Remembering the most forgettable Leafs of the 2000s

Kyle CantlonNHL Editor
The 2000s was a dark time for the Maple Leafs. (Ciaran Breen/Yahoo Sports Canada)
The 2000s was a dark time for the Maple Leafs. (Ciaran Breen/Yahoo Sports Canada)

From the mid-2000s until like literally two years ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs organization as a whole was a pretty forgettable one. And when the memories of those tumultuous eras do surface, they are mostly always bad.

Low-lighted by terrible management, below-average coaching and a constant onslaught of truly mediocre and forgettable players, the 2001-2016 Toronto Maple Leafs basically only existed to cause great pain and anguish to all those unfortunate enough to be somewhat invested in these wretched squads.

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But you should never truly part ways with your past, even if it’s nearly impossible to remember — so let’s take a trip down (non) memory lane and have a look back at the most forgettable Leafs of the past decade-and-a-half.

The criteria: In no particular order, eligible players for this list are those who dressed for at least 20ish games for the Maple Leafs at some point during the 2000s and whom I, a more-than-casual Leafs watcher over the past two decades (along with the majority of the fanbase), have essentially no recollection of due to unless it’s because of something stand-outishly mediocre.

The only thing more forgettable than Mariusz Czerkawski in a Leafs uni is that terrible helmet-visor combination. Just awful. (Getty)
The only thing more forgettable than Mariusz Czerkawski in a Leafs uni is that terrible helmet-visor combination. Just awful. (Getty)

Mariusz Czerkawski

This dude was just soooo god awful while on the Leafs. Had a bunch of hype surrounding him but didn’t even last a full season after doing essentially nothing. Zero recollection of how he was acquired or the circumstances surrounding his departure. His name is best remembered for becoming an oft-used slur to describe chewing tobacco within junior hockey circles in the mid-2000s.

Alex Khavanov

This name shouldn’t ring any bells because of his complete and utter irrelevance, but he epitomized the John Ferguson Jr. era of ineptitude to a tee. Toronto signed him coming out of the lockout but he was totally useless. Worst of all, JFJ brought him over from from his old team in St. Louis and still didn’t know how bad he was.

John Pohl

Not terrible production during his 114-game Maple Leafs career, but he was just so absurdly average in every area of the game that you’d forget he even existed the second he left the ice.

Joey Crabb

Would’ve totally forgot about him if not for the crustacean-derived (and common venereal disease-related) name recognition. Somewhat shockingly, he skated 115 contests in a Leafs uniform and I remember exactly nothing that he did.

The Crabb in action. (Getty)
The Crabb in action. (Getty)

Garnet Exelby

I remember this non-standout from his time with the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, but not the Leafs. That says a lot. Totally irrelevant. Played 51 games in Toronto, put up four points and gave the puck away a lot.

Bates Battaglia

Classic Paul Maurice reunion guy. Didn’t make any impact whatsoever but does have a Real Good Hockey Name which is the only thing keeping him from being fully erased from my rapidly declining memory.

David Steckel

Slightly remembered for being big, basically. A glorious 14 points and a minus-16 rating in 89 games will be his forgettable legacy. Also, this 6-foot-6 monster only wrangled up 10 penalty minutes during his tenure in Toronto while doing nothing else, which has helped me forget about him even faster.

Clarke Wilm

Not only does the 6-foot, 200-pound Wilm boast very basic height and weight characteristics, his one goal in 70 games is one of the most forgettable stat lines in Leafs history.

Philippe Dupuis

Do you remember this guy? Because I absolutely do not. Dude played 30 games during the 2011-12 season, and didn’t record a single point. For a centreman to not even being able to scratch out one secondary assist in over 300 minutes of ice time is a truly impressive and forgettable feat.

The only photo of Philippe Dupuis in existence. (Getty)
The only photo of Philippe Dupuis in existence. (Getty)

Nick Spaling

He came over in the Phil Kessel deal but couldn’t even find his footing on one of the worst Leafs rosters in recent memory. Just the epitome of those putrid pre-Matthews, mid-2010s death squads.

Jerred Smithson

Arguably the most un-impactful, irrelevant, and plain-bad Maple Leafs players I’ve ever laid eyes on. He admirably carved out a 600-game NHL career but if you can’t remember one single thing about him, you’re not alone.

Brett Lebda

lol remember when he was a minus-3 in a game the Leafs won 9-3. That’s his legacy.

Zach Sill

Toronto won 30 games in 2014-15 — one of the team’s most garbage seasons in recent memory. With just one point to show in 21 games that season, Sill might be the most forgettable player on an extremely forgettable team that was literally trying to lose in pursuit of that No. 1 pick and, eventually, Auston Matthews.

Ryan Hollweg

The “scrappy” forward is remembered for KOing a couple dudes when he played for the Rangers but I literally cannot remember one single thing he did in a Leafs uniform besides fall down when he tried to skate fast.

Jamie Sifers

Man, who? This dude rolled in to Toronto during the 2008-09 season, played a quick 23 games, put up zero points, hit a bunch of people and blocked a lot of shots and was completely out of the league entirely less than a year later. What a run.

Alex Suglobov

Arguably the most forgettable of a very forgettable bunch — full on amnesia with this guy. Dressed for 16 games over two seasons yet didn’t bother to find the game sheet one single time. Zero points and a minus-6 rating is The Sugs’ legacy.

Honourable Mentions: Fredrik (Freddy) Sjostrom, Ben Ondrus, Tim Gleason, Jeremy Williams, Christian Hanson, Mike Van Ryn, Brad May, Luca Caputi, Rickard Wallin, Keith Aulie, Carter Ashton, Joakim Lindstrom, Stuart Percy, Shawn Matthias, Mark Arcobello, Rinat Valiev, Freddie Gauthier (soon) ... the list could go on forever.

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