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Vintage Leaf Memories: Year in review, favorite posts

Since our launch in September, we’ve posted dozens of stories about the Leafs, personal memories about things I’ve experienced as a life-long Leaf “fan”. Sometimes it’s been a personal encounter with a player, or something I remember as a child, teen or young adult. At times my stories harken back to players and people I interviewed when I was in the broadcast field many years ago.

From time to time I also post on the current Leaf team, which so far this season has done what Leaf teams have done many times over the past 40 years: show flashes which give the fans hope, then fall back into ordinary play.

The site also includes some new and ‘vintage’ (interviews I first did in the early 1980s) interviews that those visiting the site can listen to. We’ve had very positive and much appreciated feedback on many of the articles and interviews. People seem to be truly enjoying the site.

A couple of my ‘favorites’ have included the opportunity to interview two former Leafs, Jim Dorey (who I chatted with in November), now working for many years in the insurance industry in Kingston, Ontario, and Hall-of-Famer Dickie Moore.

Dickie still heads up Dickie Moore Rentals, and I spoke with him in October from his office in Montreal. Now, we ‘older’ fans remember Dickie as a great forward with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1950s and early ‘60s. But after retiring in 1963, Dickie made a comeback with Punch Imlach and the Leafs for the 1964-’65 season. Our interview discusses many great players and warm memories.

If you haven’t heard those interviews, click on our audio vault file.

The following have been among the most viewed posts:

It was worth the drive to Chatham, a piece on the night that I, as a 10 year-old, was invited to head to Chatham (because it was blacked out in my home town) to watch a key playoff game between the Leafs and Habs

Eddie Chadwick, Maple Leaf ironman reflected on the fact that the 1950s Leaf is the last Leaf goalie to play every game in the regular season

 our new audio interview in December with the respected hockey writer Red Fisher

Dickie Moore, A Leaf too late details, as I alluded to above, Moore’s comeback with the Leafs in 1964-‘65

Dave Keon scores three against Charlie Hodge and the Habs, my memory of listening to that famous Game 7 of the 1964 semi-finals on my dad’s old radio

The Original Twelve”, a fond look back at when the NHL expanded to twelve teams in 1967

The 10 Best Leafs of the past 50 Years reflected my opinions on who the ten best Leafs have been since I’ve been following the team (not everyone agreed, of course!)

12 things I preferred about pre-1967 expansion hockey covered some of the ways I feel the game may have been better in the old days

Bobby Orr and the night my Dad didn’t believe me recaps a magical night in my life when a rare trip to Toronto led to a very unexpected meeting with 18 year-old hockey phenom Bobby Orr in 1967

Ian White--the new Pat Stapleton? evoked response from those intrigued by the parallels between the small-in-stature Leaf rearguard and the 1960s and ‘70s NHL all-star

The rosary and Gordie Howe (my Dad’s least favorite all-time hockey player!) is my light-hearted reflection on the many nights our family listened to Red Wing games on the old car radio while praying the rosary, and the occasional outburst precipitated by Gordie scoring a goal

Eddie Litzenberger: The good luck charm looks back on a championship-filled professional career of the one-time Hawk captain and Maple Leaf

These stories and others were widely read and, I hope, enjoyed!

We also hope you’ll keep visiting Vintage Leaf Memories. We should have our new design up and running soon. I look forward to providing more stories and also look forward to your continued feedback and posts.

Happy New Year!

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