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I hate you, Toronto, ON • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
With recent news surfacing that Ron Wilson may be well on his way to becoming the Leafs' next head coach, I can't help but think this is -- yet again -- another step sideways for this stumbling organization.

While Wilson has coached over 1000 games in the NHL and has the most wins out of any coach available (an impressive 518-426-101-46 record) he is also someone who wants to win at this point in his career. If the Leafs were serious about a minimum 3-year rebuilding plan, I highly doubt they'd turn to a man like Wilson. Craig Hartsburg or Dave Taylor would seem like more logical candidates considering they’d take the time to develop the youth and look to future success.

But this doesn't really come as a surprise. MLSE is now known for patching their woes with quick fixes, ones that ultimately cost the jobs of good, hard working people. It's quickly becoming clearer what the Leafs plans are heading into the off-season. Acquire a winning coach, re-sign Mats Sundin, and sign free agents who are not particularly old, but not too young where they'd have to sit in the lower standings for a few years. Throw in a few trades (or buy-outs) that involve Darcy Tucker and Jason Blake -- maybe more -- and we have a slightly different team than last season. But once again, where does that leave us? The answer is somewhere in the middle, a team that is incapable of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals, and one who has no promising future ahead of them.

With that said, I'm not saying Wilson is a bad coach. I just think he's better suited for a team like the Ottawa Senators for example, a team that has the tools to win but need the right guidance to push them to the next level. The Leafs on the other hand, are a team that need to rebuild if they wish to subdue this 41-year drought (and counting) with no Cup. Hiring a coach like Wilson is sending the wrong message once again, because I'm almost certain that Wilson wouldn't be interested in developing a young, rebuilding team for 3 years time.

Not only does this halt the Leafs from becoming a young team, but it also refuses players like Kyle Wellwood, Alexander Steen, Matt Stajan, Anton Stralman and Jiri Tlusty, who are already on the team, from getting more responsibility and experience with the club. Not to mention Nikolai Kulemin, who Fletcher says "will play next season".

While all is not written in stone yet, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the Leafs are aiming for that dreadful 8th place once again.
Filed Under:   hockey   Sundin   Sens   Leafs   Wilson  
June 5, 2008 8:39 PM ET | Delete
Wilson is a good coach, and although I agree with some of your points I'd love him to come here to remove the country club atmosphere. He worked with a great deal of young talent in san jose, and while not all players flourished under him he has a good record of coaching youth. Hartsburg seems to the be the flavour of the moment with leaf fans, hes been an NHL coach before, and yes he can coach young players but he isn't the best candidate. Personally I think Anderson (AHL Chicago) or DeBoer are much better candidates for the leafs vacancy, I wouldn't be all that upset with Ron Wilson.
June 5, 2008 9:26 PM ET | Delete
A coach doesnt determine what players he is coaching - so, this hire on its own means nothing. Wilson is a hard handed coach that players respect - he seems to be a very good fit. He coached SJ prior to Thornton which was a team of youngsters that performed and developed very well and if I am not mistaken, he coached the expansion Anaheim Ducks and did a pretty good job there as well. Most importantly, he will teach these kids how to play some defense - and if combined with their very above average and remarkably (and surprisingly deep) scoring - they may be better then most think. Dont get me wrong, they are still missing some very key pieces - and maybe those cannot be got without bottoming out for a few years - but, it is unlikely this is the route they will go...
June 6, 2008 8:51 AM ET | Delete
Wilson may be proven as a sucessful coach but he's been proven to not being able to win the cup...although players win the cup it starts with the coach. Enough of these re-tread coaches and bring new life into this sport and promote a "new" coach.
June 6, 2008 2:41 PM ET | Delete
I agree that Wilson is not the answer... he's had the chance of re-building; he had a modest amount of progress in Anaheim... but he's had 2 tries at pushing Stanley Cup ready teams over the top in D.C and San Jose, which started with a good run in Washington only to go downhill. He can't take winners to the next level and can't take re-builders much of anywhere either.... I just hope for the Leafs sake that they look elsewhere... oh, and send Darcy Tucker our way please! I know he has an inflated contract, but he would thrive in the NW division.
June 6, 2008 4:22 PM ET | Delete
Good stuff, Ron!
June 7, 2008 9:57 PM ET | Delete
the Leafs need an American to lead themBurke as GM and Wilson as Head Coach ....Team USA:lol:
June 8, 2008 9:54 AM ET | Delete
Ron Wilson will take this mess and turn it into a mediocre team. I'd rather have a crappy coach to get the Leafs to finish last in the league...Tavares here we come!
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