I can remember my parents talking about it when I was a kid. The day one of the Toronto newspapers put the Rocket in a Leafs sweater, just for fun.
Maybe it was around that time in 1953 when Leafs owner Conn Smythe was telling people that he’d be willing to part with $100,000 for the Rocket. Maurice was 32 at that time, but as Toronto writer Jim Coleman said in a Hockey Pictorial piece, “Give me Maurice Richard and I’ll fill every rink in North America. Give me an entire team of Gordie Howes and I’ll have the greatest hockey team in history – but how would they do at the box office?”
Torontonians got their hopes up, but Maurice Richard wasn’t going anywhere.