Thursday, January 17, 2019

Maple Leafs Magazine Project #3

Hockey Pictorial was a monthly publication that was issued from 1955 through 1980. The editors obviously knew what hockey fans wanted, as it seemed every second issue featured a Maple Leaf player on the cover. OK, maybe the Leafs weren't featured that frequently, but why put Bruin Doug Mohns on the cover when you can put Frank Mahovlich? It's a no-brainer. Anyway, here are four Hockey Pictorial issues from my collection ranging from October 1958 to October 1961.
As the Leafs prepared for the 1958/59 campaign, they were coming off a last place finish in which the bright spot was Mahovlich winning the Calder Trophy. The Big M bested Bobby Hull as top rookie even though Hull out pointed him 47 to 36 on the strength of his potting 20 goals to Hull's 13. The Leafs would sneak past the Rangers to make the playoffs on the final day of the 58/59 season to begin their rise to their dynasty of the 1960's.
The October 1961 cover featured another Leaf coming off a Calder winning season. In 1960/61, Dave Keon posted 20 goals and 45 points to be awarded top rookie. Toronto finished second with 90 points, two behind Montreal.
Keon did indeed avoid the sophomore jinx improving to 26 goals and 61 points in 64 games in 61/62 and earning a Second Team All-Star selection.
1960/61 proved to be the breakout season for Frank Mahovlich as he threatened Maurice Richard's record of 50 goals in a season. He finished with 48 goals and was named First Team All-Star. In addition, Hockey Pictorial named him "Top Thrill Producer" as seen below.
Bob Pulford graced the cover in September 1960 after scoring career highs of 24 goals and 52 points. He would go on to help Toronto win four Stanley Cups in six years, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991.



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