The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Teeder Kennedy to be first on Maple Leafs' Legends Row statue

  • Print

TORONTO - Growing up in Toronto as a fan of the Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan just assumed Ted Kennedy's birth name was Teeder.

He eventually learned more about Kennedy, one of the first Leafs legends to have his number honoured. The former captain and five-time Stanley Cup winner — who was known by his childhood nickname — will get a posthumous honour next month when he'll be one of the first three players to have statues unveiled in the Leafs' new Legends Row outside Air Canada Centre.

"What makes this unique for me and what I like the most is that in a team sport, we will have teammates immortalized," Shanahan, now the team's president, said Thursday steps away from the construction site. "A great opportunity from whatever decade you grew up being a fan of the Maple Leafs, you will be able to see your favourites but then you'll also learn about some people that you probably didn't get a chance to see play."

Kennedy and two other Leafs stars will be the first players set up in bronze on the 30-foot granite bench outside Gate 5 in Maple Leaf Square on Sept. 6 during the team's inaugural fan fest. Shanahan said fans will "just have to guess" the other two, who will be announced in September.

With the Leafs approaching their centennial anniversary in 2017, there's no shortage of choices, including Dave Keon, Johnny Bower, George Armstrong, Frank Mahovlich, King Clancy and Darryl Sittler. When Kennedy had his No. 9 raised to the rafters in 1993, he only agreed to it when former teammate Syl Apps's No. 10 went up at the same time.

Kennedy's son, Mark, didn't want to weigh in.

"I'm just one of the millions of unschooled hockey fans who support the Leafs and each of us has an opinion," he said.

Over time, leading up to the centennial 2016-17 season and beyond, this could turn into something of an all-time Leafs team statue. But Shanahan was proud to be able to announce Kennedy as the first.

Kennedy was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens and began playing for the Leafs in 1942. Named captain in 1948, he was part of Cup runs in 1945, '47, '48, '49 and '51 and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1954-55.

The five-time all-star who had 560 points in 696 games retired at the age of 30 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. In 1993 he called having his number honoured the greatest achievement of his career, but his son figured being the first player on "Legends Row" would surpass that.

"I think he'd be overwhelmed by it all, but he would really love the fact that this isn't just about him," Mark Kennedy said of his father, who died exactly five years ago Thursday. "What they've planned here is a players bench, and there are going to be the top players from all the generations. So he would love that in that he's always a team-man first, so he would see himself as part of a team and find it such a blessing that he would be the lead guy, the first man on the bench."

Shanahan knows the identities of the other two men who will be part of the first phase but acknowledged that the process of picking the rest will be a tough job for the selection committee, fans and historical committee.

"It'll be rolled out over the next few years, and I think that there'll be a lot of speculation and a lot of fun and fan involvement and fan suggestions, as well," Shanahan said.

The statues will be created by American sculptor and artist Erik Blome, who also did Wayne Gretzky's statue outside Staples Center in Los Angeles.


Follow @SWhyno on Twitter

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported that Kennedy's number was retired.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google