Monday, November 26, 2007

Trouble at the Leaf House

Ah, yes, with losses to Phoenix and Dallas this past weekend, the Leafs find themselves out of a playoff spot, and Leaf Land is all a flutter. Who's head is going to roll? Steve Simmons wrote an article in the Toronto Sun this morning claiming that a source told him that John Ferguson Jr. had tried to fire Paul Maurice but was not allowed to. JFJ was quick to nullify that story today, saying:

"There isn't a shred of truth to that assertion," Ferguson told TSN. "This is made up, its a complete fabrication."
Simmons wrote quite a ballsy piece actually, with plenty of other hard statements, like JFJ's head is on the chopping block:
It isn't known who the Leafs are leaning towards (for a new GM) at this point, but they have held informal conversations with NHL vice-president Colin Campbell and television analyst Glenn Healy in recent days while Sun Media also has reported there is interest in up-and-coming, under-contract executives such as Ron Francis in Carolina and Steve Yzeman in Detroit. Another source indicated some interest had been expressed in Hall of Fame player Mark Messier, currently unaffiliated with an NHL team.
Another name that has been brought up is former Leafs star Doug Gilmour, who currently is learning the ropes in the Toronto front office.
Ballsy article indeed. Myself, I find it hard to believe much of what Simmons says, especially because I don't even like the guy, and the Toronto Sun is so tabloid-like in nature. So we'll see what happens. To me, GM's get canned after the regular season is over and the team misses the playoffs. The immediate fix now would be to a) fire Maurice because the players won't do what he is saying and are tuning him out or b) make a blockbuster trade to shake things up. Maybe that is something that JFJ has not done and should be doing but just can't find a good trading partner or a deal that makes sense.
You can't quite fault JFJ for who he has brought in lately, except in hindsight only. I think he has provided the tools for a successful team. Then it is the job of the coach to get these fuckers on the same page. This is arguable in itself.
I wouldn't mind seeing a trade myself. A trade that gets McCabe out of T.O. I believe there are a few dolts on this roster who have been problematic for years now and just won't conform to or have the ability to play a winning style of hockey. And yes, McCabe is one of them.

The owner of the Leafs, Richard Peddie tried to calm the storm a bit this morning, saying:
"We're trying not to be reactionary in this tough time," Peddie said after the Leafs posted a pair of losses over the weekend.
The fact is John is under contract and we want him and Paul focused on winning hockey games and turning around this situation," added Peddie.
"We're clearly disappointed in our start to the season," said Peddie. "It's not what we had envisioned. But we're monitoring the situation."

via Sportsnet

-TSN's Bob McKenzie has a take on the whole Leafs management and why JFJ still has a job. I guess I don't even know the full extent of the Leafs' issues. Wow.

Artist Ken Henderson has a great Toskala-Raycroft therapy cartoon up from a couple weeks ago. Worth a look.

What do you think? What is going to happen here?

1. JFJ is getting canned
2. Maurice gets the axe
3. Nothing. The team will work its way out of the slump.
4. JFJ pulls off a deal to shake the team up.
5. The world comes to an end (nuclear holocaust) before anything can happen.

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At November 26, 2007 at 2:43 p.m. , Blogger James said...

I always find it interesting that the only people dumber than Leafs management are the "Journalists" who follow them like Simmons, Cox and Berger. Their articles are usually laughable diatribes written to stir up the Leaf faithful, much like poking at a hornet's nest with a stick. Check out Cox Bloc for some great rebuttals to those tards.

As for the Leafs, I for one have decided to finally withdraw my support from them until one or more of the following happen:

1. JFJ Fired
2. Peddie Fired
3. Tannenbaum thrown from the top of the CN Tower
4. Ontario Teacher's Pension fund divests from MLSE, invests in white slavery and opium instead (less psychologically damaging)
5. JFJ pulls off a boffo trade, dumping McCabe for Lidstrom + picks

Those are going in order of likelyhood. Personally I think Maurice will get the axe before JFJ, who will follow shortly after. Firing Maurice would be dumb, but the players obviously aren't paying attention to him anyway.

Now I am debating what team to get behind in the meantime. I am actually considering Chicago, with their loads of young talent. Their playoff futility over the past 40 years will make me feel right at home too..

At November 26, 2007 at 3:29 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Thanks for the heartfelt comments, J. I feel your pain. You should probably root for the Canucks though. They are going to win the Stanley Cup this year :)

At November 26, 2007 at 3:53 p.m. , Blogger James said...

I canna do it! Too much bad blood between myself and local canucks fans who have derided the leafs and my cheering for them for years.. Add in the fickle fairweather fans and clueless gung-ho media and I say no thank you sir!

At November 26, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Well the Hawks are a good second pick!

Hey, I just read TSN's Bob McKenzie's take on the Leafs management issues. Kinda touches a bit on what you said in your rant.


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.