Last night, the Maple Leafs announced that they would hold a Celebration of Life service for Johnny Bower, open to the public.
It’s a lovely move by the Leafs, opening up the ACC for a public ceremony. After everything Bower’s done for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it only seems right that the people of Toronto should gather in the Leafs’ rink to celebrate him.
Here are a couple more pieces on Bower:
Johnny Bower: The ultimate Maple Leaf | Maple Leafs Hotstove
Johnny Bower may have been one of the few athletes in modern history who became even more popular after their retirement from the game than when he played. And Bower was already immensely popular in Toronto — and beyond — when he played.
Johnny Bower Memories: A Hall of Fame player and person - Sportsnet.ca
We may know him better as the Hall of Fame NHL player, but Johnny Bower cherished being a Hall of Fame husband, father and grandfather even more.
On a more cheerful note, let’s all watch this gif of Auston Matthews scoring his first goal in Arizona again:
There's nothing like scoring at home. pic.twitter.com/xQ3VKSMLEQ— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) December 29, 2017
The Sporting News had a fun piece on Matthews before his homecoming, which I enjoyed reading if just for the Claude Giroux anecdote. (17-year-old Auston Matthews and grown-up me have the same reactions to seeing Claude Giroux, for what it’s worth).
Some more links for your Friday:
All the Maple Leafs stars score in 7-4 rout of Arizona - Pension Plan Puppets
Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Patrick Marleau, Connor Brown...
Back to Excited Podcast - Episode 12: New Year’s Resolution - Pension Plan Puppets
Trade talk to spice up your holiday season.
Stuff We Didn’t Write
Rangers forward Chris Kreider out indefinitely with blood clot in arm | Toronto Star
Kreider departed from Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals after playing 5:04 with what the team termed an “upper-body injury.”
Mark Scheifele out 6-8 weeks with UBI - Arctic Ice Hockey
The closest thing to the worst case scenario has happened.
Land Aho! With Boychuk to IR, Islanders recall Swedish defenseman from Bridgeport - Lighthouse Hockey
I have included this article entirely because the title made me laugh.
World Juniors 2018 recap & highlights: Sweden outshines Czech Republic - Eyes On The Prize
The Czechs controlled large stretches of the play, but in the end it was the Swedish offence that shone brightest.
Ice conditions will be major factor as Canada faces U.S. in outdoor game - The Globe and Mail
Canada’s roster has been built around speed, so struggling to dig in on the ice could slow them down
Claesson suspended two games for hit to the head on Noel Acciari - Silver Seven
It’s the Swede’s first suspension. Ben Harpur will draw into the lineup.
Canada downs HC Davos 4-1, advances to Spengler Cup semifinal - The Globe and Mail
The two-time defending champions finished first in their group with a full six points at the pre-Olympic tournament
Could Earle and Greenway be on their way to the Winter Olympics in South Korea? | TheColorOfHockey
"Who are these guys?" That's likely to be the response from some fans on New Year's Day when USA Hockey announces the roster for the men's team that will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea Feb. 9-25.