Custom Search

Vintage Leaf Memories-800 posts and counting...

Back when I started pulling together thoughts around launching a site back in the summer of 2009, I’m not sure I had a clear vision of what I was hoping the site would become.  I just knew that, after having followed the Toronto Maple Leafs—sometimes up close, sometimes from a distance—for 50 years, I had stories to share about Leaf players, games and moments from the past.  I did not necessarily anticipate that VLM would become what it is now—a place where we remember the past but can also talk extensively about our thoughts, views and perspectives on the current club, its management and how the future looks. 

And I’m very pleased with how the site has evolved.  I very much appreciate the tone of those who comment here from time to time.  Those individuals time and again provide legitimate insight, some humor, and strong, well-stated opinions.  But those views are always presented in a thoughtful, respectful manner and for that I am very thankful.

I recognize that some fans may not have a deep and abiding interest in what has come before.  They are Leaf fans and quite properly consumed with the present- and the foreseeable future.  From my perspective, however, I can’t help but look back at and appreciate the history, the rich legacy, of what Maple Leaf hockey has meant to me for as long as I can remember.  Blue and white in my life has meant Maple Leaf hockey, full stop.

Even through the “tough” times (in the context of real life issues, they aren’t really tough, eh?), it’s still always been fun to be a Maple Leaf fan.  Those of you who were born around the same time as myself (in my case, 1953) have your own memories, your own very individual “visuals” that spring to mind when you think old-time hockey and about the Maple Leafs.  The names from when I was just a young boy in the late 1950s and early 1960s are remembered and treasured always—Eddie Chadwick (see the great old "posed" action shot at left), fellow goaltender Johnny Bower, Rudy Migay, Tim Horton, Bobby Baun, Allan Stanley.  I can’t ever forget Bobby Pulford, Dickie Duff, Dave Keon, Billy Harris, Eddie Shack and scores of others like George Armstrong, Bruce Gamble, Ronnie Ellis and later names like Sittler, Salming and Lanny McDonald.  I don't have to think, really.  The names and memories are right there, automatically.

I've written my own recollections of many of them (check out the "categories" section on the right-hand side of the site) and hope to continue to do so for some time yet.

The thing is, whether an individual spent one game or a thousand with the team, he will always be a Maple Leaf to me- and I’m sure to those who have a similar fondness for the team and an understanding of what it means to be a Maple Leaf.

Some of you have been kind enough to share your memories here.  And I would love to see even more people share their personal recollections of times past, and their opinions on the Leafs as we see them now.  I realize time is precious and it’s hard to find the time to write a comment on a blog site at times.  But the more people who share their thoughts and opinions, the more inter-active and engaging the site will become. 

If you do visit on a regular basis, leave a comment here and let me know.  Or drop a line—I can be reached at  Without feedback, it's difficult to know if people appreciate this kind of site.

Last time  I checked, visitors from 135 countries had dropped by the site.  That goes to show just how widespread support for the Maple Leafs still is.  It’s stunning, really.  It’s not just a “brand”—the Leafs are something very special for fans around the world.

Again, thank you to those who have helped make the site a pleasure to pull together every day.  I hope even more of you will take the time to say hi.


  1. I really appreciate this site and your views. VLM is a must read for me every day. My first recollections come mostly from stories and pictures in the Toronto Telegram and listening to the unparalleled calls of Foster Hewitt.
    It has been interesting to see how hockey has evolved over the years. Three changes stand our for me. 1- the devastating power play of the Montreal Canadiens (Richard, Beliveau, Olmstead, Geoffrion & Harvey) led to a player returning after a goal was scored during a 2 minute penalty. 2- Bobby Orr's brilliant play opened the way for many defencemen to become offensive forces and in effect opened up the game. 3- the advent of European players with a different mindset who also helped to open up the game.
    Keep up the good work Michael; your site is a unique addition to hockey journalism.

  2. Hey Mike, daily reader and infrequent commenter here. Love reading the pieces about both present and past Leaf teams and players. Keep up the great work!

  3. I enjoy your posts a lot, Michael, and tend to wander by as I do my morning circuit through PPP and other sites. I'm a bit younger - b. 1959 - but still remember a lot of earlier players and teams.

    I suspect people visit the site a bit as they do their memories, from time to time, as the pressures of their days ease off and memory flows. So I wouldn't expect people to land here like it was a daily, scheduled, pressured activity, but more a... wonderful break from the routine! Thanks for your work.

  4. Great read every time!

  5. Congrats Mike. I'm a regular PPP reader and it seems like you are always there in the daily links. Always a fun read with not only interesting but realistic views. I'm sure you've seen a lot, the ups and the downs. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the 800th post then with a win at Buffalo and another at home against the Sedin 'sisters' Saturday. Enjoy

  6. Congratulations, always enjoy your site even though I probably wasn't around for most of the memories. Still - great tenacity in sticking with the team through the ups and many downs.

    Looking forward to the next 800 :)