Sunday, January 10, 2010

#31--Leaf Number OTD

Okay, kiddies, today's number is 31.

In honour of the one and only Curtis Joseph (pictured right, obviously), who is announcing his retirement on Tuesday January 12 at the ACC. Will there be a ceremony? Of course, there will be. There is a ceremony before every Leaf game it seems this year. But this one is warranted. Cujo won the hearts of every Leaf fan a few years after he almost broke their hearts as a member of the St. Louis Blues and taking the Blues to a 7th game in their playoff series against the beloved Leafs. Some say a shot off his mask, which actually removed his mask from his person, from Wendel Clark was the turning point in the series. I don't know. I just knew that he was a marvelous goalie. He spent some time in cold, cold Edmonton before smartening up and signing with the Leafs as a free-agent. Booed unmercifully in his first game back against the Oil, Cujo recorded a shutout. Of course he did. That was the way with Cujo. We could go on about his purported falling out with Coach Pat Quinn and his subsequent departure from the Leafs, searching in vain for a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, but all the Leaf faithful had forgiven him by the time he returned to the Leafs for one last go-round in the big smoke. Happy Retirement Curtis. You're a part of my all-time Leaf team!

Allan Bester....Bester wore 31 while he toiled with the Buds. Bester spent parts of 8 seasons here in Toronto, appearing in 205 games and recording 7 shutouts. Defence wasn't part of the game back in the eighties. His best season was the 86/87 seasons where he contributed 2 shutouts and compiled a 3.65 gaa. He ended his career as a Solar Bear (???) in Orlando.

Grant Fuhr....The second best goaltender in Leafland to wear #31, Grant Fuhr only played two seasons with the Leafs and on February 3/1993 was moved to Buffalo for Dave Andreychuk, Darren Puppa and the Sabres first round pick. The Leafs had acquired him along with Glenn Anderson and Craig Berube for Vincent Damphousse, Peter Ing, Luke Richardson, Scott Thornton, future consderations and cash.

Other number 31's include...Don Beaupre, the aforementioned Peter Ing, Damien Rhodes, Al Smith, Marv Edwards and Gord McRae...quick question time...What was Gord McRae's nickname?....answer next post.........previous quick question answer....Rich Costello came to Toronto in the Darryl Sittler to Philadelphia trade. Wow.

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