On This Day June 1st.

June 1: On this day in 1931, the ground was broken towards the construction of a new home for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just 165 days later on November 12, 1931, the Leafs hosted their first ever game in Maple Leafs Gardens. The Gardens was built by Leafs managing director Conn Smythe in a six-month period during 1931 at a cost of $1.5 million. The site was purchased from The T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for a price said to be $150,000 below market value. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Ross and Macdonald. W. A. Hewitt, sports editor of the Toronto Star, was hired as general manager to oversee all events other than professional hockey. His son, Foster Hewitt, was hired to run the radio broadcasts. Construction was partly funded through a public offering of 7% preferred shares in Maple Leaf Gardens Limited at $10 each (about $117 in 2006), with a free common share for each five preferred shares purchased. Smythe and the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club Ltd. transferred ownership of the hockey team to the new corporation in return for shares in Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd.

The contract to construct the building was awarded to Thomson Brothers Construction of Port Credit in Toronto Township. Thomson Bros bid just under $990,000 for the project, the lowest of ten tenders received, mainly due to the fact that amongst the Thomson Brothers' various enterprises they had much of the sub contract work covered, others could not compete in this manner. That price did not include steel work, which was estimated at an additional $100,000. Construction began at midnight on June 1, 1931. In what is to this day considered to be an unparalleled accomplishment the Gardens was built in under five months and two weeks.

The Gardens opened on November 12, 1931, with the Maple Leafs losing 2–1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Reported attendance on opening night was 13,542. The Leafs would go on to win their first Stanley Cup that season. The total cost of construction was $1.5 million. Seating capacity at the new palace was 12,500.

June 1: On this day in 1976, the Leafs selected defenseman Randy Carlyle as their 1st choice, 30th overall. A couple of seasons later, after just 94 games, the Leafs gave up on him and he was traded along with George Ferguson to Pittsburgh. In 1981, Carlyle won the James Norris trophy with the Penguins as the NHL's best defenseman. As of 2008, no Leaf defenseman has yet to ever win the Norris trophy. After over 1,000 NHL games and several all-star games, Carlyle retired in 1993. Randy Carlyle won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.

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