Blue and White Beat: 42 years of waiting

42 years of waiting

The Leafs won their most recent Stanley Cup 42 years ago today, on May 2, 1967.

As Toronto fans continue to mourn over the length of the perpetual championship drought, here are some reflections:

  • Goaltender Curtis Joseph was three days old on the day of the Leafs’ last Cup. The Keswick, Ontario native was born on April 29 of that year, the same day as Game Five of the final, won by the Leafs in Montreal by a score of 4-1.
  • The Detroit Red Wings endured a 42-year Cup drought from 1955-1997. Since then, Motown has claimed hockey’s Holy Grail four times, and are in contention for another Cup this spring.
  • 42 is the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything, according to the late British sci-fi author Douglas Adams. Yet even he had no answer for the Leafs’ woes.
  • Three Leafs have worn the sweater number 42: Kevyn Adams, David Cooper, and (lo and behold) Kyle Wellwood, who currently has four points in 5 playoff games so far, for the Vancouver Canucks.
  • The #1 song on Billboard’ top 100 on May 2, 1967 was “Somethin’ Stupid” by Nancy and Frank Sinatra. (And, it just gets easier for Leafs fans to be a target of critics).
  • The only Leaf to wear the sweater number 67 was defenceman Robert Svehla, who played all 82 games for the team in 2002-03. “He took a fair bit of heat for picking the number,” former assistant GM Bill Watters told writer Scott Morrison in the book By The Numbers. “People thought he was poking fun at the last Cup year, but I don’t think he was. He wasn’t that kind of kid. I think he was simply acknowledging it.”
  • The Prime Minister of Canada on May 2, 1967 was Lester B. Pearson. Canada has seen eight Prime Ministers since then: Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.
  • The President of the United States on the date of the Leafs last Stanley Cup was Lyndon B. Johnson. The U.S. has seen eight presidents since then: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
  • The Leafs have not only failed to win the Cup in any of the past forty-two seasons, but have not been back to the Stanley Cup Final in all that time. Since then, the NHL has expanded from six to thirty teams. Of the 30 current NHL teams, the Leafs share the Cup Final drought with just six other clubs: Atlanta, Columbus, Minnesota, Nashville, Phoenix/Winnipeg and San Jose.
  • The Leafs top line in the 1967 playoffs of Jim Pappin (15 points), Pete Stemkowski (12 points) and Bob Pulford (11 points) led the entire league in post-season scoring (Pulford was actually tied with Jean Beliveau with 11 points). No single forward line led the entire NHL playoffs in scoring again until 2007, when Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson each had 22 points as the Ottawa Senators lost to Anaheim in the Stanley Cup Final.
  • The 1967 Maple Leafs are currently the first team with their names engraved on the second ring of the Stanley Cup. At the end of the 2016-17 season, the top (first) ring will be retired with each of the four lower ring moved up one spot to make room for a new fifth ring. Each ring has room to list 13 teams. So, if the Leafs don’t win the Stanley Cup before the end of the 2029-2030 season when the next ring is retired, then the most famous trophy in hockey will have no representation of the Maple Leafs on it.

20 years to go, guys. The clock is ticking.


Rob Del Mundo is the author of Blue And White Beat, and will be blogging at TMLfans.ca throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.

1 comment

  1. Matthew Jackson

    Hi Guys,

    Keep up the good work. The score is the only sporting news show that I will watch. I don’t know if you want to air this or not, but in regards to the Stanley Cup drought in Toronto, I just have this to say: Look at Paul Maurice of the Carolina Hurricanes. They are in a position now to more than likely take care of the Boston Bruins. Who would expect that? The Leafs decided to fire him. Can you believe that? When Paul was named coach of the Maple Leafs, every Leaf fan knew in September of that year that they did not have a team that was going to compete for the Stanley Cup. So their solution is to fire the coach? Burke says that the fans need to be patient. Hello???!!! The fans have been patient. You think that supporting the Leafs for 42 years is not enough patience? Everyone knows that MLSE is one of the richest organizations in sports. They know that the Air Canada centre will be filled regardless of what team they put on the ice. MLSE represents everything that is wrong with the world today. They are a greedy and selfish organization, that only cares about the board of directors. They say that they appreciate their fans. BULLSHIT!!! The fans are just dollar signs going through the turn styles. They should be ashamed of themselves. The fans should all boycott game after game and demand their money back. SHAME ON YOU MLSE!!! SHAME ON YOU!!! I believe that all Canadians are praying that Jim Basille finally moves a franchise back into Canada. (Get out of the way Bettman!! ) I hope that if that happens that the leaf fans support the other Ontario team. Competition brings out the best in everyone. Thanks Guys.

    Sincerely,

    An impatient Leaf fan!!

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