Wilson admits feeling good after Sharks bounced

Leafs' coach Ron Wilson during practice at the ACC, Toronto. (Greg Henkenhaf/TORONTO SUN)

Leafs' coach Ron Wilson during practice at the ACC, Toronto. (Greg Henkenhaf/TORONTO SUN)

STEVE SIMMONS, Steve Simmons, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Give Ron Wilson credit for stunning candour.

The coach of the Maple Leafs admitted in an interview the other day that when his former team, the San Jose Sharks, was eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs this past spring by the Anaheim Ducks, he took solace in the fact he wasn't to blame for the massive disappointment.

"I can't say I was rooting against them, although there was a part of me that was," said Wilson, who watched each game of the series on TV. "To be perfectly honest with you, though, I did feel good when they failed miserably in the playoffs. You work with players for so long you want them to succeed, so I was disappointed for some of the guys, the guys I really liked.

"The worst thing in the world as a coach is to be led to believe it's your fault (when a team fails). You're the one who totally effed it up. I never felt that way in San Jose, but when everybody is telling you that you did or implying that it's your fault, it does shake you up a bit. It takes a long time to get over that.

"It's all meaningless the way it comes out," he reasoned. "If I win 50 games, I'm a good person, and if I win 35, I'm a bad person. And you're supposed to gauge your whole life on that. I won't do that."

This and that

Brian Burke wants belligerence and truculence on the Leafs and the invitation of Jason Allison to training camp is further proof of that. A lot of people who have played with Allison will tell you he has attitude, most of it off the ice ... Allison had two speeds when he last played in the NHL: Slow and slower ... One more Allison question: If the Leafs are going to invite him, why not Jeff O'Neill, Alex Khavanov and Aki Berg? ... A lot of hockey minds are wondering where Phil Kessel, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau, three young, talented and overpaid players (when Kessel signs) eventually will end up. All three are in play for three completely different reasons ... If someone had guaranteed you before the season that Aaron Hill would hit 30 home runs and Adam Lind would hit .300, wouldn't you have figured the Blue Jays as legitimate contenders? ... NHL network guy Craig Button has avoided talking about the Leafs since leaving their employment, but he does go on the record making the John Ferguson Jr. administration look dumber than you thought it was in the most telling chapter of a new book called Leaf AbomiNation, written by Toronto writers Michael Grange and Dave Feschuk and cleverly priced at $19.67.

Hear and there

It's 11 o'clock: Do you know where your Phoenix Coyotes are? ... If the NHL believed in the off-beat offer that includes games being played in Saskatoon of all places, it wouldn't have made an offer itself for the bankrupt Coyotes ... And why are NHL owners still silent with the league already $40 million US into the Coyotes as the second-largest creditor, and now offering another $140 million to lose more money on a team that can't make it in its current location? When is somebody going to say something about this? Your serve, Ed Snider? ... Yes, that was an NHL lawyer I heard in court in Arizona telling bankruptcy court judge Redfield T. Baum in June that there would be multiple offers for the Coyotes besides that of the evil Jim Balsillie. I guess by multiple, he must have meant theirs and the Ice Edge guys who want those games in Saskatoon ... Tip of the Sunday morning cap to the retiring Mike Sillinger, who made teams better for most of his NHL career ... Wonder how long it took Mats Sundin to decide whether he was going to get married ... Born on this date in 1918: Ted Williams. And happy birthday to Jean-Claude Killy (66), Peggy Lipton (62), Scott Richmond (30), Russ Adams (29) and Andy Roddick (27) ... And hey, whatever became of Sweet Daddy Siki?

STEVE.SIMMONS@SUNMEDIA.COM


Videos

Photos