Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wendel Moment #10 - Clark debuts as captain

On November 22, Wendel Clark's #17 will be raised to the rafters as the team honours its former captain and arguably the most popular player in franchise history.

In the lead up to that night, Down Goes Brown will feature a countdown of Wendel's Top 17 Greatest Moments.

Expectations weren't high for the Maple Leafs heading into 1991 season opener. The team was coming off yet another disappointing season and wasn't expected to contend for much of anything.

There was reason for optimism, though. New GM Cliff Fletcher was on board, and had swung a blockbuster deal to acquire Grant Fuhr and Glenn Anderson in the off-season. And the team had a new captain, having bestowed the honour on Wendel Clark in August.

In his first game as captain in Toronto, Clark single-handedly dominated the Red Wings, both physically and on the scoresheet. He notched three goals and added two assists in an 8-5 Leafs victory. Combined with his three points in the season opener in Montreal, that gave Wendel eight points in two games to start the season.

The game was a wild one. The Wings peppered 50 shots on Fuhr, and the two teams combined for 13 goals plus two more that were disallowed thanks to the league's wonderful new "in the crease" rule. Former Leaf Allan Bester even made an appearance for the Wings.

This game would serve as one of the few highlights of the the 1991-92 season (the other being the acquisition of Doug Gilmour in January). But it served notice to the league that Wendel Clark was back, and he was angry. With Gilmour and Pat Burns on the way, Leaf fans would soon find out just how much damage Clark could do.


  1. Awesome. Nice job. He was on pace for 300 points and I thought for sure he was going to obliterate Gretzky's single season records.

  2. And then came game three....

    Those miserable, rotten game threes....


  3. "Clark missed part of 1991-92 season with partially torn MCL in left knee, an injury suffered in knee-on-knee collision with Ron Sutter during third period of Toronto's Oct. 7, 1991, game vs. St. Louis. At the time he was hurt, Clark was leading NHL with nine points and five goals in three games. He did not return to action until Toronto's Nov. 2, 1991, game vs. Los Angeles. He had an assist in that game."

    Great call DGB.