move the puck and do a lot of things and was tough in a good way. (On a related note, Brian Spencer was a part of that early '70s team and I was really disappointed that Gregory let him go in the expansion draft in '72.)

    I will try to find out about Moser, but that may take some time! I guess things haven't changed since the late '60s when it comes to the draft. A lot of top juniors back then, for any number of reasons, didn't quite make it in the pros. It's still the same today. I look at the draft lists every since since the late 1960s and so many guys don't make the jump successfully, right up to the present day. And some players who scouts thought didn't have much of a chance,had significant careers.
    I do hope to conduct more audio interviews over time, for sure. I will absolutely keep those suggestions in mind. Thanks again.

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