Good morning to everyone on this Remembrance Day, Nov-11-2008.
I mentioned many weeks ago how The Leafs were given the name Leafs.
Conn Smythe was the builder of the Leafs, as well as many great hockey minds who worked with him in those very early tough days.
Smythe made some good deals and some that were not so good.
He was also a very shrewd hockey man and tough as nails who possessed very little money.
Smythe started with a gravel pit and one truck outside of Toronto. That was the start of the Finances that lead to bigger things and most importantly a hockey team.
As the construction of a hockey team was taking place and the scraping together of many hard earned dollars, a major issue was occurring in Europe: "World War One." This resulted to many good hockey players being called into service.
Smythe joined his men in the war and was given the rank of Lieutenant, which later became "Major Smythe."
On his arrival in Europe he was given the rank of Lieutenant and then Major, so it was at this time in the war when he was given command of a Battalion of men.
That Battalion of men were known as-"The Leafs", much to Smythe's surprise.
Major Smythe returned from the war after being wounded numerous times.
After his healing of wounds were looked after, Smythe started the slow process of building a hockey team, as well as an arena.
Although things were very slow in building the team and arena, Smythe was always faced with political issues. However, Conn Smythe did succeed in building and naming his team-"The Toronto Maple Leafs".
There were many hockey individuals involved, and many hours of heartbreak, yet not close enough to the heartbreak, blood, sweat, and tears that were endured during "The Wars."
So hockey fans, before you mention one negative word when The Toronto Maple Leafs are standing at centre ice tonight think of the name "Toronto Maple Leafs", a name that was taken from "The Leaf Battalion" in a time of war.
Unfortunately, many of those Leafs did not return.
"AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN,AND IN THE MORNING,WE WILL REMEMBER THEM".