Johnny Bower is more than a legend. As a member of the last Maple Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup, and three more before that; a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame; and the go to icon of team history, it feels today as though a part of the soul of the Maple Leafs has been ripped away.
His loss will be deeply felt by all who personally knew him, and many more who only knew of him.
I met Johnny Bower before a game in the away room in Owen Sound. I had no clue what the most legendary goalie in Leafs history was doing there that cold winter night, but when I shared with him how I was fortunate enough to be drafted by the same organization he proudly backed— Garret Sparks (@GSparks40) December 27, 2017
for so many years between the pipes, I could see the excitement he had in his eyes for me, the love he had for this team & it’s fans and the gratitude he had for the game and the opportunities it afforded him. I will never forget that encounter, the night a true legend made me— Garret Sparks (@GSparks40) December 27, 2017
The NHL is back in action tonight, but the Maple Leafs have one extra night off before they start a three game road trip through the western US, beginning with the Coyotes tomorrow night. We can expect a full and proper tribute to Bower at their next home game which is on Tuesday, January 2.
The Marlies played the Belleville Senators at the ACC, yesterday and received their fourth loss in five games.
The next Marlies game is Friday night at Ricoh Coliseum. I hope to see you there!
IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championships
The preliminary round of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championships started yesterday. If you didn’t have a chance to watch the games, you won’t be surprised to learn that Canada easily defeated their first opponent, Denmark.
Here are yesterday’s results:
Czechia 5 - Russia 4
Sweden 6 - Belarus 1
USA 9 - Denmark 0
Canada 4 - Finland 2
Here is today’s schedule (EDT):
3:00 PM Belarus @ Switzerland
7:00 PM Canada @ Slovakia
Should NHL Teams Forfeit Picks for Suspended Players? - Arvind
"There simply isn’t a strong enough penalty to players for being reckless."
Nazem Kadri’s long road to Leafs' overnight success - The Globe and Mail
A three-game team suspension in March, 2015, was the crossroads that led the Leaf centre to decide to become ‘a better person on and off the ice’
"The city is a shithole" - Hockeysverige
"HSBC is a nice arena, but take one exit wrong from highway and you find yourself in a very, very, very scary ghetto. I feel safer walking in downtown Moscow during the night than walking in downtown Buffalo.”
An interview with Colorado Avalanche prospect Dominic Toninato - Mile High Hockey
The San Antonio Rampage center is making a quick transition to professional hockey.
What winning the Belmont RFP means (and doesn’t) for the Islanders - Lighthouse Hockey
Getting the go-ahead to build a new arena could be a game-changer for the team on many fronts.