In part 11 of his 12 Burning Questions series, Derek Harmsworth takes a look at one of the hottest topics in Leafs Nation today: just how long of a leash does Ron Wilson have?
In the summer of 2008, the Toronto Maple Leafs were in the midst of a major overhaul. Â Much maligned general manager John Ferguson, Jr. had been relieved of his duties with the organization, and as nice a man as JFJ was when I met him at the Leafs rookie and orientation camp a year prior, there is no solid argument that can be made for him as a good GM.
Ferguson Jr, to his credit, can take solace in the fact that a few of his draft picks are now cracking the Leafs as legitimate players, Kulemin and Gunnarsson among them, although even that fact can be debated Â - how much was scouting and how much was general managing?
In a word, John Ferguson Jr. left the Toronto Maple Leafs in shambles, and some of the moves he made, continually sacrificing youth for a quick fix solution (or at least something he thought was a quick fix) have very well set the Maple Leafs back at least an additional few years in the rebuilding process.
Lots of reading today: Gus chips in an Â analogical look at the NHL playoff series; Alex has your links with a look at potential Leaf Jussi Rynnas.
In what was Brian Burke’s first summer on the job with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was clear from the get go that he put an onus on improving specialty teams, and also team defense. Â The brash Toronto GM made a lot of moves as it related to improving these areas, and on paper they looked like a sure recipe for change and improvement.
Highly-touted Maple Leafs’ prospect Nazem Kadri has made the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship team.
“London Knights centre Nazem Kadri, selected seventh overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in June, is also on the roster and is expected to be the team’s second-line centre.”
This must be the mantra Brian Burke is following after recent reports indicate that Jason Allison has been invited to the Leafs training camp on a tryout basis.Â Some of you remember Allison from his 2005-2006 season with Toronto.Â He was often seen losing in casual races with the young children of Timbits Hockey.Â At 34 years of age and having not played for full three seasons, this move probably has some Leafs fans scratching their heads and worrying that John Ferguson Jr. has somehow been reintroduced into the organization.
WARNING: PLEASE BE ADVISED THE FOLLOWING POST WILL ATTRACT LOTS OF TROLLS, LEAF HATERS AND LOADS OF “TORONTO DOESN’T DESERVE A SECOND NHL TEAM, LAS VEGAS OR WINNIPEG DOES.”Â THIS POST IS DIRECTED AT DIE HARD LEAF FANS AND FANS WHO LIVE IN THE TORONTO AREA.
CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
Part 3: 20 Years of Maple Misery
From Gord Stellick to Cliff Fletcher Version 2.0
Itâ€™s been over 40 years since the Leafs won the cup and while others make fun of the fans for continuing to cheer, here is an overview of why you shouldnâ€™t make fun, but feel bad for themâ€¦
PHIL ORESKOVIC (# 4) â€“ D
Birthdate: January 26, 1987
Hometown: North York, Ontario
Ed. Note: Richard-Steven Williams, a UK-based NHL and European hockey enthusiast, will be joining the MLHS blogging team.
It’s fantastic to have Richard aboard, he’s an immense talent.
Here’s his piece on Ron Wilson from a week ago.
>>>DISCUSS IN THE FORUMS
Every professional hockey organization, particularly one in the Leafs’ current plight, must exhaust every possible avenue when it comes to importing young talent into their system.
In addition to the chance to evaluate the progress of your developing prospects front-and-centre, the upcoming rookie tournament provides a valuable opportunity to invite undrafted youngsters for a 3 game trial run. Last year this event proved fruitful for the Maple Leafs, who uncovered a hidden gem by the name of Darryl Boyce. The Summerside native was already preparing for life-after-hockey at the University of New Brunswick when, after a fantastic championship-winning campaign with U of NB he was signed to a minor-league contract and invited by John Ferguson Jr. to play in the 2007 rookie tournament in Kitchener.