Toronto Maple Leafs has won the Stanley Cup 13 times: 1917–18 (as Toronto Arenas), 1921–22 (as Toronto St. Patricks), 1931–32, 1941–42, 1944–45, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1966–67). In this post we will write a short note on every title as we have seen that many of our readers are searching for specific years that Toronto won the cup. Many Swedes followed the Maple Leafs when Swedish forward Mats Sundin played there between 1994/95 – 2007/08. He was captain of the Maple Leafs from 1997/98. However, Sundin won no titles with his Toronto. In Sweden we remember him more for his participation in our national teams, especially during the World Championships of 1991, 1992 and 1998 as well as the Olympic games in Torino 2006 when Sweden won the gold.
Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup titles
Let us go back in time and take a closer look at the Stanley Cup titles of Toronto:
1918 Stanley Cup finals: a time of organizational change
This was in a time when the NHL had quite a different form and also a time of World War I in Europe. The Stanley Cup finals were played between the NHL champion Toronto and the PCHA (Pacific Coast Hockey Association) champion Vancouver Millionaires. There were competing leagues in North America at the time. NHL had formed in the backwaters of the NHA (National Hockey Association). Toronto’s NHL-team were often referred to as their NHA-name: Blueshirts. Formally, they were the Toronto Arenas though. Despite some issues on organization of the leagues and ownership, Toronto went on and first won the NHL by defeating Montreal Canadiens. The Stanley Cup final against Vancouver were played in Toronto Arena Gardens as a best-of-five-games series. The games alternated between NHL and PCHA rules for every game which seemed to have a major influence on the results: Toronto won the games with NHL rules (1,3,5) and Vancouver the two games with PCHA rules. The biggest differences was number of players (NHL: 6, PCHA: 7) and the fact that in NHL, forward passing was allowed. Toronto’s Alf Skinner was the scoring leader in the final series with 8 goals.
1922 Stanley Cup finals: Baby Dye
Once again it was Toronto versus Vancouver in the Stanley Cup final and once again, Toronto managed to come out as champions. Vancouver came in second place in the PCHA but managed to win the series against first placed Seattle Metropolitans. After that, they won the preliminary series against WCHL’s (West Coast Hockey League) champions Regina Capitals which gave them a spot in the final. Toronto (now named St. Patricks) came second in the NHL but defeated Ottawa Senators in the NHL series. It would take five games to separate the teams this time as well and all games were played in Toronto. Vancouver won game one 4-3. In game two, Babe Dye scored 2-1 for Toronto 4:50 into overtime. In game three, Vancouvers goaltender Hugh Lehman got the shutout, giving the Millionaires a 2-1 game lead. However, Toronto came out as the stronger team in the last two games, winning by 6-0 and 5-1. Babe Dye scored 9 of Toronto St. Patricks 16 goals.
1932 Stanley Cup finals: Circus Rangers
This was the first final Toronto appeared in as The Maple Leafs. Their opponents this time was New York Rangers. Because of a circus (!) being scheduled in Madison Square Garden, one had to be played in Boston. One game was played in the Garden and one in Toronto. Rangers had reached the final by defeating the defending champions Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best of five series. Toronto reached the final by playing two total-goals series: 6-2 against Chicago and 4-3 against the Maroons. In the final, Toronto came out as the stronger team, scoring six goal in three straight games: 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
1942 Stanley Cup finals: A remarkable comeback
Now, the final was to be decided by seven instead of five games. The 1942 final was played between Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings and was the first final to go all the way to seven games. Toronto defeated New York Rangers with 4 games to 2 to reach the final while Detroit won two best-of-three series against Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. This series contained a remarkable comeback: Toronto came back from a 3-0 series deficit to win four straight games and the Stanley Cup. This is the first and only time it has happened in the final. It has been done three times in the play offs since then, but never in the final. Red Wings won the first game 2-1 and the second 4-2, Don Grosso scoring two goals in each game. Toronto was in a 2-0 lead in game three but Detroit managed to tie and win 5-2. In game four, Toronto’s coach Hap Day replaced a couple of players and the Maple Leafs managed to get the 4-3 win. Don Metz had an excellent game five with three goals and two assist in a 9-3 victory for Toronto. Metz continued to score in game six, which was another Toronto win (3-0) and the series was now tied. In game seven, which was played in Toronto, the Red Wings managed to get the go-ahead goal before the third period. However, Toronto got the chance to score on the power play in the third and made no mistake: just as the penalty expired, David Sweeney Schriner scored the equalized. Now, Toronto increased the phase and eventually out-shoot Detroit in the third period, 16-7. Pete Langelle scored the game winner and Schriner scored his second goal of the night in this historic Stanley Cup victory for Toronto.
1945 Stanley Cup finals: History will repeat itself… or?
1945 was a year that went to history. World War II ended. Detroit Red Wings almost repeated Toronto’s comeback from 1942: The two teams met in the final once again and this time it was Toronto who got the 3 game lead (1-0, 2-0, 1-0). Although three consecutive shut-outs by Frank McCool who had replaced Turk Boda (who had to do army service) in Toronto’s net. However, another star emerged in the three upcoming games: now it was Detroit’s 18-year old goalie Harry Lumley who didn’t let in any goals for three games (5-0, 2-0, 1-0) and the series was tied before game seven in Detroit. This was to be the first time in history when the home team did not win game seven. Instead, Toronto triumphed a 2-1 victory and won the Stanley Cup.
1947 Stanley Cup finals: An all-Canadian tale
The 1947 Stanley Cup final was the first all-Canadian final in 12 years. It was played between Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal defeated Boston Bruins 4-1 to reach the final while Toronto defeated Detroit Red Wings, also 4-1. The Canadiens got a good start with a 6-0 win in the first game. The series was physical and in the second game, Rocket Richard knocked out two Leafs players with a stick to the head. However, Toronto took advantage of the power plays, winning game two 4-0. Toronto also won game three and four at home, leading the series 3-1. Montreal won game five at home but Toronto decided the series in their next game at home, winning 4-2.
1948 Stanley Cup finals: The Toronto Maple Leafs dynasty
Defending champions Toronto was now building a dynasty with another final, this time against Detroit Red Wings. Toronto won four consecutive games and their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
1949 Stanley Cup finals: The dynasty continued
In a rerun of the 1948 final, Toronto and Detroit met again, and once more, Toronto won four consecutive games and their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Detroit had to wait until the 1950 finals, which they reached by defeating Toronto. That year they won the Stanley Cup by defeating New York Rangers in the finals.
1951 Stanley Cup finals: 5x overtime
All five games in the 1951 finals between Toronto and Montreal had one thing in common: They were decided in overtime. Toronto reached the final by defeating Boston Bruins 4-1 and Montreal defeated defending champions Red Wings 4-2. Toronto won game one and Montreal tied the series in game two before Toronto got three straight overtime wins. Bill Barilko scored the deciding goal in the last game, his last NHL goal ever since he died in a plane crash during the summer.
1962 Stanley Cup finals: 11 years later…
Toronto’s fans had waited 11 years for a Stanley Cup title when the team reached the finals by defeating New York Rangers. In the final series they met Chicago Blackhawks who had defeated Montreal. Chicago’s Stan Mikita broke Gordie Howe’s play off record of 20 points, scoring 21 points, which was not enough to win the series. Instead, Toronto won the finals 4-2, winning the last game 8-4.
1963 Stanley Cup finals: Another dynasty
Another Toronto dynasty and their second straight final series and title. Toronto reached the finals by defeating Montreal 4-1. In the finals they met Detroit who defeated Chicago 4-2. In game one, Dick Duff scored twice in 68 seconds which is the fastest two goals in the history of Stanley Cup. Toronto won the game 4-2 after a bit of a meltdown in the second period (which was punished by their coach by a morning practice the day after the game). Toronto also won game two at home, 4-2. In game three, Detroit used their home advantage and managed to get a 3-2 win. However, in game four, Toronto got another 4-2 win after scoring the two deciding goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. Toronto then won game six at home, securing their second consecutive Stanley Cup victory.
1964 Stanley Cup finals: Live to win another day
Another year, another cup, another final series between Detroit and Toronto. Toronto reached the finals by defeating Montreal 4-3 and Detroit defeated Chicago 4-3. Toronto won the first game of the finals at home 3-2. Detroit won the second game, away, in overtime 4-3. Game 3, in Detroit, was won by Detroit 4-3. Toronto tied the series 2-2 by winning in Detroit 4-2. After two consecutive away wins it would take a deciding game seven in Toronto to core a winner of the 1964 finals. Toronto came out as the stronger team, winning 4-0. One famous happening in this series was in game six when Bob Baun took a slapshot from Gordie Howe on the ankle and had to leave play. He returned in overtime though, and scored the deciding goal.
1967 Stanley Cup finals: One last triumph
The 1967 finals were the last of its kind, ending the NHL Original Six era. It was played between Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The series was Toronto’s latest Stanley Cup win, and their latest appearance in the finals. Only St. Louis Blues have a similar record of championship drought, without a Stanley Cup win since they joined the National Hockey League in 1967. Montreal defeated New York to reach the series and Toronto defeated Chicago. The average age of Toronto’s players were 31 which is the oldest lineup to win the Stanley Cup. Goalkeeper Johnny “The China Wall” Bower (42) and defenceman Allan Stanley (41) were two of the team’s aging players. Montreal won the first game at home, 6-2. For the second game, Bower was guarding the net instead of Terry Sawchuck. Bower got the shutout in game two and the series was tied 1-1. Toronto won game three in the second overtime period. The game is often referred to as one of the most exciting games of all times. However, Bower was injured before game four and Sawchuck was back in net again, allowing 6 goals in another 6-2 loss. The series was tied again, 2-2. However, Sawchuch stepped up his game in game five and six, letting in only one goal per game, Toronto winning the series 4-2.
So there you have it: Every Stanley Cup won by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hopefully their drought will end soon and we will once again see a Canadian dynasty in one of the world’s greatest hockey cities that have been home to many excellent players, including some Swedes, such as Börje Salming.