Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Annotated Leafs Apology Letter

It's nice that the Leafs want to apologize to fans, but this letter struck me as a great looking chocolate Easter bunny that turned out to be hollow, cheap and confected. I thought a few end notes would bring home the true meaning of the Leafs' season.

Click the image to see a full-sized version.

Gustavsson carried us


  1. Paul Steckley4:16 pm

    The hollow chocolate bunnies were the best, especially those yummy candy eyes. Mr. Solid was too hard on the teeth.

    I'm not sure why the Leafs publish these letters every year. No one buys any of the contents (which is really damming because they have absolutely no substance to them) and if they didn't send them out, no one would really care and it wouldn't affect their bottom line next season. They just serve as fodder for commentaries such as your own.

    I'd be more impressed if they mailed a hard copy to each and every Leaf fan, with a real stamp not the corporate stamp machine imprint. Better yet would be if they had a Leaf hand-deliver the letter to each Leaf fan, much like the Pens did a few seasons ago with their season ticket packages. I figure they have Gustavvson on the payroll for the next few months and he's not doing anything so why not make him earn his paycheque. He certainly didn't earn much of his salary while he was a member of the team.

  2. Mr Tanenbaum April 11, 2012
    Toronto, ON

    Mr Tanenbaum;

    As a Leaf fan, I thank you for your apology of April 10, 2012, however, I will not accept it until you make some significant changes to the organize so I and other fans see you are not merely giving us lip service.

    I moved to Toronto in 1968, from Montreal, and have yearned for the return of the 1967 Cup this city. I believed this year, and at least we would make the playoffs finally, which again, we missed to remain the only team not to do so since 2004. You have been involved with this team, I believe, since 1999. Please correct me if I am wrong but now is the time to look at your senior management team.

    I personally found the press conference yesterday insulting. The Pittsburgh Model? Which is Draft a goalie in 2004, Crosby in 2005 and Malkin in 2006, is quite a good plan. So then what about the Florida model, sign some free agents in the summer? and the Vancouver model? The Boston model? Is the Leaf model the ONLY way to go? Clearly, it is not.

    We fans just want to make the playoffs however, according to your President and GM yesterday, the only goal is to build a championship team all at once. I don't see that, so I am now split in philosophy from MLSE. I imagine many fans are. I will not accept your Model, thus I cannot your apology.
    Brian Burke, under your watch, was named General Manager and President of the Maple Leafs in November 2008, taking over a team that went 36-35-11 the previous season 2007-2008, finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference, 11 points out of the playoffs.

    This year, 2011-1012, four years into Burke's contract, the Leafs finished 35-37-10 and in 13th place, 12 points out of the playoffs. Is this the Toronto model?

    With the Florida Panthers qualifying for the post-season, the Leafs are now the only team not to make the playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout.

    So? I guess, its back to the drawing board for a team that hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1967.

    Here's what your Burke had to say when he took over the Leafs in 2008: ``We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence. That's how our teams play. I make no apologies for that. Our teams play a North American game. We're throwbacks. It's black-and-blue hockey. It's going to be more physical hockey here than people are used to.''

    This season, only eight teams have fewer penalty minutes than the Leafs this season (816). The Canadiens have 942 penalty minutes and the Philadelphia Flyers lead the league with 1,282. So, as you can see it simply doesn't add up, as what he says is not what he is doing. It is the old waiting for an "angel to fall out of the sky and fix it" style of management, that we all see in daily life just too often. I don't want to see this in our Leafs.

    As the Maple Leafs head into a long off-season, the biggest question is how and what should MLSE do to avoid the Leafs struggling again next season?

    Hire a new General Manager, is how the business world would handle it, and the only apology I am willing to accept.

    Greg N, M.B.A. ( Toronto resident since 1968 )

    Etobicoke, Ontario