Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Legends That Would Help Today’s Team

Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)
Tim Horton, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images) /

Of the countless greats that have skated for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, there are a select few whose skillset would still translate within today’s game.

Just as most Toronto Maple Leafs players from the past might not be able to have their success carry into the present, some of the elite talent from today wouldn’t have been as impactful in historical eras either.

But certain superstars transcend their era. Like Bobby Orr still skating end-to-end through any team, goalies always fearing an Al MacInnis slapshot from the point, or Wayne Gretzky’s ability to outthink any opponent in the game today.

Similarly, there are some Maple Leafs legends that today’s team would surely welcome aboard. These players, when in their prime, would bring elements to address the obvious voids and make this lineup a better version of itself.

The Makeup of This Team

Kyle Dubas has built this Toronto Maple Leafs team with a focus on skill over size, analytics versus aggressiveness, and potential instead of power. Although many have already begun the debate, it’s too early in his tenure to objectively conclude on the success of this plan. Time will tell.

But, for now, it’s no secret that this team could use a little more grit to glue the whole system together. Besides, every team in this league would take more strength and scoring.

There are a few players that stand out throughout the history of the Maple Leafs, whose play would still translate smoothly into today’s game. They would have an immediate impact on this team’s success.

These players were not only stars on the scoresheet, they were fan favourites because of their passion. Franchise leading penalty minute totals help tell the story, as they were also not the type to back down from stepping up for their team.

And before the current roster’s passion is put into question, keep in mind that this young core still has many years ahead of them to prove theirs.

It would be easy to name drop Toronto legends like George Armstrong, Mats Sundin, Dave Keon, Johnny Bower, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich, Turk Broda, Borje Salming, or Doug Gilmour.

But the focus here is on what this current team needs and that which would help propel their push throughout the post-season.

Players That Could Provide What’s Missing

Wendel Clark: A strong left winger with a scorer’s touch, Clark would fit nicely on either of the top two lines. He’d clear the path for a protected laneway, helping stars like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander produce even more while chipping in clutch goals of his own.

Rick Vaive: With almost double the number of penalty minutes as games played, Vaive was still able to account for a point per. Skating on the right, he could slide up and down the lineup to infuse a spark of offense wherever it may be lacking on any given night.

Tim Horton: Horton would immediately improve their defensive stability. He is the all-time leader in plus/minus at 151, while he also accumulated 19 shorthanded points along the way. Far from a liability for their pairings, he’d add consistency to balance their right side.

Career Stats – Toronto Maple Leafs
Wendel Clark19862000608260181441-91153518179038124570
Tim Horton*195019701184109349458151138985213192706316
Rick Vaive19801987534299238537-68940198901131175603

Provided by View Original Table

Leafs Top 10 Prospects Updated 2020. dark. Next

This current Maple Leafs team doesn’t need to trade in for anything else at the cost of their skillful potential. It just needs to have strength and strategies in place to limit other teams from exhibiting theirs, while this roster’s superstars focus on showcasing how they can shine.