There was a rumbling early this morning suggesting the Toronto Maple Leafs would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of their franchise’s first game by wearing a throwback uniform.
Thanks to a combination of Redditors and Tweeters (because, 2017) the story seems to be the Leafs will wear blue 1917 “Toronto Arenas” throwback uniforms for their weekday afternoon game against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 19th.
Here’s a look at an order form posted on Reddit showing the availability of the throwback jersey:
Toronto’s original entry in the National Hockey League played their first game exactly one-hundred years prior on the evening of December 19, 1917, the opening night of the league itself. Toronto’s first game was in Montreal against the Wanderers, officially the second in league history by just a few minutes.
Though they’re commonly referred to today as the “Arenas”, the team was actually known at the time as the “Toronto Hockey Club”, and were usually called “Blue Shirts”, “Blues”, or “Torontos”. The Toronto Arenas name wasn’t used until the following season in 1918-19.
The Wanderers won that first game 10 to 9, just narrowly holding on to win after having a four-goal lead in the third period. Montreal wouldn’t have much time to enjoy their opening night victory as their arena would burn down just two weeks later after which the team simply stopped playing; meanwhile Toronto would go on to win the Stanley Cup that season.
The Maple Leafs have worn throwback uniforms before but never for the “Arenas”, twice previously they’ve worn a green throwback jersey celebrating the Toronto St. Pats, the team to come after the Arenas, there have also been throwbacks from their time as the Leafs in 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s worn during in outdoor games, and as official alternate uniforms over the past twenty-five years.