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Maple Leafs begin Centennial celebration

Retired, honored number banners come down, will go to players' hometowns; new ones to be raised @NHL

Thursday marked the start of the Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Anniversary celebration, with honored-player banners descending from the Air Canada Centre rafters to be shipped to each player's hometown.

The Maple Leafs have officially retired two numbers: No. 6 for Ace Bailey and No. 5 for Bill Barilko, but have raised banners for 16 players whose numbers were officially honored. New banners will be raised for each of the Maple Leafs retired/honored numbers this season, Toronto's 100th in the NHL.

Wendel Clark, selected No. 1 by the Maple Leafs in the 1985 NHL Draft, was on hand to watch his No. 17 come down. Clark spent his first nine seasons and parts of four others with Toronto, with 441 points (260 goals, 181 assists) in 608 games.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: Wendel's banner will be delivered to Kelvington, Sask., and a new one will be put up for the Centennial. #TMLtalk

Hall of Famers Syl Apps and Tim Horton each also had his banner descend. Horton, also known for his Canadian-based coffee and donut shop, was a leading member of Toronto's defense while wearing No. 7 for the bulk of his 1,185 games with the Maple Leafs from 1949-70.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: Tim Horton's banner is the next to come down. #TMLtalk

Horton, whose banner will be sent to Cochrane, Ontario, had 458 points (109 goals, 349 assists) with the Maple Leafs and helped them to four Stanley Cup wins, including their last championship in 1966-67.

Apps was a center for 10 seasons in Toronto and had 432 points (201 goals, 231 assists) in 423 NHL games. He missed two years to serve in World War II but returned to help Toronto win back-to-back championships in 1946-47 and 1947-48.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: Syl Apps is the last banner to come down today. #TMLtalk

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