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Honouring Leaf Greats

by Joe Bowen / Toronto Maple Leafs
The rafters at Air Canada Centre will get more crowded this year with the addition of Wendel Clark's number 17 and Doug Gilmour's number 93 joining the two retired numbers and the other honoured numbers in Leaf history. 


When then Maple Leafs President Ken Dryden decided to honour rather than retire former players numbers it drew much discussion from fans and some criticism from some former players that their legacy was not honoured by having their number retired from use. 

The Montreal Canadiens have retired so many numbers that it won't be long until the first three digit number will be required for some call up from the minors. I have supported the honoured number idea but I don't think the Leafs go nearly far enough. I believe that the number should be honoured every night with some kind of cresting on the jersey signifying that number was once worn by an honoured member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

When Matt Stajan pulls on his number 14 jersey he should see every night that his number was worn with great distinction by David Keon. A likeness of Keon or some kind of crest possibly adorned with an autograph of the honoured member should be in plain view for all to see on the jersey. 

The NHL has had third jerseys and all kinds of other gimmicks for sweater sales. The Maple Leafs should press the league to have this crest attached to their game jerseys. The next young man who is given number 17 or number 93 to wear should know each and every night he must live up to the legacy of players like Clark and Gilmour and he should have to look no further than the front of his jersey to be reminded.
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