Ron Wilson feels for Leafs coach Carlyle

The Toronto Maple Leafs opened training camp at the Mastercard Centre in Etobicoke on Sept 16,...

The Toronto Maple Leafs opened training camp at the Mastercard Centre in Etobicoke on Sept 16, 2011. Coach Ron Wilson speaks to the media. (MICHAEL PEAKE/TORONTO SUN/QMI AGENCY)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:06 PM ET

The skewering that Randy Carlyle is getting in Toronto these days hurts Ron Wilson. And he still bleeds a little blue.

Breaking his silence two years after being replaced by Carlyle, axe wielded by former Toronto general manager Brian Burke, Wilson told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun he knows what the Leaf coach and players are going through.

“I really feel for the coaching staff and, above all, for Randy right now,” Wilson said. “He’s got the same thousand-yard stare that I had. But at the end, you almost feel like it’s completely out of your control, everything takes on a life of its own. It’s unbelievable.”

Wilson was headed for his fourth season missing the playoffs when fans began derisively chanting his name at the ACC and he was let go during an early March 2012 road trip. Carlyle turned the Leafs around in the shortened 48-game season in 2013 and after a berth this spring seemed a certainty, the Leafs began an eight-game losing streak.

In Toronto, everything is always out of perspective, Wilson said. Theyre either winning games and theyre planning the parade route, or you lose a couple of games and everything gets over-exaggerated.


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