Leafs honour Keon, retire jerseys

The Leafs retired numbers of 16 players alongside the two previously retired numbers of Ace Bailey and Bill Barilko.

The Toronto Maple Leafs began the home portion of their centennial season with a half hour pre-game ceremony honouring players by retiring their numbers, including the No. 14 worn by Dave Keon.

In total the Leafs retired the numbers of 16 players that were once honoured with banners hanging in Air Canada Centre, alongside the two previously retired numbers of Ace Bailey and Bill Barilko.

Keon, who spent parts of 15 seasons with the Leafs recording 858 points in 1,062 regular seasons games, was the lone player to not have his number previously honoured.

The Quebec native was estranged from the Maple Leafs organization for nearly four decades over a rift between Keon and Harold Ballard. The former Leafs owner refused to re-sign Keon in 1975 forcing him to jump to the WHA.

“Tonight is a very special moment in Maple Leafs history,” said Brendan Shanahan in a statement. “It is a historic moment for these 19 Leafs legends, but also for our fans who are able to join us in recognizing them in one of the most meaningful ways you can in our game. This Centennial Anniversary is the perfect time to celebrate our franchise’s greatest players in this way and the perfect time to have Dave Keon’s number 14 join them where it rightfully belongs.”

Earlier this week Keon along with Turk Broda and Tim Horton had statues added to the Legends Row outside the Air Canada Centre.

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With the club retiring Borje Salming’s No. 21, James van Riemsdyk will now wear No. 25.