Right makeup to be captain

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

Ted Kennedy's war-scarred mug hasn't been gussied up with a lot of cosmetics during his 80 years on the planet.

Blood has streamed from his nose, thanks to an opponent's right hook. Purple welts have been sprlnkled across his chin, courtesy of a few misplaced high sticks.

But a man having his face powdered? This was a concept the former Maple Leafs great was not very familiar with as he arrived at Toronto's West Side Studio yesterday.

Kennedy, who first captained the Leafs in 1948, was chatting with Dave Keon about old times when a young lady approached him.

"We need you in makeup," she politely informed Kennedy, who smiled wryly at the request.

"Makeup? Can you make this nose any smaller?" Kennedy replied, pointing at his nostrils.

"Sure," she said, sparking a flood of laughter.

Doug Gilmour did Kennedy one better.

"Hey, I had them paint eyebrows on me," the Kingston native said. "I don't have any, so I needed some. It was a historic day. We all needed to look our best."

Here they were, getting all prettied up for the cameras. Eight of the nine living captains in Maple Leafs history, congregating under one roof for the first time to share a few yuks, spin some tall tales and, most importantly, pose for a portrait honouring those fortunate enough to have worn the coveted captain's "C" for the blue and white.

One by one, they trotted into the makeup room. Kennedy. Keon. Gilmour. Darryl Sittler. Rick Vaive. Wendel Clark. Rob Ramage. Mats Sundin. A gaggle of Leafs captains whose playing days go back almost six decades.

They entered with glistening foreheads in need of blush. They came out armed with playful verbal barbs for the next, uh, victim waiting to sit in the makeup chair.

After being spruced up, Clark, no stranger to receding hairlines, was toting a large paintbrush as he approached Gilmour.

"Dougie, it's your turn in makeup, so you'll need this," Clark said.

AN IMPRESSIVE SIGHT

Once each member of this historic Captain's Club had been beautified -- or at least close to it -- it was time to enter the set where the photos would be taken.

And an impressive sight it was.

Thanks to the efforts of marketing promoter Bob Lavelle, long-time trainer Scotty McKay and the rest of the organizers, the players were greeted by a replica of the home dressing room from Maple Leaf Gardens.

Each player had his own cubicle, running in sequence of their tenures as captains. There also was one for George Armstrong, who was forced to back out of the reunion because of the recent death of his mother.

About $300,000 in memorabilia from the Hockey Hall of Fame adorned the set, including a number of sticks used by the captains.

Dangling in each locker was a jersey representing the era each captain performed in. Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn, who came for a quick informal visit, was particularly impressed with Kennedy's.

"Look, a real knitted one," Quinn said, unaware that he might be dating himself with that comment.

The concept for yesterday's shoot first came up a year ago when Lavelle, who promotes Quinn's annual golf event, figured it might be fun to have all the living Leaf scaptains play in the tournament.

While that idea never materialized, Lavelle approached Gilmour with the brainstorm of doing a portrait involving the same group.

"I told him it was amazing," Gilmour said. "Maybe other teams will do it. Maybe they can do ones with Original Six teams. Or instead of captains, it might be goalies.

The idea already is spreading.

According to Gilmour, Kirk Muller called Lavelle during yesterday's shoot, looking to set up a similar project involving Montreal Canadiens captains.

"It's a concept that could really snowball," he said.

Great. Now would someone please pass Gilmour the eyeliner.


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