SUN Hockey Pool

Letter of the Day Column

SUN READERS

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

TEACH 'EM A LESSON

The current Leafs crisis is yet another replay of an old story. Bouyed by an unrealistic assessment of their personal ability and the club's potential, the GM overextends his immediate reach with another mortgage of our future.

Cliff Fletcher, Pat Quinn and John Ferguson Jr. all overestimated their proximity to the Cup -- or even the playoffs. The fans continue to suffer the fractured mismanagement of the club's senior executive. What is required is a reboot from the top. As someone from a non-sporting family, I was converted at age 10 in 1967. Forty years on, I'm still blue and white. I've led a life defined by sports, all stemming from my connection to success.

How many generations have gone uninspired because of successive reigns of incompetent ownership since then? How do I tell my kids, now 22, 20 and 17, that we used to be contenders? Diatribe aside, the solution is top down. It is cultural. The Teachers' Pension Plan board must divest itself of its ownership asset. This is not a financial obligation but a moral debt they owe their members. The team must be led by a person with a commitment to win, not a conglomerate with a commitment to quarterly results. The fractured tactical performance on the ice is a mirror image of the bureaucratic incompetence and lack of a clear and comprehensive strategy.

How long can we base our hopes on the emotional energy of our top goaltender or key player? From Darryl Sittler to Curtis Joseph to Eddie Belfour, Wendel Clark to Doug Gilmour right up to Mats Sundin, these warriors continue to go to war, carry the flag undermanned with no cavalry or general. Why do organizations such as Detroit, New Jersey, Montreal and Colorado continue to produce successful teams and a unique style? Let's start by agreeing that the house cleaning must begin with the uninspired and uninterested ownership principals. Suspend the teachers.

MARTIN SCOTT


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