Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
MapleLeafs.com proudly sponsored by ROGERS™ Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
 

Winds of Change

Tuesday, 22.01.2008 / 1:01 PM / Mike Ulmer's Blog
By Mike Ulmer  - Mapleleafs.com commentator
X
Share with your Friends


Winds of Change
Press ReleaseUlmer Blogs | Paul Maurice Says He & Players Shoulder Blame
Fletcher In Conversation
Watch the Entire Presser
Player Reaction
Maurice Reaction
Ferguson Reaction

(TORONTO) - The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired general manager John Ferguson.

The team announced its decision through a press release. The Maple Leafs scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference Tuesday to introduce Cliff Fletcher as the interim GM.

Fletcher, who managed the Leafs from 1991 to 1997, stood out as the long-rumoured candidate to replace Ferguson whose job might have been saved had the Leafs garnered just one extra point last year and qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs. This season, the Leafs sit 14th in the Eastern Conference and six points out of eighth place.

Fan and media dissatisfaction with Ferguson increased with every loss even though his teams accrued a .559 points percentage with 145 wins, 110 losses, 10 ties, 13 overtime losses and 17 losses by shootout.

Among the moves most cited by Ferguson’s critics were the hefty free-agent signings of defenceman Bryan McCabe and Pavel Kubina and the five-year contract extended to free-agent forward Jason Blake who has struggled in his first year in Toronto. Trading future star Tuukka Rask for the inconsistent Andrew Raycroft has been, by all accounts, unfortunate.

But Ferguson has made some solid moves as well. The Leafs shifted their minor league team from the Maritimes to the Ricoh Coliseum. Prospects are now closer should they be called up.  Jiri Tlusty, drafted 13th overall in 2006 looks like a solid selection and is playing with the Leafs. So is defenceman Anton Stralman, a rookie logging major moments with the Maple Leafs. Ferguson found him 216th in the 2005 draft.

Vesa Toskala, acquired from San Jose for a first, second and fourth round draft choice might well prove himself worth it. Mark Bell, who arrived with Toskala, has been a bust.

The move caught the players by surprise.

“I just saw a lot of media here, I didn’t know what was going on,” said Alexei  Ponikarovsky. “It’s never fun when this happens. It’s our job to play hockey. It’s all we can do.”

“John drafted me, he was great to me,” said Tlusty. “Now he’s leaving and I feel sorry about it but that’s hockey.”
Fantom Sticker Album
 





torontomapleleafs.com is the official Web site of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. The Maple Leafs and mapleleafs.com are trademarks of MLSE.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 MLSE and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.


Terms Of Use | Contact Us | Employment Opportunities | Advertise on mapleleafs.com | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map