You know, generally I've always liked Damian Cox. It puts me in a bit of a minority in these parts. Still, for years it has seemed to me that he was good for a step-back look at the state of the Leafs. Most other Toronto writers were either too close to the team, too far, or too into making stuff up (you know you I mean). Recently he's even been pretty positive about the Leafs - which for a while I thought was simply 'fair'. So why do I think he crossed the line today? Well, you can follow the link and guess, but I've got more.
It's been a wierd year for Cox. After Fletcher (who he clearly despises) was replaced by Burke, there's been very little criticism of Leaf management. Looking back, it becomes quickly apparent that Cox likes/respects Burke as much as he hates Fletcher. Despite the fact that he doesn't like Burke's style of team, suddenly the Leafs have a GM who can do no wrong. Cox defends every move Burke makes.
But he doesn't like Ron Wilson, and that's the tipping point for me today.
Perception is everything in politics and sports, and in this case, there is a growing perception that Wilson would be safe even if the Leafs had zero victories because he has already by tabbed by Burke to coach the American Olympic team in February.
I call bullshit. "Growing perception" where? I read PPP regularly (I may not follow all the links, fanposts and columns) and I even read The Spin. I haven't read a single opinion that Wilson should be canned.
So is he making it up. No - there is one opinion, and that's Cox's. He started riding Wilson in September, when he announced that if the coach didn't play nicer with the media he was in for a rough ride. Ever since he's written every couple of weeks or so about how poor the Leafs have been since Wilson took over and how little improvement can be found. In other words, he's been repeatedly criticizing him and now he's effectively pointing to his own columns as evidence of growing criticism and hints at fan unrest; and even suggests an arbitrary 10 game deadline for improvement.
It's a one-man hatchet job and I lost a lot of respect for him today.