Maple Leafs Corner
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Toronto Maple Leafs play in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins, and the Ottawa Senators. Maple Leafs tickets will be a hot item during the 2009-2010 NHL hockey schedule.
Toronto Maple Leafs 2009-2010 Outlook
You could say that the Maple Leafs are a streaky team - from the 1998-1999 NHL season through the 2003-2004 NHL season, the Maple Leafs won at least 1 playoff series in 5 of 6 post-season appearances, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals twice in 1999 and 2002. Since the 2004-2005 NHL lockout season when no hockey was played, the Maple Leafs have not finished better than 3rd place in the Northeast Division and they have failed to qualify for post-season play 4 years in a row.
Head Coach Wilson is in his 2nd year of a 4-year deal and the pressure is on to turn the Maple Leafs squad around. He will have his work cut out for him. The Maple Leafs boast one of the most productive offenses in the league and will likely have multiple players with double-digits in goals scored. Centers Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski will lead the way and wingers Alexei Ponikarovsky, Niklas Hagman, Phil Kessel, Lee Stempniak and Jason Blake should also have good years too. Goaltenders Jonas Gustavsson and Vesa Toskala will split time in net, but neither is good enough to warrant additional starts over the other. Defenseman Tomas Kaberle is one of the best at setting up his front lines with scoring chances, so look for Kaberle to rack up a whopping number of assists. But after him, the Maple Leafs defense leaves a lot to be desired. The defense will rely upon Francois Beauchemin and Ian White to have above-average years - if not, it could be another long season for the Maple Leafs. Head Coach Wilson will need to continue to earn the respect of his players as the season progresses. If the team buys into his team oriented defense and continues to gel, the Toronto Maple Leafs could make a surprise run at qualifying for the NHL playoffs following the 2009-2010 NHL season for the 1st time in 5 years. Get your Maple Leafs hockey tickets at the Air Canada Centre before it's too late.
The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise was originally founded in 1917 and is officially known as the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club. The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the Original Six teams in the NHL – along with the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. Owns and operates the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise. The Toronto Maple Leafs are the most valuable team in the NHL with a valuation of $413 million. The New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings are the 2nd and 3rd most valuable NHL franchises, respectively. The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise has always had a long and heated rivalry with Canadian rival, the Montreal Canadiens. More recently, Toronto Maple Leafs franchise has developed a strong rivalry with another Canadian team – the Ottawa Senators. The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise won the Stanley Cup in 1918 and 1922 and then again in 1932. During a 10-year stretch from 1942 through 1951, the Toronto Maple Leafs won 6 Stanley Cups, including 3 straight championships from 1947 through 1949. The Toronto Maple Leafs won 3 straight Stanley Cup titles again from 1962 through 1964. The Toronto Maple Leafs won their final Stanley Cup title in 1967. Since that time, despite numerous opportunities, the Toronto Maple Leafs have only advanced to 4 Eastern Conference Finals series and have never returned to another Stanley Cup series. The Toronto Maple Leafs did not qualify for post-season play following the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 NHL seasons.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have retired the following players’ numbers: Bill Barilko’s #5 (retired on October 17, 1992); Ace Bailey’s #6 (retired on October 17, 1992); and Wayne Gretzky's #99 (retired league-wide by the NHL on February 6, 2000). Although numerous hockey players achieved great success while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Maple Leafs organization has a policy of only retiring the numbers of players who have made a significant contribution to the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club and who have experienced a career-ending incident while a member of the Toronto Maple Leaf team.
Toronto Maple Leafs TV/Radio
All Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games can be seen on television on the following networks: Leafs TV, Rogers Sportsnet Ontario and The Sports Network in the greater Toronto, Ontario area. ESPN also has television rights to Toronto Maple Leafs games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into CFMJ 640 on your AM dial to catch each Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game on the radio.