3. Toronto St. Pats throwbacks (2018-2019)
Traditionally, the Leafs have been hesitant to stray too far from their blue and white combo, but when they got creative for St. Patrick’s Day in 2019, they knocked it out of the park.
Almost 100 years earlier, on December 7, 1919, the Toronto Arenas were bought by the Toronto St. Patrick’s of the Ontario Hockey League. The name “St. Patrick’s” was an effort to appeal to the large influx of Irish immigrants who were forced from their homeland due to the Irish Potato Famine. In 1922, led by Babe Dye, the St. Pats won their only Stanley Cup. Before the 1926-1927 season, Conn Smythe rescued the team from a potential move to *gasp* Montreal, the name was changed to “Maple Leafs,” and the rest was history.
The St. Pats throwback jerseys of 2018-2019 featured a white base with a green band around the torso. The iconic “St. Pats” logo took centre stage in the middle, and stitched-on patch numbers on the back of the jersey added to the retro vibe.
While the 2018-2019 St. Pats uniforms represent a harmonious balance between old and new, the team’s first try at honouring its Irish roots was decidedly less fashionable. In 2001-2002, the Leafs sent Mats Sundin and crew out onto the ice in a full-on retro look, complete with brown pants and brown helmets to mimic the leather garb of the day. The image might be graphic to some, so I’m just going to leave it here.
Agonizingly, the NHL season was paused just two days before the Leafs were scheduled to dust off the St. Pats throwbacks again for a tilt with the Boston Bruins. Hopefully, the green and white can make a comeback in 2021.