June 12, 2008
Fletcher in market for front-office help
By LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media
Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher has initiated talks with a top-level hockey man to be his director of player personnel.
"It can be in the form of a super scout, but what I'm really looking for is a Type A hockey person with considerable experience in the pros," Fletcher said yesterday. "A guy such as Les Jackson in Dallas, who did that kind of job before they made him co-GM, or Bob Murray, Brian Burke's right-hand man in San Jose."
Fletcher says he has spoken to candidates and hopes to hire before July 1. After that date, he'll be looking to fill another business-related post on his senior staff. It's unlikely ex-Canucks GM David Nonis, who was interviewed by the team's GM's search committee last month, would be pursued for either of Fletcher's positions.
FEELING A DRAFT
Though the Leafs aren't tipping their hat on which player they are eyeing seventh overall at the draft, junior hockey circles have them keen on 6-foot-2, 210-pound WHL defenceman Luke Schenn.
It would seem coach Ron Wilson anticipates the Leafs picking one of five defencemen bunched at the top of most scouting rankings -- he made several references this week to the challenges of breaking in an 18-year-old defenceman.
Ranked in the same class as Schenn are Zach Bogosian, Alex Pietrangelo, Tyler Myers and Drew Doughty, behind two forwards, projected No. 1 pick Steve Stamkos and Russian Nikita Filatov.
And the Wilson name might become more popular around town if the Leafs take a closer look at defenceman Ryan Wilson, an overage junior with Stamkos' Sarnia Sting. Wilson led OHL defencemen with 71 points. But their are some concerns about the Windsor native's skating.