Last night's piece covers the mystery around the Leafs' hiring process but Mark Zwolinski is reporting that some of the management team candidates are being courted elsewhere. This actually came up in a discussion last night but, while going through a considered process is a nice change of pace and definitely welcome, there has to be some sort of logic to how positions are filled.
Paul Maurice was fired for a number of reasons but among those was that the new GM would want to bring in their own man to coach the team. Now it's being reported that Cliff Fletcher might hire the coach before anyone close to the GM position is hired. He'll also do the drafting, buying out, and trading. Now, I don't have a problem with this out of hand. The Leafs' problems are pretty evident and the initial steps that are needed are pretty well established. Unlike The Omen I recognize that Fletcher is actually a very good GM but I don't like the implication that it's being done to kill time until Burke is available. If it's being done because the right candidate to head the management group isn't found that's fine but don't do it hoping that Samueli will have a change of heart or that Burke will serve out his contract and then come to Toronto because that is fraught with so much peril.
Among the potential problems:
- What happens if he re-signs in Anaheim after this summer?
- What if this costs the Leafs a chance at another GM like Armstrong?
- How do they know if the management group their put together will be able to work with Burke?
- How do they know any incoming GM will like the coach?
I am sure you can all think of more problems that could arise. I think that if they are going the management group way then they have to do that in lieu of Brian Burke. They can't assume that they'll put together a group of guys that have been independent GMs and then parachute in a boss because we already know that hasn't worked (see: Dryden, Ken - Quinn, Patt - Penny, Mike) for the Leafs. If they are able to bring in Burke then he can go about hiring the team that he wants to support him. Either way, anyone being hired has a clear understanding of the state of things. If the Leafs try to put a management group together with the idea of dropping Burke in as the boss then how do they communicate to candidates that that is their goal? With a wink and a nudge? It's just not cricket.
Premature planning from the Wings? Didn't they learn anything from 1942?
Lowetide wonders what it would take for the Oilers to get Nikita Filatov. Not surprisingly he assumes the Leafs will trade their 7th pick. He looks at what it might take to make the move and it's nothing to get your heart racing.
Sean finds The Passion Returns on YouTube. This is the season that cemented many a love affair with the Leafs. Think of that year as the girlfriend that loves to experiment. Everything since then has been like when she suddenly finds Jesus.
- Any UCLA fans? Fans of blogging? Bruins Nation (another SBN blog) did an interview with the school newspaper and they have the original Q & A up as well. Both look at the impact of message boards and blogs as well as the motivation behind their pervasiveness.
Lance Hornby of the Sun might be the reporter that we have been pining for the last couple of weeks/months/years. Here's the wealth of information that he brings us fans:
- First, he finds out that Kulemin will, in fact, be with the Leafs next year. The visa and settlement process has begun and Kulemin will play a large role in trying to keep Mats.
- Speaking of Mats, he'll hopefully decide his intentions for next season before a meeting with Uncle Cliff next week.
- The buyout window opens on June 15th and Cliff let Lance know that he'll be doing his best to make trades but if all avenues are exhausted then he'll make buyouts.
- As for coaches, the team has not narrowed its list down from its original list of everyone that has ever coached in the NHL except Greg Gilbert that will be keeping his job with the Marlies.
- Speaking of Gilbert after weeks of speculation, Hornby actually asks Fletcher why Pogge didn't start and gets an answer. Shocking and totally out of character for a Leafs' beat writer but suprisingly efficient. The headline seems to jive with the rumour that Mr. Pogge might just be a little overconfident having already been annointed the franchise saviour.
Wow, that is a tonne of info in two articles and probably more actual fact and commentary from the involved parties than has made its way into anything written by Damien Cox over the past 4 months. Keep it up Lance.