Leafs legend Dave Keon opens up about playing with the late Bobby Baun

Published August 16, 2023 at 11:41
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

Former Stanley Cup winning defenseman, Bobby Baun, unfortunately passed yesterday at the age of 86. He was an instrumental part of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s as he helped lead his team to 4 Stanley Cups, including the 1964 championship while playing on a broken leg.

One of the franchise's all-time greats - if not the greatest member of the Maple Leafs - and Baun's teammate in Dave Keon had a front row seat night-in and night-out to Baun's hard-hitting and hard-nosed defense that helped the pair capture 4 Stanley Cups together:

"Bobby was hitting but a lot of the time he was taking the worst of it. Bobby and Carl Brewer were a pair on defense and Tim Horton and Allan Stanley were another pair. Bobby was fearless. He wore his heart on his sleeve, played as hard as possible every game, blocked shots and did anything that he could for us to win."

Baun's was known as the "Boomer" and was aptly named by his fellow teammates as he was always known for his ferocious hits, crushing bodies, and essentially being a freight train on skates. Another former great in Johnny Bower talked joked about Baun back in 2017:


"I loved having Bobby clearing my crease, even if I couldn't see around him," late Toronto goaltending legend Johnny Bower joked in 2017, laughing about his dear friend "who was as wide as he was tall."

"Anyone foolish enough to plant their skates in front of me knew he probably wasn't going to be standing for long."

After winning their 4th Cup in 1967, Baun joined the Oakland Seals after being unprotected in the expansion draft and was then traded to Detroit a year a later. He finally made his way back to Toronto in 1970-71 before retiring in 1972-73 due to injuries:

"Bobby had played in Oakland and Detroit, but he was happy to be back in Toronto and he played well. And then the neck injury happened. There was some talk about him having surgery but they weren't sure if he might be paralyzed, so he put it off and retired."

"Bobby was an integral part of our success. And he was a great teammate."

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August 16   |   276 answers
Leafs legend Dave Keon opens up about playing with the late Bobby Baun

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