Sunday, February 3, 2019

Maple Leafs Magazine Project #5

Here are two beautiful magazines with Toronto Maple Leaf covers from 1964. The first is a December 1964 Hockey Illustrated featuring a terrific shot of Johnny Bower stretching to make a save against Red Wing Marcel Pronovost. The Leafs had won the previous three Stanley Cups, but would slip to fourth place in the 1964/65 season and lose to Montreal in the Semifinal. Toronto had claimed goalie Terry Sawchuk in the Intra-League Draft in June 1964 in order to help the now 40-year old Bower in the Leaf nets. Bower, who played 51 games in 63/64 in front of back-up Don Simmons, had his workload cut to 34 games in 64/65. The duo of Sawchuk and Bower proved successful enough to garner the Vezina Trophy as Toronto allowed the least number of goals against. 
The article headline inside the magazine declares "The Leafs will be stronger than ever!", alas The Big M was a bit off in his assessment. Mahovlich himself was voted to the Second All-Star squad alongside teammate Carl Brewer, but it seemed the Leafs were aging out of their Stanley Cup window.
Dave Keon is pictured on this nice cover of "Official Sports Inc Hockey" magazine as he battles two un-named Boston Bruins. Like most Leafs, Keon's numbers dipped a bit from the three-time Cup winning season 63/64 to 64/65. His points dropped from 60 to 50 and he even slipped a spot in the Lady Byng voting from 2nd to 3rd. Although Keon was only 24-years old, the Maple Leaf core (Armstrong, Kelly, Bathgate, Horton, Bower & Sawchuk) around him seemed to have reached their prime and were on the decline.

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