The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The player is selected following the final game of the playoffs by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The trophy was first presented in 1964 in honour of Conn Smythe, former coach, manager and owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the only Maple Leaf to win the award was Dave Keon (1967). Two-time winners are Bobby Orr (1970 and 1972), Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975), Wayne Gretzky (1985 and 1988), Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992) and Sidney Crosby (2016, 2017) while Patrick Roy won the award three times (1986, 1993, 2001). Five players have won the trophy despite their team losing the Stanley Cup Final: Roger Crozier (1966), Glenn Hall (1968), Reggie Leach (1976), Ron Hextall (1987) and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (2003).
Toronto FC (also known as TFC or “The Reds”) is a men’s professional soccer team that plays in Major League Soccer (MLS). Founded in 2006 by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the club has won the Voyageurs Cup six times (2009–2012 and 2016–17). They have made it to the MLS playoffs three times (2015, 2016 and 2017), becoming the first Canadian club to reach the MLS Cup final in 2016 and the first to win the MLS Cup in 2017. TFC has competed in the CONCACAF Champions League five times, making it as far as the finals in 2018. The club is one of three MLS franchises in Canada, including Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Paralympic Games are an international competition for elite athletes with a disability. The name comes from "para," as in "parallel" or "equal." Like the Olympics, the Paralympic Games take place every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports. The country hosting the Olympic Games also hosts the Paralympics. Canada has participated in the Paralympic Games since 1968.
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, that plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since its founding in 1995, the team has won five division titles and made the playoffs 10 times. In 2017–18, the Raptors finished atop the Eastern Conference regular season standings. After the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA.
The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America. Donated by Governor General Lord Stanley in 1892 for presentation to the top hockey team in Canada, it was first awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (1892–93). Since 1926, the Stanley Cup competition has been under the control of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful team in Stanley Cup history, with 24 victories, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise with 13. These two “Original Six” teams dominated the championship from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Para ice hockey (also known as sledge hockey) is a version of ice hockey played by athletes with a lower-extremity disability. Players use a two-bladed sledge, as well as sticks with spikes at one end for propulsion and curved blades at the other end for shooting. Canada is a world power in the game and has won medals at all of the Paralympic Games except 2002 and 2010. In 2016, the International Paralympic Committee decided to rename and rebrand the sport under its jurisdiction. Since November 2016, sledge hockey has been officially known as para ice hockey.
The Arctic Winter Games (AWG) are biennial games initiated in 1970 to provide northern athletes with opportunities for training and competition, and to promote cultural and social interchange among northern peoples. Although the Games originated in North America, they have grown to include athletes from other parts of the world, including Greenland and parts of Russia, including Magadan, Sápmi and Yamal.
The Art Ross Trophy is awarded annually to the player who leads the National Hockey League in scoring points during the regular season. If there is a tie at the end of the season, the trophy is awarded to the player with the most goals. The trophy was donated in 1948 by Arthur Howey Ross, general manager of the Boston Bruins. Several players have won the award multiple times, including Wayne Gretzky (10 times), Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux (6 times), Phil Esposito and Jaromir Jagr (5), Stan Mikita (4), and Bobby Hull and Guy Lafleur (3).
Olympic Games are an international sports competition, held every four years. Although winter events were included in the 1908 and 1920 Olympic Games, the first separate Olympic Winter Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Canada has hosted two Olympic Winter Games: in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010. In total, Canada has won 199 medals at the Olympic Winter Games: 73 gold, 64 silver and 62 bronze medals. This does not include the gold medal in ice hockey won by Canada at the 1920 Olympic Games; while considered the first Olympic medal in ice hockey, it preceded the establishment of the Olympic Winter Games. The country ranks fifth in the total number of medals won at the Olympic Winter Games.
Olympic Games are an international sports competition, held every four years. Until 1992 the Olympic Summer Games and the Olympic Winter Games were held in the same year, but beginning in 1994 they were rescheduled so that they are held in alternate even-numbered years.
Sometimes the past is interesting, not because of its long-term historical significance or because it might teach us some questionable lesson about the present, but simply because it contains wondrous reminders of the serendipity of fate. I am fascinated by a goal that Bill Barilko scored on 21 April 1951, not because it was a precursor to Paul Henderson's life-saving marker in 1972, or to Sidney Crosby's goal of redemption at the 2010 Olympics, but because I was there.