Clean this up, Scotty

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:20 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- Turning the Maple Leafs into Stanley Cup winners would take all of Scott Bowman's Hall of Fame acumen.

But the 74-year-old is not dismissing the chance that something can still be worked out after preliminary talks to bring him aboard as a senior advisor to John Ferguson last summer failed to click.

Bowman, who always has been intrigued by the Leafs' situation, especially in those brief periods between his coaching and management gigs, spelled out how close he came to being hired last night on Hockey Night In Canada's pre-game show.

Bowman told host Ron MacLean that he sat down with Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., to discuss parameters of the job. Bowman, now in semi-retirement as an adviser to the Detroit Red Wings, said he would consider coming if he could have the kind of clout MLSEL had given Bryan Colangelo to fix the Raptors basketball operation.

Bowman's asking price was around $3 million US, minus the GM's salary of Ferguson. A follow-up meeting in August was held with MLSEL president Richard Peddie in St. Catharines, roughly halfway between Bowman's Buffalo area-home and the Air Canada Centre.

According to Bowman, the hour-long meeting ended with Peddie promising to get back to him. But the eventual answer was that with three weeks to go until training camp, the Leafs were standing pat with Ferguson. But Peddie was unsuccessful in getting the board to give Ferguson an extension past this season.

Asked by MacLean if he'd revisit a Toronto offer one day, Bowman basically said he would be willing to discuss it. It would be hard to leave the Red Wings, but he would cross that bridge if he came to it.


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