Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Teeder Kennedy to Be First on Maple Leafs' Legends Row Statue

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Teeder Kennedy to Be First on Maple Leafs' Legends Row Statue

Article excerpt

Kennedy to be first on Leafs' Legends Row

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TORONTO - Growing up in Toronto as a fan of the Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan just assumed Ted Kennedy's birth name was Teeder.

He eventually learned more about Kennedy, one of the first Leafs legends to have his number honoured. The former captain and five-time Stanley Cup winner -- who was known by his childhood nickname -- will get a posthumous honour next month when he'll be one of the first three players to have statues unveiled in the Leafs' new Legends Row outside Air Canada Centre.

"What makes this unique for me and what I like the most is that in a team sport, we will have teammates immortalized," Shanahan, now the team's president, said Thursday steps away from the construction site. "A great opportunity from whatever decade you grew up being a fan of the Maple Leafs, you will be able to see your favourites but then you'll also learn about some people that you probably didn't get a chance to see play."

Kennedy and two other Leafs stars will be the first players set up in bronze on the 30-foot granite bench outside Gate 5 in Maple Leaf Square on Sept. 6 during the team's inaugural fan fest. Shanahan said fans will "just have to guess" the other two, who will be announced in September.

With the Leafs approaching their centennial anniversary in 2017, there's no shortage of choices, including Dave Keon, Johnny Bower, George Armstrong, Frank Mahovlich, King Clancy and Darryl Sittler. When Kennedy had his No. 9 raised to the rafters in 1993, he only agreed to it when former teammate Syl Apps's No. 10 went up at the same time.

Kennedy's son, Mark, didn't want to weigh in.

"I'm just one of the millions of unschooled hockey fans who support the Leafs and each of us has an opinion," he said.

Over time, leading up to the centennial 2016-17 season and beyond, this could turn into something of an all-time Leafs team statue. …

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