Statement made on 03 November 2009 by Senator Frank Mahovlich (retired)
Hon. Francis William Mahovlich:
Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to the quintessential Toronto Maple Leaf who passed away on August 14, 2009: Ted "Teeder" Kennedy.
Born in Port Colborne, Ontario, Ted grew up with the love of hockey and was first scouted by the Montreal Canadiens at the age of 16. While that relationship was short-lived, he had a long and successful career as a centre with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his 12 seasons with the team, he was team captain for nine years, won five Stanley Cups and won the Hart Trophy for most valuable player.
Former Leafs owner and manager Conn Smythe said that he was not a superbly gifted athlete in the way that some players were, but that he accomplished more than most of them by never playing a shift where he did not give everything he had. Others will remember him as a great team captain, one who showed tremendous determination, resolve and constant will to succeed.
He retired briefly in 1955, only to return the following season and play 30 games. When the Toronto Maple Leafs did not make the playoffs that year, he sat out the last three games so that management could look at what he called, "the new generation to lead the team." That new generation player he sat out for was Frank Mahovlich.
After his retirement from the game, Ted coached Peterborough's junior hockey team and pursued his passion for thoroughbred racing by opening and operating a thoroughbred racing centre. He was also involved with the Special Olympics in Canada. He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966 and was one of the first Leafs to have his number raised to the roof at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Ted was a great man and one that I respected tremendously. He will be greatly missed by the many fans who would call out on Saturday night, "Come on, Teeder!"