Cliff is Wild only for the Leafs

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

RALEIGH -- Even at age 73, Ciff Fletcher wants to remain involved with the NHL.

But not with the Minnesota Wild, the team that introduced his son Chuck as it's new general manager on Friday.

No, there is only one organization that the elder Fletcher wishes to work for.

"The Toronto Maple Leafs," Fletcher said yesterday in a phone interview from his Phoenix-area home. "In some capacity, I'd very much like to have that relationship.

"I'm not interested in any other teams."

Cliff Fletcher might just get his wish.

In an e-mail to Sun Media, Maple Leafs president/general manager Brian Burke confirmed that the desire for Fletcher to remain part of the Leafs is mutual.

"I plan on having him back," Burke wrote, adding that nothing had been finalized as of yet.

Fletcher, who guided the Leafs to back-to-back Eastern Conference final appearances in 1993 and '94, was brought back to the organization early in 2008 to take over from the fired John Ferguson.

Fletcher understood that his job was to bridge the gap until the Leafs hired a full-time president, a move that took place late last fall when Burke was handed the keys to the franchise.

Fletcher remained as a consultant with the team for the remainder of the season, but it was uncertain if either party wanted to continue the relationship into the future.

It seems pretty apparent now that both do.

"Brian's very busy right now with more important matters," Fletcher said. "But I do plan on coming up to Toronto soon, at which time I'm definitely interested in sitting down with him and talking things over."

As for Chuck, 42, Cliff is thrilled that his son has been given the opportunity to run an NHL team, especially one like Minnesota that plays in such a hockey-crazed market.

"I'm proud of him," Cliff Fletcher said. "He certainly has worked for some good people over the years: Bob Clarke and Bill Torrey in Florida, Brian Burke in Anaheim, and Ray Shero with the Penguins. He has been in organizations that struggled early on but managed to build themselves into forces that had to be contended with."

Chuck Fletcher, who was serving as the assistant GM of the Penguins prior to his hiring by the Wild, beat out the likes of TSN analyst Pierre Maguire and former Maple Leafs general manager/coach Pat Quinn for the job.

"He doesn't need me looking over his shoulder," Cliff said when asked if he would consider working with Chuck in Minnesota.

"He knows I'm just one phone call away -- so long as the topic does not conflict with Leaf business."


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