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Maple Leafs by the numbers: #25 Peter Zezel

A hometown hero gets the call

Only 25 numbers left to go! Today has a real big fan favourite at the top, and surprisingly not many challengers. Off we go.

Peter Zezel (1990 -1994)
Stats: 207GP - 50G - 78A - 128Pts - 73PM

Zezel travelled all over the NHL before joining the Leafs. He played for the Flyers, Blues and Capitals before being sent to the Maple Leafs with Bob Rouse in exchange for Al Iafrate. Zezel’s time in Toronto was plagued by injuries, and combining that with being used defensively by Pat Burns his stats as a player dropped significantly. The summer following the Leafs second trip to the Western Conference Finals, he would be be sent to the Dallas Stars after the Leafs ginned their free agent Mike Craig. He would travel around again, moving from the Stars to the Blues to the Canucks. He retired mid-season in 1998-99 after some controversy with the Canucks to be closer to his family, as his niece was terminally ill.

After retirement he taught hockey and soccer in Toronto, having been drafted into the North American Soccer League and played in the Canadian Soccer League in the NHL off season. He did in 2009 from complications due to a rare blood disorder. A street in his hometown of Scarborough was named Zezel Way in his honour.

Other 25’s:
Greg Andrusak (1999-2000)
Stats: 9GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 4PM

A long time minor leaguer, Andrusak joined the Leafs near the end of his career, playing his final nine NHL games. He would then return to the minors and Europe for the next few years.

Earl Balfour (1951-54)
Stats: 20GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 8PM

Balfour played his few few seasons in #25. He’d bounce around numbers as he could never stick in the NHL. He found more success with the Blackhawks, sticking with them for three seasons before heading back to the minors.

TJ Brennan (2014-15)
Stats: 6GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 9PM

Brennan’s first stint with the Leafs came in #25. He played most of his time with the Marlies, as he’s often called a ‘AAAA’ player. Tops of the AHL, but can’t make the NHL.

Willy Brossart (1974-1975)
Stats: 21GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 22PM

Brossart never played many Leafs games. Acquired by the Leafs for cash near the end of the 73-74 season from the Flyers he was then traded to the Capitals near the start of the 74-75 season.

Jack Caffery (1954-55)
Stats: 3GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

Playing three games for the Leafs out of junior. he’d spend the rest of the time in the minors before joining the Boston Bruins.

Wayne Carleton (1966-1970)
Stats: 89GP - 10G - 15A - 25Pts - 60PM

Carleton went up and down from the AHL to the NHL with the Leafs for four seasons in #25, before being traded to the Boston Bruins for Jim Harrison in 1970, where he’d go on to win the Stanley Cup.

Rich Clune (2015-16)
Stats: 19GP - 0G - 4A - 4Pts - 22PM

Clune was brought in to the Marlies to provide a veteran presence to a club full of kids. He played 19 games with the Leafs that season, and has been on an AHL contract the past two seasons.

Paul DiPietro (1994-1996)
Stats: 32GP - 5G - 5A - 10Pts - 10PM

Brought in post-cup win from the Canadiens for a fourth round pick, he’d spend the final season of his contract playing for the Leafs and three different minor league teams. He would play one season with the Kings after that, then play out his career in Switzerland (16 seasons). He’s currently a scout and development coach with EV Zug of the Swiss league.

Garry Edmundson (1959-1961)
Stats: 42GP - 4G - 6A - 10Pts - 47PM

A long time minor leaguer made it to the NHL for one season and a bit with the Leafs, before heading back to the minors.

Scott Garland (1975-1977)
Stats: 85GP - 13G - 23A - 36Pts - 91PM

Garland played one and a half seasons in Toronto before returning to the minors. In his final contract year he would be traded to the Kings.

Hal Gill (2006-07)
Stats: 82GP - 6G - 14A - 20Pts - 91PM

His first year out of Boston, Gill wore #25 with the Leafs and played every game that season. The next year he’d switch numbers and be traded to the Penguins at the deadline for picks, and win the cup with the Penguins that spring.

Bob Hassard (1949-51)
Stats: 13GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 0PM

Joining the Leafs after the junior season ended, he wore #25 and would switch to #17 when he made the team full time.

Jeff Jackson (1985-1987)
Stats: 60GP - 9G - 9A - 18Pts - 66PM

He would go up and down from the minors, and the season he stuck in the NHL he was traded to the Rangers for Mark Osbourne. He would be the Leafs assistant GM from 2006-2010.

Alexander Khavanov (2005-06)
Stats: 64GP - 6G - 6A - 12Pts - 60PM

Signed on with the Leaf after the cancelled season, he played his final NHL season in Toronto, and would leave to play one more year in the Swiss league before retiring.

Orland Kurtenbach (1965-66)
Stats: 70GP - 9G - 6A - 15Pts - 54PM

Joining the Leafs from the Bruins for the final year of his contract, he’d sign with the Rangers in the off season, and end his career as a four year span as the first captain of the Vancouver Canucks.

Tom Kurvers (1989-1991)
Stats: 89GP - 15G - 40A - 55Pts - 37PM

He wasn’t Scott Neidermayer.

Ed Litzenberger (1961-1964)
Stats: 114GP - 17G - 23A - 40Pts - 24PM

Playing two and a half seasons in Toronto, Litzenberger would win the cup in 62, 63, and 64 with the Maple Leafs, he also won with the Red Wings in 61, and finished the final two seasons of his career in the minors.

Jyrki Lumme (2001-2003)
Stats: 124GP - 10G - 19A - 29Pts - 64PM

Acquired in a trade for Dave Manson from the Dallas Stars. He played well defensively for the Leafs in the 2002 playoffs, but a hit from Chris Neil injured his shoulder, leaving the Leafs short on defence in the conference finals versus the Hurricanes. After the 2002-03 season he was bought out by the Maple Leafs, and took a couple years off of playing hockey. He played from 2005-2007 in Finland for Ilves, and is currently co-owner of that team.

John MacMillan (1960-61)
Stats: 31GP - 3G - 5A - 8Pts - 8PM

His first year pro after leaving the NCAA, MacMillan split the season between Rochester and Toronto. He’d get called up twice more over the next two seasons, grabbing different available numbers each time.

Phil Maloney (1950-51/52-53)
Stats: 30GP - 3G - 6A - 9Pts - 2PM

Coming to the Leafs from the Bruins in early in the 1950 season, he would play most of his career in the minors, being recalled occasionally.

Milan Marcetta (1967 post-season only)
Stats: 3GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

One of the few Leafs to only ever play in the playoffs, Marcetta came in from the Vancouver Maple Leafs of the WHL Senior league for three games.

Terry Martin (1979-1984)
Stats: 317GP - 83G - 76A - 159Pts - 152PM

Martin was acquired from the Quebec Nordiques, and was a great winger for the Maple Leafs through the dreaded 1980’s. He would play for the Leafs for four full seasons after the trade, and signed with the Edmonton Oilers in the 1984 off season, but would be traded to the North Stars before they’d start winning cups.

Larry McIntyre (1969-70/1972-73)
Stats: 41GP - 0G - 3A - 3Pts - 26PM

A third round pick for Toronto, Larry was called up twice, but spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues.

Eric Nesterenko (1951-52)
Stats: 1GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

Nesterenko would have a good career with the Leafs, but is wouldn’t be in #25. He wore that in one game after the junior season was over. He’d make his mark in the NHL with the Blackhawks after being traded for $20,000 cash.

Joe Nieuwendyk (2003-04)
Stats: 64GP - 22G - 28A - 50Pts - 26PM

Joined the Leafs after two years with the New Jersey Devils, and two cups with the Flames and Stars, Nieuwndyk was a great addition to the veteran Leafs in 03-04 and everyone had hopes on him helping lead the Leafs deep into the playoffs, but they lost in the first round, the next season was cancelled, and he left for the Panthers with Gary Roberts when the NHL resumed play. He is currently a scout with the Hurricanes after working in the front offices of the Panther, Leafs (assistant to the GM), and four years as GM of the Dallas Stars.

Ben Ondrus (2008-09)|
Stats: 22GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 18PM

The third and final number he’d wear for the Leafs was #25. The next season he would captain the Marlies and spend the entire season in the minros.

Marc Reaume (1954-1957)
Stats: 112GP - 6G - 26A - 32Pts - 135PM

Making the Leafs full time in 56-57, Reaume split seasons with the minor league teams before that, and then switched to #2 for his final few seasons with the Leafs. He would do his biggest move for the Leafs when he was traded to the Red Wings for Red Kelly.

Dave Reid (1952-53)
Stats: 2GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

Reid was called up every season or so for a few games from juniors or the University of Toronto.

Bill Root (1985-1987)
Stats: 61GP - 3G - 4A - 7Pts - 66PM

Acquired from the Canadiens for a fourth round pick, Root bounced between the NHL and minors, changing numbers as he was called up. Then he was traded to the Flyers for Mike Stothers.

Rod Schutt (1985-86)
Stats: 6GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

His final pro season was mostly spent with the St. Catharines Saints, but was called up for six games. He retired at the end of the season.

Jason Smith (1996-1999)
Stats: 162GP - 5G - 29A - 34Pts - 156PM

Smith came to the Leafs with Steve Sullivan and Alyn McCauley from the Devils for Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett, and a pick. Smith was a great defender for the Leafs during the Stavros dark ages, and would be traded to the Oilers for picks at the 99 deadline. He’s currently the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL.

Bob Solinger (1951-52/1954-55)
Stats: 41GP - 6G - 8A - 14Pts - 15PM

Bounced up and down between the Leafs and Pittsburgh Hornets for a few years, and he spent his career in the minors.

Pete Stemkowski (1963-1965)
Stats: 37GP - 5G - 15A - 120Pts - 35PM

He wore #25 when he was going up and down from the minors and switched to #12 when he made the team full time.

Mike Stothers (1987-88)
Stats: 18GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 42PM

Strothers split the 87-88 between the Leafs system and the Flyers, and played for four teams. After that he would play four seasons for the Hershey Bears, becoming a player-coach in his final season. Then he would begin coaching in the AHL, NHL, OHL, WHL, and is currently the head coach of the AHL Ontario Reign.

Frank Sullivan (1949-50/52-53)
Stats: 6GP - 0G -6A - 6Pts - 2PM

Spent most of his time in the minors, with brief appearances on the Leafs and Blackhawks.

Bob Sykes (1974-75)
Stats: 2GP - 0G -0A - 0Pts - 0PM

Minor leaguer with two NHL games total. But they were here!

Steve Thomas (1984-85)
Stats: 18GP - 1G - 1A - 2Pts - 2PM

His Maple Leafs debut was in #25, but the year was mainly spent in the AHL. He’d swap to #12 and then #32 before being traded.

James van Riemsdyk (2016-Present)
Stats: 103GP - 40G - 39A - 79Pts - 49PM

JVR Switched to #25 after #21 was retired at the beginning of last season, sparking some crazy rumours about him being traded after the #21 merchandise was discounted. The question about who will be #25 next season is coming up as his contact expires this season.

Darren Veitch (1988-89)
Stats: 37GP - 3G - 7A - 10Pts - 16PM

His first stint in Toronto was in #25, the next in #26. Both seasons were mostly spent in the AHL though.

Leigh Verstraete (1984-85)
Stats: 2GP -0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

His second call up came when #25 was available, so he wore that.

Ron Ward (1969-70)
Stats: 18GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 2PM

Mostly a minor leage/WHA player, Ward had a brief stint in Toronto, a full season in Vancouver and out of the NHL the rest of the time.

Terry Yake (1994-95)
Stats: 19GP - 3G - 2A - 5Pts - 2PM

Acquired from the Ducks for David Sacco, Yake played only 21 games total that season. He’d leave as a free agent in the off season, signing with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Gary Yaremchuk (1984-85)
Stats: 12GP - 1G - 1A - 2Pts - 16PM

An up and down guy, he got #25 this season. We’ll see him one more time!


Who was the best #25 for the Maple Leafs?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Peter Zezel
    (111 votes)
  • 0%
    Greg Andrusak
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Earl Balfour
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    TJ Brennan
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Willy Brossart
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Jack Caffery
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Wayne Carleton
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Rich Clune
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Paul DiPietro
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Garry Edmundson
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Scott Garland
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Hal Gill
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Bob Hassard
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeff Jackson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Alexander Khavanov
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Orland Kurtenbach
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Tom Kurvers
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Ed Litzenberger
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Jyrki Lumme
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    John MacMillan
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Phil Maloney
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Milan Marcetta
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Terry Martin
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Larry McIntyre
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Eric Nesterenko
    (0 votes)
  • 12%
    Joe Nieuwendyk
    (41 votes)
  • 0%
    Ben Ondrus
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Marc Reaume
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Dave Reid
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Bill Root
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Rod Schutt
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Jason Smith
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Bob Solinger
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Pete Stemkowski
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Mike Stothers
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Frank Sullivan
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Bob Sykes
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    Steve Thomas
    (13 votes)
  • 37%
    James van Riemsdyk
    (118 votes)
  • 0%
    Darren Veitch
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Leigh Verstraete
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Ron Ward
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Terry Yake
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Gary Yaremchuk
    (1 vote)
318 votes total Vote Now