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Maple Leafs by the Numbers: #10 - George Armstrong or Ted Kennedy?

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To long serving Maple Leafs captains vie for the #10

Vancouver Canucks v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Two captains, nine combined cups, but only one can be #10.

George Armstrong (1955-71)
Stats: 985GP - 252G - 370A - 622Pts - 530PM
Awards: Stanley Cup - 1962, 63, 64, 67

Armstrong played 19 full seasons with the Maple Leaf, as well as two call ups during his minor league years. He would serve as captain of the Maple Leafs for 11 seasons (1958-1969), longer than anyone else. He grew up in northern Ontario with a Scottish father and Ojibway mother, and played hockey with future Maple Leafs team mates Tim Horton and Red McCarty. In junior he won the Red Tilson trophy as OHA MVP, and the Maple Leafs moved him to their Toronto Marlboroughs team the following season, and after that he never played for anyone but Maple Leafs teams.

Armstrong was a consistent scorer for the Maple Leafs, routinely finishing in top three in scoring for the team, averaging between 35 and 50 points each season. He took over as captain from Ted Kennedy in the 58-59 season, and led the team to the Stanley Cup finals, but lost to the Canadiens. They would win four cups in the 60’s under his captaincy. After the ‘67 cup win, Armstrong announced his retirement, but changed his mind over the summer. He would do this between all of his final five seasons, with the Maple Leafs naming Dave Keon captain in the 1969 off-season after his latest retirement announcement.

After retiring for good in 1971, Armstrong started coaching with the Marlboroughs, but moved on to scout for the Nordiques until 1987 when he became assistant general manager for the Maple Leafs, a title he would hold until 2000 when he stepped down to take a lighter schedule and scout for the team, which he did until 2015, finally retiring for good at age 85.

Armstrong is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Maple Leafs Legends Row, and had #10 retired in his honour.

Ted Kennedy (1942-1955)
Stats: 696GP - 231G - 329A - 560Pts - 432PM
Awards: Hart trophy - 1955, Stanley Cup - 1945, 47, 48, 49, 51

One of just two Maple Leafs to win the Hart trophy (Babe Pratt also won it in 1944), Kennedy played 12 seasons in #10 for the Leafs, one more in #9, captained them for eight seasons, and won five Stanley Cups for the blue & white.

Kennedy’s mother, left to raise four children by herself after a hunter accident killed his father, worked at the local hockey rink, which is where Ted spent most of his time. Kennedy’s first NHL games came late in the 42-43 season as they took him on a road trip to see how he would fare in the NHL - after getting his mother’s permission to skip classes of course. The Montreal Canadiens owned his rights, but he became a Maple Leaf after the Leafs sent them the rights to Frank Eddolls.

Once he made the team Kennedy would score an average of about 45 points a season when he played almost all the games, with a low of 39 and a high of 61. He missed most of the season after being stepped on by a Bruins and the skate cut into his boot.

He would help the Maple Leafs win five Stanley Cups, and retire after the 54-55 season. It would be short lived though as he returned to playing in the 56-57 season, to help the Leafs who started off the year badly. His scoring wouldn’t help and the Maple Leafs would miss the playoffs.

Kennedy would enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, and his hometown arena in Port Colbourne, ON would be named the Ted Kennedy Youth Arena. Despite wearing #10 for most of his career, the Maple Leafs have officially retired #9 for Kennedy and Charlie Conacher.

Other 10’s

Glenn Anderson (1991-92)
Stats: 72GP - 24G - 33A - 57Pts - 100PM

Anderson came to Toronto in a seven player deal as the Edmonton Oilers were cutting star players from their roster after the 1991 cup. He would wear #10 for his first season in Toronto then switch to #9 for the final two.

John Anderson (1978-85)
Stats: 517GP - 188G - 202A - 390Pts - 166PM

A 1977 first round pick for the Maple Leafs, Anderson played seven full NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs. A scoring winger he hit a career best 80 points with the Leafs in the 82-83 season. He would be traded to the Nordiques in the 1985 off-season for Brad Maxwell.

Bill Berg (1992-96)
Stats: 196GP - 21G - 21A - 42Pts - 206PM

Joining the Leafs from the Islanders early in the 92-93 season, Berg played two seasons in Toronto, one shortend by injuries, before being traded to the Rangers for Nick Kypreos.

Vincent Damphousse (1986-91)
Stats: 394GP - 118G - 211A - 329Pts - 262PM

The Maple Leafs 1986 1st round pick, Damphousse jumped right out of the QMJHL and into the NHL, scoring 46 points in his first NHL season. He would hit a high of 75 points in his third season in Toronto, and would end up traded to the Oilers in a seven player deal + cash before the 91-92 season started.

George Ferguson (1972-78)
Stats: 359GP - 57G - 110A - 167Pts - 236PM

A 1972 1st round pick, Ferguson played seven years with the Leafs with one half season in the minors. His Leafs career high was 49 points in his third season, and he would be traded to the Penguins with Randy Carlyle for Dave Burrows and a 6th.

Ron Francis (2004)
Stats: 12GP - 3G - 7A - 10Pts - 0PM

The Maple Leafs picked up Francis for a 4th from the Hurricanes, looking forward to a long playoff run which wouldn’t materialize. Francis retired in the off-season, and is currently the executive VP of hockey operations and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Aaron Gavey (2002-03)
Stats: 5GP - 0G - 1A - 1Pt - 0PM

Gavey signed with the Leafs after two seasons with the Wild, but would spend all but five games with St. John’s. After he left the Leafs he would play in Europe and the minors with one more NHL call up in Anaheim.

Brad May (2009)
Stats: 38GP - 1G - 1A - 2Pts - 61PM

May came to the Leafs for free from the Ducks (the conditions on the pick were not met) halfway through the 08-09 season. He would play 38 games and then sign with the Red wings in the off-season.

Nick Metz (1934-1942?)
Stats: 307GP - 82G - 71A - 153Pts - 106PM
Awards: Stanley Cup - 1942, 44, 47, 48

This is one of the first iffy players I’ve come across. He wore #5 and #10, and I would assume he switched to #5 when he came back to the Leafs after a two year stint out west and Ted Kennedy was wearing #10. This is the story I’m going with.

He played seven and a half season with the Maple Leafs in #10, until he left for two seasons - 1942-44 - where he would go play out west, where he was stationed after joining the army. His brother Don Metz would play with him on the Maple Leafs, though Don would split seasons with the AHL.

Zdenek Nedved (1996-97)
Stats: 23GP - 3G - 5A - 8Pts - 6PM

A 5th round pick for the Leafs in 1993, he split three seasons with Toronto and St. John’s, then he would head back to Europe.

Eric Pettinger (1929-30)
Stats: 68GP - 7G - 12A - 19Pts - 64PM

Acquired midway through the 28-29 season from the Bruins for the rights to George Owen, Pettinger played one and a half seasons for the Leafs, but his most important contribution was being traded to the Ottawa Senators for King Clancy.

Joe Primeau (1928-29)
Stats: 2GP - 0G - 0A - 0Pts - 0PM

Also record wearing #15 and #7, I’m assuming he had #10 when he was a call up in one of his two call ups before he stuck with the team in the 29-30 season.

Marian Stastny (1985-86)
Stats: 70GP - 23G - 30A - 53Pts - 21PM

Stastny signed with the Maple Leafs after four years with the Nordiques. After he left the Leafs he would play one year in Switzerland before retiring.

Alex Steen (2005-09)
Stats: 253GP - 50G - 76A - 126Pts - 106PM

A first round pick by the Leafs who was traded to the Blues before hitting his prime by Cliff Fletcher to bring in Lee Stempniak, Steen put up over 100 points over his three and a half seasons in Toronto.

Garry Valk (1998-2002)
Stats: 287GP - 31G - 63A - 94Pts - 161PM

Gary Valk signed with the Leafs in the 98 off-season, playing four years as they made the conference finals in ‘99 and ‘02. He would sign with the Blackhawks for one more season before retiring.

Poll

Who was the best #10 for the Maple Leafs?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    George Armstrong
    (106 votes)
  • 40%
    Ted Kennedy
    (90 votes)
  • 0%
    Glenn Anderson
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    John Anderson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Bill Berg
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Vincent Damphousse
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    George Ferguson
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Ron Francis
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Aaron Gavey
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Brad May
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Nick Metz
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Zdenek Nedved
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Eric Pettinger
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Joe Primeau
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Marian Stastny
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Alex Steen
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Garry Valk
    (4 votes)
220 votes total Vote Now