On This Day December 31st.

December 31: On this day in 1948, Rene Robert was born in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Robert is known for his spectacular years in Buffalo where he played right wing on the famous French Connection line with Rick Martin and Hall-of-Fame center, Gilbert Perreault. Robert began his career in Toronto in 1971 where he played just five games and retired as a Leaf in 1982 after 55 games. As a Leaf, he scored 19 goals.

December 31: On this day in 1961, legendary Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower faced his first ever penalty shot as a member of the Maple Leafs. His opponent was Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe in Detroit. Howe scored to boost the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory.

December 31: On this day in 1966, Leaf goalie Al "The Bear" Smith made his only appearance for the Leafs of the 1966-67 season. Smith and the Leafs lost to Chicago 5-1. A few months later, Al Smith was dressed and ready to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against Montreal, but was not needed. Al Smith went on to become a playwright and remains the only former NHL player to have ever written a play and brought it to stage.

December 31: On this day in 2011, After almost a year in official hiatus because the company was up for sale, the search for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s new CEO has started up again in earnest.

The company which controls the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC of Major League soccer is looking to replace long-time CEO and president Richard Peddie, whose last day on the job was Dec. 31.

An MLSE spokesperson said the company’s board restarted the search in the last few weeks, after a controlling stake in MLSE was purchased jointly by Rogers Communications and BCE in early December.

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