The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League, the team is one of the Original Six league members. They are owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Ltd. and are represented by Chairman Larry Tanenbaum, in February 1999, they moved to the Air Canada Centre, which replaced Maple Leaf Gardens, the teams home since 1931. The franchise was founded in 1917, operating simply as Toronto and known today as the Toronto Arenas, as it was operated by the Toronto Arena Company, in 1919, the NHL transferred the franchise to new owners who christened the team the Toronto St. Patricks. The franchise was sold in 1927 and was renamed the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club, the team colours are navy blue and white. The Maple Leafs have won thirteen Stanley Cup championships, second only to the 24 championships of their primary rival and they won their last championship in 1967. Their 48-season drought between championships is currently the longest in the NHL, with an estimated worth of US $1.15 billion in 2015 according to Forbes, the Leafs are the third most valuable franchise in the NHL, behind the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers. In 2015, they were ranked by Forbes as the 37th most valuable team in the world. The National Hockey League was formed in 1917 in Montreal by teams belonging to the National Hockey Association that had a dispute with Eddie Livingstone. Instead, they opted to create a new league, the NHL and they also remained voting members of the NHA, and thus had enough votes to suspend the other leagues operations, effectively leaving Livingstones squad in a one-team league. However, the other wanted to have a team from Toronto. They also needed another team to balance the schedule after the Bulldogs suspended operations, the NHL granted a temporary Toronto franchise to the Arena Company, owners of the Arena Gardens. The Arena Company leased the Blueshirts players and was given until the end of the season to resolve the dispute with Livingstone, the franchise did not have an official name, but was informally called the Blueshirts or the Torontos by the fans and press. Under Manager Charlie Querrie and Head Coach Dick Carroll, the Toronto team won the Stanley Cup in the NHLs inaugural season, although the roster was composed almost entirely of former Blueshirts, the Maple Leafs do not claim the Blueshirts history. Also that year, the Arena Company decided that only NHL teams would be allowed to play at the Arena Gardens—a move which effectively killed the NHA, Livingstone sued to get his players back. Mounting legal bills from the dispute forced the Arenas to sell most of their stars, when it was obvious that the Arenas would not be able to finish the season, the NHL agreed to let the team halt operations on February 20,1919. The NHL ended its season and started the playoffs, the Arenas.278 winning percentage that season is still the worst in franchise history. However, the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals ended without a winner due to the flu epidemic
Team photo of the Arenas from the 1917–18 season. The club won its first Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.
The Maple Leafs score against Detroit during the 1942 Cup Finals. Down three games to none in the best-of-seven series, the Leafs won the next four games, performing the only reverse-sweep in the Cup Finals.