Peddie pleased with recent play

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Despite the urgings of his harshest critics, Richard Peddie was not poised to jump off the roof of the Air Canada Centre when the Maple Leafs appeared to be imploding two weeks ago.

Nor is he preparing to find the perfect spot in his office to show off the Stanley Cup now that the team seems to be pointed in the right direction.

Denying recent reports that John Ferguson's status will be re-evaluated at a board meeting next month, Peddie reiterated yesterday that the general manager's future is contingent on the team's performance on the ice.

To that end, he likes the trend he is seeing, one in which the team has collected 11 of a possible 14 points since suffering that humiliating 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes last month.

"We have a saying around here that the hot dogs always taste better when one of our teams are winning," Peddie, the president of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., said yesterday.

The days following the Coyotes loss featured fans and media alike calling for blood, with a list of potential replacements for Ferguson and head coach Paul Maurice dominating the airwaves, blogs and newspapers.

At the subsequent board of governors meetings in Pebble Beach, Calif., a story surfaced suggesting Ferguson's future would become clearer during a MLSEL board of director's meeting in January.

"I don't know where that came from," Peddie said. "We do not have a board meeting in January.

"John knows what is expected of him. He is under contract right now, and we are all on the same page in our goal to make the playoffs and challenge for a Stanley Cup."

Peddie said the scrutiny that goes hand and hand with being a member of the Maple Leafs organization can take its toll in tough times.

"When you are as close to the actual day-to-day operation of the team like John and Paul (Maurice) are, it can be hard, especially on their spouses and families," he said.

"Like you said, this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are enjoying the trend we've seen in the past two weeks just like we didn't enjoy the trend we were seeing in the previous two weeks to that. What we're seeing right now is what we all expected to see more of.

"The team now goes on the road for an extended period. It will be a good test."


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