Toronto Maple Leafs legend Theodore Samuel "Teeder" Kennedy passed away early Friday morning. He was 83 years-old. The cause of death was heart failure. Kennedy served 14 years with the Leafs in the 1940's and 50's, spending several of them as captain. Along with capturing five Stanley Cups with the team, Kennedy was the last Leafs player to win a Hart Trophy (1955).
Teeder was swiped from under the nose of the Montreal Canadiens by Frank Selke who was in charge while Conn Smythe was overseas fighting in WWII. The fallout of the move saw Selke leave for the Canadiens but Kennedy's impact mitigated a lot of the pain of seeing Selke build dynasty after dynasty in Montreal.
Universally known as Teeder (a nickname that stuck since childhood because some people had trouble pronouncing the name Theodore), Kennedy was the ultimate Leaf. While he was a horrendous skater, he made up for it with his competitive zeal that would make him arguably the greatest leader in franchise history, and maybe in hockey history. He led by example, fearlessly battling some of hockey's all time greats. He could shoot and pass and stickhandle with the best of them, yet was a proud defensive player and a superior faceoff specialist.
That Maple Leafs' Legends post does more justice to the major impact that Kennedy had on the franchise as does this Legends of Hockey segment on the man himself.