Friday, September 14, 2007

Swim on your own Fergie!

The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought to an end their much discussed search for a mentor, seemingly without a satisfactory candidate to guide John Ferguson Junior through the savage and shark (and we don't mean the ones from San Jose) infested waters of the NHL.

At one point Scotty Bowman and John Muckler were both rumoured to be on the short list to offer sage advice to young Mr. Ferguson, as he tries to return the Maple Leafs to some form of respectability in the NHL stratosphere. However, in the end they never came to an agreement with the Leafs, nor did the short list of other candidates that the Leafs had cooked up.

The search apparently came to an end a couple of weeks ago, as Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment closed the file and put the plan back in the filing cabinet.

It was an unusual period (then again this is the Leafs so nothing is really ever too strange) of time for both the Leafs and Ferguson, while he was trying to get his team set up for the upcoming season, his bosses seemed to be trying to undercut his managerial strength by suggesting that he might not be up to the job and required a mentor.

For Ferguson it seems that for now the team has been handed back to him to succeed or fail on his decisions.

One would think that he may not want to get to secure in his post however, with the Leafs it seems that things can always change on a whim. After all, this is the team that once famously asked its re-hired coach to wear a paper bag behind the bench before the puck was dropped.

While Harold Ballard may be gone, somehow you sometimes get the feeling that his spirit came along with the furniture when they moved from Maple Leaf Gardens to the Air Canada Centre. The decisions and the way they are handled sure seem to at times resemble the bad old days of Harold and King!

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