One of my favourite guys to ever appear in the playoffs for the Maple Leafs was Lonny Bohonos.
I thought Lonny Bohonos would be a star. Not knowing who he was until the 1998-99 playoffs, I was stunned when he appeared when a slew of injuries hit and had instant success, notching nine points in nine games for the Blue and White before the Leafs' exit from the playoffs.
Hell, after that playoff performance I almost got his jersey.
But after that season, I never knew what happened to him. I never understood why the Leafs didn't use him with the big club the next year. Perhaps they left him in the minors? Or maybe he just gave up and retired?
One day, after years of befuddlement, I was watching the Spangler Cup in 2001 on Sportsnet—when suddenly on the Swiss team, HE APPEARED! Randomly, out of the blue, there stood Lonny Bohonos in a Davos sweater.
Sportsnet did a profile on him and I soon found out, to my surprise, he was a star in Switzerland, considered the top player in the league. Notching a league-leading 60 points in only 43 games, he had a rock star status amongst the Swiss as the leagues MVP.
That day, Canada lost to Davos and he got two points in the game, go figure.
Again, I didn't see him for a couple years until one day during a Hockey Night In Canada Leaf game, Coaches Corner came on and Don Cherry was ranting on and on and at the end, he mentioned Lonny Bohonos. He was wishing him luck on a speedy recovery to a serious back injury he had in a game in Switzerland.
After hearing abut this it once again made me wonder—what the hell is wrong with the Leafs?
I did a stat check before writing this article, and what I found was astounding.
In his 81 games with the minor team, Bohonos had 41 goals and 98 points. In only 13 games with the Maple Leafs, he had six goals and nine points, not including playoff stats.
If you do the math, in a full season, only four players would have had more points this year.
Sadly, after he got injured, he tried to come back to the NHL. In the 2005-2006 season, he played for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. But after no call-ups, he went to Germany and played one final year for Mannheim of the DEL before his back couldn't handle it anymore.
Every week, I will be bringing a profile on a former Toronto Maple Leafs player who had their 15 minutes of fame for the Blue and White.