Wake up Toronto and smell the Tim Horton's coffee
Richard Peddie is an absolute genius!
Toronto is without question the hockey capital of the world.
The team has not had a Stanley cup since 1967 when there was only the original six.
There are now 30 teams in the NHL and the closest appearance in the final was ended when Wayne Greztky slashed the face off Doug Gilmore and not penalized for it. The exhausted L.A Kings went on that year to meet the overly fortunate Montreal Canadians and lost.
Richard Peddie is no fool. He holds one of the highest executive positions with the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Board of Directors.
He is well aware of the expectations of the Toronto fans and media.
His plan is so logical and simple to implement almost any hockey minded individual should be able to see it. Or should I say, executive?
Smoke and mirrors or objectives?
Sell out the A.C.C on a regular basis with a terrible team that has no chance of making the playoffs with their current over paid roster.
Plan: Ice such a terrible team that the fan base in Toronto would rather cheer on the opposition then the home squad.
Turn public opinion against the most prolific player ever to play for the franchise and wish him well on his way out of town.
Hire a lame duck General Manager to assume the position that he was ill equipped for and lack of experience to remove the power hungry and archaic Pat Quinn.
Bring in a media friendly coach known as a defensive specialist that has failed to make the playoffs 7 out of the last 9 years and have the media adore him with his tongue in cheek comments as the team wallows in the bottom of the league with one of the worst team goals against averages and that's with Toskala playing every night.
Next, finish near or at the bottom of the league to position yourself for a high draft pick. In doing so, have the Toronto fans and media on side to support the re-building of a team that is dying for a chance to compete under the new salary cap and NHL rules.
Is this some accident?
Ask yourself, how could you turn this team around, sell out your arena and have a City preying that your franchise player will wave his no trade clause and leave town for a real contender and perhaps come back next year.
Further have a sold out arena in future years accepting a real re-building program and accepting rookie and prospects mistakes rather then booing over priced "talent" with no trade clauses and forgive the team for not making the playoffs.
Do you see the shift?
Now bring in an temporary seasoned and popular Toronto General Manager to set the future in motion as the team takes it's time to find a suitable full time replacement. Next give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants so that if he fails to meet his objectives, the blame can be squarely placed on his shoulders. After all, isn't that one of the biggest complaints the media has voiced over the years? So now, everyone is getting what they want.
Only a genius could put this together and apparently has.
Finally as a life time fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs I have been enjoying myself immeasurably this year as I cheer for the opposition and hope that the Leafs finish dead last. One thing is for sure. It's a heck of a lot more likely than blindly cheering for them to make it to the playoffs. Now after each Leaf loss, I feel great the next morning.
Go get it done Cliff. The time is now.
Goodbye Matts...until next year.
How can you argue with the strategy...good job Mr. Peddie.