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What should the Leafs do?
Tue, January 8, 2008

The Maple Leafs felt like throwing a hockey stick through the television following last night's 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, preferably at the big HD screen at National Hockey League headquarters in Toronto.

But angry Nik Antropov took the team's anger at a costly overtime penalty and three video replay reversals the hardest, hurling his stick towards referees Mike Leggo and Don Koharski after Rod Brind'Amour netted the game-winner.

Forget about throwing hockey sticks. What about throwing in the towel on the season? What should the Leafs do before the trade deadline? Have your say in our forum.

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789 Comments

Sure, why not ? Bring back a fella who didn't get them over the top before. Same story, different day, same actors.
don, 2008-01-22 20:33:32

The leafs will break all of our hearts , yet again, as long as Peddie keeps his finger in the pie. The announcement should have seen him gone as well.I'm tired of all this, and the leaf fans are to blame as well for supporting MLSE.
robotski, 2008-01-22 18:54:58

The Leafs need to blow it up. Talk to Sundin, trade him and bring him back. The Ducks would be my 1st choice getting Edmontons 1st and maybe Cory Perry.

Kaberle would stay unless the offer were too good to pass up. Kubina for a 2nd rounder, Blake for a 2nd rounder, Tucker and Gill for draft picks as well.
Wayne, 2008-01-22 17:57:38

To blame the current Leaf situation on JFJ is probably wrong. He made his share of mistakes but the organizations problems go back to the mid-70's. The Leafs have always tried to buy a winner by overpaying for other teams cast-offs. They need to hire smart hockey people who will focus on the entry draft and finding talent. There is nothing to fear in blowing the organizaton up. You are not going anywhere with the current bunch.
Allan Hovi, 2008-01-22 17:36:31

won't make a difference...100% loosers!
Moe, 2008-01-22 16:46:24

It's only fitting that the guy who announced his general manager had met the firing squad Tuesday should have been pulling some lead out of his butt himself.

Such is life for one of the most dysfunctional organizations -yes, there is that word again - in all of professional sports.

There goes five years the Toronto Maple Leafs will never get back.

In case you are an extremely late sleeper, your television is on the fritz and your internet connection is down, the embattled John Ferguson, Jr. was finally given the hook Tuesday as general manager of the Leafs.

With the Leafs about to miss the playoffs for the third season in a row, it was a foregone that Ferguson had worn out his welcome in Toronto.

About two years too late, most would say.

One dilemma is over.

And so another begins.

With Cliff Fletcher brought in for his second stint in the Big Smoke, most are predicting an all-out fire sale down at 40 Bay Street. Of course, Mats Sundin, and his willingness to waive his no-trade clause, may dictate just how busy that swap meet will be.

On a day where it was announced Sidney Crosby would be out for 6-8 weeks, the Leafs somehow stole the spotlight.

And likely for not all the right reasons.

The organization, and in particular Richard Peddie, should be absolutely ashamed of how they handled this entire process.

From Peddie making the front page of the Toronto Sun by proclaiming hiring Ferguson was "a mistake" right through the classless manner in which he was left hanging out to dry the past couple of weeks, the treatment of Ferguson has been as polite and endearing as a loan shark paying an unexpected visit to your door.

Yes, Ferguson was a terrible decision. Yes, he made mistakes. And yes, his time had come.

"John is as fine a man as you will ever meet," stated Peddie Tuesday.

Too bad Peddie couldn't treat him as such.

Just a few months after Ferguson buried his father, MLSE could have shown a little more tact.

Using the luxury that is foresight, did this organization not have any inkling that a press conference like Tuesday's was inevitable? Every fan of the team - hell, most fans in the entire league - knew Ferguson was on borrowed time.

If MLSE didn't have a notion, they are more out of tune than I thought.

With the end in sight, the smart thing to do - the classy thing to do - would have been for Peddie to fly down to a discreet location, a warm spot south of the border, and have a little chat with Fletcher, or whoever else caught his attention, prior to the henchmen delivering the final blow.

No cameras, no eagle-eyed reporters looking for the inside scoop, valid or not.

Months ago, Peddie was able to secure a secret meeting with Scotty Bowman in St. Catharines, an hour or so down the road from Toronto, and very few knew of the rendezvous.

Think a meeting in a Phoenix, Myrtle Beach or Orlando hotel room would have been staked out?

And anyone who argues Ferguson's fate has been decided only in the past couple of weeks, give your head a shake.

Ferguson began walking the plank on October 3rd, the night of the season-opener.

Only on Tuesday did he hit water.

No doubt, Peddie is one hell of a businessman, rolling around naked in $100 bills each night when he heads home.

But Peddie should have been fired as well, or at least demoted. If Leaf fans are going to have any hope for the future, Peddie needs to keep his finger out of the decision-making pie. Approve the budget, lay out a plan and count your millions.

There is no obvious indication that is going to happen anytime soon.

Let Cliff Fletcher do his job until the permanent GM is brought in. Otherwise make plans for another press conference a few years from now.

Whoever the next general manager of the Leafs is, it's a safe bet he will be the right choice. The Leafs cannot afford another miscue.

And, for reasons that don't make a lot of sense, Peddie soldiers on.

No one can question his business savvy.

But when it comes to tact, Peddie needs a little guidance.

And the way he handled Ferguson's demise is grounds alone to throw him out on the street with his ex-GM.

As Richard Peddie admitted earlier this season, hiring John Ferguson was a mistake.

The manner in which he was dismissed is nothing short of a disgrace.
Dave, 2008-01-22 16:20:29

What needs to be done is going back to developing the franchise as a whole from the ground up. get rid of the high-priced over paid slugs for draft picks and prospects and develope them instead of trading them away and trying to live and compete season to season. Short term pain for long term gain. I was fifteen when the leafs last won the cup. At fifty-five, I can wait a couple of more years.
John, 2008-01-22 16:16:16

Fergie has done a bad job and deserved to be fired long ago. He didn't deserve to be left twisting in the wind.

Tannenbaum has no support from the board and is essentially, powerless.

The more I see and hear from Peddie, the more that it is clear that some corpse laying in a morgue is light their wallet.

Fletcher just looks ridiculous - can anyone say George Hamilton.

Oh well, at least Leaf fans can rejoice in that 50-year old Mats Sundin will be traded for 3-4 top prospects and #1 draft picks. Not!
John, 2008-01-22 15:34:37

Start the parade!! Leafs will win the cup now. Looks like they just got a new fall guy. Why would anyone want to go there they are just going to get dumped on.
Dwain, 2008-01-22 15:17:35

Ferguson is as good a choice as any to be relieved of his duties. When will the board get smart and get Peddie out of there? It's clear he has no vision, or competitive nature. Isn't this the 5th time the Leafs have went in a different direction since the Conference finals in the 90's?

The fans have been used, our dollars spent unwisely, and the leadership at the top of MLSE is to blame. Excuse me, I meant lack of leadership, CREDIBLE leadership.
Bartholomew, 2008-01-22 15:06:55

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