The 80’s were the decade of greed, or so pop culture has me believe. Which is apt because the 80s for the Leafs was about hoardeding talent and keeping unworthy people out.
#89 Alexander Mogilny (2002-2004)
Stats: 176GP - 65G - 101A - 166Pts - 32PM
Awards: Lady Byng, 2003
Alex Mogilny joined the Maple Leafs as a free agent in 2001 after playing for New Jersey (winning the cup there in 2000), Vancouver, and Buffalo. His brief time in Toronto (176 regular season games) was perfectly timed as the Maple Leafs we at their best since the ‘93 playoffs during his time there, ending playoff runs in the conference finals and conference semi-finals (look, that’s the best we can hope for as Leafs fans these days), and won the Lady Byng award in 2003. His time with the Leafs ended after the NHL teams voted to cancel the 04-05 season and wiped out the remaining year on his contract. Mogilny is now president of Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL.
As a note; Mogilny wore #89 because that is the year he defected from the Soviet Union to join the Buffalo Sabres.
#88 - Eric Lindros (2005-2006)
Stats: 33GP - 11G - 11A - 22Pts - 43PM
Eric Lindros was a Maple Leafs fan his entire childhood, and eventually, after the cancelled season, he fulfilled his dream of donning the blue and white. He played only one season in Toronto, and it was cut short by injuries. He played only 33 games for the Leafs, briefly wore the ‘C’ while Mats Sundin was injured, and then signed with the Dallas Stars.
#84 Mikhail Grabovski (2009-2013)
Stats: 340GP - 91G - 117A - 208Pts - 237PM
Acquired by Toronto from Montreal for Greg Pateryn and a 2010 second round pick (Jared Knight) Grabovski would spend 300+ games with the Leafs, including playing for their only playoff team between 2004 and 2017, then was then bought out of his contract with the team in the summer of 2013. He would eventually sign with the Islanders, along with Maple Leafs linemate Nikolai Kulemin, and has spawned countless internet arguments ever since.
#81 Phil Kessel (2010-2015)
Stats: 446GP - 181G - 213A - 394Pts - 140PM
Controversial when he arrived (acquired from Boston for two first round picks and a second (Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin, and Jared Knight) controversial when he left (traded for Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, ‘16 1st round pick (to:ANA, ANA: Sam Steele) and a 2nd (to:PIT, PIT: Kasper Bjorkqvist) and $2mm in retained salary per year), Phil Kessel was the highlight of the post-cancelled season Maple Leafs.
Brought in when management thought the team was heading to contender status, Kessel led the team offensively for his time here. Not a favourite of some fans or media members, it should have been hard to deny the impact he had on the team. 394 points, 181 goals, so many highlight reel plays, Kessel was a bright spot in a decade of despair. On July 1st 2015 he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins and would lead the team in playoff scoring as they captured the 2016 Stanley Cup, and would become a two time Stanley Cup Champion when the Penguins went back to back in 2017.
#80 Nik Antropov (2003-2008)
Stats: 330GP - 106G - 136A - 242Pts - 402PM
Antropov went through some lower numbers when he started with the Maple Leafs before he settled on number 80. The 10th overall pick in the 1998 draft, Antropov would remain with the Leafs for eight and a half seasons before being traded to the New York Rangers. He would then play for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets* before playing two seasons in the KHL for Astana Barys. He’s now retired and still living in Toronto, and his son is eligible for the NHL draft next year. You can find him playing for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. (Feeling old yet?)
Five players wore numbers in the 80’s for the Maple Leafs, and it was a great group of players. I can’t wait for the excitement the 70’s will bring us!
Again, thanks to Hockey-Reference.com for the help.