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As the Leafs slide out of the playoff picture, 18 months of Vintage Leaf Memories—the Leafs are getting there...

There's little doubt the Maple Leafs are a better team—and better positioned—than when I started this space before the 2009 regular season.

And in the days ahead, I'll endeavor to break down what lies aheadf or next season.  Unfortunately, next season is what we have to look forward to, after the Rangers came back from a 3-0 deficit to down the Bruins Monday night 5-3.


Sometimes when you’re hosting a site like this you operate in a bit of a vacuum.  You receive some comments (I’m very fortunate; the comments I receive here from readers are thoughtful and always a useful contribution to the articles and the ongoing discussion and dialogue) and some e-mails.  But by and large you’re not sure if you are connecting with those who perhaps follow the site on a fairly regular basis, new people who fall upon the site or those who are just dropping by to see if they like what is being offered.

As another NHL season winds down, I realize I have now passed, for what it’s worth, the 18-month mark of Vintage Leaf Memories.  (I launched the blog in September of ’09.)  It’s not exactly a major milestone, but when this kind of effort begins you’re never quite sure if it will have “legs” or if people will find it to be of interest.

The site has certainly grown over the past year and a half. (visitors from 110 different countries.  There are a lot of Maple Leaf fans out there...) but it’s important to check in with the audience to see if they enjoy what I am trying to deliver here:  a lot of stories about my own personal recollections of the Maple Leafs—and hockey—back when I was a youngster in the late 1950 and into the ‘60s and ‘70s, mixed with commentary and observations about the progress of the current Leaf management and team.

The site is not for everyone, I realize.  Younger fans, for example, may find talk of the old days irrelevant.

For me, though, as someone who has observed the sport—and the Leafs—evolve for more than fifty years, history does matter.  There are connections, however tenuous at times.

That all said, I look forward to input from readers about what they prefer:  more, or less focus on the old days?

In the meantime, here are links to stories that may be of interest if you missed them the first time around (click on the links to check out the earlier posts):

  • A story on ex-Leaf goalie Cesare Maniago, who played for all three "original" Canadian teams
  • The night I met Bobby Orr (by absolute fluke) in 1967, and was able to shake his hand
  • My "Ten best" Leafs from 1959 to the present
  • 12 things I preferred about pre-1967 expansion hockey
  • Rememberging when there was no glass around the boards in the late 1950s
  • An audio interview I did with Hall-of-Famer Ted Lindsay when he was the General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings in 1978.
  • fond memories of former Maple Leaf goaltender Bruce Gamble
  • and a story on the rather amazing career of former 1950s leaf defenseman Jim Morrison, who went almost a decade between full-time NHL gigs
If you want to drop an e-mail, I can be reached at

Thanks to everyone who has supported this site.  If you do enjoy the perspective, I hope you will consider becoming a "follower" here, and mentioning this blog to a friend or two who likes the Leafs and/or simply enjoys the great game of hockey.


  1. I'd like to think of myself as one of the Younger set of Leafs fans (at 29 I'm probably at the cusp of no longer being in that category...) however I enjoy the mix of current and history with the site. This season, when I started reading it seemed to have a good 50/50 blend and it's always great reading about times when the game was radically different.

    I for one have never seen a hockey game sans glass walls. I can't even comprehend it mentally really - they've always been there for me. Also, learning more about the storied history of the blue and white always make me somehow a bit more hopeful about the current set.

    Keep on rockin' like you are Michael, this blog is great and along with PPP is usually one of my morning coffee reads. :)


  2. What AB Pos said. Keep doing what you're doing, Michael.

  3. Love the stories here,it helps to keep things in perspective. I like how you incoporate history into the analysis of today's team and show examples instead of just saying "Another season without a cup, typically Leafs, 1967 etc".

    It seems so many people have been 'following' the team for years but all they do is complain. You sir, bring positive and rational examples and work forward.

    Keep up the great stuff! (By the way I'm 21 and I still find this stuff very interesting)

  4. I'm a pretty new fan, only been following the Leafs (and hockey) for less than a decade, so I appreciate the insight you provide on this site. With all the statistical analysis and the availability of opinions about the team, it's good to know that you're able to tie in a historical aspect to it all. We get tons of 'current' reporting but not everyone can or bothers to make the jump a few decades. The personal ties you have to the team makes it extra special. Keep doing what you're doing, I'm a young reader and I always look forward to what you have to say about this team's future.:)

  5. I absolutely love your stories about your memories of the old times. I think it's very relevant to know what has happened before whichever current iteration of the Leafs we are enjoying, history is a big part of being a fan of this franchise.
    And I didn't realize this blog only started around 2009. You've long been a staple in my reading, and I thank you for the high quality, thoughtful articles you put out on such a consistent basis.

  6. Hi Michael,
    Love the site - check it frequently. I'm old enough to remember people ducking high shots that cleared the glass behind each goal, and I'm sure I saw men pulling ice cleaning devices behind them at the first game I went to. (It's about all I remember, to be honest - along with the guy who yelled "C'mon Teeder!")
    Keep up the great work - next year should be one to savour for all of us!

  7. Thank you to those who posted here. Thoughtful, and much appreciated.