The Toronto Maple Leafs will once again honour both the heritage of their franchise as well as St. Patrick’s Day by wearing Toronto St. Pats throwbacks for two games this week.
Starting with tonight’s game (Sunday) at Ottawa and then continuing to Friday night’s home tilt against the Flames, the Leafs will temporarily discard their familiar blue for green and exchange the Maple Leaf crest for a white oval and a stripe, a design similar to what the team wore in the 1920s prior to them taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs name in 1927.
Following a season as the Arena Hockey Club, the Toronto team took on the St. Patricks name in 1919 after the team was purchased by the St. Patricks senior hockey organization. The name was an attempt to appeal to the local Irish population which was so prominent that at one point that Toronto was nicknamed “Little Belfast”.
The St. Pats won a Stanley Cup in 1922 before they were purchased by a group headed by Conn Smythe who renamed the team the Maple Leafs, to appeal to all Canadians rather than just those of Irish descent, in February of 1927.
The design worn since 2017 is different from what the club wore in 2002, which was the St. Pats green set and was paired with brown helmets, pants, and gloves. The actual St. Pats (like all teams of the era) wore a slightly lighter shade of brown for their pants and gloves, and of course did not wear a helmet.