Toronto Mike

Russ Courtnall For John Kordic Was Not a Good Trade


I like Twitter.  I can go weeks without checking in with Facebook, but I keep close tabs on my Twitter account.  Today, thanks to Twitter, I finally visited Down Goes Brown's blog, one year old today.

Ya gotta love a blogger with the handle "Down Goes Brown".  What Leaf fan doesn't smile when they hear that reference?  It was Sylvain Lefebvre vs Rob Brown back in 1992 and Joe Bowen and Gord Stellick were calling the game for The Fan 1430.  "Down goes Brown!  Down goes Brown!"

Besides the awesome handle, Down Goes Brown writes about the good ol' days of Maple Leafs hockey.  Lots of 80s and early 90s stuff that I remember fondly.  One article in particular that piqued my interest was Russ Courtnall For John Kordic Was a Good Trade.

During some lean years in the 80s, we Leaf fans found delight with The Hound Line.  The Hound Line was Wendel Clark, Russ Courtnall and Gary Leeman, all former members of the Notre Dame Hounds.  Russ Courtnall was a speedy little player who always showed a great deal of promise.  I remember when he visited our nearby Ward and Patch to sign autographs.  He was one of the few skilled players we had, and the aforementioned Gord Stellick traded him to Montreal for pugilist John Kordic.

The Kordic-Courtnall trade was the perfect example of what was wrong with the Leafs during the Harold Ballard years.  Don't get me wrong, Kordic had his share of fans, but he was an enforcer and nothing more.  The front page of my old scrapbook, shared here, shows the Torono Star articles I cut out following his death in 1992 from heart failure and a collapsed lung.

Down Goes Brown deserves credit for trying to argue our trade of Courtnall for Kordic was a good one, but he's wrong.  Even if you agree with his questionable arguments, that the Leafs had to get much tougher and Courtnall wasn't that good, Courtnall for Kordic was the worst trade ever.

Here's Bowen's memorable "Down Goes Brown" call.

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