Considering the level of mediocrity displayed by the Maple Leafs over the past while it was nice to see three ex-Leafs voted for admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although Joe Niewendyk and Ed Belfour were Leafs for just a short time and near the end of their careers, Doug Gilmour had career years in Toronto. Gilmour may not be the best player to pull on a Leaf jersey but he must be just about the most popular. He just has to show his face at a Leaf game and the crowd is once again chanting “Dougie, Dougie.” It is great to see Killer recognized with all the other greats.
I’m so pleased to see Mark Howe also get the nod. He too has a Toronto connection. He and his brother Marty played for the Toronto Marlboros for the 1972-73 season. The Marlies won the Memorial Cup that year and Mark Howe was named the Memorial Cup MVP. That team also had Bruce Boudreau, Wayne Dillon and Mike Palmateer. My father-in-law managed the Marlies back then and signing the Howe boys was one of his biggest thrills in hockey.
The HHOF class of 2011 is an outstanding group and has a distinct blue tint.