Former Leafs named honorary coaches

This article first appeared at on September 7, 2012

by: Ryan McKenna

TORONTO – Two former members of the Toronto Maple Leafs will once again be on the bench Saturday night when the Ryerson Rams host the first hockey game at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens.

Tom Watt and Bobby Baun have been named honorary coaches for Saturday’s exhibition hockey game when the Rams host the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks. Watt is the honorary coach for the Rams, while Baun will serve as honorary coach for the Ridgebacks.

Watt was the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1991-92 and coached a total of 11 seasons in the NHL.  In 1981-82, Watt led the Winnipeg Jets to a second place finish in the Norris division and received the Jack Adams Award as top coach in the NHL.

Before coaching in the NHL, Watt coached at the University of Toronto, leading the Varsity Blues to nine CIS University Cup national championships, including a CIS record five consecutive titles between 1968-69 and 1972- 73.

Rams men’s hockey coach Graham Wise won a national title as a player with Watt’s Varsity Blues in 1975-76.

“It’s an honour for me, and we’re fortunate to be coached by him.  It was certainly the thrill of a lifetime for him to accept (the honorary coaching position),” said Wise. “I’m looking forward to watching him coach.”

Baun played 17 seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Oakland Seals and Detroit Red Wings.  He won four Stanley Cups with the Maples Leafs and is remembered for his performance in game six of the 1963–64 Stanley Cup finals against the Red Wings. On April 23, 1964, having broken his leg earlier in the game, he returned in overtime and scored the game-winning goal. The Leafs won the next game 4–0 to win the best of seven series and secure their third consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

Although Baun is the rival coach on Saturday night, Wise is excited to have both Baun and Watt involved in the evening.

“They were both a part of the tradition of Maple Leaf Gardens and they will be a great fit for both teams.”