Welcome to the Leafs Lair
Photograph By Scott Gable for ESPN The Magazine
Half a century ago, Toronto native Mike Wilson received his first piece of Leafs memorabilia: a stick used by three-time Stanley Cup winner Carl Brewer (1962-64). "My dad's cousin was friends with him," says the 59-year-old stockbroker. "If it doesn't have a story, I don't buy it." From a single stick, his collection has grown into this Leafs lair, a yearlong project with help from a Hockey Hall of Fame creative and curatorial associate to lay out the pieces. As for the motto coined by original Leafs owner Conn Smythe: "It was on the dressing room wall in the old Maple Leafs Gardens," he says. "I had to have the size and font exactly the same." So, he did what any hockey fan would: cross checked it with a history book.