Best Leaf of all time that I ever saw.. Mogilny... No one close. Never liked Sundin all that much. Met him several times, likeable off ice. Gilmour rocked it for two years. Wendel Clark, was awful defensively but he crunched people and scored outrageous goals.
Partied with Salming many times after his horrible face job in Detroit. Guy was over cool. ... Amazing Leaf, amazing guy.
Man...this post is like a two-pack of a couple of my greatest "what-ifs/regrets" as a Leaf fan.
At the time of his injury, and after almost a full year under Quinn and away from the disaster that was the Mike Milbury Islanders at the time, Berard looked like he was well on the way to being an absolute stud on defense at the same time that a 22 year-old Tomas Kaberle was establishing himself as a top-pairing defenseman, and a couple of months before we'd go on to acquire a 25 year-old Bryan McCabe.
It's even more depressing to think about what we lost with the 2004-05 lockout, and how good that 03/04 team could have been if they'd been able to run it back for another year, with a full season of Brian Leetch.
Instead, the lockout cost that team Roberts, Nieuwendyk, Mogilny, Leetch, Nolan & Reichel, and Belfour's game went over a cliff after taking a whole year off from hockey in his late 30's and then trying to pick back up where he left off.