Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The first clue this Maple Leafs season was going to be a disaster might have been when coach Randy Carlyle was retained after a disastrous 2013-14 season.
He was even given an extension, but had little input into hiring his assistants.
Then one of his assistants — Steve Spott, hired to be a players’ coach, a trusted ear — got caught telling tales about how Phil Kessel nixed Spott’s ideas about new breakouts. Spott went to Carlyle, who told him to do it Kessel’s way, since Kessel would be around longer.
Kessel showed up at training camp out of shape, almost bragging that he barely skated in the off-season. Think about that — the team’s star $64 million player taking things lightly.
It is about as dysfunctional a billion-dollar organization as there is on the planet, one that lurches from one crisis to the next.
The assistants weren’t hired by the coach. The coach wasn’t hired by the GM. The GM wasn’t hired by the president. The president was hired by the chief executive, but he’s leaving. And the owners hate each other with a passion.
added 5:24pm, from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
Maple Leafs head coach Peter Horachek explains that Nazem Kadri was late for a team meeting, so Horachek sent him home.
from Dave Hodge of TSN,
Thumbs up, or thumbs down to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment--it all depends on their willingness to heed my advice. I strongly suggest that MLSE would be wise to hire Olli Jokinen as a high-level media relations director, shortly after he decides to retire as an NHL player.
At a time when the Toronto Maple Leafs seem incapable of making positive news, Jokinen delivers a Hallmark card full of compliments. The cynics will say he wasn't around long enough to know Jarvis Street from Front Street, but Jokinen raved about his time in Toronto as part of his return with the St. Louis Blues.
"Everything is first class. Toronto is a great place to play. The hot tubs and the saunas and the meals are great. I don't know why free agents don't want to play for the Leafs," said Jokinen.
The best treatment he got from the Leafs was ice time following a trade from Nashville that encouraged the Blues to deal for him and put him into the playoffs for only the second time in his career. So he's grateful, but the flowery praise was above and beyond the call of good manners. Jokinen played against the Leafs last night, and, if they're smart, he'll soon work for them.
continue for Hodge on the three-point games...
... It’s all made for a radioactive situation that is begging for leadership. Shanahan should be the one filling the vacuum, by straightening out his cement-headed players or letting Nonis walk. Just about everyone is looking awful in this situation, from the GM who is getting carved by his signings to the players who are itching to get onto the first hole and out of Toronto.
Shanahan has stayed out of the sewer. He’ll have to put his boots on soon.
-Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe on the situation in Toronto. Read more on the Leafs and other hockey topics from Shinzawa.
from Darren Dreger of the Dreger Report,
Strong hockey markets such as Toronto and Boston require experienced, confident and resilient managers and coaches to both survive and thrive.
With Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien, the Bruins have thrived and until recently, the notion either man was in jeopardy of losing his job would and should have been viewed as absurd.
In Toronto, no one will be surprised if or when Brendan Shanahan lowers the boom on Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis. Some see Nonis as 'dead man walking,' convinced Shanahan will bring in one of his own in the offseason to spearhead the departure of Phaneuf, Kessel and others before beginning the laborious task of a multi-year rebuild.
Nonis has three years remaining on his contract after this season and has been around the league long enough to know the job is tough enough without worrying whether or not your days are numbered. And he'll continue to manage the Leafs in consultation with Shanahan and Toronto's management team until told otherwise. Such decisions will be made at the end of the season following a a full and standard organizational review. ...
While change in Toronto remains fodder for daily media speculation, the Bruins' injury-riddled fight for a playoff spot in the East has Boston fans feeling uneasy and putting the likes of Chiarelli and Julien in the crosshairs - especially if they fail to qualify or are knocked out early in the postseason.
Now the Boston market is as passionate as any in the NHL and expectations under Chiarelli's guidance are high given the product he's consistently delivered over the past seven years. But as difficult as it is to win a Stanley Cup, it's incredibly hard to maintain contending status year after year.
added 1:50pm, you can watch the play below...
NEW YORK (March 5, 2015) -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Richard Panik has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
The relationship between the media and the athletes they cover is often framed in war metaphors. That’s apt. Though the two camps spend a lot of time in each other’s company, they are foreign to one another as people. “Dehumanized” isn’t too strong a word. The players are cartoon characters; the media, a faceless mob. We treat each other accordingly.
I thought about this as I watched Phil Kessel going j’accuse on the press before Tuesday’s game in Florida. He was surrounded by people he sees every day. However, he wasn’t talking to any of them. He was talking at them.
The presentation rendered the whole thing contrary to its motive: making his critics understand that he and his teammates are people and deserve to be treated as such. In essence: I don’t see you, but I demand that you see me. That he’s right is beside the point.
How did this toxic relationship develop – and why does it continue?
Sometimes, it has to do with the content of the reporting, or personal friction. There are feuds that kick off over nothing in a locker room and are resolved in print over decades. But it’s more fundamental than that.
There are players I’ve covered for years, talked to many times about all sorts of things. I think I know them, at least a little.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at NewsTalk 610,
Brendan Shanahan wants fans to know the Toronto Maple Leafs are committed to a long-term rebuilding project, and that they won't have to pay more to see it unfold next season.
In a letter to season-ticket holders that will go out Wednesday morning, the team president outlines the expectation for short-term pain with the goal of becoming a Stanley Cup contender in the future.
"There are no shortcuts to building a team the right way," Shanahan writes in the letter. "It will require patience and a long-term view, but it is important for you to know that the process will be well worth it when we get there."
In line with that, the Leafs will not raise ticket prices for next season. It's the fifth time in seven years all ticket prices will remain the same across the board, following increases in some areas of Air Canada Centre for 2014-15.
The Leafs are on their way to missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Shanahan, who was named team president in April, tells season-ticket holders that the management team and players will be committed to becoming a contender "and will not be satisfied with anything less."
via Jonas Siegel tweets,
Phil Kessel just lambasted Toronto media for treatment of Dion Phaneuf: "It's not his fault. Why he does he get the blame?"
Kessel: "I think the way the media treats Dion Phaneuf in this city is embarrassing."
More Kessel on Phaneuf: "Is it his fault we're losing? No. Did he build this team? No.
added 12:43pm, Watch Kessel's comments below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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