The team began during the first season of the National Hockey League in 1917-18 as the Toronto Hockey Club, also known as the Toronto Blueshirts. The club won the NHL playoffs their first season and then defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA 3 games to 2 to take the Stanley Cup in their very first try.
The following season, still wearing blue sweaters, the club became known as the Toronto Arena Hockey Club, named after the Arena Gardens rink which owned the club as a part of business maneuvers to protect themselves from legal action from the owner of the previous Toronto franchise that played in the previous National Hockey Association. The team was more commonly referred to as the Toronto Arenas for the 1918-19 season. The Arenas quickly ran into financial difficulties and were sold to new owners for $5,000 in time for the 1919-20 NHL season.
The new owners were Charile Querrie, the General Manager of the Toronto Arenas, and the owners of an amateur hockey club called the St. Patricks. The new ownership group then changed the NHL club's name to the Toronto St. Patricks and their sweaters from blue to now green.
Dye again led the team in scoring both seasons, with 37 points in 1922-23 and just 19 in 1923-24, but still enough to lead the club.
The original 1919-20 St. Pats jerseys were alternating green a white hoops on the body, while the sleeves were green with a single white band and white cuffs. For 1920-21, the sweaters were solid green with white cuffs, collar and waist stripe. They reverted to their original horizontally striped sweaters for 1921-22.
For 1922-23, the location of the sweater's colors were reversed, with the result being a predominately white look now that the arms were white with a green band and cuffs. This style was worn for three seasons through 1924-25 and this is the style which will be worn this evening.
It was back to an all-green look for 1925-26, including the collar and cuffs, with the only white being three narrow stripes along the waist.
Finally, for the team's final season as the St. Patricks, they added a white chest band trimmed with narrow white stripes and reduced the three narrow waist stripes to two. With the sale of the club to Smythe, this jersey would not finish out the season, as it was immediately replaced by a solid white sweater with a green maple leaf crest, with the team colors permanently changing to blue and white for the 1927-28 season.
It would be the St. Patricks final green jersey with the white chest band of 1926-27 which would become the basis for Toronto's throwback jersey worn in March of 2002 on the 75th Anniversary of Smythe's ownership and resulting name change to the Maple Leafs.
One unique feature of today's throwback jersey is the use of separate white boxes for each digit on the back of the jersey done in the style teams used to employ in the days of multi-striped barberpole jerseys.