Sunday, January 13, 2008

Guerilla Tatics: Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment

The MLSE consortium has been living up the 'Entertainment' billing of their moniker this week. All sorts of 'Entertaining' things have been coming to light, canceled team photos, speculation on JFJr, Speculation on Paul Maurice, trade talks for Jason Blake, Tucker hamming it up with Roenick last night at the red line blah blah blah. While it does provide cannon fodder for the sports pundits last time I checked the MLSE group was in the business of hockey. Maybe perhaps in the business of winning hockey games even.

There has been a great deal of speculation as to why the Leafs have been under performing. I can sum it up: The Toronto Maple Leafs FUCKING SUCK. I'm sorry, there is no point sugar coating it and I refuse to give a roster like that any sort of a break. Arguably they have all the pieces to be a Stanley Cup contender yet they languish in the sub basement of the NHL. For the love of god, LA beat them. Convincingly.

I don't really cheer for the Leafs but one of Canada's most storied franchises deserves better. Much better. While I don't expect anyone to really care my thoughts on fixing the team are simple:

1) Fire John Ferguson Jr. He's not a bad dude but with respect to hockey he clearly is not getting good advice or possessing an inkling about hockey management.

2) Trade Mats Sunding while he's worth something. The Leafs need a complete new look, starting from the top down. Get some young bodies in there.

3) Shake up the Board. This organization is stale. People are expressing undue influence over matters of hockey management where they shouldn't be.

4) Paul Maurice should go as well. Personally, this part makes me sad because I believe Paul is the kind of coach that would make TO great but you can't rid the institution of it's endemic disease unless everyone goes. Hate to say it.

The Leafs, much to my chagrin, are a team steeped in history. They deserve better, so I hope the MLSE group steps up and sorts this out.

Here's the Proof:

On paper the Leaf roster is not terrible. The performance of these players is. Period. 9 dudes registering on the good side of the plus minus? ew. You gotta score to win.

Defense. Or a lack there of. 3rd in the league for shots against, on average 3.24 GA per game also 3rd worst in the league. The D-corp needs to have it's ass kicked big time. Give Toskala and Raycroft a frigging chance guys. Lie down in front of the puck at least. *

Update:
TSN was discussing this yesterday. Shocking. They were suggesting much the same, clean house. However, they suggested 3 GMs to take over and get this: Andy Murray topped the list. Course, he's unavailable but the next three will BLOW your mind: Brian Burke, Kevin Lowe, Darryl Sutter. Sutter I get. Burke and Lowe? Really?

* Hey, a spade is a spade, the Flames are not great shakes this season either.



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