MLSE is happy the latter half of this week! The town has seemingly went home and taken their pitchforks and torches with them. The team has also won 4 of the last 6 games.
The firing of John Ferguson Jr. was viewed by many, including myself as one step, of many needed, in the right direction. Whether you like him as a person, feel sorry for him, or anything to that regard, you can't help but feel that MLSE was doing something to right the ship.
When you woke up that day and heard that the change had been made, it was almost refreshing. Many question what really would change with this move, but you had to feel somewhat assured that Trader Cliff would not have taken the postition if he had to ask MLSE's permission for every move he made.
Then we saw the press conference with him and Richard Peddie. Richard, or as some view him, the satan of MLSE, could be seen mouthing many words that Cliff Fletcher was reading from his statement. Now initially, I didn't put much into this and frankly, I still don't know what to make of it. What I can't help but think is that MLSE prepared his statement for him. This leads me down the same path as everyone else and thinking that nothing will change because Fletcher can't even speak for himself let alone run a team by himself!
I am really hoping that there was some under lying coincidence here that Peddie had proof read, the script, or maybe he was just trying to mouth along to the words after Fletcher had spoken them. Wishful thinking I'm sure. But isn't that what everything is about in Leafs Nation?
So the question 'why?' lies in why is MLSE ok with this status-quo, make the playoffs goal that they strive for every year? It is said that because they are making money, it doesn't matter how successful the team is, but if this organization is all about making money like it is alleged and doesn't care about winning, why do they not want to ensure they go deep into the playoffs every year? With some of the highest ticket prices in the league, they would make substantially more money in the playoffs with the elevated prices they could dictate to the box office. That's right Teachers Pensioners, Richard Peddie, and all you other money mongrals. There is potential for even MORE money, and all you have to do is put the team in a position to win!
Cue a big name GM and scouting staff.
Brian Burke, Scotty Bowman, Ken Holland. There must be a way in the infinate wisdom of MLSE that one of those three men could be brought in. As a matter of fact, why not appoint Bowman President of Hockey Operations and Burke as GM. With all the money they make already being the wealthiest team in the league, they can surely afford to buy these men from their respective teams. Then they need to relieve their scouting staff of their burdens and buy a team like Detroit's or Ottawa's scouting staff away.
Why do this? When you have as good of a team, for as long, especially in Detroit, you have to appoint some of that success to drafting. How do you draft well? You scout well! So, thats another thing that clearly needs to change is the drafting success in Toronto.
What this dragged out blog is getting at is the same thing that almost every Leafs related blog in the last 3 days is getting at.
Why make this change if nothing else is going to change? And the answer is to settle the mob.
Hopefully, we are all wrong and MLSE will make the changes needed for all parties to be happy in Toronto, and we can once again be a winning team in the world of hockey.