It seems virtually certain that the NHL season and playoffs will end, and the Maple Leafs will still be without a new Great Helmsmen.
Ask them and they'd tell you that doesn't matter, that they already have fabulous people in place to make all the necessary decisions. Of course, if that were the case, why would they be looking to hire people?
|RENE JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR|
|Psst, probably not a good idea to rent while you're here.|
Meanwhile, the rest of the hockey world snickers.
Increasingly, the Leafs seem to be settling on a curious plan that will see Cliff Fletcher remain in charge until Brian Burke shakes free of Anaheim, whether that's next month or next year. In the meantime, the Leafs are attempting to lure good hockey men with obscure promises of jobs with no authority under Fletcher.
That's what they were offering former Vancouver GM Dave Nonis, and likely what they plan to throw at ex-Dallas GM Doug Armstrong when he comes to Toronto to meet with the Leaf brass this week.
At least they were successful in getting permission from the Stars to talk to Armstrong, but that would be because owner Tom Hicks would love to get out from under the three years he still owes his former GM.
With those three years, of course, Armstrong can afford to be picky, and why in the world would he accept anything less than full GM powers from a lousy team like the Leafs, particularly since his resume for the past decade is much more impressive than Fletcher's? Moreover, if the rumours in the hockey world yesterday were correct, the St. Louis Blues may beat the Leafs to the punch and offer Armstrong a job as GM-in-waiting as early as today.
Think about it. Would you rather work with John Davidson, Al MacInnis, Larry Pleau and Andy Murray with a closet-full of solid prospects in St. Louis, or labour under Richard Peddie in Toronto?
What Peddie would love, of course, is for Fletcher to remain in charge so he can keep his job title as president, having lost basketball responsibilities when Bryan Colangelo took over the Raptors. Its all about territorial protection in the corporate world.
So unless Burke suddenly becomes available, the likeliest scenario appears to have Peddie remain as prez, Fletcher as interim GM and either one or more people without authority operating in a reconstituted hockey office.
Interesting but, as usual, utterly moronic.