The Costs of Taking Your Sweet Time
The Maple Leafs would have you believe there's no rush at all to name a new president and GM.
Everything's working like clockwork with interim boss Cliff Fletcher, and Richard Peddie has assured one and all they'll have a new boss in place by September.
Seriously. The man said by September.
Part of their rationale is that they contend there aren't any critical decisions facing the team at the moment, and so a slow, deliberate search isn't costly in any way.
Well, yes it is. And we may find out as soon as next week.
The Leafs, you see, are like about two dozen other NHL clubs. They covet 23-year-old Fabian Brunnstrom, a free agent out of Sweden who may be the next Johan Franzen or the next Miroslav Ihnacak.
MLSE likes to believe they are the world's greatest franchise, and that every player out there is dying to play for them. Ideally, for less.
So if you're Brunnstrom, you might want to know who will be running the team if he agrees to join the Leafs.
Don't know, would have to be the Leafs' response.
Well, he might want to know who the coach will be.
Don't know, the Leafs would respond.
Okay, but will the team's best player, captain Mats Sundin, be back?
Will fellow Swedes like Alex Steen and Anton Stralman be on next season's roster?
Well, what about veterans like Darcy Tucker, Pavel Kubina, Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe.
Now, sure, an ambitious young man might look at those responses and the current situation and see only glorious possibilities. He might simply have personal preferences, as was the case in 2004 when R.J. Umberger chose Philly over Toronto when it came to his free agent destination.
Or, like Brunnstrom, you might instead decide to look for top-flight organizations with strong management teams in place, like Montreal, Dallas and Detroit.
So if the Leafs get Brunnstrom, then maybe they're right. Maybe there is no haste to get a new hockey czar in place.
But if they don't, you'll sure have cause to wonder if having the entire organization on indefinite pause isn't already proving to be costly.