TORONTO (Jan. 21) — Confirming a blog I wrote in this space Wednesday night (http://bit.ly/1QntCmp), the Toronto Maple Leafs announced this morning that Dave Keon will have his statue erected on Legends Row outside the Air Canada Centre. Keon, Stanley Cup–winning goalie Turk Broda and all–time great defenseman Tim Horton will be added, in September, to the monument on the west plaza of the arena.
Here is the press release from the hockey club: https://t.co/R2Ju43uZF2.
In a blog just yesterday, I ran this photo of Keon “washing” himself with champagne from the Stanley Cup, moments after the Leafs had defeated Montreal on May 2, 1967:
Broda (below) is regarded — alongside Johnny Bower — as the greatest goalie in Leaf annals. Bower was among the first honorees of Legends Row, with former captains Ted Kennedy and Darryl Sittler.
Horton is immortalized today through his doughnut–and–coffee emporiums and is arguably the greatest defenseman in Maple Leafs history. He was twice named to the National Hockey League’s First All–Star team — alongside Pierre Pilote of Chicago in 1963–64 and Bobby Orr of Boston in 1968–69 (below).
On Mar. 3, 1970, while the Maple Leafs were preparing for a game in California against the Oakland Seals, Horton was traded to the New York Rangers. His final game in a Toronto uniform was hardly one to celebrate — an 8–0 loss to the Minnesota North Stars at the old Met Center in Bloomington on Mar. 1, 1970. The Sunday–afternoon match was televised across the United States and Canada by CBS. Horton later played for Pittsburgh (1971–72) and then Buffalo (1972–73 and 1973–74), where he re–united with the man that guided the Maple Leafs to their four Stanley Cup titles in the 1960’s: Punch Imlach.
Tragically and ironically, Horton was killed in a single–car mishap on the Queen Elizabeth Way outside St. Catharines, Ont. in the early–morning of Feb. 21, 1974. Just hours earlier, he had played for the Sabres against his old team at Maple Leaf Gardens. His face swollen from a fractured cheekbone, Horton had been injected with pain–killing medication throughout the match. He may have been feeling the after–affects (combined with alcohol) when his Ford Pantera went out of control near the Lake St. exit of the QEW, as he attempted to drive from Toronto to Buffalo. Horton, 44, was thrown from the vehicle and broke his neck.
TIM HORTON — IN FRONT ROW — SITS BETWEEN HAROLD BALLARD (TO HIS RIGHT) AND KING CLANCY IN THE MAPLE LEAFS 1968–69 TEAM PHOTO. THE HALL–OF–FAME DEFENSEMAN WAS A FIRST–TEAM NHL ALL–STAR THAT SEASON. DAVE KEON STANDS OVER HORTON’S RIGHT SHOULDER.