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Evoking memories of the Maple Leafs in the playoffs in the spring of ’93: Episode 19 of “The Vintage Leaf Memories Podcast”

My guess is there are a lot of current era Maple Leaf supporters who first fell in love with the blue and white in the early 1990s. At the time, Toronto was coming off a pretty discouraging decade (the mostly awful ‘80s) in hockey terms, with not much in the way of playoff appearances—much less playoff success.

But a new broom created buzz and renewed optimism around the franchise. Veteran General Manager Cliff Fletcher came on board and was not afraid to make moves. In came veterans like Doug Gilmour and Dave Andreychuk, to name but two impact players that Fletcher brought to Toronto. In as well (from the minors) came a young goalie most of us knew precious little about.  His name was Felix Potvin, a Leaf draft choice we actually developed and who had success here.

With fiery ex-Montreal coach Pat Burns behind the Leaf bench, Leaf fans that spring were about to witness something most of us simply didn’t expect.  The Leaf roster was filled with guys who knew their role and embraced it. Wendel Clark (right) was certainly an important factor but he was far from alone in making a difference.  If any young Canadian hockey fan was undecided about where their future rooting interest might lie, that spring of ’93 may well have tipped the scales in favour of the Maple Leafs. Their playoff run was that exciting—with three consecutive seven-game series that left us all holding our breath.

I try to outline some of the elements that made it all work for Burns and the Leafs in the latest Vintage Leaf Memories podcast—Episode 19.  (Please note: there seems to be a delay in iTunes posting this Episode- it should be up eventually!)


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  1. Hi Michael. I finally had the chance to listen to your podcast.
    I especially recall the series with St Louis and a very exciting goalie battle between Felix Potvin and Curtis Joseph. There was one particular game I'm thinking of where Cujo had stopped over 50 shots. I believe the Leafs won in overtime.
    Sad that we're missing out in the fun and excitement of playoffs this year. Cheering for Hubby's team is not nearly as fun. My heart is not in it. (I really don't like Pacioretty! ) Colleen

    1. You're right Colleen, CuJo was awfully good that series. And believe me, I understand that it's not ideal having to cheer for the Habs!

  2. I was a big fan of Frank and Pete Mahovlich, Larry Robinson-- It was easier in those days. C