The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday that Hockey Hall of Fame member Ted Kennedy will be the first of three players to be honored with a statue in "Legends Row."
Legends Row will be in Maple Leaf Square, just outside Gate 5 at Air Canada Centre. Two other initial honorees will be named during the Toronto Maple Leafs Fan Fest, which starts Sept. 6.
"In addition to our focus on building a winning team for today and the future, there is an important responsibility to celebrate our team's history and to create opportunities for a strong connection between our fans and that tradition," Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. "Legends Row will be a fitting tribute that honors many of the greatest players to ever wear the Maple Leaf while giving our fans the chance to feel a part of that history. We are thrilled to include Ted Kennedy, a player who always gave everything he had to his team, and two other Leaf greats, as the first three players to be recognized."
Kennedy, nicknamed "Teeder," played all 14 of his NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs (1942-57), totaling 231 goals and 560 points in 696 regular-season games. He helped the Leafs win the Stanley Cup five times, won the Hart Trophy in 1955, was the captain for his final seven seasons, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. He died in 2009 at age 83.
"We were thrilled when informed of the idea of Legends Row, and even more honored when they said that Dad would be among the first players to be included," Mark Kennedy, Ted's son, said. "I know that the idea of being immortalized in his No. 9 Maple Leafs sweater, alongside some of the best players to ever play for this great franchise, would bring a tear to his eye."
The 30-foot bronze statues honoring some of the great players to play for the Maple Leafs is part of a multi-phase project leading to the 2017 centennial anniversary of the franchise.