Assessing The Leafs and Their Problems

I know, you’re probably thinking “Another Leafs article”, but none of those articles are ever about anything. They are just repetitive rants about different line combinations, or unrealistic advice to GM John Ferguson. So I thought I’d write the truth, something that wouldn’t get Leafs fans made fun of…
Its safe to say this is the worst display of hockey since Mike Murphy was the Leafs bench boss in the mid 1990’s. Plain and simple this is a revenue driven organization that year after year gives its loyal fans a mediocre team filling its line up with a bunch of third and fourth liners. The team we are watching now is the mess created by Pat Quinn when he was our GM by trading away high draft picks for rental players like Doug Gilmour, Brian Leetch, Phil Housley, Ron Francis(not sure if Quinn was GM at that time) and Owen Nolan. The Leafs first problem is of lack of young talent that could have been mature enough by now to play at the NHL level. It’s because of that lack of talent that they must go out and constantly sign “band-aid” players like Bates Battaglia. So maybe Pat Quinn was not a great GM but he was a great coach because he had the respect of his players and staff. It’s sad to say management above fired him to save their own heads from rolling. A team that goes unbeaten in the last 9 or 10 games or whatever it was for a final push at the playoffs is not a team that has given up on their coach. You miss the playoffs by one point you bite the bullet and see what happens next year. Don’t press the panic button by firing a head coach who coached the team to 7 consecutive playoff births. If you fire a coach for not making the playoffs then why is Maurice still coaching. To put it simply, Quinn wasn’t Fergie’s guy.

The Buds second problem is John Ferguson. He does not have enough hockey knowledge to run a team. When Quinn was coach of the Leafs everyone hacked on their defense core and how they weren’t good enough or too immobile. In comes Ferguson and right away he signs Kubina who has a No-Trade-Clause and Gill to help this “unable” group of defensemen. He would have been better off re-signing Cory Cross to a life time contract. Those signings can be considered strike one. Strike two would be trading away a great goalie prospect in Rask before he even played a preseason game for a struggling starter in Raycroft. I’ll let you pick strike 3 : taking a gamble on players like Peca, Lindros, Toskala and O’Neil. Then there’s not being able to trade away mistakes like Kubina or Raycroft. At the end of the day Ferguson doesn’t cut it, he just can’t accomplish anything right.

Problem number 3 is controversial. I highly think Paul Maurice is just not a good coach. The Leafs have no system whatsoever and because of that the players don’t know what to do when they have the puck and especially when they don’t have the puck. Of course Maurice isn’t on the ice and it comes down to what the players do but they aren’t motivated. It’s been almost 2 months of hockey and he’s been saying the same thing over and over again. “We have to stay out of the box, we need to play better in our zone and I liked Antropov”. Good for Antropov but your team is going nowhere but downhill and fast.

Changes need to be made and some heads need to be rolling. Hopefully this article gets posted because it’s just the plain old truth!

6 Responses to Assessing The Leafs and Their Problems

  1. KingCanada says:

    Couldnt agree more, Quinn screwed the team over the years by favoring vets and trading for them, JFJ furthered the problem by handcuffing us with huge contracts and yet again wasting youth and lastly i agree wiht ur statement on Pal Maurice, there is no defensive system.  As much as a good offense makes a good defense u gotta do something down there.  Defense wins championships.

  2. Hoondog2 says:

    I don't really agree at all with your assesments.  JFJ is a good hockey mind, who has grown up around both the business and entertainment side of hockey, the only problem is the environment in which has has to try and succeed.

    I still believe we need to wait until at least the 20 game mark before we can come to any conclusions about this team.

    What this team needs most is a nice long road trip to simplify, and get the defensive part of their game back without the doom and gloom atmosphere in Toronto.  Once they work the wrinkles out of their game, they'll come back to Toronto and we'll see what this team is really capable of.

  3. leafy says:

    JFJ has been most successful in getting decent fringe players for next to nothing, i.e., Kilger, Battaglia, Devereaux, etc.  Apart from that, he hasn't done anything that could be construed as a solid move.

    Are you telling me that you yourself could not do as good a job as Leafs GM?  Just look at Fergie's overall acquisitions, trades, signings, etc?  Not all that impressive.

  4. leafy says:

    Careful with your criticism of Maurice.  You might upset the politically correct crowd.

    Clearly Toronto's GM and coaching has not been a strength, so far anyway.

  5. I-BE-LEAF says:

    CHECK IT! Not one person on this site would have the slightest clue how to be a GM in the NHL. Stick to your EAsports and keep ranting.

  6. leafy says:


Leave a Reply