Friday, January 18, 2008

Hazel in the house - Leafs Win!

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

How many times have you read "Hazel Karma" here? My man Quikdraw emailed to say that Hazel was in the stands at the TD Banknorth Garden, looking stunning as always, to watch HER Toronto Maple Leafs win 3-2 in a shootout over the Bruins. Guess we can all safely assume that Hazel is still a member in good standing of Leaf Nation.

We believe in the power of Hazel Karma - ok, its really just me, since Quikdraw and Tilt aren't buying it - but it looks like not even Hazel Karma is enough to save the job of Maple Leafs embattled GM John Ferguson Jr. For weeks now, Canadian hockey experts (using that term loosely) have been speculating that Ferguson's time is running out at the ACC.

It looks like a foregone conclusion as the media has shifted its focus from portraying JFJ as a delusional fool who thinks his team is a legitimate playoff team - now, he is being painted as a victim of an unfeeling, evil corporate beast (read: representatives of the Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund who sit on the Board) who won't do the honourable thing and release him from his duties with the team now that, for all intents and purposes, his authority to do anything has been taken from him. Stories are surfacing that Ferguson approached the Board of Directors a couple of years ago and presented a "rebuilding plan" that was rejected - while on one hand, it certainly is a case of the greedy corporate monster wanting playoff revenue at all costs, on the other, he accepted it. He made the deal with the devil, so no tears shed now.

Hell, TSN even got hockey god, Brian Burke, to comment on the situation, and not surprisingly Burke sided with his colleague, saying that it is very hard to be in the position of a lame duck GM. I'm not one to ever question Brian Burke, but this is a little much.

First, why should Ferguson be allowed to walk away from this colossal mess with what amounts to six months severance pay? He should be forced to sit there and watch this mess unfold (or right itself) until the organization finds a suitable replacement - either "interim" or permanent. We (me, Leaf Nation and Hazel) have to watch it, he should too; at least he's getting paid for it. He should have to answer questions each and every day about how this team will take years to get out from under a number of his awful decisions.

Second, why shouldn't the organization take its time in at least (on the surface) trying to find a suitable replacement - be it interim or permanent. Some have been very critical of the Leafs talking to former GM Cliff Fletcher - saying that it isn't fair to JFJ. I'm wondering - since when have these donkeys found principles? On an interim basis, there probably isn't a better GM to come in and purge the roster of deadweight. But, then what would these donkeys have to write about? Except for Damien Cox, he'd find something wrong - even if the Leafs managed to trade Bryan McCabe for Sidney Crosby straight up...he'd still find something bad.

What it comes down to is this - JFJ took the job that many others, including hockey god, didn't want; a job where he would have to report to a Board of Directors who only cared about the bottom line. Many before him turned it down saying the situation was untenable and they weren't willing to risk their reputations and careers - JFJ took it and now he'll have to deal with the consequences. He could have made it work, the Board always let him spend what he wanted - he screwed up, plain and simple.

Hazel Mae for GM of the Maple Leafs. Think of it, Hazel's Toronto Maeple Leafs - I like it.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Steen came back from being down with the flu to score a goal in regulation and the clincher in a shootout to lead the Leafs. Pretty sweet goal in the shootout - ask Hazel if you see her.

Toronto Maple Leafs G Vesa Toskala made 29 saves in regulation and two more in the shootout.

Toronto Maple Leafs C Mats Sundin had an assist in regulation and the first Leafs goal in the shootout - he was dominant last night and could have had a few goals.

Why three Leafs? The way we are going these days - it may be a while before a Maple Leafs player makes the grade.

The total for the week is pretty much even after winning both games last night - Dallas and Anaheim both got it done.

Tonight's picks post later this afternoon.

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. I see my man Quikdraw checked in last night with you thoughts on the media - scroll down.

Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world - hope you enjoyed the game last night.

I'm Out


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