Brian Burke: Ron Wilson ‘safe’ as Leafs coach

Ron Wilson’s job as coach of the Maple Leafs is “safe,” according to general manager Brian Burke.

The players? Well, that’s a different story. While the GM said “there’s no panic here,” he is itching to upgrade the talent level on the team. There just aren’t any viable offers on the table at the moment.

The Leafs have lost five consecutive games, the last two in shootouts, and have dropped eight of their last nine.

Over those nine games, Toronto has scored just 15 goals and Wilson called out his top line of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Kris Versteeg after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Buffalo for “not producing any offence.”

Though they’re not together for every shift, that trio has just two goals, one each from Bozak and Versteeg, over the five-game losing streak.

The loss to the Sabres was particularly numbing for Leaf fans because Toronto led 2-0 late in the second and gave up the tying goal with 13.1 seconds remaining in regulation time.

Despite that collapse and Toronto’s losing streak, Burke was aggravated Sunday when questioned about Wilson’s job security.

“If you watch the game films and show me one thing Ronnie did wrong, then come back and ask me about it. The answer to your question is, ‘Yes, the coach is safe,’ ” Burke told a couple of reporters during a break in a sports management conference he was co-chairing at a downtown hotel.

“I’m told (Wilson) got blasted in the media today. Let me ask you a question. Did Ron play poorly last night? No. Why don’t you guys focus on the players who played poorly last night instead of questioning the coach.”–brian-burke-ron-wilson-safe-as-leafs-coach

124 Responses to Brian Burke: Ron Wilson ‘safe’ as Leafs coach

  1. hockeylegend488 says:

    i say cogliano and linus omark for kadri and schenn

  2. Kramer says:

    The Leafs are losing on purpose.

  3. coyotes_bettman says:

    Just another ploy to have an Ovechkin vs Crosby game – but hey it's kind of a cool idea for sure!

  4. mojo19 says:

    you must be an Oilers fan.

  5. mojo19 says:

    He did more good than bad. A little bit of bad at the end of his career shouldn't tarnish all the years of greatness. Get over it. The more I watch Mats-less hockey the more respect I gain for him. Think of how good he was post-lockout, those teams were 9th place teams in back to back years that missed by a win and a shootout loss. Without him we would have been watching this shit were watching now.

  6. mojo19 says:

    haha, considering how much the NHL always looks down on the KHL its funny that they adopt their format for the All-Star game. Team Yashin vs Team Jagr in a street hockey style 'captain picks the teams'.

    But I agree, I'm more looking forward to the draft then the actual game. I wanna see what happens.

    And who picks the captains? Will they go with "Superstar" format: Crosby and Ovechkin, or will they go with "Legends" I'm thinking: Pronger and Lidstrom?

  7. Leafs_the_word says:

    1st captain, Rory Fitzpatrick.

  8. hockeylegend488 says:

    there not looseing on purpose,especially since they don't have a draft pick. Did anyone notice tyler seguin went 5/6 in the faceoff circle? i read alot of people speak about ron wilson getting fired how about him and boy george 

  9. Kramer says:

    Not because of the draft pick. There's a conspiracy involving the underworld. It's all about controlling stock prices and taking the loss as a capital gain. The mafia controls every thing.

  10. lafleur10 says:

    better than kostitsyn? hahaha yeah o.k.  he won't ever come come close to kostitsyn! kostitsyn has kovalev like skill, and talent kulemin doesn't.

  11. mojo19 says:

    Well I don't think he has Kovalev type skill.

    I'll concede that Kostitsyn is a bit more skilled than Kuley but like I said Kulemin is still a very skilled young forward plus brings more to the table in terms of defensive ability and he's a physical presence out there too. I think overall he'll be a different but similar calibre player. Overall Kulemin will be better and more valuable.

  12. albertateams says:

    Wilson has the better coaching record by far overall.

    I'm not comparing them to star signing's or acquisition's however they are still high profile pick ups in the offseason anytime you are committing 18.5 million to 4 players I would say its relatively high profile, particularly in TO. I think you are confusing high profile with good.
    I agree that most people did have TO picked between 10-14 but where is the improvement in the young teams performance, its just nonexistent. The only player that I can think of whose play has actually improved under Wilson is Schenn and I think that has more to do with development than coaching. 
    When did Wilson become one of the leagues best coaches because I can't remember one of his teams winning the cup or him stepping on stage to receive his Jack Adams trophy. His teams have missed the playoffs in 8 of his 16 years coaching in the NHL.
  13. lafleur10 says:

    kulemin hasn't shown it so far and i doubt he he ever will! kostitsyn does have kovalev type skill you can see it in him

  14. lafleur10 says:

    does anyone? leafs fan in paticular still think the kessel deal was a steal for them? i said at the time of the deal and will continue to say they got raped in that deal and when they hand boston atop 3-5 pick this year it will be proven without a doubt that it was a colossal rape for the bruins and it won't be close.this is they reason the leafs will continue to be a joke and losers for a years because of deal like this. they aren't revelant and haven't been for years!

  15. albertateams says:

    I never liked the trade from the beginning, however it is still far to early to call it lopsided for one team or the other. Right now the Bruins appear to have the advantage however things can change.

    I think it was you who also said Toronto raped Calgary on the Phaneuf deal I would like to know what you think of the deal now. 
    Both deals are years away from determining definitively who won them and to what degree.
  16. nordiques100 says:

    Steal is the wrong word to use.

    The correct word is fair.

    That will only be determined when the order of selection is finalized for the 2011 draft.

    If the Leafs pick is in the top 5, then no, its not a fair trade. it clearly is in the Bruins favor and BB, while he won't admit it, screwed this one up royally.

    If the pick comes after the 15th pick or even after 10th overall say, well the deal will be judged mostly on whether Seguin or Kessel turns out to be the better player.

    And of course that won't be determined for years to come.

    But, giving Boston another lottery selection would be a death blow to the franchise.

  17. reinjosh says:

    No it wouldn't be a death blow. If this were Nashville or Atlanta or even Dallas than it might be a death blow to the franchise but this is Toronto. It would hurt for years and prolong the suffering of not having a cup in forever, but they would carry on. What it would be a death blow to, would be this era of this team. Burke would (and probably should) be fired if that happens unless he does something drastic to make up for it.

  18. Leafs_RegimeofBurke_ says:

    I'm really excited to see this! Hopefully the Leafs get their asses in gear by Feb and one or more make it…(Kessel, Kabs, Phaneuf, Schenn). doubtful but you never know, especially with so many TO fans and the voting system

  19. mojo19 says:

    You forget how good Kovalev was. Remember his days in Pittsburgh? He was lights out. He was a franchise player for a while. Kostitsyn will be a good player and I think he’ll have a good career, but comparing him to Kovalev is a very bold statement.

    And Kulemin has shown flashes of that same ability as Kostitysin. He’s got a good nose for the net, powerful shot, good hands, speed. He’s the real deal.

  20. Leafs_the_word says:

    Ok, I'm not the one suggesting that the Leafs are a failure if they miss the playoffs, that's on you, I stressed the point that the Leafs didn't make any significant upgrades this summer, in fact I made that point all summer.  You made the claim that the Leafs should be held to the standard of making the playoffs, one I ridiculed.

    You're engaging in double speak.  First you claimed that the Leafs should be held to the standard of making the playoffs because of their 'high profile' off season moves then you claim that I'm the one confusing 'high profile' with quality of talent. 

    If there isn't an upgrade in talent then why should Wilson be expected to get this team in the playoffs? Wouldn't the lack of acquiring quality talent fall on Burke?

    If you want to ignore context and pretend that only cup rings and Jack Adams make a good coach then I have no interest in indulging such a juvenile oversimplification.  While we at it let's call the Canadians the best team in the league every year because they've won the most cups.

    From getting a nothing Capitals team to the finals, to years of winning his division in SJS and bringing a huge underdog USA team to a goal away from a gold medal, Wilson has a resume to put himself in the top 15 coaches in the league.  He has achieved these accomplishments by coaching a system and demanding accountability which no Maple Leaf coach has done since Pat Burns.

  21. albertateams says:

    I think from the organizations stand point if they miss the playoffs the season is a failure for sure. Sure they didn't make a blockbuster in the summer but 2 of the 4 players I named were acquired in January. I do think management had the expectation of making the playoffs at the start of the year.

    I'm not doing any double speak. Spending 18 million plus on 4 players is high profile transactions. Do I think it could have been spent better absolutely.
    A big part of it does fall on Burke, but you seem to contend that Wilson is doing an adequate job, which he isn't the team has not improved what so ever under Wilson, yeah there is a lot of new faces but some of the young players should be improving more than they are.
    It's not all that matters but to be one of the best as you put you should be able to take your team to the next level. 
    Some of those Capital teams had some very good players on them. Its not like he took a bunch of scrubs to the finals.
    I'm not saying he's the worst coach in the league its just he isn't in the top 10 and along way from one of the best as you put it.
  22. MystifoLeafs says:

    I have always wondered if Semin is actually a good player or is he just along for the ride on the ovie and Backstrom train? 

    I do like vinny and would wonder if he would be great in T.O but I doubt we get him for the price we want? Maybe we can give up a few more Draft picks to acquire Vinny?
  23. Leafs_the_word says:

    Good point, I think Marc Staal is overrated as well, he's more Tom Poti than Duncan Keith.

    People (media especially) hype J. Staal like it would take 3 1st round picks to get him and the Pens would never recover from the loss.  It's like when Bobby Holik was given 9 million a year to save the Rangers, he was less useless expect when playing within a limited role.

  24. mojo19 says:

    yep, I think since J-Staal is still young, he could develop into a Mike Peca still, or at least Sammy Pahlsson. But he's not going to be a superstar.

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