Monday, November 26, 2007

Let's get Leafy



My is it taking a turn for the absurd here in Toronto:
According to a source, Ferguson attempted to have Maurice replaced as coach late last week but was prevented from doing so. After a terrible weekend, Ferguson may make one last ditch effort to change coaches.

"There's a lot going on there right now," said an NHL insider. "You have a general manager who thinks he's provided a coach with good players. You have a coach who the players clearly aren't working for. I could see one fired, the other fired, or both of them fired."
It is ugly here. That 5-1 loss to Phoenix, given the general public feels those Coyotes are essentially an ECHL team, was about as bad as it gets. It's a good thing the Grey Cup party had been here all week, or sports radio would have buried John Ferguson by now.

It's not a ringing endorsement for your tenure as GM when the only reason reports have you staying in that seat is that they can't find someone competent to replace you.

Heck, they can't find someone incompetent to do it, at least not yet.

It's hard to believe, given all of the competition, but as of this weekend, this is officially the most dysfunctional franchise in the league.

The latest hockey headlines from the Toronto Star's RSS feed:

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18 Comments:

At 2:31 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous DeltaMike said...

This was covered on Sportsnet on their "Hockey Hearsay" blogs. You know the situation in Toronto is desperate when commentators are calling for a "Kevin Lowe style" replacement for JFJ.

Seriously, Kevin freakin' Lowe is an improvement? Those are dire straits.

 
At 2:40 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

That article was written by Steve Simmons and according to Simmons in the summer Mats Sundin had a potential career ending hip injury. It may or may not be true but Simmons has little or no credibility left in many peoples minds.

 
At 3:10 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous penaltyshots.ca said...

Don't you guys know that all Toronto Sports problems would be solved if they would just do as Steve Simmons tells them to do?

I expect his "source" is just an imaginary friend that Simmons uses when he needs to make things up to sell papers.

 
At 3:41 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous PPP said...

Most dysfunctional because they won't fire a GM mid-season because there are no good candidates available? Seems a dysfunctional team would fire the GM, promote an assistant that won't ever be the full-time replacement (or hire a senior advisor according to one mittenstringer), then after the playoffs let that guy go and hire a full-time replacement.

Sounds functional to me. Of course, now it'll happen and I'll look like an idiot.

 
At 3:43 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Toronto hockey reporters are better known than players. They're true stars of hockey.

McKenzie, Dregher, Simmons, Cox, Strachan etc.

They also know everything and kindly let us readers know what they know.

Strachan thinks Healy is the new GM for Laughs but I think it should be Strachan himself on that spot.

Cox could coach. Simmons could scout, hopefully in some remote place like Siperia. McKenzie looks like a president. Dregher and (now more famous than in his playing days) Kyperos could be good candidates as assistant GM and director of player personnel.

Tie Domi is not ready since I haven't seen him on TV for a while now. He started strong with nice teeth, expensive suit and some bravado but he need more seasoning in the ECHL of broadcasting.

 
At 3:56 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger Blitzen said...

Remincent of "I wouldn't trust a client who would hire me as their lawyer" (or something like that), really, would you trust someone new who actually wants to be a GM in that zoo?

The franchise is in real tough and it will only get worse before it gets better.

 
At 4:19 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Most dysfunctional because they won't fire a GM mid-season because there are no good candidates available?

The Leafs fans are all up in arms over this story, and I'm afraid I can't attest to the validity of it, but it passes a certain smell test. Certainly Ferguson has entertained the idea of a coaching change, but would he be allowed to make that move? And if the answer's no, that's dysfunctional.

I'm not trying to beat up on this team; heck, I picked them to make the playoffs. But it's time to pull a Phoenix and tear it down. It was time to do so a few years ago, and Ferguson either was unwilling or wasn't given the mandate to do so.

 
At 4:42 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

If MLSE waits until late January, I'm sure Mike Keenan will be available to replace JFJ. Or, if they can't wait, Mike Millbury is available right now!

Both are well suited for a dysfunctional organization like MLSE.

 
At 4:49 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

The latest hockey headlines from the Toronto Star's RSS feed:

Four of those five stories have been in the Star every day for the past two years.

 
At 4:52 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

True, but perhaps not all on the same day.

 
At 5:08 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

If the Leafs hire Mike Keenan, it will officially make the current situation worse than at any point in the 1980s.

 
At 5:41 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger ninja said...

Can we fire MLSE? I'd really like that.

 
At 6:19 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger matt said...

Isn't Pat Quinn available?

 
At 6:28 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

The crazy thing is that Quinn's name is starting to come up, more and more often (especially on the call-in shows). Fans are longing for the success the team had in his years at the helm.

 
At 6:42 PM, November 26, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

You know that circus music that all the classic Saturday morning cartoons use?

I'm starting to hear that in the background whenever I read about Toronto.

...would you trust someone new who actually wants to be a GM in that zoo?

Not their sanity, for sure. It would be like getting promoted to captain of the Titanic right after it ran into the iceberg.

 
At 11:30 PM, November 26, 2007, Blogger MikeP said...

Baroque, except the Titanic was mighty just before it started sinking. The Leafs haven't been mighty in decades.

 
At 3:59 AM, November 27, 2007, Blogger Jamie said...

The Leafs are not unlike English football (soccer).
England is the so-called inventor of the modern version of the game of soccer. As such, they must always be a winner.
The Leafs are an Original 6 franchise - akin to creating the modern game of hockey, as we know it. As such, they too must always be a winner.

Steve McLaren fooked the pooch in qualifying for the Euro2008 tourney. JFJ seems to have been screwing the pooch since the post-lockout.

My theory is that, although both teams exist in middle of a media and sports tornado (interestingly enough, the middle of the tornado is in fact calmest) neither have learned how to properly read the tea leaves and build for long term success. Both are competitive, but neither are true winners. They are both underachieving

Sven-Goran Ericsson should coach the Leafs (if you can get him to leave Manchester City).

 
At 9:52 AM, November 27, 2007, Anonymous PPP said...

Jamie - that was a perfect comparison.

Quinn is the Leafs' Sven. He got them to a couple of conference finals which is more success than the team has had in any year outside of 93/94 under Cliff Fletcher but it wasn't good enough.

The team did an exhaustive search and came up with Second (fifth) Choice John and it has turned out infinitely worse than anyone could have imagined.

Quinn-Burns! Get it done. (jk)

 

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