You'd figure Mats Sundin would come up here somewhere. All he did was lead in the Leafs in scoring for a decade or so.
But one of the oddities of Sundin's career in Toronto is that he never found a regular linemate to collaborate with on a constant basis. The closest might have been the eminently forgettable Jonas Hoglund. Otherwise, Gary Roberts was there occasionally, Alexander Mogilny for a bit. . .but nobody ever found a permanent home with No. 13.
Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, meanwhile, are an oddity to themselves, a pair that has meshed brilliantly this season, launching both players into the top 5 of NHL scorers.
Yet neither is a centre. It's a partnership between two wingers, with the identity of the pivot in between them almost an afterthought, whether it's been Tim Connolly or Tyler Bozak or whoever.
Nonetheless, it surely has worked, both in the latter half of last season after Lupul came over from Anaheim, and in the first half of this season.
We know that when the Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1967, it was, surprisingly, the playoff combination of Jim Pappin and Pete Stemkowski that made a huge difference. But what about since then? Where does the Lupul-Kessel combo rank among dynamic duos of the post-expansion era for the Leafs?
There was Norm Ullman and Paul Henderson. Darryl Sittler and Lanny McDonald, of course. Then 50-goal shooter Rick Vaive with Bill Derlago. Vincent Damphousse and Daniel Marois had success together, as did Ed Olczyk and Gary Leeman, particularly in that year Leeman cracked the 50-goal plateau.
Then there was that twosome of Doug Gilmour and Dave Andreychuk. They did pretty well.
Which was the best of these combinations? Give us your vote and we'll publish the results in Friday's paper, along with a more extensive analysis of why Kessel and Lupul have worked well together and our opinion on where they rank.
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