Welcome to Maple Leafs by the Numbers! A series that was never started before and left unfinished, uh-uh no way. We’ll be counting down the numbers from 99-1 as we get closer to the 100th anniversary game, and picking which player performed the best under each number. Things don’t get really interesting for a couple weeks, so hang in there.
The 90’s have never been a very popular range for players to pick their number from. We all know Gretzky’s 99, but that was because 9 was taken when he started playing hockey and stil lwanted to honour Gordie Howe. Stamkos wears 91 because his dad, his coach, gave the 19 he wanted to Tavares when they were kids.
Today we take a look at the seven Maple Leafs who wore their numbers from 99-90 the best, plus two who didn’t make the cut.
All stats only apply to the times the players wore the number as best as I could gather.
99 - Wilf Paiement (1980-1982)
Stats: 187GP - 78G - 125A - 203Pts - 420PM
When Paiment came to the Maple Leafs from the Colorado Rockies legend has it that Punch Imlach made him take #99 as a promotional stunt, to make Leafs fans forget about Lanny MacDonald somehow. Whatever the reason, Paiment is the only Maple Leaf to wear #99 and we salute you.
He also filmed a Leon's commercial where they teased having Gretzky in it, but then brought out Paiement. That's where I first learned of him.
96 - Phil Housley (2003)
Stats: 1GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 2PM
Acquired at the 2003 trade deadline from Chicago for an ‘03 9th round pick (Chris Porter) and an ‘04 4th round pick (Karel Hromas), Housley was brought in to solidify a Leafs defense for a playoff run.
He played one game then sat out the rest of the season and playoffs with a broken bone in his foot.
He then retired.
94 - Sergei Berezin (1996-2001)
Stats: 357GP - 126G - 94A - 220Pts - 34PM
A 10th round pick in the 1994 draft, Berezin made his Leafs debut in the 96/97 season putting up 41 points in 73 games. He would follow that up with no season under 39 points, hitting 50 in his final year in Toronto. Berezin was loved for his skill with the puck, his shots and his style of play.
The Leafs sold high on Berezin, trading him to the Arizona Coyotes at the 2001 entry draft for Mikkeal Renberg.
The other 94: Yanic Perreault (2007)
Acquired at the 2007 trade deadline with a 2008 5th round pick (Joel Champagne) from the Coyotes for Brendan Bell and a 2008 2nd round pick (sent to NSH: Roman Josi), Perreault was to bring his face off skills to a playoff bound Maple Leafs team. The Leafs failed to make the playoffs thanks to an Islanders shootout win over the Devils, and Perrault signed with Chicago in the off season.
Who was the best #94 for the Maple Leafs?
This poll is closed
93 - Doug Gilmour (1992-1997 / 2003)
Stats: 393GP - 131G - 321A - 452Pts - 386PM
Awards: Selke Trophy, 1993
After walking out on the Calgary Flames on January 1st 1992, Gilmour was the centerpiece of a ten player trade between the Flames and Leafs. Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville and Rick Wamsley were sent east while the return was Gary Leeman, Alexander Godynyuk, Jeff Reese, Michel Petit and Craig Berube.
Gilmour burst into the Toronto sports scene scoring 49 points in his first 40 games with the Leafs, following that up with a 127 point season, leading the Maple Leafs to the Western Conference final before being viciously attacked by some scumbag from the Kings. In his first full season with the Leafs Gilmour placed second in Hart trophy voting and won the Selke, but more importantly he cemented his place in Maple Leafs history. I wasn’t a Leafs fan during Gilmours time in Toronto, but the way he’s been spoken about, I always assumed he was some kind of lifetime Leaf, putting in a decade of work, but he made his impact in only four full seasons, and that's pretty damn impressive. He was named Captain, and earned his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as having his number 93 retired and a spot on Legends Row.
Gilmour would be traded to the New Jersey Devils midway through the ‘95/’96 season along with Dave Ellett and a ‘99 4th round pick (Andre Lakos) for Jason Smith, Steve Sullivan, and Alyn McCauley, and he would return at the 2003 trade deadline (from Montreal for an ‘03 6th round pick (Mark Flood), but the less said about that the better. Gilmour is now the President of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs and one time he traded his son away.
The other 93: Alexander Godynyuk (1991-1992)
Godynyuk was a 6th round pick for the Leafs in 1990. He made his NHL debut in 1990, scoring 3 points in an 18 game try out. In 1991 he would start the season with the team putting up 10 points in 37 games before being traded in the Gilmour deal.
Who was the best #93 for the Maple Leafs?
This poll is closed
That guy who was traded for Doug Gilmour
92 - Jeff O’Neill (2005-2007)
Stats: 148GP - 39G - 41A - 80Pts - 118PM
Acquired in the 2005 off season from the Carolina Hurricanes for a 2006 4th round pick (sent to STL: Reto Berra) O’Neil would play the final two seasons of his NHL career in Toronto. He would put up 38 and 42 points in his two seasons here, and after retirement he went into broadcasting, and currently works at TSN1050, using the nickname O-Dawg, which is nowhere near as good as Ed Helm’s character NardDog on The Office.
There they are, the representatives for the Toronto Maple Leafs who wore numbers 99-90. For those looking to make the Leafs record books, the numbers 98, 97, 95, 91, 90 have never been worn in a regular season game.
All info from stats to who wore what when came from Hockey-Reference.com