I realized not long ago that while my great-great grandfather and his brother were the first ever coaches of the Toronto Maple Leafs back in the Arenas days, I didn’t know as much as I should about the history of the Leafs organization.
As a young(ish) fan whose earliest personal memories are of Mats Sundin’s Leafs, Michael Langlois’ writing has been of particular value to me. It is through his storytelling at one of the original Leaf blogs — VintageLeafMemories.com — that I’ve come to learn and appreciate the history of a team to which I’ve dedicated so much time and emotional energy throughout my life.
Michael’s stories do not retell the facts or inundate you with trivial details; they are inviting narratives told from the personal perspective of someone who has followed the team so closely and passionately for over 60 years. That gives him a truly unique viewpoint on the road the organization has traveled, the highs and lows of being a lifelong devoted follower of the franchise, and ultimately, what it means to be a Leafs fan.
For a long time, Leafs history was a topic that brought about mixed feelings for me and many fans my age. There was an appreciation for the great teams and legends that won here, but the franchise was so bereft of hope for so long that it was easy to feel cynical about the pregame ceremonies celebrating past glories. It didn’t help that the Leafs always seemed to lay an egg and get blown out of the building every ceremony night. I frankly didn’t have much of an appetite left for being sold the past while getting shortchanged in the present. I wanted new glories and new legends to celebrate.
Now, after so many false starts under failed management regimes, the team is positively on the rise and genuine optimism is as abundant as it’s ever been in my lifetime. As exciting as the present and future are in Leafs Nation, I’ve also got a renewed appetite for understanding and appreciating the path the organization has taken to get to this point.
Enter Michael’s latest work. For five bucks, this e-book is a no-brainer to add to any diehard Leafs fan’s collection.
Old-time Maple Leaf Rivals from my Youth: And more Maple Leaf Memories
Longtime Maple Leaf supporters might be interested in “Old Time Maple Leaf Rivals from my Youth and More Maple Leaf Memories”, a new eBook that is now available on Amazon.
As with my earlier “The Maple Leafs of My Youth” collection of stories published in 20013, I reflect on personal memories of a number of old time Leaf players, but also some of the all-time greats from other clubs who also played of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
This won’t appeal to those who are looking for information about the current Leafs, but may be of interest to those who will remember those great old players along with those who enjoy reading about and learning more about the history of the Maple Leaf hockey club and its legacy from someone who was a devoted young fan back in the “pre expansion” era.
It’s not a book filled with stats or research. It’s just a bit of a stroll down memory lane as I share recollections about the players, events—and the team—that has meant to much to me for more than 60 years now.
– Author Michael Langlois