The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t quite there yet, but they are very close to hitting rock bottom.
Canada’s most beloved sports team sits in 14th spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference and just four points ahead of the NHL’s worst team, the Los Angeles Kings. On top of that, the Leafs are on a five-game losing skid and have re-called former Team Canada goalie sensation Justin Pogge from the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, which has all but prompted the demotion of former Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft to the farm.
Now, according to TSN and other media outlets that cover NHL hockey, Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. is on his way out and that the hunt for an interim GM has begun.
Even though the Leafs have not officially given Ferguson his walking papers, eventually something like this would happen in the hockey hotbed of Toronto. The Leafs have failed to make the playoffs since coming back from the NHL lockout in 2005, and this year the club has had not one, but two crippling losing streaks that have exemplified the problems that this team really has and that it does not have anything of what it takes to make the playoffs.
The problems that stem from JFJ’s time in Toronto can be based upon the fact that he has tried to buy his team’s way into the playoffs by signing free-agents who have done absolutely nothing for the team. Such names include: Eric Lindros, Jason Blake, the aforementioned Raycroft, Pavel Kubina and Hal Gil to name a few. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing. That is what each of those five guys has done for the Maple Leafs.
Am I being overly critical? No. Just telling it like it is. Ferguson’s ingredients for success have fallen along buying players to try and fit into a team, not building a team from the ground on up with youth and young talent.
Did anyone not learn their lesson from the New York Rangers pre-lockout problems with signing a bunch of guys and just throwing them all into a mix and hoping that something spectacular would come of it?
With a team that seems destined to finish in the bottom five of the NHL’s regular season standings, it should be pointed out that maybe the next person to take over Maple Leafs hockey operations will now have a better drafting spot for the entry draft this summer and therefore, they should be able to start to rebuild this team into a proud, winning hockey team like it used to be.
Filed under: Cam T, NHL | Tagged: Andrew Raycroft, Eric Lindros, Hal Gil, Jason Blake, John Ferguson Jr., Justin Pogge, L.A. Kings, NHL, NHL Eastern Conference, Pavel Kubina, Toronto Maple Leafs, TSN | Leave a Comment »