Here are some potential interim General Manager candidates for the Leafs.

Hey guys,

Here are some experienced onetime NHL executives who could help the Leafs map out an action plan for the team’s long-term future by becoming the club’s interim General Manager in place of John Ferguson for the remainder of this season.

They include former Columbus Blue Jackets GM Doug Maclean, former Dallas Stars GM Doug Armstrong, former Islanders GM Mike Milbury, former New York Rangers GM Neil Smith, former Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher, former Ottawa Senators GM John Muckler, former Philadelphia Flyers GM Bobby Clarke, former Calgary Flames GM Craig Button, and former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick.

Which of those guys do you like best? Did I forget to mention anyone else?

Personally, I like:

Mike Milbury because he has been an NHL player, head coach, and GM for the Boston Bruins and has served as GM for the New York Islanders. Also, he said that he missed making hockey-related decisions and would be open to a hockey operations job in another organization.

Doug Maclean because he was the former president/general manager and head coach of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets and was instrumental in building their farm system into one of the very best in the NHL. He was also the head coach of the Florida Panthers. Additionally, MacLean coached at the University of New Brunswick, followed by assistant coach positions with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals. He is probably best known for leading a up-start Panther team, featuring goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck, to the Eastern Conference crown in 1996, only to be swept in the Stanley Cup Final (four games to none) by the Colorado Avalanche.

According to Hockey’s Future – #1 NHL Draft & Hockey Prospect Magazine, the Columbus Blue Jackets have the 11th best ranked farm system in the NHL.:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/nhl_organisation_rankings/?start=6

Strengths:

The Blue Jackets have assembled a fine collection of prospects at both wings, where the team has the greatest depth. With yet another pick in the top ten, they nabbed Czech winger Jakub Voracek seventh overall in the 2007 draft, a power forward who brings both physicality and top notch offensive skill. He joins a promising group of forwards that includes both Derick Brassard and Alex Picard. Additionally, Kris Russell, one of the team’s top defensemen in the system, made the leap to the NHL this season.

Weaknesses:

The emphasis on high-end offensive talent in recent drafts by the Jackets has not brought in the talent to match in other areas. While they have numerous defensemen in the system, there are no potential top pairing NHL starters. With Russell moving on to the NHL and the trade of Adam McQuaid in the offseason, the talent on the backend has been further chipped away. Behind Steve Mason, who is not a sure bet starter, the Jackets have little depth in the net.

Top five prospects:

1. Jakub Voracek (RW), 2. Derick Brassard (C), 3. Kris Russell (D), 4. Joakim Lindstrom (LW), 5. Steve Mason (G).

According to Hockey’s Future – #1 NHL Draft & Hockey Prospect Magazine, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the 19th best ranked farm system in the NHL.:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/nhl_organisation_rankings/?start=18

Strengths:

At the top of the Leafs prospect depth chart, there is no shortage of elite talent and offensive potential. Justin Pogge appears to be the goalie of the future, and a good one at that. Jiri Tlusty is an elite prospect with top line potential, Robbie Earl could be a top six winger, and Nikolai Kulemin is a boom or bust prospect who could rapidly raise the club’s fortunes. On defense, Anton Stralman has raised a lot of eyebrows and could see significant NHL action this season.

Weaknesses:

With a lack of draft picks over the past few years, depth remains an issue. Dale Mitchell, Tyler Ruegsegger, Chad Rau, Chris DiDomenico, Ben Winnett, and Brent Aubin all have some potential, but are likely depth or role players at best. There is also a lack of size and grit among the forwards. After Stralman, the blue liners in the organization are probably all fifth and sixth defensemen at best. Goaltender is dangerously thin as Toronto appears to have placed all its eggs in Pogge’s basket.

Top five prospects:

Justin Pogge (G), Jiri Tlusty (C), Nikolai Kulemin (LW), Robbie Earl (LW), Anton Stralman (D).


29 Responses to Here are some potential interim General Manager candidates for the Leafs.

  1. Shorts_Pimp says:

    Mike Milbury. The guy who signed Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca to outrageous contract and got no return. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS BE THE CASE. This would, in fact, be a step down from John Ferguson. As for your other choices, Bobby Clarke couldn't cut it in Philadelphia, so there's no way I'd want him as my general manager (even though he wouldn't never do that to his Flyers organization). As for the rest. Meh. I could go either way to tell you the truth.

  2. morrissey says:

    Milbury: hahaha…. You know there should be 3 teams at the all star game – East, West, and players Milbury has traded away. Hell I think Milbury's team may even win it. Please get this guy in Toronto, I didn't think it could get more entertaining than it currently is but this would do it!

  3. Hoondog2 says:

    Lets at least wait until JFJ is on the stake before we burn him.

  4. Carlton60 says:

    I'm a Doug Armstrong supporter!

    Do some research – I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.

    During Armstrong's tenure with the Dallas Stars they went 210-132-35!  I sure would like to see the Leafs have a couple of 50 win seasons!  When Armstrong was GM of the Stars, their season average was over 106 pts and they made the playoffs all four years.

    Dallas Stars record over the past 4 full seasons with Armstrong as GM:

    2006-2007 — 50 – 25 – 7  — 107 pts
    2005-2006 — 53 – 23 – 6  — 112 pts
    2003-2004 — 41 – 26 – 13 — 97 pts
    2002-2003 — 46 – 17 – 15 — 111 pts (2 pts out of 1st place)

    All I know is one thing – the next Leafs GM has several contract issues to deal with.  Forget about the NHL cap – the Leafs should have an "internal cap policy" so that they don't end up with 5 players earning almost 50% of the season cap hit!

  5. Carlton60 says:

    I'm a Doug Armstrong supporter!

    Do some research – I think you'd be pleasantly surprised.

    Dallas Stars record over the past 4 full seasons with Armstrong as GM:

    2006-2007 — 50 – 25 – 7  — 107 pts
    2005-2006 — 53 – 23 – 6  — 112 pts
    2003-2004 — 41 – 28 – 13 — 97 pts
    2002-2003 — 46 – 21 – 15 — 111 pts (2 pts out of 1st place)

    During Armstrong's tenure with the Dallas Stars they went 210-132-35!  I sure would like to see the Leafs have a couple of 50 win seasons!  When Armstrong was GM of the Stars, their season average was over 106 pts and they made the playoffs all four years.

    All I know is one thing – the next Leafs GM has several contract issues to deal with.  Forget about the NHL cap – the Leafs should have an "internal cap policy" so that they don't end up with 5 players earning almost 50% of the season cap hit!

  6. MogilnyFan1990 says:

    Mark Messier

  7. lafleur10 says:

    the leafs should consider hiring NEIL SMITH for there new general manager!

  8. the_word says:

    Any interm would be fine, eve Milbury.  An interm, means JFJ is fired and has the autonomy to trade Sundin and whoever else is tradeable.  Firing JFJ is an admission (or rather a submission to reality) that the Leafs are sellers in the trade market. 

    The only person that can further screw over Leaf Nation is JFJ.  We can all read the writing on the wall (even Milbury can, as he said trading Mats Sundin is necessary on TSN last night).  Does anyone really think that JFJ keeping Sundin will secure his job for another season?  If he doesn't trade Sundin the backlash will be vicious, he'll be further ridiculed by fans and media.  JFJ can't afford keeping Sundin.  He'll likely getting axed either way, he could at least secure himself some respect by trading Sundin.  If he keeps this roster intact after the deadline, he'll be a bigger embrassemment that Rob Bab*****.  

    A loss to LA tonight should be the last straw. 

  9. Tavares-Stamkos14 says:

    The absolute best thing for the leafs to do right now is trade sundin get a good return for him and then keep on losing and hopefully get 1st draft pick this year and get Steven Stamkos. We will obviously have a new GM by the latest summer cuz JFJ is gone so then the new GM jus has to rebuild around stamkos. I would even say try to trade kubina to boston. Boston has stated that they are willing to part with kessel and axelson so put kubina and someone else in a package to get kessel and like a 2nd rd pick.

  10. ty656789 says:

    they should try to make a board of general managers and get Colin Campbell, Cliff Fletcher, John Muckler and Mark Messier if he would be willing to do it. Even if you only had any 2 of them together, they would have a ton of experience and a ton of good hockey connections. Is there a salary cap on management and hockey operations of a team??? Offer Brian Burke more money than he can refuse and throw him into the mix. They would have a juggernaught front office. Might as well spend the extra money that they're charging for tickets and concessions on something!!!!

  11. mojo19 says:

    Interesting choices:

    Doug MacLean would be alright.
    Doug Armstrong would be a good choice, I think.
    Milburry – NO
    Neil Smith, sure.
    Cliff Fletcher I think is retired now
    John Muckler should retire now.
    Bobby Clarke NO
    Craig Button, used to be a scout for the Leafs and we fired him, but I'd bring him back I guess
    Craig Patrick. Meh.

  12. Leafs101 says:

    Imagine this happening

    Maurice and ferguson get fired(even though i like maurice as a coach) and the leafs get Phil Esposito as a GM and probably the best thing that will happen to the leafs for like about 5 more years is DON CHERRY AS THE LEAFS COACH!
     How exciting would that be! The fans would probably cheer for Cherry on the bench then the players on the ice!

  13. jarcpitre says:

    Real good read, good job. I am a little surprised that you picked Milbury, wasn't he ranked the worst GM ever below Ferguson. The other thing is that I believe that Chris DiDomenico could be a diamond in the ruff for the Leafs. He doesn't turn 19 until 20 Feb, so I believe he has another year left in junior, I could be wrong on that one though. His numbers are pretty good for a team that was at the bottom of the league last year. 06-07 stats 70GP-25G-50A-75P-60PIM with the Sea Dogs. 07-08 stats so far are 42GP-29G-37A-66P-58PIM with the Sea Dogs. He's actually the talk of the town in Saint John, N.B.

  14. jarcpitre says:

    Forgot to mention he leads the league right now as well.

  15. leafy says:

    Why would you want Milbury?  We want to IMPROVE our GM position, not make it worse.  Heck, we may as well keep JFJ.  Better an idiot than a psycho.

    My choice would be either Neil Smith or Colin Campbell.

  16. leafy says:

    Leafs vs. Kings (4-0 LA, 1st intermission)

    The Kings look like the 1985 Edmonton Oilers tonight.  I guess that's understandable when you play the Leafs nowadays.

    Clearly the Leafs need an overhaul from top to bottom…the GM, coach, veteran players, etc.

    This team needs an infusion of good young talent in a real hurry.

    February 26th can't come soon enough, and neither can the June draft.

  17. mojo19 says:

    so far through 4 periods on this trip to California we've been outscored 9-0. WERE LOSING 4-0 after the first to the LAST PLACE KINGS!!!! This is becoming a huge joke.

  18. mojo19 says:

    Leafy, come on msn after the game.

  19. mojo19 says:

    At least Raycroft made a career high seven saves in the first period.

  20. leafy says:

    Sure thing bud.

  21. leafy says:

    Yea clearly he's in "the zone".

  22. lukeleim says:

    Leafs the worst team in the NHL? beginning to look like it.

  23. lukeleim says:

    enough is enough, the leafs are going to lose some fans playing like this.

  24. jarcpitre says:

    Out of the 11 shots on net, Raycroft let out 8 for rebounds. Like I said 2 weeks ago they should've put him on waivers when Toskala gets healthy and at least save the 500 thousand or whatever towards the deadline.

  25. jarcpitre says:

    I have a Toronto Sports Bar and I just about destroyed the whole thing last night. I was just about done with the Leafs and I've been a fan for a little over 30 yrs.

  26. wendelclark says:

    Doug Maclean and Mike Milbury are 2 of the worst general mangers, JFJ is a genius compared to them.

    Under MacLean's management, the Jackets compiled the worst record in the league over six seasons, never coming within 19 points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Under MacLean's management, the Blue Jackets have had four coaches.

    Traded D Francois Beauchemin and RW Tyler Wright to Anaheim for C Sergei Fedorov and a fifth-round draft pick in 2006.
    Fedorov, 37, made $6.08 million. The Ducks couldn't believe they found somebody to take Fedorov.

    As far as mike milbury goes he has traded away REDDEN, BERARD, BREWER, TORRES for beaupre, straka, and hamrlik.

    1998 – milbury give up Ruutu, Bertuzzi, McCabe for Linden.
    1999 – Just over a year later he trades Linden to Montreal for a 1st-round pick, with which they draft Branislav Mezei.
    2002 – Mezei is traded to Florida after playing 24 games for the islanders, for Jason Wiemer.
    2003 – Wiemer is waived and claimed by Minnesota.

    milbury traded Olli Jokien and Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish, Oleg Kvasha.

    milbury traded Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and 1st round selection (Jason Spezza) in 2001 for alexi yashin.

  27. leaf4life8 says:

    The name Bobby Clarke and Toronto Maple Leafs should never be put in the same sentence…i'm ashamed for doin it  just now!!! Bobby Clarke should be removed from Hockey all together for his backing up downie's actio's thus far tyhis year…but then look at Clarke's past… The maple leafs need a guy who can be respected around the league…Clarke is definitely not that guy! 

  28. lukeleim says:

    Doug Armstrong is my pick

  29. arigold says:

    give it to Gilmour, at least he'll get the support from the fans

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