The second installment of the Vintage Leaf Memories podcast looks back on what was, for me (and likely for countless Leaf fans of that era) Frank Mahovlich’s magical run at a big-time NHL record. I’m referring to Rocket’s Richard’s record of 50 goals in a single NHL season, a then previously unheard of standard in that golden era of hockey.
Mahovlich, as Leaf fans of the time well know, was the tall, powerful, elegant-skating winger who never quite seemed to be play good enough, often enough, to suit Toronto fans. (Sound vaguely familiar?) He was nonetheless considered a true superstar of his era, good enough to have the Chicago Blackhawks offer one million dollars for his services in a straight cash transaction with the Leafs—until then General Manager and Coach Punch Imlach put his foot down and said “no” to the team’s ownership. He later came close to scoring 50 again when he played with the Red Wings in the late 1960s on a line with Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio. (That's "The Big M" scoring against the Bruins in an early '60s action photo at right- I'm guessing the Bruins goalie is Don Head, but I'm not sure...)
In any event, this episode tries to pull together a little bit of the special feeling that that time in Leaf history had for me.
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