Leafs fondly remember Stavro

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

He was a man of wealth and stature, but Steve Stavro yesterday was remembered by those who knew him as a fairly regular guy.

"He had a heart of gold and he was respectful to everybody," one-time Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour said. "I know whenever my mom and dad (Dolly and Don) would come to games, he would treat them first-class.

"It was just the little things he did -- whether it was the end-of-the-year parties he would throw for us or coming into the dressing room after games to say hi. He just really enjoyed it."

Former Leafs assistant to the general manager Bill Watters bumped into Stavro a couple of weeks ago at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where Stavro will rest.

"(News of Stavro's death) was such a shock," Watters said. "I found him to be a man's man who had such great compassion for everyone he touched. That's just the way he was. I like to say you never worked for Steve Stavro, you worked with him."

Watters remembered that Stavro would drop into his office to chat, often on Wednesday afternoons around 2:30, when Stavro would come by to sign cheques.

"He wouldn't interfere," Watters said. "He just wanted to see how you were doing, wanted to make sure you had no problems."

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. issued a release yesterday commending Stavro, among other things, for making an indelible mark on the young people of Toronto with his involvement in youth hockey and soccer.

An indelible mark was made on his players on the Leafs as well.

"He wanted everyone to feel like a family when he ran the team," another ex-captain, Wendel Clark, said.

"He was quiet but he always made sure everyone was comfortable. That was a great way to be as the company leader."

Said Gilmour: "He was a good man who will be missed."


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