#1. Tim Horton – Toronto Maple Leafs 1949-1970
Tim Horton is a true Canadian icon. Today he may be more well known for starting his now giant donut chain, but during his playing days he was known as one of the NHL’s greatest defensemen.
Horton played his first 20 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and later played with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. He was still a member of the Sabres when he died in a car crash while intoxicated at the age of 44.
Tim Horton was known as a incredibly strong and tough defenseman who didn’t need to play dirty to defend against the best offensive players in the NHL. He was also a strong puck carrier who could add to the score sheet.
On the way to his first of four Stanley Cup Championships, Tim Horton scored three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 12 games in 1962. His 16 playoff points in a single season was a record for Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen, and though Ian Turnbull tied it with 16 points in 13 games in 1978, his record wasn’t beaten until Dave Ellett scored 18 points in 18 games in 1994.
Like Börje Salming, Tim Horton is a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, his number has been retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his statue in on Legends Row. He was also runner-up for the Norris trophy twice, 3rd in Norris voting twice, 10th in Hart trophy voting once, was selected to three 1st NHL All-Star Teams and three 2nd NHL All-Star Teams.
Tim Horton is the greatest defenseman in Toronto Maple Leafs history.
Awards & Honours with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Statue on Legends Row
Number Retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs Top 100 #6
1st NHL All-Star Team 1964, 1968, 1968
2nd NHL All-Star Team 1954, 1963, 1967
Norris Trophy Runner-Up 1964
Norris Trophy Runner-Up 1969
Norris Trophy Nominee (3rd in voting) 1963
Norris Trophy Nominee (3rd in voting) 1968
10th in Hart Trophy voting 1964
4th in Norris trophy voting 1965
4th in Norris trophy voting 1967
Four Stanley Cup Championships
Played in Seven NHL All-Star Games
Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
#43 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players
Statistical Achievements with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Top 10 in NHL Goals by a Defenseman for 13 seasons
Top 10 in NHL Assists by a Defenseman for 11 seasons
Top 10 in NHL Points by a Defenseman for 13 seasons
7th Most Career Assists in Toronto Maple Leafs History (349)
3rd Most Career Goals by Defenseman in Toronto Maple Leafs History (109)
3rd Most Career Assists by Defenseman in Toronto Maple Leafs History (349)
3rd Most Career Points by Defenseman in Toronto Maple Leafs History (458)