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Is It All About The Money When It Comes To The Toronto Maple Leafs?

Jason Spencer of the Brampton Guardian reports on a talk Ken Dryden recently gave.

Most of it was non-hockey related except for this...

Seeing as Dryden was president of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1997-2003, Benmergui couldn't help but ask right out of the gate about the flailing hockey club.

Dryden suspects the continual poor play is a result of the club being haunted by former team owner Harold Ballard, describing him as an "irascible" and "provocative" character.

"When things weren't going well, his way of dealing with it was bravado. When the Leafs would lose, instead of sounding a little bit contrite or determined or something his way would be to kind of laugh at the bad news and say, 'Ah, it doesn't matter, I still go to the bank every day,'" said Dryden, 67.

"(Ballard) had this public persona that really stayed with the Leafs and stays with them to this day of where, that when you get down to the crunch moment, and it's an extra point in the standings or an extra dollar in the bank, that you go for the extra dollar in the bank."

He added that the public comes to resent the message about money over championships.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+dryden


Slumpy's avatar

People like Ballard are still common these days, you just have to look at corporations in general CEO pay/bonus/retirement packages.

Jimmy D a local exec is another referring to players as “cattle.”

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 03/25/15 at 06:07 PM ET


Ballard died in 1990.  You can only dig into the past so much to blame a current situation when it comes to professional sports IMO.  Not to mention the owner of anything is generally in it for the money…

Posted by neffernin on 03/25/15 at 07:11 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Agreed neff… thought it was odd Dryden even brought up Ballard, way past his time.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/25/15 at 07:13 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

I think he was saying that the cash focus at the senior levels has continued in the company culture since Ballard, wherein it rates itself based on money made and not Cups won (or playoffs made). The lion’s share of the blame for the current situation there rests with the lack of accountability for winning throughout the organization.

Posted by BrendonTO on 03/25/15 at 08:37 PM ET


Leafs are up against the cap every year as well as buying out players and spending a lot more money than most teams on management and scouting. If it was all about the money why are they spending so much? They would make a lot of money if they made the playoffs, at least $4 mil a game or $50 mil for a long run. They are where they are because of bad management with signings trades and draft picks.

Posted by Alton on 03/26/15 at 11:08 AM ET


You can only dig into the past so much to blame a current situation

Very true.  It reminds me of the three envelopes joke.

Posted by BobTheZee on 03/26/15 at 12:59 PM ET

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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.

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