TML Historical Moments By Year 1917-18 to 1936-37.

1917/18: Led by Frank Calder the owners of the NHA decide to start their own league freezing out the Toronto Blue Shirts who won the Stanley Cup in 1914 owned by Eddie Livingstone. Essentially it was the same league, but without an owner the rest had resented. The new Toronto team owned by the Arena at the time had no official nickname, some called them Blue Shirts since most of their players had previously played for Toronto's NHA franchise. While deposed owner Edward Livingstone did all he could to interfere with the team and the new league. However, "the Torontos" as some called them were one of the top teams in the new league's first season finishing tied for first place with Montreal Canadiens with a 13-9 record, benefiting from default wins against the Montreal Wanderers who were forced to withdraw after fire destroyed their arena. After beating the Canadiens for the NHL title the Toronto team faced the PCHA Champion Vancouver Millionaires for the Stanley Cup. The entire 5 game series was played in Toronto with rules alternating between East 6-man and West 7-man games. Neither team was comfortable with each other's style as Toronto took the series in 5 games benefiting from 3 games played with 6 men.

1918/19: To try and disassociate themselves from Edward Livingstone the "new" Toronto franchise changes its nickname officially to the Arenas. Everything released by the team from uniforms to the Stanley Cup, which they had won in the previous season. An Outraged Eddie Livingstone felt they team was still his and he brought lawsuits against the Arenas and the league. The resulting lawsuit would ruin the Arenas 2nd season as they were forced to sell off their stars, to pay for legal bills falling into last place with a terrible 5-13 record. Eventually Livingstone lost all his lawsuits as it was found that he still had his NHA team but without competition the players had the right to leave, and with the lease he signed with Charles Querrie of the Arena Gardens of Toronto the Arena owned NHL franchise had the rights to the former Blue Shirts players. However, the Arenas owners were still ruined and need to sell the franchise to a group headed by Charles L. Querrie.

1919/20: Rescued from bankruptcy Toronto's professional hockey team is renamed the St. Patricks in honor of Toronto's growing Irish Population. The new nickname gave the Toronto team a fresh start as well as a new image as they changed their colors to green and white. The fresh started helped as the St. Pats recovered from a disastrous season, filled with lawsuits and near bankruptcy to post an improved 12-12 record barely missing the playoffs.

1920/21: The St. Pats get back to the playoffs finishing the NHL regular season with the best record at 15-9. However, in the NHL finals the ST. Pats are crushed by the Ottawa Senators in a 2-game total goal series.

1921/22: After another solid 13-10-1 season the St. Patricks led by Coach George O'Donoghue get revenge by beating the Ottawa Senators in a total goal series to fight for the Stanley Cup. Facing the Vancouver Millionaires in a 5-game series Mutual Street Arena, the St. Pats roll over the Vancouver Millionaires taking a the series in 5 games, overcoming 2 losses under Eastern Rules, as former Millionaire Jack Adams notched 6 goals in the series. An interesting side note; most record books and the Stanley Cup would later list the St. Pats coach as Eddie Powers, even though it was actually O'Donoghue.

1922/23: The St. Patricks never get a chance to defend their Stanley Cup Championship missing the playoffs with the same 13-10-1 record that had worked for them the year before.

1923/24: With new coach Eddie Powers behind the bench the St. Patricks suffer through a disappointing season missing the playoff for the second year in a row with a 10-14 record.

1924/25: The St. Patricks return to the playoffs finishing 2nd with a 19-11 record. However the St. Pats would be dispatched easily by the Montreal Canadiens in a total goal series. The series which was originally set to be a semi final would be the NHL final after the Hamilton Tigers refused to play after not being given money for playing extra games.

1925/26: The St. Patricks never seem to get it going finishing 6th with a terrible 12-21-3 record, in the final year the NHL shared the Stanley Cup with other leagues.

1926/27: The St. Patricks continue to struggle with instability going through 3 coaches during a terrible 15-24-5 season which season them land in last place in the NHL's Canadian Division. There was even discussion of moving the team to Philadelphia but a group of investors including Conn Smythe, bought the team and kept them in Toronto, feeling if the team moved the city's economy would collapse. Smythe would also take over as coach and GM, while changing the team's name to Maple Leafs in February. The idea for the new name came from a team Smythe had once scouted the East Toronto Maple Leafs. In addition Smythe who was a World War I veteran and a patriot also liked the name for its link to Canada.

1927/28: The restructuring under Conn Smythe continued as the Maple Leafs went back to their traditional blue and white color scheme, which they had abandoned in 1919, when they became the St. Pats. In addition Conn Smythe would take over the coaching reigns hoping to change the team's fortunes on the ice. In Smythe's first year behind the bench the team would show improvement. However their 18-18-8 record was not good enough to secure a playoff spot.

1928/29: The restructuring of the Maple Leafs begins to pay off as they make the playoffs with a 21-18-5 record. The Leafs would easily dispatch the Detroit Cougars in the first round outscoring them 7-2 in a total goal series. However, in the semifinals their season would come to an end with 2 straight 1-goal losses to the New York Rangers in a best of 3.

1929/30: The Maple Leafs would take a step backwards as they missed the playoffs by finishing 4th in the Canadian Division with a disappointing 17-21-6 record.

1930/31: Conn Smythe steps down as Coach as he becomes owner of the Maple Leafs. With replacement Art Duncan the Leafs would go on to finish with a 22-13-9 record. In the playoffs the Leafs season would end in heartbreaking fashion losing a total goal series in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

1931/32: In a year that sees the opening of a brand new state of the art arena known as the Maple Leaf Gardens, Dick Irvin takes over as Coach in the middle of the season leading the Maple Leafs to the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row with a 23-18-7 record. In the playoffs the Leafs overcome a 1-0 loss in Game 1 by blowing out the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 to win their total goal series in the first round. In the semifinals the Maple Leafs would win another total goal series in dramatic fashion beating the Montreal Maroon in overtime of Game 2 to earn trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the finals the Leafs swept the New York Rangers scoring 6 goals in each game as the Leafs Kid Line of Busher Jackson, Charlie Conacher, and Joe Primeau scored 8 goals in 3 games.

1932/33: The Maple Leafs would ride high coming off their Stanley Cup Championship taking first place in the Canadian Division with a 24-18-6 record. Getting a first round bye the Maple Leads would battle the Boston Bruins trough a hard fought 5-game series that saw 4 games go to overtime. The Leafs would end up taking the series by winning the finale 1-0 in overtime. In the finals the Leafs simply ran out of gas losing to the Rangers 3 games to 1 despite the advantage of playing all but one game at home.

1933/34: Maple Leafs star Ace Bailey would become the story of the year after a near fatal injury that would end his career after a fight on the ice with Boston Bruins star Eddie Shore. The injury would see Bailey end up in the hospital in critical condition with a fractured skull. As Bailey recovered the Leafs and the NHL decided to host a Valentine's Day Benefit All-Star Game to help Ace with his medical bills. On that day among the players on hand was Eddie Shore, whom Ace Bailey reached out and hook his hand, and made clear his forgiveness of Shore. Despite the loss of Bailey the Leafs would win the Canadian Division for the 2nd year in a row by posting a league best 26-13-9 record. However, in the semifinals the Leafs would be stunned in 5 games by the Detroit Red Wings, dropping both of their home games.

1934/35: The Maple Leafs continue to be one of hockey's premier teams as they win the Canadian Division for the 3rd year in a row with a terrific 30-14-4 record. In the semifinals the Leafs overcame a stunning Game 1 loss in overtime beating the Boston Bruins in 4 games. However, in the finals the Leafs would stunned by the Montreal Maroons who swept them in 3 straight in the first all-Canadian Cup Final since 1926.

1935/36: Despite failing to win the division the Maple Leafs make the playoffs again with a solid 23-19-6 record. In the quarterfinal total goal series the Maple Leafs overcome a 3-0 loss in Game 1 by beating the Boston Bruins 8-3 in Game 2. In the semifinals the Leafs would knock off the New York Americans in 2 games to 1 in a best of 3. However, the Leafs run would end in the finals as they are beaten by the Detroit Red Wings 3 games to 1.

1936/37: Despite struggling to a mediocre 22-21-5 record the Maple Leafs qualify for the playoffs for the 7th year in a row. However, in the first round they are bounced quickly being swept by the New York Rangers in 2 straight of a best of 3 series.

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