The Hockey News recently put out their top 100 defensemen of all-time list, and the Maple Leafs are represented by 21 of those players. Here is a look at which Maple Leafs defensemen are on the list. This is part four of a four-part series. You can check out part one here, part two here and part three here.
Leafs Listed Between 76-100
#82 Leo Boivin
Boivin spent 19 years in the NHL and recorded 72 goals and 250 assists for 322 points in 1,150 games. He played between 1951 and 1970 with five different teams.
Boivin started his NHL career with the Leafs in 1951. He went on to play 137 games with the team before being traded to the Boston Bruins during the 1954-55 season. During his time in Toronto, Boivin scored three goals and 20 assists for 23 points.
Due to his small size (5’8″ – 183 Lbs), Boivin had to rely on his ability to hip check to be effective. He became so good at it that coaches from other teams would tell their players to cut to the middle of the ice to avoid getting caught between Boivin and the boards.
After Boivin retired in 1970, he became the head coach of the St. Louis Blues for two seasons. He coached the team during the 1975-76 season and again during the 1977-78 season. His coaching record was not very good at 28-56-13.
Hollett played 13 years in the NHL with four different teams. He played from 1933 to 1946. During his career, he recorded 132 goals and 181 assists for 313 points in 560 games.
Hollett began his career with the Maple Leafs in the 1933-34 season. After three points in five games, he got loaned to the Ottawa Senators. He then returned to the Leafs for the 1934-35 season. The Nova Scotia native played a total of 64 games with Toronto over parts of three seasons. He had 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points with the Leafs.
After being traded to the Boston Bruins during the 1935-36 season, he would spend parts of nine seasons with them. He recorded 84 goals and 115 assists for 199 points in 353 games with the Bruins. Hollett helped Boston win two Stanley Cups in 1939 and 1941.
During the 1944-45 season, while playing with the Detroit Red Wings, Hollett became the first defenseman in NHL history to score 20 goals in a season.
#85 Bob Goldham
Goldham played 12 seasons in the NHL from 1941-1956. During his career, he recorded 28 goals and 143 assists for 171 points in 650 games. He is known for being one of the first defensemen to block shots on purpose.
He began his career during the 1941-42 season when he got called up by the Maple Leafs. He scored 11 points in 19 games before going on to help the team do the unthinkable in the 1942 Stanley Cup final. Goldham assisted on the game-winning goal in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup after being down 3-0 in the series against the Detroit Red Wings.
After helping the Leafs win that 1942 Stanley Cup, Goldham left hockey to serve in World War Two. After the war ended, he returned to Toronto for the 1945-46 season. He played that season and the next with the Leafs before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1947.
He would later join the Detroit Red Wings in 1950 and help them to win four Stanley Cups during his six seasons on the team.
#92 Randy Carlyle
Carlyle played 17 seasons in the NHL while recording 148 goals and 499 assists for 647 points in 1,055 games. He played from 1976 to 1993 with three different teams.
Carlyle got drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 1976 NHL Draft in the second round (30th overall). During his two seasons with the Leafs, he collected 18 points in 94 games. In the summer of 1978, Carlyle got traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Carlyle would play with the Penguins for six seasons. During that time, he went on to lead the team in blueline scoring every season he was there. His best season was the 1980-81 season when he recorded 16 goals and 67 assists for 83 in 76 games. Those point totals helped him win the 1981 Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL.
Carlyle was named team Captain of the Penguins for the 1981-82 season. He would serve as Captain for three seasons before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets in 1984.
With the Jets, Carlyle played ten seasons until he retired in 1993. He recorded 80 goals and 226 assists for 306 points in 564 games with the team.
In 2005, Carlyle got his first NHL head coaching job with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He coached the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup in 2007. During the 2011-12 season, Carlyle got fired by the Ducks. He didn’t stay unemployed for long as he got hired by the Maple Leafs near the end of that same season.
He coached in Toronto for four seasons but did not find any success. He returned to coaching the Ducks in 2016 and stayed there until he got fired in 2019.
#94 Gus Mortson
Mortson played 13 seasons in the NHL from 1946 to 1959. During his career, he recorded 46 goals and 152 assists for 198 points in 797 games.
His career started with the Maple Leafs, and it started at the perfect time. Mortson would help Toronto win the Stanley Cup in 1947, ’48, and ’49, his first three seasons in the NHL ended with a Championship. He would help them win it again in 1951.
In 1952, Mortson got traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. He spent six seasons with the Blackhawks but only made the playoffs once. It ended with a loss in the semi-finals to the Montreal Canadiens.
The 1958-59 season would be Mortson’s last in the NHL. He finished his career with the Red Wings after picking up just one point in 36 games.
This list concludes my four-part series of the 21 Maple Leafs defensemen who made it onto The Hockey News – Top 100 Defensemen of All-Time list. I enjoyed reading up on all these former defensemen, and I hope you enjoyed it as well.
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