Toronto Maple Leafs Of 1967 To Be Saluted
January 19, 2007
(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that the 1967 Stanley Cup Championship team will be reunited and recognized in a pre-game ceremony when the Edmonton Oilers visit Air Canada Centre on February 17. The game also marks the 80th anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs first game in 1927. Several players have confirmed their participation for the game next month including; George Armstrong, Bobby Baun, Johnny Bower, Brian Conacher, Ron Ellis, Aut Erickson, Larry Hillman, Larry Jeffrey, Red Kelly, Dave Keon, Jim Pappin, Marcel Pronovost, Eddie Shack, Allan Stanley, Pete Stemkowski, and Mike Walton.
"This is a terrific opportunity for our organization and our loyal fans to celebrate the achievement of a great team," said John Ferguson, general manager of the Maple Leafs. "It's really about saluting the last club of that Leafs' era just before NHL expansion on a milestone anniversary of 40 years. It's an occasion for them to enjoy their company once again and it also gives our fans the chance to cheer them as a group one more time."
The 1966-67 edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs captured the franchise's 11th Stanley Cup and fourth of the decade. The team defeated the reigning two-time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens in the sixth game on May 2, 1967 as Canada was celebrating its centennial.
Ten members of the 1967 Maple Leafs would later be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A total of 11 players from the 1967 team played on the three other Stanley Cup winning teams in 1962, 1963, 1964. They are: Johnny Bower, Larry Hillman, Bob Baun, Allan Stanley, Red Kelly, George Armstrong, Dave Keon, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack, Frank Mahovlich and the late Tim Horton. Terry Sawchuk, Bruce Gamble, Horton, and coach and general manager Punch Imlach are the only gentlemen from the 1967 team that are deceased.
The Maple Leafs compiled a record of 32 wins, 27 losses, and 11 ties in 70 games in the 1966-67 regular season. The team's 75 points placed them third in the standings behind Chicago (94 points), and Montreal (77). The Maple Leafs eliminated the first-place Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the opening round before completing the same feat in the Stanley Cup Final against the Canadiens.
Dave Keon led the team in regular season scoring with 52 points (19g, 33a) and he finished 12th among all NHL players in points that season. He earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as "the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs' that year. Jim Pappin scored the Stanley Cup winning goal and he led all NHL players with seven goals and 15 points during the 12 games of the 1967 post-season. Forty years ago, the team was bolstered in the nets for the third and final season by two of hockey's greatest goalies; Johnny Bower at age 42 and Terry Sawchuk at age 37. The unlikely playoff run came on the heels of a regular season in which the team needed three other goalies (Gamble, Gary Smith and the late Al Smith) at various points of the season. In addition, King Clancy spelled an ill Punch Imlach for a 10 game stretch behind the bench and led them to a 7-1-2 record.
Interestingly enough, the team had a 10-game losing streak from January 15 to February 8 scoring just 15 goals before regrouping to capture the Stanley Cup over their national rival. The hallmark of the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs was their experience. They sported the oldest lineup to ever win the Stanley Cup, with an average age of 31. Seven players were over 35 and 12 members were over age 30. Bower and Stanley (age 41) were the oldest members of the team in the last year of the Original Six.