March 1, 2012
Leafs going the Ron wayOnly 16 more losses until record
By JOE WARMINGTON, QMI Agency
TORONTO - He only needs 16 more defeats to be known as the coach with the most losses in NHL history.
So sometime next season, or who knows perhaps even this one, Ron Wilson will likely become the coach who holds that dubious NHL record.
But will get a next season?
Will he get to next week?
After Wednesday night’s 5-4 loss to Chicago there are plenty of Maple Leafs fans hoping for neither.
In fact there are many demanding he be turfed now.
You didn’t hear any “Fire Wilson” chants during last night’s game because it was in the Windy City.
But it doesn’t mean Leafs Nation wasn’t thinking that —with or without a win against the Blackhawks.
The guy with the bag on his head outside of Maple Leaf Gardens Wednesday is one of them. “It’s time for this guy to go,” said the anonymous fan. “We in Leafs Nation have had enough of this guy.”
You don’t know his face or his name but you may know his tweets.
He goes by the Twitter name @60CarltonSt and he never holds back what he really thinks of the coach or of GM Brian Burke.
Here are some of his latest 140 character rants:
“@60CarltonSt # Wilson’s gonna start a website called http://blamethemedia.com after he gets fired. It will go bankrupt & he’ll blame the media”
“@60CarltonSt # Leafs have 9 of next 12 on the road.Hope Wilson is on the road also-TO THE GOLF COURSE IN HILTON HEAD S.C! Fire him & make him skate there!”
The guy whose Twitter profile says “My name isn’t Steve & I’m not from Etobicoke” prefers to stay anonymous.
But plenty more fans, starved for a Stanley Cup and terrified of an eighth straight spring without a shot at it, do not.
For example at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern at King and Bathhurst Sts. Wednesday night, fan James Walker said “it’s time for him to go because the team doesn’t play for him.”
“It’s like the players don’t care,” added Elisha Medeiros.
But at the next table pals Brian Jaye, Rob Kilner, Connor Wilson and Jared Harley debated the issue.
Some said it was time while others say this losing streak falls onto Burke
“It’s not the coach’s fault he doesn’t have a No. 1 centre or real goalie,” said Harley.
But Jaye said, “you can’t sack the players” and Wilson will have to pay the price.
So if Burke decides to run his old Providence College teammate out of town, who does he replace him with?
Marlies Coach Dallas Eakins is not an NHL coach and appears to be cut from the same sarcastic cloth. Maybe Marc Crawford is ready to give up his TV career or Pat Quinn could come back and try to get this team to win enough games to have a shot at getting into the spring dance.
Sullen, snotty, sarcastic, caustic, rude and disrespectful are not reasons to fire a coach but if it happens to Wilson, here are a lot of people who won’t cry.
With 560 (561 if they lose) NHL losses the Maple Leafs coach is currently third in that category behind Al Arbour with 577 and Scotty Bowman who has lost 573 times.
Wilson has amassed his losses in 18 seasons. It took Arbour 23 while Bowman took 30. Arbour had 782 wins while Bowman had 1,244. Between them they won 13 Stanley Cups.
Wilson, who has won 648 regular season games, has yet to win a championship.
Time is running out for him to win one here — or to hold the record for the most losses by a coach too.