Leafs' bitterness apparent

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

Because the Maple Leafs are the National Hockey League's richest team, they lost the most when commissioner Gary Bettman cancelled the season.

And according to all reports, the Leafs representatives at yesterday's board of governors meeting: Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Ltd. chairman Larry Tanenbaum; president and CEO Richard Peddie; and general manager John Ferguson Jr., made their displeasure very clear.

Their confirmation was couched in diplomatic terms, but it was there.

"We got a good posting from the commissioner," Peddie said. "There was a good and candid discussion.

"It was good to have a healthy, productive dialogue, get everyone in same room and get up to date."

And what kind of complaints did the Leafs make?

"I think that the discussion was a good discussion," Peddie said. "What was discussed probably should stay in the room."

Ferguson was similarly cautious, but he too didn't try to deny that the Leafs had expressed their opinions forcefully.

"Our point of view was communicated in the vein that we're all pursuing a common goal to get the right deal done and get our product back on the ice," he said.

When asked how the Leafs' unhappiness had been received, he grinned broadly and said, "Did I say I was unhappy?"

Considering the amount of profit the Leafs lost through the cancellation, he should be unhappy.

"There was an effective communication," Ferguson said, smiling, "and it was a good healthy, productive dialogue."


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