The Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled a logo yesterday that managed to be both new and old at the same time.
If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a slightly revitalized version of the 35-point maple leaf worn by the team from the late 1930s until the end of the Original Six era in 1967. That period saw the Leafs at their very best. They took home 10 Stanley Cups, won 114 playoff games and secured 14 trips to the finals. Back then their record was bested only by the Montreal Canadiens, who are still the most successful Canadian hockey team in NHL history.
But the logo isn’t exactly the same. There are definitely some subtle (yet noteworthy) changes in the newer version. The leaf, now with 31-points, is a nod to the opening of the Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 (the old one had 35 points), while the 17 veins represent when the team was founded (the 13 veins at the top of the crest alone also signify the team’s Stanley Cup wins).
A perfect choice for the 2017 season, given that’s when the Maple Leafs will turn 100. But the story behind why that logo was originally chosen back in 1927 is especially interesting.
“Conn Smythe fought in WWI,” Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan said, referring to the team’s owner back in 1927. “And he said, ‘I want my hockey team to have the badge that the brave men and women who fought with me in WWI, wore for Canada.'”
And the distinctive maple leaf logo was born.
Of course, the recent performance of Toronto’s hockey team hasn’t done much to honour that symbol. But hopefully with the nostalgia factor at play, the Maple Leafs can return to their glory years once again.
Go Leafs Go!