I’m very happy with this week because it’s my first ever favourite Leaf coming right up and ends with a pretty great one on the team right now:

#36 - Dmitry Yushkevich (1997-2002)
Stats: 437GP - 24G - 100A - 124Pts - 81PM
Awards: N/A

Yushkevich came to the Leafs from the Philadelphia Flyers with a second round pick for a first, second, and fourth round pick. Yushkevich wore #26 his first year in Toronto then switched to #36. He was a solid member of the Leafs blue line for seven seasons, until he was traded in the 2002 off season to the Florida Panthers for the rights to Robert Svehla. When he was sent to the Panthers, Yushkevich said this (via CBC):
Yushkevich spent seven seasons in a Leafs sweater before being traded to the Panthers for Robert Svehla during the off-season.

Yushkevich was unhappy about the trade.

He missed the final 27 games of the regular season and the playoffs with a blood clot in his leg. On several occasions he pleaded with the Leafs to let him back into the lineup. The club refused, citing insurance considerations.

When was shipped to Florida, he questioned the integrity of the Leafs brass saying: "The most honest person in the (Leafs) organization is Carlton the Bear because he never says anything."

Months later, Yushkevich is still bitter.

"When the game comes, I don't know what I am going to do," Yushkevich told the Toronto Sun.

"I've been trying to put it off until then. It's definitely going to be hard for me to go there and play and be in the opposite dressing room."

02/03 would be his final year in the NHL, where he spent the season moving from the Panthers to the Kings to the Flyers and he’d play out his career in Russia, until he retired after the 09/10 season with Kärpät in Liiga. He’s currently an assistant coach with CSKA Moskva in the KHL. He’s reconciled with the Leafs organization recently appearing in alumni events.

Other 36’s:
Brendan Bell (2006-2007)
A third round pick for the Leafs, he spent three seasons trying to make the roster full time, and after he did he played 31 games and was then traded to the Coyotes for Yanic Perrault’s third go around with the Leafs. A highly touted CHL prospect - he was named CHL and OHL defenseman of the year in 2003 - he never stuck in the NHL and spent most of his career in Europe or the AHL.

Frank Bialowas (1994)
The Leafs signed Bialows out of the ECHL and he only played 3 games for the Leafs. He’d spend his career in the AHL, and after four seasons not playing he came back to play in the goon leagues - Sherbrooke Saint-François of the LNAH and Danbury Thrashers of the UHL.

Len Esau  (1992)
Esau was a 1988 5th round pick for the Leafs, and played one season in the Leafs org, two games in the NHL, before being traded to the Nordiques for Ken McRae.

Carl Gunnarsson (2009-2014)
A great seventh round pick for the Leafs, Gunnarson played 304 NHL games in Toronto on defense before being traded to the St. Louis Blues for Roman Polak. Gunnarson was seen as a big part of the Leafs future - he was an alternate captain in 13/14, and was a regular feature on the Swedish blue line thanks to the Leafs not making the playoffs - he’d win two bronze and a silver at the World Championships.

Scott Harrington (2015-16)
Harrington played for the Leafs in the 15/16 tank season after joining the organization in the Phil Kessel trade.  He played 15 games for the Leafs and was traded to the Blue Jackets for Kerby Rychel.

Jamie Heward (1996)
Heward was a Penguins first round pick, but they never kept him past his ELC. He signed with the Leafs after spending a year with Team Canada (back when we had a dedicated team), and played five games for the team wearing #36 (the following season he’d play 20 wearing #26). He’d be released after his contract expired after the second season, but would return to the Maple Leafs in 2009 after the Lightning dumped IR contracts on the Leafs, but would not play.

Greg McKegg (2015)
We spoke about ol’ fart-face yesterday. He was called up in 2015 and played three games wearing #36.

Ken McRae (1993)
Wait...[scrolls up]...oh hey, we just talked about him. He played two games in #36 for the Leafs, had no points.

Mike Millar (1991)
The Leafs would be his final NHL stop before playing out his career in Europe, Millar had seven games in the NHL with the Leafs scoring four points.

Anton Stralman (2007-2009)

Sigh. Stralman was a seventh round Leafs pick in 2005, and split two seasons between the Leafs and the Marlies. He was traded in 2009 to the Flames with Colin Stuart for Wayne Primeau and a 2nd round pick (sent to Chicago who picked Brandon Saad). He went on to be a very reliable top 4 defender for the Blue Jackets and Rangers and is now with divisional rival Tampa Bay. A late pick traded away for veteran help in a feeble attempt to make the playoffs. The late 2000’s Leafs everybody!

Who was the best #36 for the Maple Leafs?

Dmitry Yushkevich 549
Brendan Bell4
Frank Bialowas 7
Len Esau 2
Carl Gunnarsson184
Scott Harrington 3
Jamie Heward 1
Greg McKegg8
Ken McRae1
Mike Millar 2
Anton Stralman 128

#35 - Jeff Reese (1990-1992 / 1999)
Stats: 76GP - .871sv% - 4.09GAA - 2SO
Awards: N/A

Reese was drafted by the Leafs in 1984 and made his NHL debut in 1987 wearing #1.  He’d switch to #35 after two seasons, but would never stick full time in the NHL for Toronto. He was part of the Doug Gilmour trade, and this began his jounrey around the NHL, backing up the Whalers, Flames, Lightning and, Devils before returning to Toronto in 1998, and he would be traded to Tampa Bay in the 1999 off-season. You can read about his second departure here.  Reese is now the Goaltending Coach for the Dallas Stars.

Other 35’s:
Bruce Boudreau (1983)
A third round pick for the Leafs Boudreau played 12 games wearing #35, he changed numbers a lot as he bounced from the minors to the Leafs every season. He was a career minor leaguer and turned to coaching when he retired. You may have heard of him.

Marty Dallman (1988)
Two years in the Leafs organization, after that he went to Europe. A pretty common story in this series. He wore #35 for two games, and in those games he had one assist, his only NHL point.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere  (2009-2011)
He played only 48 games with the Maple Leafs, which I just realized. It felt like he was around longer. Brought in from the Ducks for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala, he’d leave once his contract was up and sign with the Colorado Avalanche where he’d finish his career.

Derek Laxdal (1985/1989)
He wore #35 in both of his first and final seasons with the Maple Leafs, totaling 44 games and 15 points. He’d be traded to the Islanders at Christmas 1989. He’s currently the head coach of the AHL Texas Stars.

Drew MacIntyre (2014)
He was the Marlies starter in 2013/14 and played two games for the Maple Leafs, and was credited with one loss. He is currently playing with the Straubing Tigers of the DEL.

Marc Magnan (1983)
A 10th round pick, played 4 NHL games and spent six years in the minors before retiring.

Corey Schwab (2001/02)
Leafs backup in 2001/02, he played 30 games in his only season in Toronto. He is currently a goaltending coach with the Arizona Coyotes.

Vesa Toskala (2008-2010)

Let in this goal:

Which inspired this headline.

Who was the best #35 for the Maple Leafs?

Jeff Reese72
Bruce Boudreau104
Marty Dallman1
Jean-Sebastien Giguere328
Derek Laxdal3
Drew MacIntyre10
Marc Magnan0
Corey Schwab29
Vesa Toskala180

#34 - Auston Matthews (2016-Present)
Stats: 98GP - 50G - 38A -88Pts - 16PM
Awards: Calder Trophy (2017)

Uh, duh.

Other 34’s:
James Reimer (2011-2016)

When I originally made this list Reimer was the #34, but I’m lazy, never made the article and Matthews showed up. Reimer is the nicest guy in the NHL, dragged the Leafs into the 2013 playoffs but was never handed the starting role with the Leafs, especially after they brought in Jonathan Bernier. He was a free agent in 2015/16 and was traded to the Sharks at the deadline with Jeremy Morin for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith, and a 2018 4th round pick. He signed a four year contract with the Florida Panthers that off season.

Bryan Berard (1999-2000)
Berard was anointed a key piece of the Maple Leafs future when he joined the team in a 1999 trade with the Islanders (Felix Potvin was sent there) after winning the Calder trophy with the Islanders in 1997 with the Isles. He had 49 points in 102 NHL games until he was high sticked in the eye by Marin Hossa. He would miss the entire 2000-01 season recovering from the injury which left him with a detached retina. He was given a $6.5 million insurance payout, but returned it to try and make an NHL comeback. He would play for the Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, and Islanders before ending his career with Vityaz Chekhov of the KHL. His comeback earned him the Masterton trophy in 2004.

Rob Cimetta (1991)
Brought in from the Bruins in exchange for Steve Bancroft, Cimetta wore #34 in the 90/91 season. He’d never play a full season for the Leafs, and after a couple years in the minors he would go to the DEL where he’s win back to back championships with Adler Mannheim.

Rocky Dundas (1990)
He played his final professional year with the Leafs farm team the St. Catharines Saints,  and his only NHL games in 1990 with the Leafs (5 games, no points). After leaving hockey he became a full time pastor.

Ted Fauss (1988)
Played 13 games in #34 in his final season in the NHL where he had one point. He took up coaching after he retired, working as an assistant at Morrisville State College for several years.

Wes Jarvis (1986)
Called up for two games in the 86/86 season where he wore #34, Jarvis spent his final six seasons mostly on the Leafs farm team. He’s the uncle of former Marlies captain Alex Foster.

Terry Johnson (1988)
Played out his career in the Leafs system with Jarvis up there. His final NHL games were in #34, he played 48 in 87/88 bu had only one point.

Maxim Kondratiev  (2004)
Finally made the Maple Leafs in 2004 and played seven games only to be traded in a package to the Rangers for Brian Leetch.

Jamie Macoun (1992-1998)
Coming over in the Gilmour trade, Macoun was a regular defender for the Leafs until 1998 when he was traded to the Stanley Cup winning Red Wings for a fourth round pick that became Alexei Ponikarovsky.

Craig Muni (1986)
His final year with the Leafs came in the number 34, six games and one assist. He’d leave the Leafs and become a regular NHLer with the Oilers winning three Stanley Cups. After retiring he was a scout for the Lightning, and head coach of the Buffalo Beauts 16/17 season.

Fred Perlini (1984)
Like others he wore #34 in his final year with the Leafs, playing one game in the 83/84 season. After two more years in the AHL he spent 11 seasons in the British leagues, where his son and current Coyote Brendan Perlini was born.

Jeff Serowik (1991)
Signed a three year deal with the Leafs after college, but played only one NHL game, and spent the rest in St. John’s.

Darryl Shannon (1989)
A second round pick in 1986 he would spend five years in the Leafs system, and played his first 14 games in the NHL as #34. He’d find his NHL stride with the Jets, Flames, Sabres, Thrashers and Canadiens and would end his career with three seasons in the DEL.

Leigh Verstraete  (1983)
Wore #34 in his first pro season where he got into 3 NHL games with the Leafs, he would play six pro seasons, all with the Leafs organization, and then retired.

Ken Yaremchuk  (1989)
Played 11 games as #34 for the Leafs then spent the rest of his career in the Swiss League, where he was named the ‘Most Penalized Player’ in 1996.

Who was the best #34 for the Maple Leafs?

Auston Matthews821
James Reimer72
Bryan Berard18
Rob Cimetta2
Rocky Dundas5
Ted Fauss 1
Wes Jarvis 2
Terry Johnson 0
Maxim Kondratiev 1
Jamie Macoun38
Craig Muni1
Fred Perlini3
Jeff Serowik 2
Darryl Shannon 2
Leigh Verstraete 2
Ken Yaremchuk  8

Okay, from here on out it’s one number per day as we count down to the Centennial Game for the Maple Leafs.