Sunday, November 20, 2016

1960-61 Toronto Maple Leafs Dave Keon Jersey

On this date in 1974, Dave Keon of the Toronto Maple Leafs played in his 1,000th career game, and celebrated the occasion in style by scoring a hat trick, the fifth of his career.

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Dave Keon played in his 1,000th NHL game on this date in 1974

Keon joined the Maple Leafs for the 1960-61 season and won the Calder Trophy following a 20 goal, 45 point campaign. He would go to have five more consecutive 20-goals seasons.

Keon Maple Leafs photo Keonearly.jpg
Keon won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year

During Keon's second season in the NHL, in which the Maple Leafs would capture the Stanley Cup, Keon would add the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy to his already growing trophy case after a season in which he drew but a single minor penalty in 64 games played.

He was one of the fastest skaters in the NHL and one of the best defensive forwards as well, often being matched up against the opposition's top centers.

More Stanley Cups would follow in 1963, as well as a second Lady Byng Trophy, and again in 1964, a season in which Keon would lead the Maple Leafs in scoring for the first time.

After Keon led the Maple Leafs in scoring again in 1966-67, the Maple Leafs would win the 1967 Stanley Cup and Keon was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, the only Maple Leaf to ever win the trophy named for the former owner of the club.

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Keon poses with the Conn Smythe Trophy

Keon was named captain of the Maple Leafs in 1969-70 and led the team in scoring yet again before setting a then NHL record in 1970-71 with eight shorthanded goals.

Keon Captain photo KeonCaptainMapleLeafs.jpg
Keon has the captain's "C" sewn on to his jersey by
Maple Leafs trainer Joe Sgro, while still wearing his jersey!

After coming to an agreement to join the Ottawa Nationals of the fledgling WHA in 1972, the deal fell apart and Keon signed a three year contract to remain in Toronto and led the team in goal scoring in 1972-73, which included his 297th goal as a Maple Leaf, passing George Armstrong and Frank Mahavolich as the franchise's all-time leading goal scorer.

Having fallen out of favor with Maple Leaf's owner Harold Ballard by the end of his contract, Keon jumped to the rival WHA and signed with the Minnesota Fighting Saints for the 1975-76 season. When the Fighting Saints folded in February of 1976, Keon was unable to return to the NHL because the Maple Leafs still held his NHL rights and owner Ballard wanted too steep a price from any NHL club who wanted to sign him, effectively locking Keon out of the NHL.

Keon Saints photo KeonFightingSaints.jpg
Keon now with the Fighting Saints of the WHA

With staying in the WHA as his only option, Keon signed with the Indianapolis Racers for the remainder of the season. He was traded to the new incarnation of the Minnesota Fighting Saints for the 1976-77 season, only to see that version of the franchise again fold in January of 1977 before the completion of the season.

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Indianapolis Racer Dave Keon

Keon found some stability when he joined the WHA's New England Whalers after the Fighting Saints folded, and would play with the Whalers for the remainder of his career, three seasons in the WHA and three more finally back in the NHL following the demise of the WHA in 1979 when the Whalers were one of four WHA clubs to be allowed to join the NHL.

It was during the 1979-80 season that Keon, then 40 years old, was occasionally on a line with both Gordie Howe (age 50) and Bobby Hull (age 41). When both Howe and Hull retired, Keon was the oldest player in the NHL for his final two seasons before retiring after the 1981-82 season at age 42.

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Keon now back in the NHL and it's oldest active player as well

Keon's final totals were 396 goals and 590 assists for 986 NHL points and another 102 goals and 189 assists for 291 points in the WHA, the Calder Trophy, two Lady Byng Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, eight NHL All-Star Game appearances and four Stanley Cups as well as being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986.

Earlier this year Keon was given the tremendous honor of being named The Greatest Maple Leaf in the team's 100 year history.

Today's featured jersey is a 1960-61 Toronto Maple Leafs Dave Keon jersey as worn during his rookie season in the NHL. This style of Maple Leafs jersey dates back to 1934-35, with a few crest variations along the way. This exact crest was introduced in 1938 and had red lettering for three seasons, from 1945-46 through 1947-48. The lace up collar was introduced for the 1958-59 season to arrive at the style Keon wore as a rookie.

Numbers were added to the sleeves in 1962-63 and a white outline was added to the crest the following season and the jersey remained in use through the 1966-67 season until a redesign for the 1967-68 season.

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 photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1960-61 B jersey.jpeg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1966-67 Toronto Maple Leafs Dave Keon jersey as worn during the fourth Stanley Cup season of Keon's career. This style would be worn for three seasons through 1969-70.

There is a great story about Maple Leafs owner Ballard that recalls when the league made it mandatory in 1978 to put players names on the backs of their home and away jerseys, the notoriously cantankerous Ballard refused to do so. Claiming sales of programs would be reduced - and probably in part because Ballard never liked being told what to do by the league, and then NHL President John Ziegler in particular. When finally forced to comply by the league to put names on the jerseys after being fined, Ballard fought back on February 26, 1978 by putting the names on the back of their blue road jerseys for a game in Chicago in the same blue color as the jersey, making them impossible to read!

 photo Toronto Maple Leafs 1966-67 jersey.jpeg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra bonus jerseys: Today's bonus jerseys are 1975-76 Minnesota Fighting Saints Dave Keon jerseys as worn during the Fighting Saints final season of their original incarnation. The Fighting Saints were one of the original WHA franchises formed for the 1972-73 season. They originally wore jerseys with the "S" logo but introduced a new set with the Little Saint logo later during their debut season. The jerseys would remain unchanged until the franchise folded in February of 1976.

Minnesota Fighting Saints 75-76 jersey, Minnesota Fighting Saints 75-76 jersey
 photo Minnesota Fighting Saints 1975-76 road jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions
Extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra bonus jerseys is a 1976-77 New England Whalers Dave Keon jersey as worn while the Whalers were still members of the WHA.

After their inaugural season, the Whalers simplified their logo to just the W bisected with a harpoon and their jerseys would then remain unchanged through the remainder of their time in the WHA, which came  to an end after the 1978-79 season.

 photo Hartford Whalers 1976-77 jersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Extra extra extra bonus jersey: Today's extra extra extra bonus jerseys is a 1980-81 Hartford Whalers Dave Keon jersey as worn after the Whalers joined the NHL for the 1979-80 season. The Whalers were required to change their name from New England to Hartford due to a demand by the Boston Bruins as a part of their admission into the NHL.

Along with the new name came a new logo, which featured a bold whale tail and the letter H in the negative space above a bold W. This style underwent a few variations, such as the angled sleeve stripes being straightened, going back to aangled and then straight once again. Additionally, the popular Pucky the Whale shoulder patches would be inexcusably dropped for the 1983-84 season. Of note, this style was also worn with the long Cooperall pants for the 1982-83 season. This jersey would be worn for 13 seasons through the 1991-92 season before the team updated their look, which included promoting blue to their new main color.

 photo Hartford Whalers 1980-81 F jersey.jpg
 photo Hartford Whalers 1980-81 B jersey.jpg

Today's first video is Dave Keon's "Legends of Hockey" biography.

This video is from the 1970-71 season, the Maple Leafs first with their new jerseys and new, modern logo, which is still in use today. Keon scores early in the video on a really nice deke against the Detroit Red Wings. After Keon's goal, the Maple Leafs start picking off fans in the stands with flying pucks, as they nail two in a row!

Here are the final minutes of the Maple Leafs last Stanley Cup championship, won while wearing today's featured jersey.

This piece of sheer brilliance was too good to pass up, the Maple Leafs Top Ten Highest Scorers Named Dave!

Finally, a tour of the Dave Keon Arena in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec.

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