There are fewer teams in the NHL with a history that is as detailed as the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unless individuals have spent way too much time on Ontario Betting apps, there is no way that Toronto natives aren’t aware of this long-established franchise. The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise was established in 1917. Before they were known as the Toronto Maple Leafs, the franchise spent its first two seasons as the Toronto Arenas. The team was named after a company named the Arena Company. However, the team changed its name to Toronto Saint Patrick's after the Arena Company filed for bankruptcy. The franchise would win two Stanley Cups in its first ten years. (1917-1918, 1921-1922)
In 1927, the franchise was purchased by a man named Conn Smythe. He decided to rename the team the Toronto Maple Leafs because the maple leaf is the national symbol of Canada. Conn Smythe was motivated to name his team the Maple Leafs as a tribute to soldiers who served in the Canadian military. The franchise was a member of a group of NHL teams known as the “Original Six.”
It wouldn’t be long before the Toronto Maple Leafs began solidifying themselves as one of the best franchises in the NHL. In the 1940’s, the Maple Leafs were the “crème de la crème” of the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs won five championships in the 1940s.
Many years before the Boston Red Sox’s incredible comeback from 3-0 down to beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, the Toronto Maple Leafs would come back from 3-0 down to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals.
Three seasons later, the Maple Leafs would defeat the Detroit Red Wings to win the 1945 Stanley Cup Finals. However, the journey to this particular Stanley Cup championship differed significantly.
The Toronto Maple Leafs would jump to a commanding 3-0 lead against the Red Wings. However, the Detroit Red Wings managed to win the next three games and force a Game 7 in Toronto.
However, the Maple Leafs avoided the ultimate humiliation by defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win the Cup.
The team wasn't so fortunate in the 1950s. They would only win one Stanley Cup during that particular decade.
In the 1960s, Conn Smythe sold his ownership shares of the franchise to a partnership that his son led. During the 1960s, the Toronto Maple Leafs would again become a dynasty. The franchise won four Stanley Cups during the decade. This includes a stretch in which they would win back-to-back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1962, 1963, and 1964. A player by the name of George Armstrong was the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs during all four Stanley Cup victories.
The long rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians intensified during the decade. Both teams dominated the decade. Other than 1961, the Maple Leafs or Canadians won Stanley Cups every year during that decade.
In the 1970s, the franchise would endure another ownership change as Harold Ballard took control. There was quite a bit of turmoil among management and ownership during Ballard's tenure. Ballard would spend some time in prison on fraud and theft charges during this tenure.
The franchise would have periods of success and droughts in the following decades. This season, the Maple Leafs made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nineteen years. However, the franchise has not won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
Despite this, the Toronto Maple Leafs remain one of the most successful franchises in the history of the NHL. They are 2nd all-time in Stanley Cup victories with 13. They have one of the most passionate fanbases in sports. Even during years in which the team struggled, the team was still able to achieve arena sellouts. A poll conducted in 2017 named the Maple Leafs as one of two franchises to sell out arenas despite subpar performances.
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