Every team in the NHL has those players – you know, the ones that come and go. They might have decent careers with these particular franchises, but often they are forgotten about when those teams of spoken of. Either that, or their stint with that franchise is just so short that these players are remembered for their careers elsewhere around the league.
Over the last while, we’ve been looking at some former Toronto Maple Leafs that have had either short stints or less than spectacular stays with the franchise that they fall into this category I’ve referred to as – the ‘forgotten ones’.
We’ll look at how these players became members of the Maple Leafs, how their stays went in Toronto and their statistical breakdown while with the franchise.
With that, back in the early 2000s the Maple Leafs acquired a player who had his best years as a member of the New York Islanders – the team that drafted him in the second round, 23rd overall, in 1989.
Now, better known for his stint behind the bench with the Vancouver Canucks, Travis Green spent parts of three seasons with the Maple Leafs. And while his offensive numbers weren’t what they were in Long Island, Green played a significant depth role on a Maple Leafs team that seemed to always go on mini playoff runs with Pat Quinn at the helm.
Green Becoming a Maple Leaf
As mentioned, Green was drafted in 1989. However, after being traded in 1999 to the Arizona Coyotes from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, he was shipped out again in June 2001 by the Coyotes to the Maple Leafs. Green was one of three players – along with Craig Mills and Robert Reichel – in what would be a four-player deal.
As for what the Maple Leafs gave up to bring in the gritty depth player, Green, it cost the Maple Leafs a defenceman that set the tone on the back end during a number of their playoff series from 1998 to 2000. That defenceman was Danny Markov.
At the time, the Maple Leafs were getting a 31-year-old who had his best season with the Islanders in 1995-96 as a 25-year-old, tallying 70 points in 69 games. However, his role with the Maple Leafs wasn’t going to be an offensive one, rather keeping the opposition at bay and playing a defensive-minded role.
Green Donning the Blue Maple Leaf
Green actually had two stints with the Maple Leafs. The first came following the trade in 2001 where he played all 82 games for the Maple Leafs during the regular seasons with 11 goals and 34 points. He followed that up with another season of 12 goals and 24 points in 75 games in 2002-03 with the team.
During the 2006-07 season, the Maple Leafs grabbed him off waivers from the Ducks and he played another 24 regular season games for the blue and white with no offence before having them up as an NHL player.
As for his playoff experience with the Maple Leafs, he played 24 games over his first two seasons with the team, tallying five goals and 12 points and while the Maple Leafs went on a run in 2001-02, Green never had the chance to go for it all as a member of the Maple Leafs.
In his first year with the team, Green finished 10th in scoring with his 34 points, just five points shy of tying one of the more underrated Maple Leafs at the time – Tomas Kaberle.
The Rest of Green’s Career
Two stints with the Maple Leafs were mixed in as Green bounced around a little bit during his career, playing two seasons in Phoenix, parts of three seasons with the Ducks, two seasons with the Bruins and parts of six seasons with the Islanders.
Green broke into the league in 1992-93 playing 61 games for the Islanders that year and putting up seven goals and 25 points. Just two seasons later, Green posted his career best numbers with 25 goals and 70 points in 69 regular season games with the Islanders. He finished second on the team in scoring behind Ziggy Pálffy and 23 points ahead of the next player on the team – Mathieu Schneider.
From there, Green became the depth forward that he was known as in Toronto. He went on to play 14 seasons in the NHL with those five clubs playing 970 career regular season games and tallying 193 goals and 455 points.
He added 764 penalty minutes over his career as he wasn’t one for putting up with a lot of pushback when he was on the ice. While he wasn’t an award winner of any kind during his NHL days, Green did add 21 points in 56 career playoff games over seven separate runs.
Following his final stint with the Maple Leafs in 2007, he signed with Zug in the Swiss league and played on season before hanging up his skates.
Most recently, he led the Vancouver Canucks into battle as their head coach for five season before being fired during the 2021-22 season. He finished with a coaching record of 133-147-34 in 314 regular season games and 10-7 in 17 postseason games with the club. Underachievement and adversity eventually led to his downfall as their coach, but if his playing days – especially in Toronto – told us anything, Green won’t be gone from the game for long.
All-Time Maple Leafs’ Ranks
Games Played: 181 GP (T194th)
Goals: 23 G (T205th)
Assists: 35 A (T231st)
Points: 58 P (T222nd)
Points-Per-Game: 0.32 P/G (T389th)
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Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.