OK, incompetent might be strong. But what the reaction to Randy Carlyle’s firing shows is that, despite holding a Canadian passport, people in Toronto don’t know hockey, period. There will be those who hate the Leafs that will laugh at us for this latest move. They may know about as much hockey as the ones who called for his firing. But let’s forget about them for a moment.
For those who want the Leafs to be a more skilled team rather than a tough, physical one, you are seeing that team on the ice right now. So either suck it up or, better yet, defend your squad. I can’t at this moment. I can tell you that the Leafs are not doing a good job shutting down the other team’s top lines. But supposedly no one cares about that, putting pucks in the net is all that matters. The Leafs are also getting pushed around too much to be effective. Again, no one wants to give a damn about team toughness. When our captain gets into a confrontation and turns the other cheek, apparently, we should stand up and applaud. Is this the kind of people paying to watch our team play? I guess so. They may not like the results but they don’t have the balls to admit that following the Detroit model is not going to cut it.
Since the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan is no longer holding the majority of power in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, many of these so-called Leafs fans and experts have been hard-pressed to find a bad guy in this latest fiasco. I can point out who really is to blame, just go look into a mirror. Couple Carlyle’s firing with calls to trade Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf only tells me that people don’t want a solution, they want a scapegoat. I have to laugh but it is also pisses me off when I keep hearing from those who say we have people who don’t know hockey in charge of an NHL team. That’s kind of like Justin Bieber saying Mick Jagger doesn’t know about rock and roll.
Here’s another thing. On the day of the firing, former Leaf coach Ron Wilson came out to criticize Leafs management and, in particular, Kessel on the team’s recent play. Let’s get one thing straight, Wilson is the architect of the recent downfall of the Leafs. He made Kessel the guy he is today. Even though Wilson is no longer with the team, his legacy still exists today. So he has the nerve to come out and talk about why the Buds hasn’t been able to succeed.
People who want a quick fix to this mess better move to another city and root for their team. Turning the Leafs’ fortunes around is not going to happen overnight and President Brendan Shanahan knows that. My advise to Shanahan and the Leafs is to go with your guts and let the critics run their own losing team.