Forty years later everyone can finally move on.
Dave Keon was honoured by the Toronot Maple Leafs on Saturday night (along with Tim Horton and Turk Broda). All three are the latest having sculptures added to Legends Row later in the year.
Keon was estranged from the Leafs for several years, after a nasty parting in 1975 because of former owner Harold Ballard, after which, Keon admitted in an interview with Sportsnet interview, he never felt like a Leaf for many, many years and he rebuffed invites for various team functions.
In the past eight years, he finally returned to Toronto for a handful of celebrations – but they were always about team, not about Keon the individual. Finally, at age 75, he is all the way back.
It is nice to see.
It reminds us of other separations that eventually were healed: Maurice Richard spent time away from the Forum. So did Patrick Roy remain apart from Canadiens for a spell. It took a while for Phil Esposito to reconcile with the Bruins. Same of Bobby Hull with the Blackhawks.
It did not have to be. But it was good that the reconciliation took place while all were alive to do so.