Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Leafs to look to Muckler?

Scotty Bowman has turned down the overtures of a three-year contract worth at least $6 million because he determined he couldn't, or didn't want to, work for CEO Richard Peddie.

Bowman's reluctance has opened the door wide for former Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler to wind up as the senior hockey decision-maker in the Leafs operation.
Another day in the soap opera that is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

My pal Pete Evans, this blog's resident Leafs expert, had some good thoughts on the matter today when I brought it up on email: "Say what you will about the Toskala deal, but Raycroft and Toskala are making less combined than the Sens' backup goalie will make this year. And I don't see how you can claim McCabe's contract looks any worse than Redden's right now. Muckler's not exactly blemish-free in the capology department.

"Anyway, all this crap about hiring an 'adviser' is typical MLSE meddling mediocrity. Instead of coming out with a clear decision like 'yup, JFJ's our man', it's 'JFJ's our man, but just in case he isn't, here's our backup plan, somebody to watch over him who will only end up (a) trying to get his job or (b) interfering in proposed deals to the point that nothing gets done.'"

Sounds about right. And I couldn't have said it better myself.


At 7:58 p.m., June 27, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

pete lives in your blog? What's rent go for?

He's right though, Muckler is not a guy that I would want at the helm of the Leafs.

As for the meddling, MLSE is terrible for it but short of armed insurrection I don't see how Peddie gets moved out. Why could they admit that they were clueless about basketball but they still harbour a belief that they have even a modicum of hockey knowledge?

Why let JFJ run two straight trade deadlines, drafts, and free agency periods if you aren't going to keep him around long-term?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

On the bright side, Murray the genius' Russian draft pick is going home. Go sens!

At 8:07 p.m., June 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a lot of solvents lying around the blog? Does Pete huff that shit?

I don't see how you can claim McCabe's contract looks any worse than Redden's right now.

Redden's contract is up in 6 months. How long is McCabe serving as an anchor for the Leafs?

At 10:32 p.m., June 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It almost makes you look back at the days of Harold Ballard wistfully.

At 12:11 a.m., June 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Anders Hedberg unavailable?

At 8:46 a.m., June 28, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

MC79, Redden's contract might be up in 6 months but if they trade him they won't get much value after his horrific season. If they don't trade him what are the odds that they re-sign him for less than $6.5M? And if they let him walk then he was the cause of Chara leaving who could have helped them against Anaheim's forwards in the final.

Seems like 3 bad scenarios while McCabe puts up 60 points a year.

At 8:46 a.m., June 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saprykin to the Leafs for a 2nd rounder. Mucks seems to think thats a fair deal.

At 9:44 a.m., June 28, 2007, Blogger mike said...

I disagree that hiring a guru is a bad idea. Of course, it has to be the right fit, someone who doesn't have designs on the GM gig, but rather an elder statesmen who flat out knows the game. I don't have any particular candidates in mind, but this position in common among successful teams. Of course, making a soap opera out of anything sells copy, so I wouldn't expect the press to digest this rationally, even though they've had weeks to do so.

At 1:14 p.m., June 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyler, maybe I was reaching a bit, but I really don't understand why McCabe's deal gets held up as the ultimate arbiter of lunacy, while others get a free pass.

McCabe has a much smaller cap hit than Redden, and scores more points. Despite the hagiography of his "hands" Redden's gotten more than 50 points exactly once in his career.

If my glass of Leaf Kool-Aid is half-full, I'm thinking I'd rather have an asset in a signed McCabe for three more years (the last two of which his actual salary is down to $4-million) than Wade Redden to get $200,000 per point -- for one more year, when he'll walk away so someone else can overpay him.

I realize you're going to jump on anything even the slightest bit pro-Toronto, but honestly, is your best argument that it's better to have an inferior player who makes more money for one year, than the superior one for cheaper, for longer? I do acknowledge the no-trade provision is quite the boat anchor. He'd be a tradeable asset -- 60-point defensemen don't grow on trees. But I'm sure you already know that, being a fan of the Oil and all.

That notwithstanding, my point still stands: MLSE is stupid. If JFJ's the guy, make it official. If he's not, dump him.

If they are going to replace him, please let Muckler have any part it it. Riding the bus with Getzky in the 1980's doesn't make people absorb hockey awesomeness through osmosis.


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