Lack of a banner-raising ceremony won't deter the Maple Leafs from a meaningful opening ceremony tomorrow night to begin the 2009-10 NHL season at the Air Canada Centre.
This being an Olympic season, the club is saluting great Canadian national team moments, prior to the 7 p.m. game against Montreal.
Representing the 1972 Summit Series will be ex-Leafs Paul Henderson and Ron Ellis, while Darryl Sittler will stand in for the 1976 Canada Cup team. Toronto-born Paul Coffey will be there from the 1984 Canada Cup, Cassie Campbell for the Canadian women's Olympic triumphs in 2002 and 2006, and Mario Lemieux for everything else from the 1987 Canada Cup to the 2002 Olympics.
The team also will honour popular ex-Leaf Peter Zezel, who passed away earlier this year. A future ceremony will recognize the late Teeder Kennedy, a Hall of Famer.
As for a sweater-honouring ceremony this year, the Leafs will not have one, after Doug Gilmour's No. 93 and Wendel Clark's 17 both went into the rafters last year.
The 48th Highlanders will pipe in the new season, as they have done every year since 1932. Juno Award winners The Trews will perform at the Maple Leaf Square pre-game tailgate party.