One name in this “category” that springs to mind from my younger days is that of long-time Leaf rearguard, Bobby Baun. Baun, as old-time Leaf fans remember, was the author of the famous overtime-winning goal in the 1964 finals against the Red Wings in Detroit. Facing sudden-death elimination, that goal allowed the Leafs to even the tight series at three games apiece and have a shot at winning it in seven games back home at Maple Leaf Gardens, which they did. That he accomplished the feat in Game 6 while playing on a broken ankle has been a story of mythical proportion in Leafland for the past almost 50 years.
One of the other relatively recent “two-time” Maple Leafs was winger Mark Osborne. Osborne came to the NHL as what would now be a mid-second round draft pick (selected in 1980), and had a tremendous rookie season in Detroit. After some good years with the Rangers, he came to the Leafs in the mid-later 1980s, at a time when the team had some really nice young talent like Russ Courtnall, Gary Leeman, Al Iafrate, Vincent Damphouse and the aforementioned Clark.
But “Ozzie”, as he is known to his many hockey friends, is probably best remembered for his second incarnation with the Leafs, which coincided with the arrival of Pat Burns. Every player on a Burns team had a “role”, and Osborne played his really to the hilt, on a line with hard-working center Peter Zezel and fellow under-the radar winger Bill Berg.
Osborne had morphed into a very defensively dependable (he may well have always been that, but his scoring exploits may have overshadowed his overall play earlier in his career) by the time he returned to the Leafs in the early ‘90s and he was the epitome of a “team” player with Toronto. Along with his memorable linemates, he provided the team with a bit of spice.
Matteo Codispoti (WeWant a Cup) and I were fortunate to catch up with the current Leafs TV analyst, and we chatted with him on Episode 14 of our Leaf Matters podcast.
Here is the iTunes link:
For those who don’t use iTunes, here is the Podalmightly link to the podcast:
By all means share your thoughts on the episode here, or on iTunes! Thanks for visiting VLM, and for tuning into to Leaf Matters as well.