Before 1967, the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the best teams in the NHL, but there was just five other clubs in the league back then. Once expansion hit the league the team has been lost in the wilderness and have never made it back to the Stanley Cup Final since. They had a few good years in the 1970s with the likes of Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald, Tiger Williams, Errol Thompson, Borje Salming, Ian Turnbull and Mike Palmateer leading the way.
They also enjoyed some success in the early 1990s with Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuck, Felix Potvin and Wendel Clark and then again a few years later when Mats Sundin joined the club. But they’ve had some truly awful teams along the way and some pretty bad players in the lineup as well. These are the top 15 worst Toronto Maple Leafs players ever and the only criteria they had to meet was to play at least 20 games with the club. Some of them spent a few seasons in Toronto before being let go, but most of them were cut loose not too long after being acquired.
There are several factors which were taken into consideration when making the list. These included the player’s statistics with the Maple Leafs, the club’s expectations of the player based on previous seasons in the NHL or junior hockey, when the player was drafted, and what the team had to give up for him if he was acquired in a trade. Some players meet just one of these criteria while others may meet a combination of them. Also, some of these players may have enjoyed decent NHL careers when playing with other teams, but played well below par when suiting up for Toronto.
15 Philippe Dupuis
It’s a bit difficult to play 30 NHL games with a team as a forward and not earn at least one point. However, Philippe Dupuis managed to pull off the feat with the Maple Leafs in the 2011-12 season after signing as a free agent. The 6-foot centre was chosen in the fourth round of the 2003 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 104th overall pick. He did get his name on the score sheet with the Leafs though as he picked up 16 penalty minutes along the way. After 30 scoreless games, Toronto waived him and sent him to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
14 Ryan Hollweg
13 Bunny Larocque
12 Al Secord
Just before the 1987-88 season faced off, the Maple Leafs traded star wingers Rick Vaive and Steve Thomas to the Chicago Blackhawks along with defenceman Bob McGill for centre Ed Olczyk and left winger Al Secord. Olczyk played well for the blue and white, but Secord, who was previously enjoyed seasons of 54, 44 and 40 goals with the Hawks, was a bust. He scored just 15 goals and 27 assists in 74 games in his first season with Toronto and was a minus-21. He added one goal in six playoff contests with 16 more penalty minutes.
11 Paul Higgins
10 Chris McAllister
9 Brian Curran
Brian Curran was a 6-foot-5 defenceman who was acquired by the Maple Leafs in March of 1988 from the New York Islanders for a sixth-round draft pick. Curran was brought in for one reason only, and it wasn’t to play hockey. He played 130 games from 1987 to 1991 in the Big Smoke and scored three goals and 14 assists for 17 points. However, he did manage to serve 512 penalty minutes in that time with 301 of them coming in the 1989-90 season. He appeared in 11 playoff games with one assist and an additional 60 penalty minutes.
8 Carter Ashton
7 Rick St. Croix
6 Colton Orr
5 David Clarkson
4 Frazer McLaren
3 Staffan Kronwall
2 Andre Deveaux
1 John Kordic
Maple Leafs’ general manager Gord Stellick made one of the worst trades in NHL history back in November of 1988 when he sent speedy winger Russ Courtnall to arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens for 6-foot-1 enforcer John Kordic. The Leafs also received a sixth-round draft choice in the deal. Kordic played parts of three seasons in Toronto and found the back of the net 10 times in 104 games to go along with his six assists. He also racked up 446 penalty minutes and added as lone assist in five playoff games with 33 penalty minutes.
He was traded in January of 1991 with Paul Fenton for a fifth-round draft pick. Kordic finished his NHL career with 35 points in 244 games along with 997 penalty minutes. He added seven points in 41 playoff contests with 131 penalty minutes.
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