Further to the debate on the best Toronto Maple Leaf of all-time: A new book, Maple Leafs Top 100, ranks centre Dave Keon tops. That was a bad choice. As we noted earlier, Keon was a weak leader, a worse captain and not once voted to a first all-star team.
The best Leaf is centre Ted Kennedy, who's second on the list. Kennedy won the Hart Trophy in 1955 as the NHL's most valuable player and was a runner-up in 1950. Keon didn't come close to winning the Hart.
It turns out that the book's co-authors John Iaboni and Mike Leonetti actually did rank Kennedy first on their lists, but other contributors - writers and broadcasters - tipped the scale in favour of Keon.
Howard Berger, the Leaf reporter for Fan590 in Toronto, participated in the ranking. He gave us his top-10 submission: 1. Tim Horton, 2. Dave Keon, 3. Ted Kennedy, 4. Johnny Bower, 5. Syl Apps, 6. Red Kelly, 7. Turk Broda, 8. Doug Gilmour, 9. Frank Mahovlich, 10. Darryl Sittler. Berger, in an email message, writes: "I'm embarrassed to say I had Mats Sundin 21st. That was a big mistake. I got mesmerized by those who had played roles in the late-40s and '60s Cups. The other selectors were much smarter than me with Mats. By the way, I agree with your points on Kennedy vs. Keon, and I include public comportment after the Leaf years. (Keon, embittered, wants nothing to do with the Leaf organization.) That shouldn't be overlooked. Teeder (Kennedy) has always exuded class."
Iaboni's top 10: 1. Kennedy, 2. Broda, 3. Apps, 4. Charlie Conacher, 5. Bower, 6. Keon, 7. Kelly, 8.Borje Salming, 9. Darryl Sittler, 10. Doug Gilmour.
The book's top 10: 1. Keon, 2. Kennedy, 3. Apps, 4. Frank Mahovlich, 5. Sittler, 6. Conacher, 7. Bower, 8. Horton, 9, Broda and 10 Salming.
In our view, the correct top-10 are: 1. Kennedy, 2. King Clancy, 3. Apps, 4. Broda, 5. Bower, 6. Kelly, 7. Mahovlich, 8. Conacher, 9. Busher Jackson, 10. Sittler.