One hundred years ago, the Toronto Arenas entered the newly formed National Hockey League®(NHL®) for the 1917-18 season. Despite losing its inaugural game to the Montreal Wanderers on December 19, 1917, the team proved its mettle, defeating the Vancouver Millionaires to claim the first Stanley Cup® Championship following the establishment of the NHL. The team played as the Toronto St. Pats from 1919 to 1927, when new manager Conn Smythe renamed it the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stirred by patriotism, Smythe chose a crest that was reminiscent of the badge that he and his fellow Canadian soldiers wore into battle during the First World War.
A Canadian hockey icon, the Toronto Maple Leafs is one of four teams that officially formed the National Hockey League®. It is also an Original Six™ NHL franchise that played in what some consider to be the golden era of hockey. It has more inductees in the players’ category of the Hockey Hall of Fame than any other Original Six™ team, and is among the most valuable franchises in the NHL.
This stamp belongs in a book of 10 domestic-rate stamps that features the team’s new centennial anniversary logo, a redesigned maple leaf with 17 veins for the franchise’s founding year and 31 points in a nod to the opening of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931. The 13 veins in the top part of the new logo mark the club’s Stanley Cup Championship victories to date.