'67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire

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9780470838501: '67: The Maple Leafs, Their Sensational Victory, and the End of an Empire

In 1967 the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in a stunning defeat of the mighty Montreal Canadiens in Canada’s centennial year. Thirty-nine years later (and counting), no other Leaf team has been able to do it again. As the years pass, the legend grows. The men who were the Leafs in 1967--a scrappy group of aging players and unsung youngsters--were the kings of this universe, the last hockey heroes to skate in the world's most important hockey city. They were the men with the right stuff who enjoyed the perks and privileges that went with it.

Sixty-Seven is not just another hockey book about that legendary team, but a unique and total look at the contradictions, the legends, the shame and the glory of '67. Within five years of that '67 victory, two key members of the team, Tim Horton and Terry Sawchuk, would be dead due to alcohol and drug-related issues. The man who had succeeded Smythe as King of Carlton Street, Harold Ballard, was in jail. The seeds of what would become a horrifying pedophile scandal a quarter-century later were being planted. All that had been built up over the course of decades was in the process of being torn down.

Sixty-Seven will tell previously untold stories, funny and tragic, from the inside of that unforgettable dressing room. And beyond the story of the team, it will tell the story of the times, a time of innocence before Vietnam and Watergate, the last year of the Original Six-Team NHL, and the last gasp of the hockey dynasty built by the legendary Conn Smythe. The story of Sixty-Seven extends well beyond that of a hockey team that found a way to win.

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From the Inside Flap:

IT WAS THE LAST GASP OF A HOCKEY EMPIRE. Amidst the dying embers of the Original Six, the Toronto Maple Leafs combined a collection of fading veterans with a sprinkling of untested youngsters to surprise the hockey world and capture the 1967 Stanley Cup.

It was a team layered with complicated, sometimes frail characters, from loveable Johnny Bower to cerebral Brian Conacher; from sensitive Frank Mahovlich to Allan Stanley, a childhood pal of tragic Bill Barilko; from Jim Pappin, who led the team in scoring that unforgettable spring but was quickly cast aside, to Dave Keon, a true believer who gradually became bitterly alienated from the team.

The reflected glory of the Cup also concealed a great deal. Harold Ballard was beginning the process of ripping Maple Leaf Gardens from the hands of the Smythe clan and committing crimes that would lead him to jail. The seeds of what would become a lurid pedophile scandal were being planted. Personal feuds that last to today were being formed. Tim Horton was en route to becoming both a Canadian business icon and a tragic footnote to Leaf history.

Award-winning Toronto Star journalist Damien Cox and former Leaf general manager Gord Stellick tell the story of this unique team. About more than just hockey, this is a story about a time and a place when change in both society and sport was at hand. It examines the heroes and the myths and offers a new look at the contradictions, the legends, the shame and the glory of ’67.

About the Author:

Damien Cox is an award-winning sports columnist for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. He has covered hockey for over 18 years, including the NHL, three Winter Olympics, and other international hockey events. Cox has also worked extensively in radio and television and has been a frequent contributor to The Hockey News and ESPN.com, among other publications and media outlets. He is co-author of Brodeur: Beyond the Crease. For three years he was co-host of Prime Time Sports, heard daily on the FAN590 in Toronto, and on the Rogers radio network across Canada. He appears weekly on TSN’s The Reporters and regularly as an analyst on TSN NHL broadcasts. Cox has been named three times to The Hockey News’ "100 People of Power and Influence in Hockey." Cox lives in Toronto with his wife Vicki and four children.

Gord Stellick began working for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1975, eventually becoming the club’s General Manager in 1988. In the summer of 1989, he resigned from the Leafs and joined the New York Rangers as assistant GM. He then moved to the media side as the Leafs’ colour analyst on their radio broadcasts, and in 1993 he and Cox joined forces for a year to co-host an afternoon talk show on the FAN590 all-sports radio station in Toronto. Stellick remains one of the most popular sports media figures in Toronto and across the country. He currently co-hosts the FAN590’s daily morning show, and was previously host of "The Big Show" daily on the FAN590. He appears regularly as an NHL analyst for Rogers SportsNet, and co-hosts "Inside the AHL" weekly on Rogers SportNet.

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