Sports by Randy Charles Morin.
Copyright 2005-10 Randy Charles Morin
Owned by Rapid Spiral Development Inc.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired an interim General Manager. Welcome back Cliff Fletcher. Cliff was the orchestrator of the Leafs only rise in the last 40 years. A dozen years ago, he was hired for the same role and the Leafs went to the conference finals in successive years. Cliff is looking really old, so interim is a given. In the meanwhile, Cliff will bring in a new GM to replace himself, likely before the end of 2008. He'll then remain with the Leafs as an adviser. Fletcher didn't fair well in his last GM role with the Phoenix Coyotes, his only GM experience in the salary cap era.
Paul Maurice will remain as coach for the remainder of the season. That makes him a lame duck coach who is unlikely to return for the next season. I suspect Fletcher's first orders of business will be to prune the dead-weight from this team, look for younger talent and find a long term coach.
PR: The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Thursday that Pat Quinn has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach.
PR: The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenceman Ken Klee to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday according to John Ferguson, vice-president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In exchange, the Maple Leafs received forward Aleksander Suglobov (pronounced suh-GLOH-bahf) from the Devils.
Randy: I don't like this, it's a give-away. It tells me the Leafs simply don't think Klee will manage in the new NHL. Surely somebody would give more than a 24 yr-old B prospect. Unless Suglobov is a late bloomer, he's unlikely to stick in the NHL.
PR: Skating enthusiasts and Leafs fans will have an opportunity to skate on the best ice surface in the National Hockey League on Friday, February 17 when Air Canada Centre holds a free public skate.
CP: Darcy Tucker, Eric Lindros and Bryan McCabe didn't accompany the team on its flight to Denver and won't be available for Wednesday's game against Minnesota either.
Randy: Tucker is trying to rest his injury, which hasn't been healing while he was playing. McCabe found out he has a groin tear. Yikes!
Bryan McCabe will not be in the lineup tonight against the Canucks. He hopes to only miss one game because of the groin injury. Colaiacovo, who has missed the last few games, due to injury, will replace him in the lineup; Kaberle, Klee, Khavanov, Berg, Colaiacovo, Kronwall.
Today is the day. Hockey returns, after a 15 month absense. The Senators could be the best team in the NHL. The Leafs could also win the Cup, but only with the old Lindros and Allison. Game on!
CP: Brandon Bochenski scored three goals with an assist while linemate Jason Spezza added a goal and three assists to lead the Ottawa Senators past the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 in exhibition play Sunday night.
Randy: The bad news is that Tellqvist was in net for the entire game. Still the favorite to make the team as Belfour's backup. Toronto was outshot 15-4 in the first period. The good news is that Wellwood netted two points on the power play. He's pretty much a lock to make the team now. For Ottawa, the line of Bochenski, Spezza and Heatley looks hot.
CP: Wellwood put Toronto up 2-1 at 4:00 of the second period. [cut] Wellwood scored again at 19:45 of the second.
Randy: Unless he sucks during the rest of the pre-season, Kyle just made the team. One of three Leafs to lead the OHL in scoring (Lindros, Allison).