Leaf of the Day - Jan 6, 2009 - Felix Potvin

Jan 6, 2009 - Felix Potvin

I was toying with the notion of letting Bryan McCabe be today's LotD, but I'm sure he'll pot one tonight without any karmic assistance from me.  I'm not actually that hyped about the return.  I thought he'd have a good year this year and he seems to be doing just that.  More power to him.  The only Leaf defenseman I'd boo on sight is the living, breathing -1, Ken Hammond, and I'm almost over that now.

Maybe Anders Eriksson.

All that aside, I wanted to talk about something/someone else.  One of the stories that happened over Christmas that I didn't get to talk about at the time was the long-awaited debut of Justin Pogge.  He didn't disappoint.  I was expecting him to see some other action and that may yet happen if CuJo decides to take a walk in the snow.  For now, though, it's back to the Marlies and we'll see him for certain next season.

Felix Potvin broke in much the same way.  He played a handful of games in 1991-92 and really looked like a keeper (no pun), then it was back to the farm (not for as long, his games were late in the season, IIRC) for a playoff run in St. John's.  (It would be nice if the Marlies could go on a run themselves.  Not betting on it.)

Felix was back the next year to back up Grant Fuhr and wound up pushing Grant off to Buffalo and leading the league in GAA (at 2.50 - remember when goals were allowed to be scored?).  Then he went on the run we all remember.

Potvin looked like he'd be the the Leafs goalie for a good decade or more, but by the late 90s he'd developed a penchant for allowing a softie pretty much every game.  After a particularly tough one against St. Louis (MacInnis, but not one of his big-time slappers), the writing was basically on the wall, and the Leafs went to Curtis Joseph instead.  Potvin's stock was still high enough to merit Bryan Berard in trade.

Say what you will about Felix Potvin, but he got the Leafs closer to a Stanley Cup Final than any goalie since Bower and Sawchuk.  He's probably the best home-grown Leaf goaltender since Turk Broda, and that includes Palmateer.  His career save percentage with the Leafs is .909, which ain't too shabby, despite the softies.

We'll see what Pogge brings.



1987-88      Montreal-Bourassa      QAAA      27      15      7      3      3      3.90      6      2      4      0      0      3.51
1988-89     Chicoutimi Sagueneens     QMJHL     65     25     31     1     2     4.66                        
1989-90     Chicoutimi Sagueneens     QMJHL     62     31     26     2     2     3.99                        
1990-91     Chicoutimi Sagueneens     QMJHL     54     33     15     4     6     2.70     16     11     5         0     2.78
1990-91     Canada     WJC-A     2                     2.25                        
1990-91     Chicoutimi Sagueneens     M-Cup     3     1     2     0     0     2.76                        
1991-92     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     4     0     2     1     0     2.29                        
1991-92     St. John's Maple Leafs     AHL     35     18     10     6     2     2.93     11     7     4         0     3.83
1992-93     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     48     25     15     7     2     2.50     21     11     10         1     2.84
1992-93     St. John's Maple Leafs     AHL     5     3     0     2     0     3.50                        
1993-94     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     66     34     22     9     3     2.89     18     9     9         3     2.46
1994-95     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     36     15     13     7     0     2.91     7     3     4         1     2.83
1995-96     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     69     30     26     11     2     2.87     6     2     4         0     3.26
1996-97     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     74     27     36     7     0     3.15                        
1997-98     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     67     26     33     7     5     2.73                        

1997-98     Canada     WC-A     4     3     0     1     0     2.00                        
1998-99     Toronto Maple Leafs     NHL     5     3     2     0     0     3.81                        
1998-99     New York Islanders     NHL     11     2     7     1     0     3.66                        
1999-00     New York Islanders     NHL     22     5     14     3     1     3.21                        
1999-00     Vancouver Canucks     NHL     34     12     13     7     0     2.59                        
2000-01     Vancouver Canucks     NHL     35     14     17     3     1     3.08                        
2000-01     Los Angeles Kings     NHL     23     13     5     5     5     1.96     13     7     6         2     2.44
2001-02     Los Angeles Kings     NHL     71     31     27     8     6     2.31     7     3     4         1     2.16
2002-03     Los Angeles Kings     NHL     42     17     20     3     3     2.66                        
2003-04     Boston Bruins     NHL     28     12     8     6     4     2.50                        
Leaf Totals     369     160     149     49     12     2.87     52     25     27         5     2.75
NHL Totals     635     266     260     85     32     2.76     72     35     37         8     2.63

QMJHL All-Rookie Team (1989)
QMJHL Second All-Star Team (1990)
QMJHL First All-Star Team (1991)
Canadian Major Junior Goaltender of the Year (1991)
Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star Team (1991)
Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Memorial Cup Tournament Top Goaltender) (1991)
AHL First All-Star Team (1992)
Dudley ``Red'' Garrett Memorial Award (Rookie of the Year - AHL) (1992)
Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award (Outstanding Goaltender - AHL) (1992)
NHL All-Rookie Team (1993)
Played in NHL All-Star Game (1994, 1996)

- Traded to NY Islanders by Toronto with Toronto's 6th round choice (later traded to Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay selected Fedor Fedorov) in 1999 Entry Draft for Bryan Berard and NY Islanders' 6th round choice (Jan Sochor) in 1999 Entry Draft, January 9, 1999.
- Traded to Vancouver by NY Islanders with NY Islanders' 2nd round compensatory choice (later traded to New Jersey - New Jersey selected Teemu Laine) in 2000 Entry Draft and NY Islanders' 3rd round choice (Thatcher Bell) in 2000 Entry Draft for Kevin Weekes, Dave Scatchard and Bill Muckalt, December 19, 1999.
- Traded to Los Angeles by Vancouver for future considerations, February 15, 2001.
- Signed as a free agent by Boston, September 3, 2003.

the HHOF take on Felix:

As a Junior backstopper with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, Felix Potvin had the golden touch of an all-star. He led the league in shutouts for three years running; he was voted a second and first team all-star. He was chosen as the CHL Goaltender-of-the-Year; and, he made the Memorial Cup All-Star team and took home the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the top goaltender of the tournament. He then joined Team Canada to win a gold medal at the World Junior Championships.

Potvin was drafted in 1990 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent his first pro season with their AHL affiliate in St. John's. That year, he won the Baz Bastien Memorial Trophy as the top goaltender of the AHL and the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Trophy as the league's Rookie-of-the-Year. To top things off, he tended goal in four games for the Leafs who saw what they liked thus clearing the way for the club to dispense with Grant Fuhr in favour of their new rookie netminder.

In his early years with the Leafs, Potvin was a workhorse who, in his first big-league campaign, carried his club to the semi-finals where they eventually lost to Wayne Gretzky and his Los Angeles Kings. By the time he'd completed his six-year run with the Blue and White, Potvin had more games played and wins than all other Leafs stoppers except for Turk Broda and Johnny Bower. He set a club record, leading the league in games played with 74 during the 1996-97 season. During that campaign, he faced more shots than any goaltender in league history.

With the signing of free agent Curtis Joseph, Potvin saw the writing on the wall and the Leafs finally dealt him to the New York Islanders.

After a short stay with the Islanders, Potvin was sent to Vancouver where his stay was just as short as in New York. Following to sub-par seasons with New York and Vancouver, Potvin made a triumphant return to the NHL in 2000-01 with the Los Angeles Kings where he was workhouse for the team during their playoff run.

In 2001-02 Potvin played in 71 games with the Kings posting a 31-27-8 record along with 2.31 GAA before battling injuries throughout the 2002-03 season. After parts of three seasons with the Kings, Potvin was acquired by the Boston Bruins in the summer of 2003. Potvin would appear in 28 games with the Bruins however would not be re-signed by the club following the 2003-04 season.



Here's a tribute video made by someone with considerably more time than me. is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of

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