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How do you ‘honor’ a legend’s number if he may not show up to attend the ceremony?

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons believes that the Toronto Maple Leafs need to retire Dave Keon's #14 while Maple Leafs legend is still around, but as Simmons notes in his Sunday column, Keon's status as estranged from the Leafs' former and current ownership regimes complicates the situation significantly:

The name is missing from the rafters. You look up at the Air Canada Centre and see the greats that have been honoured, from Syl Apps to Mats Sundin, and the absence is obvious. Dave Keon’s name and number aren’t there. Maybe the most complete of all Maple Leafs not there alongside Teeder Kennedy and Tim Horton and Darryl Sittler.

The Keon story isn’t new — his feelings for the Harold Ballard era and all that he perceives that happened to him, are hardly secret — but there he was on Saturday night, at the ACC as his teammates from the 1963 Stanley Cup champions were saluted.

And the question now is, with Keon at age 72, do you raise his name and number in a ceremony at the ACC even if he chooses not to participate? Do you honour him, as he should be honoured, whether he’s there or not? Would MLSE act without him?

The names and numbers that best signify Leaf history are really for the fans, for those who lived through those eras, those who cherish tradition. The Keon fans have long wanted to see his name where it belongs. His name needs to be there, not for him necessarily but for Leaf fans first, whether he wants it or not.

Continued with notes regarding a mix of sports topics...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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