Why are the Toronto Maple Leafs called that? Shouldn’t they be known as the Toronto Maple Leaves? Is there special Canadian dispendation for the spelling of the plural for leaf?

Also why does every Canandian airport code begin with a Y? For example, Toronto is YYZ, Calgary is YYC and Montreal is YUL. Any reason the Canadian government did this?

The Maple Leafs are not named after the part of a plant, but rather a military unit, I believe called the Maple Leaf Regiment.

As for the airport codes, the international agency that doles out the codes decided to make all Canadian airports start with “Y”. I believe that Canadian authorities requested it.

The Maple Leafs were born in 1927 as the Toronto St. Patricks and played in the Mutual Street Arena. In 1931 they moved to the Maple Leaf Gardens. The History of the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club site doesn’t say exactly, but it would appear that the name of the team comes from the name of that arena.

It may also explain the improper plural form.

Gypsy: Tom, I don’t get you.
Tom Servo: Nobody does. I’m the wind, baby.

Beantown: Also why does every Canandian airport code begin with a Y? For example, Toronto is YYZ…

Well that explains the title of the instrument song by Rush on their “Moving Pictures” album.

Wrong thinking is punished, right thinking is just as swiftly rewarded. You’ll find it an effective combination.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had their present name before Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931.

I haven’t been able to find a particular unit of the Canadian military in WWI called “The Maple Leafs”, so perhaps I heard that information incorrectly.

Instead, Maple Leafs may just be used to imply that the team is not named after foliage, despite the big leaf on the sweater.

From: Toronto Maple Leafs History

Looks like Conn Smythe chose the name because he liked it, and named his team and arena accordingly. Maybe he chose Leafs to differentiate between his team and the Maple Leaves mentioned in the quote. BobT, it makes mention of Smythe’s military service, so maybe that’s where your memory is coming from.

There has never been a regiment or battalion in the Canadian Army with the name “maple leaf” as part of its title.

The maple leaf symbol, however, has appeared on Canadian military badges since at least the Upper Canada Militia days of the War of 1812.

Connie Smythe was an officer in the Royal Canadian Artillery in WWI (although he later joined the Royal Flying Corps), and again in WW2 (in charge of the 33rd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery composed almost entirely of NHL stars like Nick Mets, and known colloquially as “the jockstrap battalion.”).

The cap-badge of the RCA has a wreath of maple leaves around a field gun. Many of the war-raised infantry battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force which sailed to England in 1914 had a maple leaf as a background motif or overall shape.

For more details on Smythe, his military hockey teams, and Canadian hockey players during wartime, here’s a very informative and well-researched page:

Launcher may train without warning.

I believe the St Patricks were a separate team back in the early days of the NHL. Montreal and New York had multiple teams in those days - the Maroons and the Americans, I think.

Fleet, the first sentence of the link I gave reads:

So, no.