Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Getting no place fast as we can

The Leafs have called a newser for 3 PM. I suspect it's to confirm that Paul Maurice has been fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but other media are speculating it may be to announce a new GM.


It's telling that in firing Maurice, the biggest blow to this organization will be the loss of an occasionally amusing sound bite in the scrums. There certainly couldn't be a much worse outcome from behind the bench.

My complaints with Maurice are legion:

It was a rare thing for the team to be prepared, and far too often the team couldn't or wouldn't change the way they needed to play the game in order to win.

I disagreed with player development and his allocation of ice time, pointed out bad line match-ups, more stupid player personnel decisions and the team's failure to learn from past late game mistakes. Then there was the whole strange l'affiare Wozniewski. Come March, I finally had enough with the coaching of this club. And then there's Maurice's strange approach to the shoot-out.

If you don't want to read my typos, just consider the Leafs 2007-2008 results:

Team discipline: 4th overall in Times Shorthanded
Power Play: 15th
Penalty Kill: 29th
5th in the North East
12th in the Eastern Conference
24th overall


Much has been written, said, yelled, slurred and forgotten about the competitive advantage MLSE's deep pockets should give the Leafs.

While the organization is constrained to the rules of the CBA and the salary cap on the ice (just like all 29 teams they compete with) off the ice the Leafs' near bottomless resources should give the organization a clear cut advantage. And it's an advantage that I really want to see exploited.

There is no reason that this club shouldn't be directing every available resource to ensure they have the best coaching, scouting, training, and player development staff.

Looking at the results from behind the bench these last few years, it's clear that this was not the case with Maurice and his crew.

With the coaching post vacated, there's one more piece of business cleared away for an incoming GM.

I can't wait to see who Peddie, Kirke and the MLSE gang have decided on.


Tomorrow's media circus should make for fascinating reading. Who will defend Maurice to cultivate a source? Will this be positioned as more floundering from MSLE? If Bob Gainey were doing the firing instead of Cliff Fletcher, would this be another genius decision led by a powerful (or was it "determined") jaw? Hopefully this inspires Tart Cider to do another round of hockey commentariat interpretation.


  1. I guess PM wasn't the only one canned today...

  2. i don't think i'm going to miss him. his career stats show that he, well, just isn't that good of a coach.

  3. Anonymous9:18 am

    I'll miss his press conferences but there's no denying that his record as a coach simply isn't good enough.

    Maybe the new GM will hire him for a public relations role.

    Good luck to him wherever he ends up.