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Ted Kennedy

Born:December 12, 1925Draft:Undrafted
Hometown:Port Colborne, OntarioPosition:C
Known For:“The Quintessential Maple Leaf”Shoots/Catches:Right
National Team:N/A

Theodore Samuel “Teeder” Kennedy (December 12, 1925 – August 14, 2009) was a professional ice hockey centre who played his entire career with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1943 to 1957 and was captain for eight seasons. Along with Turk Broda, he was the first player in NHL history to win five Stanley Cups, and he was the last Maple Leaf to win the Hart Trophy for most valuable player. He was an essential contributor to the Maple Leafs becoming what many consider as the National Hockey League’s first dynasty. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966. He has been called the quintessential Maple Leaf and by some the greatest player in the team’s history. In 2017 Kennedy was named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history.

Kennedy was raised in the small Ontario town of Humberstone, now Port Colborne. Kennedy was born just eleven days after his father was killed in a hunting accident. His mother, left alone to raise four children, took a job at the local hockey arena which became Kennedy’s second home. After a stellar junior hockey career, Kennedy first came to the attention of the Montreal Canadiens and attended their training camp while still in high school. However, after some disappointing experiences with Montreal management he signed shortly afterward with the Maple Leafs.

Although young, Kennedy was successful with Toronto from the start. In his first season, the 18-year-old finished second on the team in scoring and then in his sophomore year was considered the star of Toronto’s upset of the record-breaking Montreal Canadiens of 1944–45. He established himself as the leader of the team and became captain in 1948. Although not the best skater in the league, Kennedy was a fierce forechecker and skilled playmaker. Kennedy was a perfect fit into coach Hap Day’s emphasis on defense and positional play. He gained a reputation for scoring the important goal and excelling in the playoffs. Kennedy holds the Toronto Maple Leafs’ all-time record for career points in the Stanley Cup Finals and is the youngest player in the history of the NHL to have scored a Stanley Cup winning goal. A Sports Illustrated poll of hockey experts in 1998 rated Kennedy as having the best faceoff skills in the history of the NHL.

Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy Statistics

Deeper Dive

Achievements

  • NHL All-Star Second Team — 1950, 1951, 1954
  • NHL All-Star Game — 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1954
  • Hart Memorial Trophy Winner — 1955
  • Stanley Cup Champion — 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951

Sources