- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
HOW LONG AGO? Twenty-four years ago last night, a rookie defenseman out of Providence College made his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was the first of 177 games Ron Wilson would play in the league for the Leafs and Minnesota North Stars.
An offensive standout on defense for Providence, Wilson probably thought the NHL game was going to be easy, too. On his first shift, he assisted on a goal by Darryl Sittler. On his second shift, the legendary Sittler assisted on Wilson's first NHL goal.
These recollections were brought to mind by Comcast color commentator Al Koken, who was barely old enough to remember the game. He also managed to dig out footage of the 1978 game and show it on the cable outlet last night.
Coincidentally, Sittler, a member of the community relations staff for the Leafs, was at MCI Center last night.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY The Maple Leafs wanted to have an anniversary party to note their 75th birthday but the Olympics got in the way. The anniversary was noted on March 2, 75 years and a few days after the Toronto St. Patricks became the Maple Leafs after the team was purchased by Conn Smythe.
The St. Pats were founded and run by King Clancy, noted player and Irish expatriot who used the name and green-and-white colors in an attempt to draw Irish fans to Arena Gardens, the club's home before the late and lamented Maple Leaf Gardens.
Last Saturday night the Leafs wore replicas of the old green-and-white St. Pats jerseys but all it got them was a tie. So much for the luck of the Irish.
NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY Toronto's Jyrki Lumme was suspended by the NHL for a cross-checking incident against Boston, the first disciplinary action against the defenseman in more than 900 games. The Leafs replaced him by snagging rookie Marc Moro off a plane in Montreal that was about to leave for New Brunswick.
Dave Fay

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