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The History Of The Sweater

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs

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Why fix what isn’t broken.

Except for short periods when silver was incorporated into the color scheme and the words Toronto Maple Leafs were sown with thread,  the Toronto Maple Leafs have worn blue and white for 82 years.

While the colours have long been credited to owner Conn Smythe’s love of the University of Toronto Blues, longtime Leafs public relations director Stan Obodiac liked to say the colours spoke to the blue of the sky and the white of the snow.

This year’s revamp features a return of two horizontal stripes a long the waist and an old-school Leafs logo on each shoulder.

The Leafs debuted their blue home uniform in 1928 with the words Toronto Maple Leafs centered on a 48-point logo. Three stripes on the waist and chest, gave the sweater a barber-pole feel.

In 1934, the basic components of the Leafs uniform were set. Two stripes of equal width were incorporated into the wrist and sleeve.

The Leafs used red lettering for the words Toronto Maple Leafs but only for part for a few months in 1947. A six-eyelet lace tie was introduced in 1958 and it lasted until 1973.

The 34-point crest was replaced by an 11-point Leaf as a homage to Canada’s flag in 1967.

In 1970, the Leafs moved to a solid blue yoke from shoulder to wrist that many associate with the lean years the team would encounter. Despite opposition from Leafs owner Harold Ballard, the team succumbed to league pressure and put player’s names on the back of jerseys by 1979.

In 1992, the Leafs adopted a look that would heavily influence the latest edition. The uniform bore two stripes on the arms and waist and a TML logo on the shoulder.

That look remained in place until the Leafs joined the rest of the league in revamping their uniforms coming out of the lockout. That meant the departure of both the shoulder logos and the two stripes along the waist.
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