Let's not take our eyes off of the prize just because of three losses ok? Of course, it's the mittenstringers that will forget that Junior still needs to be shown the door (Peddie too while you're at it) despite a three game win streak in December that puts the Leafs in 8th place with the most games played. They will wonder how things could have changed so radically from "Burn Down the ACC" to "Dust off the parade routes" in a week without their irony detectors going berserk.
Fans have wanted JFJ fired almost since he was hired. He has been in over his head from the beginning and every time he negotiates a big contract he shows that weakness. However, his small moves have been above average. Devereaux, Kilger, Bell, Pohl, and Bates have all given much more than was expected even though the latter two have struggled this year. That disconnect alone should be enough evidence that he still needs more time to hone his skills.
Yes, the Toskala and Bell trade is starting to look good now that VeTo is playing so well but the fact remains that the McCabe and Kubina contract negotiations were mishandled. Tucker's deal was good considering the dollar figures being bandied about and if he can click with Wellwood and Blake then he won't be stuck as a square peg going into the round hole of the fourth line. However, the Perreault trade was a move made by a man just looking to save his job by making the playoffs even though that is apparently not a metric by which he is judged since he kept his job over the summer. Worse were the revelations that despite enormous financial resources JFJ has not exploited that advantage by creating a massive scouting network. In fact, Craig Button left the organization over the penny pinching.
Mirtle charts the Leafs' draft history since 1987 here and Alex Shprintsen has a good look at the Leafs' results which, to be fair to the scouts of this millennium, has been skewed by the team's work in the draft schmaft days of the late 80s and early 90s when the team was drafting such luminaries as Scott Pearson, Scott Thornton, and Brandon Convery in the first round. It has been hard to shake the impression that the Leafs do not care about the draft but it does not help attract the league's best scouts when players are traded before they develop fully (Boyes, Rask) or when later picks are treated like cheap bargaining chips. There is a reason that the Leafs have not been able to raid successful drafting organizations and not spending money is only one aspect. As is so often pointed out, this is one area in which the Leafs and MLSE can exert their financial muscle and bury other teams. Their failure to do so in what has become such an important aspect of team management is an indictment of JFJ and reason enough to fire him.