Much has been written over the years about former Maple Leaf great Dave Keon and his seemingly non-existent relationship with the Leaf organization. When it was announced yesterday that Keon would be part of the next “Legends Row” ceremony this coming fall (with other Leaf greats Turk Broda and Tim Horton), I was asked by Alec Brownscombe and Declan Kerin from the outstanding Maple Leaf Hot Stove web site if I had the time to write a piece, reflecting on my memories of Keon.
I was only too glad to to do so.
We all have our own personal memories of our favourite teams, players and special hockey moments. Yours will no doubt be different than mine when it comes to Keon—or any other player.
But part of the fun of being a fan is that we treasure these personal memories for as long as we can—at least until our memory bank begins to sputter a bit, which happens to me fairly regularly these days.
Here’s a link to the story on MLHS
I could (and so could many VLM readers of my “vintage”!) write a great deal more about Keon—and I have here in the past. The picture on the right is an old newspaper photo from March of 1963. I’ve kept this picture ever since. It shows Keon at the edge of Montreal netminder Jacque Plante’s crease, knocking in a game-tying goal with less than 10 seconds on the clock in a game at Maple leaf Gardens.
Why is this photo such a fond memory for me?
Well, that goal, on a late March night in Toronto, gave the Leafs a 3-3 tie in that game. And the single point in the standings on that Wednesday evening (I believe it was the third last regular season game of the 1962-’63 season), ensured the Maple leafs would finish the regular season that year in first place—something they had not accomplished in a long time, and haven’t been able to manage since.
The memory stands out because Keon, while much more than simply an offensive player, did earn a reputation for scoring big goals at key moments, including during the playoffs. That was just one of the big ones.
I hope you enjoy the story on the Maple Leaf Hot Stove site. And please share any memories here at VLM that you may have of one of the finest Leafs of all time.