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Is Muckler right for the Leafs?
Thu, July 5, 2007

John Muckler is next in line for an interview with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as the mega-sports empire continues its search for a senior advisor to help out the hockey club's general manager, John Ferguson.

A source told The Canadian Press that the interview with MLSE was to be held as early as Friday. A call to Muckler was not immediately returned Thursday. Muckler, 73, was replaced as Ottawa Senators GM by head coach Bryan Murray after the season and declined a chance to stay on as a consultant.

Leafs focus on Muckler


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Yes, it was definitely the right move! Only it came way too late. Muckler should have been fired last year if not two years ago. He did not improve the team after he inherited it from Marshall Johnson.

John Muckler made several bad decisions during his tenure in Ottawa and yet never once admitted that those decisions were wrong. He was always placing the blame on other things such as the salary cap, the players asking too much, etc. and then complained how difficult the job of a GM was under the new NHL. Were other GMs in the league not bound by the same rules? It seems that it was never his fault when something went wrong. I say the Senators will be better off without him.
Michel, 2007-06-18 16:31:06

No I don't think Roberts would have made the difference, but I still can't argue with getting rid of Muckler. Yes, his team made it to the finals this year, but it's several years overdue and some of the past moves are what I fault him for.

He brought in Hasek to win the cup for them but is so doing, dumped Lalime. Hasek goes down near playoff time and they just put on a brave face and ride the unproven Emery to defeat. Then, because they're p'ed off at Hasek, they throw a hail Mary and bring in Gerber and again, do not keep Hasek at $750K/per year as security. Gerber can't handle it and, although he has improved considerably, they are forced to ride Emery to defeat. At the rate he's improving Emery will be a legit NHL goalie, but he never won any games for the team (contrary to what they press seemed to think) and Hasek did.

Muckler's big problem seemed to be that of being pennywise and pound foolish and not keeping a proven commodity in the most important position. And hindsight is 20/20 but if they really thought they were going to make the finals this year they could have opened the pursestrings a bit further to bring in a physical presence on forward.

Rick, 2007-06-18 16:17:20

Well, Jeff, it's quite true they have been one of the top teams for the past 10 years. But Muckler wasn't at the helm for all 10. In fact, not even half that. And if you think those comments I referred to represent intelligent argument - then join the club. Where Roberts is concerned, Phil, did you expect him to be the difference in having the Pens move deeper into the playoffs? That was a team woefully weak on D, so-so in goal, and with one real forward line. But on an Ottawa team his presence could have made a significant difference. According to one article, Melnyk wanted him, and actually called Muckler in to explain why he didn't get him and allegedly told him the clock was ticking on his job from that point on. Ask yourself this: in that final series against Anaheim who would you rather have had on the ice? A Gary Roberts, or an Eaves or Freakin' Saprykin?
George O'Leary, 2007-06-18 14:50:56

Happy Retirement John! you've done your job - now it's time to sit back and enjoy life!
tom, 2007-06-18 14:12:07

No---this seems more to be a case of the owner doing what he wants. So Ottawa did not get Roberts--last I looked Pittsburgh played exactly 5 games this spring!

Sure--he has made some mistakes (but what GM does not) and what makes anyone think Murray will be a much better candidate. Clearly Muck and Mel did not get along, and when that happens the boss always wins.
Phil, 2007-06-18 14:07:11

I think Muckler's done a great job as GM - many teams would kill for a record like that of the Sens over the last 10 years or so. A little tweaking can put the team over the top.

O'Leary: Can we assume you have nothing intelligent to say on the topic at hand?
Jeff, 2007-06-18 13:39:55

He should be fired not only did he fail to get any real leadership for the team he has also traded away some very good players in the process. They were prospects but could have been the future of the team.

He has left to organization with no depth in it's AHL affiliate so you can expect some rebuilding years coming up
Tim, 2007-06-18 13:01:59

It's too bad you can't conduct this forum without having the twits throw in their two-cents worth, saying nothing. Age and looks - how do they factor into anything? I suppose the idiot who said this regards himself as the second coming of Robert Redford! And then, of course, out of the woodwork comes crawling a member of the Leaves Nation who somehow thinks a trip to the finals - and losing to a better team - is an embarrassment to the city of Ottawa! Toronto would give its eye teeth to be similarly embarrassed. Besides, how are these to be deemed objective comments? They are just idiotic. Period.
George O'Leary, 2007-06-18 11:57:01

I think Muckler's lack of really doing anything to add more "experience" to the Ottawa lineup for the Stanley Cup run was an indication that he is out of touch with the teams needs. Is the goal to win a cup or to put a team that can compete and ALMOST win?

Ottawa has seen a lot of ALMOST teams in the last ten years and why Muckler didn't have any kind of ergency speaks volumes of his goals vs. the team and the fans goals..

I appluad him on aquiring Heatley, Priessing and Corvo but his lack of imagination cost Ottawa the cup this year.

Murray will fill his shoes and then some. He will help add the depth needed to compete in the playoffs and not just the regular season.

Muckler was chased out of Buffalo and history will repeat.

Anaheim was the bigger, better and more determined team, with Murray's finger prints all over it. That will be the deciding factor for Eugene...
SMW, 2007-06-18 11:48:21

DEFINITELY. Martin Gerber, Tyler Arnason, Peter Bondra, Greg DeVries... All brought in by Muckler, all busts as Sens. He was given instructions to get Roberts and failed, possibly costing his team a cup. The guy is senile, and they have a great GM as coach.
Bill, 2007-06-18 11:45:31

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