Wilson's tenure with Leafs is on the line

The perpendicular world of Ron Wilson is in vogue as yet another Maple Leafs season is set to begin.

Never has Wilson begun a season under such scrutiny in his time as Toronto coach, and never has he liked his Leafs lineup more than he does right now.

He has always talked a better game than his Maple Leafs have played since he arrived, promising the world but delivering something less. That’s what makes him both engaging and annoying. This is his last real shot for survival. He is coaching for a contract. There is no next year for Wilson if this isn’t a playoff season.

“It seems I’ve always been under heat here, so no matter what we do, there’s going to be pressure,” said Wilson, after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m used to that. Whatever happens, happens.”

The words may read like he’s being flippant, but he’s not. In his fourth season coaching the Leafs, he knows better than anyone that failure is no longer an option. His contract is up. So, just about, is his time.

The belief Brian Burke has in him is real but even Burke is smart enough to know the same coach can’t miss the playoffs four years in a row and continue on the job unless that coach’s name is Barry Trotz.

Wilson is used to both pressure and expectations. He needs to make the playoffs. He needs to get off to a decent start. He needs to avoid the early season swoon and mid-season collapse that has hindered his previous seasons. And he’s feeling bullish about the team knowing two things: 1) He has no real idea what his starting lineup will look like Thursday night against Montreal 2) He hates the Leafs early season schedule, with too many home games against too many opponents of a lesser calibre.


20 Responses to Wilson's tenure with Leafs is on the line

  1. Kramer says:

    Yesterday's trade is too small. The Leafs need to make at least 3 big trades. 5 big trades if possible.

    My ACC source says something big is cooking on the griddle.

  2. Kramer says:

    There's a big conspiracy in hockey, but I also happen to know that the Ontario election is rigged.

    The "winner" of the election is picked before the voting is done.  Your vote is only a placebo. It only makes you feel good. The election is staged like wrestling.

  3. hockey_lover says:

    Yeah yeah … its been the same for three years now.

    "Ron Wilson on thin ice."

    The Toronto media REALLY needs to come up with some new stuff.

  4. reinjosh says:

    It's Steve Simmons, what do you expect. Guys terrible. 

  5. mojo19 says:

    what would it take for him to be fired? Sub .500 record in October? Sub .500 record by the end of November?

  6. blaze says:

    when did Wilson promise the world??

  7. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I wonder how the crisis of infinite suspensions might effect the trade market.  What happens if a handful of quality players get prolonged suspensions, would a team trying to make the playoffs or loading up for a deep run willing to sell them off?  Could bottom feeders then become buyers for next season?

  8. MystifoLeafs says:

    Kramer you need to run for Prime Minister.

  9. mojo19 says:

    Cool theory. Depends on the player/situation but I could see something like that happening.

  10. mojo19 says:

    Guess who's going to the Leafs-Habs season opener? haha yaaaa
    Standing room, i'll take it.

  11. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Or a team looking to unload a player with a bad history, Pronger comes to mind.

  12. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Oh, standing in the pressbox with your boy Komi?

  13. mojo19 says:

    Me and Komisarek are best friends.

  14. Boston_Bruins says:

    So with Strome signed RNH, Landeskog, Larsson, Strome, Zibanejad, Scheifele and Couturier are going to start the season in the NHL. And Murphy and Saad look like they're going to too. That's alot of first year players making the jump.

  15. leafmeister says:

    Weak draft?

  16. toronto77 says:

    this could turn out to be the best draft since the 2003 draft, we'll find out in 5 years.

  17. glotz_99 says:

    Kyle Turris to Toronto for Gunnersson, Zigomanis and a pick

  18. alpalstewart says:

    most of the experts have Brayden Schenn to win the calder, and philly is starting him in the minors, lol. he better make the most of his 1st call up

  19. mapleleafsfan says:

    He's probably only going to spend one game in the minors.. He's got some bonus that says if he players all 82 games and does some stuff he gets an extra 1.6 or something (i don't remember what the other stuff lol)

  20. Militant says:

    I just saw Marc Crawford heading into the ACC.

    Yeah, alright that means nothing.  So what.

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