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Entries with the tag: ron wilson

Simmons offers a spread-out set of Sunday topics

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons discusses the inevitable "falls" of Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel as the main topic in his Sunday notebook, but you and I both know that numbers 3 and 81 will be exiting Toronto in salary-and-or-player-dumps soon, and we all know that Jaromir Jagr's ability tos core in the "Dead Puck" era was (and now is again) pretty damn impressive, so this set of observations strikes me as the most pertinent "chunk" of Simmons' notebook:

Before trading David Clarkson to Columbus, the Leafs thought they had a deal going that would have sent him back to New Jersey. The player whose contract would have swapped in exchange has not been confirmed, but quite likely it’s the concussed Ryan Clowe ... There was significant interest in Roman Polak at the NHL deadline, including from his former team, the St. Louis Blues. The Leafs like what Polak gives them from a stability and maturity point of view, something the current team is lacking in ... Pretty sure Ron Wilson was an advocate of Phaneuf being named captain of the Leafs. Wasn’t he the coach at the time? ... The narrative once was that the Leafs won the trade that brought Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner to Toronto in exchange for Francois Beachemin. The standings don’t agree. Since then, the Leafs are playing .497 hockey and the Ducks are accumulating points at a .638 clip ... If you don’t love the Andrew Hammond, Hamburglar, story, you don’t love sports. I’m doing something I don’t remember doing before: I quietly cheering for the Ottawa Senators.

Simmons continues, discussing his usual potpourri of Sunday sports topics.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, columbus+blue+jackets, david+clarkson, dion+phaneuf, francois+beauchemin, jake+gardiner, joffrey+lupul, new+jersey+devils, ottawa+senators, roman+polak, ron+wilson, ryane+clowe, toronto+maple+leafs

Former Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson On The Leafs

via TSN,

Former Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson joins Leafs Lunch to talk about Randy Carlyle's firing, shares his experiences before he was fired as Toronto's head coach and discusses the players' coachability.

A must listen...

For comments from Ron Wilson, check the recent Twitter timeline of Hope_Smoke.

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  Tags: ron+wilson

Summarizing the GM’s meetings in Twitter form, plus ESPN’s LeBrun’s ‘Rumblings’

Updated 2x at 9:19 PM: Paul did a helluva job of covering the "gist" of the GM's meetings, but here are some items that I noticed on Twitter and feel merit mentioning, starting with Craig Custance's chat with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman...

In Penguins and Maple Leafs news, from Sportsnet's Chris Johnston...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: brooks+orpik, bryan+murray, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+bylsma, dave+nonis, david+poile, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, james+neal, jason+spezza, jim+rutherford, jonathan+toews, marc+crawford, matt+niskanen, nashville+predators, ottawa+senators, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, ron+wilson, shea+weber, stan+bowman, tim+murray, tom+renney, toronto+maple+leafs

Panthers will interview Dan Bylsma; Aaron Ekblad likely #1 overall pick

The Florida Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filakov reports two important items regarding the Florida Panthers' coaching and draft plans.

First, Filakov reports that the Panthers will interview former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma before circling back to a set of coaches who will speak with the Panthers' new ownership regarding their coaching philosophies...

The Panthers coaching search will pick up steam this week as six front-runners for the vacancy, including fired Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, will meet with the team's brain-trust in New York City, according to a team source.

...

Other than Bylsma, the other five leading candidates have all met or spoke to General Manager Dale Tallon, but now will also sit down with the team's co-owners, Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu, as well as CEO/President Rory Babich.

Those repeaters are believed to be Ron Wilson, Canadiens' assistant Gerard Gallant, former Stanley Cup — winning coach Marc Crawford, and Red Wings' assistants Tom Renney and Bill Peters.

While Filakov continues at significant length regarding the coaching search and the Panthers' hopes that they can land one of Brooks Orpik or Matt Niskanen if Bylsma joins the Panthers, this tidbit about the Panthers' draft plans is a wee bit more newsworthy:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: aaron+ekblad, dan+bylsma, florida+panthers, gerard+gallant, marc+crawford, pittsburgh+penguins, ron+wilson, tom+renney

Ron Wilson Talks Toronto Maple Leafs

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Well if there’s anyone in the world who knows what Randy Carlyle is going through right now in Toronto, it’s Ron Wilson.

Just two years ago in early March 2012, after a late-season skid that dropped Toronto out of a playoff spot, Wilson was fired as Maple Leafs coach and replaced by Carlyle.

So yeah, with the Leafs currently mired in an eight-game losing streak that has dropped them out of a playoff spot and completely freaked out the league’s biggest hockey market, Wilson knows what his replacement is living.

“In Toronto, everything is always out of perspective; they’re either winning games and they’re planning the parade route,” began Wilson on Monday from his home near Hilton Head, S.C., “or you lose a couple of games and everything gets over-exaggerated.”

What Carlyle is going through now, Wilson has felt it. 

continued

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In The End, Ron Wilson Just Couldn’t Win

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

It’s refreshing that GM Brian Burke speaks his mind, politically correct or not, but he was off-base when he recently claimed in a radio interview that fans did not like coach Ron Wilson because of the media’s perceived issues with the Toronto bench boss.

It had nothing to do with those of us in the media.

It had everything to do with the fact that he didn’t win anything here.

Even for those of you out there who found Wilson’s sometimes abrasive personality as grating as fingernails on a chalkboard, the fact that the man can coach should never be questioned.

He just wasn’t a fit here.

In his almost four years behind the Toronto bench, there was not one playoff game. Does anything else really matter?

The tiffs and games with the media are irrelevant in the overall scheme of things but, in the end, probably were an unnecessary distraction on a team that, in the hockey fishbowl that is Toronto, really didn’t need it.

more

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Ron Wilson Fired

from TSN,

Ron Wilson has been fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs after nearly four seasons behind the bench.

With another season slowly slipping away, general manager Brian Burke felt the need to remove Wilson of his duties; the move coming just a few months after Wilson was given a one-year contract extension in late December.

Wilson’s replacement has not been named.

continued

added 9:05pm, TSN has updated the story from above to include Randy Carlyle has been named the head coach of the Leafs.

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Should Ron Wilson Be Fired?

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

The chants started just after Jason Garrison scored the fourth goal for the Florida Panthers early in the third period.

The chant was, “Fire Wilson.”

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson is an easy target. He’s not outwardly warm and can be sarcastic and caustic, and he has yet to guide the Maple Leafs to the playoffs since being hired in 2008. Everyone, it seems, wants him fired, including the fans at the ACC Tuesday night.

Personally, I don’t buy into the sentiment that Wilson is the main or only problem with this Leafs team, or that the players have stopped playing for him — which was the theory being kicked around the ACC press box Tuesday night. Wilson doesn’t play goal and he surely doesn’t order Luke Schenn to give the puck away pathetically once a game. And there have been many games this season when the Leafs have actually outplayed the opposition for the much of the game and lost, which was the case in their 5-3 defeat to the Panthers Tuesday night.

But since Burke did absolutely nothing to help this team get over the hump and make playoffs for the first time since 2004, perhaps the fans are right. Perhaps it is time to fire Wilson.

continued

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Brian Burke On Extending The Contract Of Ron Wilson

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

“When the coach goes into the cage, he needs the chair and the whip, not just one of them,” Burke said of providing the contract insurance.

“When people are clamouring for a coaching change, there are visible signs it’s time to change. Agents are calling and complaining that players aren’t going to play for him, there are unnamed players, we call ’em snipers, taking their shots. There has been none of that (with Wilson). I had players come to me last year, saying: ‘Don’t change the coach’. This is a coach who has earned this extension. It’s not charity, it’s not a gift.”

Burke would not hear of getting egg on his face should he pay Wilson and the Leafs miss playoffs again — “Ask me that at the end of the year, I’m not interested in hypotheticals’ — but refused comment on Wilson’s term and salary. It’s likely that one year would be too little and three too much.

“From last year’s all-star break (in early February), to this year, our record is 36-22-10. That’s the first period I really feel it’s appropriate to hold the coaching staff accountable. Up to then, I feel I didn’t give them good enough players.

“I’ve said all along to Ronny, until the point comes where I think we can compete for a playoff spot, then I expect more. I think now the burden has shifted to the coaches. It’s time to extend him.”

more

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  Tags: brian+burke, ron+wilson

Did Ron Wilson Deserve An Extension?

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Among the NHL’s respected coaching fraternity, only Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff, Nashville’s Barry Trotz, Detroit’s Mike Babcock, Boston’s Claude Julien and Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault have longer tenure with their teams than Toronto’s Ron Wilson.

Each of those five men have led their respective squads to at least two playoff berths since Wilson was hired by the Maple Leafs in 2008.

Wilson hasn’t done it once.

And if that doesn’t change come April, the controversial, head-scratching decision to rework Wilson’s contract right now will be directly on the shoulders of general manager Brian Burke.

When Burke confirmed that Wilson’s Christmas morning tweet about getting an extension was indeed accurate, many critics felt as if Jolly St. Nick had dropped lumps of coal in their collective stockings.

continued

Terry Koshan, also of the Toronto Sun, with his opinion on the extension…

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Ron Wilson Looking For A Contract Extension

from Terry Koshan of Leafs Now at the Toronto Sun,

Give him some credit for originality, but don’t give Ron Wilson a contract extension quite yet.

The Maple Leafs coach tweeted late on Friday night about hinting at getting an extension in his stocking on Christmas morning, saying: “This Xmas could be better if Santa stuffs a certain piece of paper in my stocking. #whatcouldthatbe”.

The thinking is Wilson eventually will get an extension from Leafs general manager Brian Burke.

Trouble is, it’s still too early for that.

continued

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Ron Wilson In Need Of A Thicker Skin?

from Rob Pizzo of TheScore,

Yesterday, I posted a link to a story written by the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuck.

The Leafs have refused to say much about the injury to James Reimer. First it was “whiplash”, then is was “concussion like symptoms”, but the fact remains that he has missed 9 games. Fans wanted answers, and Feschuck went to the person who might have some of them, Reimer’s mom.

I thought the article was a good read and the idea to call Mrs. Reimer was a great one. It was also entertaining because it gave us a look at what it’s like to be a concerned parent of an injured NHL’er. Ron Wilson didn’t agree:

“You call wives, parents … you don’t talk to the player? I don’t think that’s proper to be honest with you.”...

There is a huge difference between a coach challenging the media, and a coach who is acting like an immature child, Wilson is the latter.

more

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Leafs Not Impressed with Cody Franson

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail:

Franson, 24, was a surprise scratch for the first two games since he was a regular for the last two seasons on the Nashville Predators’ defence. He came in an off-season trade with centre Matthew Lombardi and it was assumed Franson was an automatic choice for one of the top six spots.

But rookie Jake Gardiner had a surprisingly good camp and won a job, making an already crowded defence roster even tighter and Franson wound up as the extra defenceman. Wilson did not say who will sit on Saturday to make room for Franson but the likely candidate is Gardiner.

The coach did make it clear he was not impressed Franson was honest with the media about his unhappiness at sitting in the press box. Wilson does not spend a lot of time talking to Franson, it seems, because he found out he was a scratch by seeing a video on the Leafs’ web site of Wilson telling this to the media.

read on

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  Tags: cody+franson, ron+wilson

Where’s That Contract Extension For Ron Wilson?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Two months ago, when Brian Burke was telling one and all that Ron Wilson would most certainly be behind the Maple Leaf bench next season, it was indicated and expected that a contract extension for the veteran coach would follow.

Well, it hasn’t. And it won’t.

Wilson, sources say, won’t get more years on his already lucrative deal for a 56th birthday present on Saturday — and if he does eventually get an extension from the Leafs before his contract expires on June 30, 2012, he’s clearly going to have to earn it by winning hockey games with far greater consistency than in his first three seasons at the Air Canada Centre.

Once, having a “lame duck” coach working in the final year of his contract would have been anathema to Burke. But something changed.

continued

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Afternoon Line

“We’re probably two or three pieces from being a true contender. I’m talking a contender not for the playoffs, I’m talking a contender for the Stanley Cup. It may come from within. You don’t know.”

-Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  More from Wilson by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.

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Burke Says Ron Wilson Will Be Back Next Year

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

Wilson has one year remaining on a four-year deal he signed in the summer of 2008, but spent much of the first half of this season under fire as Toronto sank to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The Leafs have since orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, going 22-13-6 since Jan. 1, in their finest sustained stretch under Wilson.

“I said back in the fall, we would not consider a change, even when all the hounds were baying,” Burke said. “I feel the same way now. Ron is coaching this team next year.”

read on

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Versteeg Gets A Message & Leafs Defend Their Image

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

The 24-year-old recently got the equivalent of a cold shower when he came upon his black Audi R8 and found that it has been spit on, with some nasty messages in the dust on the car written to him.

“They were writing stuff all over my $150,000 car,” Versteeg told reporters after practice on Monday.

Versteeg said it was clear that the perpetrators knew it was his car. In all likelihood, Versteeg said, the police will become involved.

Do the messages mean it is not fun to play in Toronto?

“That has nothing to do with that,” Versteeg said. “I definitely like it here and everybody has been good to me. No complaints. Those things are going to happen.”

more

from TSN,

A day after a CBC/NHLPA player poll indicated that Ron Wilson was the coach that NHL players would least like to play for, members of the Maple Leafs organization stepped in to defend their beleaguered bench boss.

“The evidence says otherwise and it wasn’t because we could offer more money because on the younger guys, we couldn’t. It was a level playing field and they chose Toronto and to play for (Ron Wilson),” said GM Brian Burke. “Ron has 600 NHL wins, he won a World Cup and has a silver medal from the Olympics.”

continued

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  Tags: kris+versteeg, ron+wilson

The Time Bomb in Toronto

There is a time bomb ticking away in Toronto. And its inevitability is…well, inevitable.

The Leafs’ Cup drought is going to extend beyond 50 years. How could it not?

The Leafs exist in a world with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews. Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf. Mike Richards and Steven Stamkos.

Datsyuk is the only player above not drafted in the first-round. But ask any GM in the NHL about which forward they would pick first to win the Stanley Cup today and Datsyuk would surely chalk up a few votes, regardless of how obvious a choice Crosby or Ovechkin may seem.

Tonight the Leafs head into GM Place in Vancouver to take on a team that has 10 former 1st Rounders in their line up. Ironically, two of those 1st Rounders happen to be Henrik and Daniel Sedin, a duo that Brian Burke went out of his way to secure in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: brian+burke, ron+wilson

Video- An Irritated Ron Wilson Postgame

The video ends abruptly, due to the fact Wilson had enough and walked away from the media scrum.

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Evening Line

“All I really want to do is win the Stanley Cup.  Then I would be released. If we won, that’s the last game I’ll ever coach. Honest to God I would have no hesitation. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, to have my name on the Cup with my dad and my uncle. That’s honest to God how I feel.

“This is the team I grew up with. Punch Imlach was the last coach who won. That would be just the coolest thing in the world. I’m not about coming back the next year and having everybody pat me on the back, knowing I could be the mayor of Toronto. That doesn’t interest me at all. I could just quietly go away and have all of this satisfaction, knowing that this was something I dreamed about all of my life, this was something I managed to do, and now I can actually breathe.”

-Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson.  Read more from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail, including a man walking by Wilson while he was on the phone telling him this…

“You’re the worst [expletive] coach I’ve ever seen. You’re a [expletive] idiot.”

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Kaberle & Wilson Have Had Positive Talks

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

When Wilson was asked if the much anticipated summit with the defenceman had taken place after a summer of salvos across the Atlantic between Brian Burke and Kaberle’s father, he warmed to the topic.

“We’ve sat down and talked,” Wilson said ” All our talks have been really positive, as I expected them to be.

“I’ll get this out there now so there are no issues, he may only play one of the first five exhibition games (next week). Because I know what he can do and I know he can play with other people. Kabba is 32 years old. At the end of training camp I need to have him fresh. You don’t want your team dead after one week.

“I know (a feud) is a nice story for you guys to hang your hats on,” he said added with a smile, “but there really isn’t an issue. I just wanted to get that out there and be on the offensive and give you the information so you aren’t running around thinking (he’s benched) and there is something else going on.”

read on

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  Tags: ron+wilson, tomas+kaberle

Training Camp Starts And Ron Wilson Is On The Clock

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Wilson likes his team and now has to find his footing. He’s on the clock. More than any one of his players, this is a season in which he has to demonstrate he can make a difference.

He knows it. It’s why you’re going to see the Leafs get down to under 30 players from 68 quickly, and why the final four exhibition games will feature more veterans than the first five.

Wilson has had five months to doodle lineups on his ever-present iPad — when he’s not using it to play tic-tac-toe with his grand-daughter — and imagine how to use the players he now has at his disposal.

It was his influence that led to Dion Phaneuf becoming captain. They don’t know each other perfectly yet, but Wilson likes Phaneuf’s positive exuberance and rapid-fire verbosity, an outgoing demeanor completely at odds with that which Phaneuf presents to the media and public.

more

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Ron Wilson Wants To Talk With Kaberle

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson has heard all the rumors about Tomas Kaberle and Tomas Kaberle’s father. But he wants to sit down with the veteran defenseman and hash things out face-to-face before he believes any of it.

“All this has come from out in left field and until I sit down and talk about this with Kaba, there’s no point in commenting any further,” Wilson told TheHockeyNews.com Tuesday. “People are quoted in a foreign magazine – and this isn’t the first time something like this has come up. If Kaba wants to come and talk to me about some of this stuff, that’s the best way for us to address any of the issues he thinks he has.”

continued

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  Tags: ron+wilson, tomas+kaberle

Afternoon Line

“The biggest surprise to me is how everybody threw Marty Brodeur, the greatest goalie in the history of the game, under the bus and backed over him, and forward, backward, forward, backward. It’s the greatest goalie that’s ever played and it almost tarnished his career on one night. He didn’t have a good night, but part of that had to do with how well we pressured them.”

-Team USA Coach Ron Wilson.  More Olympics talk from James Mirtle at the Globe and Mail.

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  Tags: martin+brodeur, ron+wilson, team+canada, team+usa

Evening Line

I want to help these kids realize their dream. Since they were born, they’ve all dreamed of 1) winning a Stanley cup and 2) winning a gold medal in the Olympics. If I can help these 23 young men accomplish that, that’ll be a great feeling for all us.

-Team USA Coach Ron Wilson.  Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants has quotes from players of both Team Finland and Team USA after today’s game.

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  Tags: ron+wilson, team+finland, team+usa, winter+olympics

Attention North America Hockey Fans:

The other teams in this tournament do not suck, they are really good.

Watch more from Team USA coach Ron Wilson.

>

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  Tags: ron+wilson, team+usa

Evening Line

“I love our [Team USA] goaltending when we do make a mistake.  I’m not always used to, personally over the last two years, of getting the big save so to speak.”

Team USA Head Coach Ron Wilson.  A bi more from Wilson from Craig Custance of The Sporting News.

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Ron Wilson Gets A Second Chance

from Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News,

Twelve years later, the man who coached one of the most disappointing, ill-behaved hockey teams in history is back coaching Team USA again.

It is hard to believe Ron Wilson gets this second chance Tuesday, when the Americans begin the Olympic tournament against Switzerland, but maybe not so difficult to understand when you consider most Americans involved never really confessed they had done much of anything wrong back at Nagano in 1998. They had some bad luck, they lost to Canada, Sweden and the Czechs, and then just had a goodbye dorm party that got a little bit crazy.

Of the players on that roster, only captain Chris Chelios really manned up, apologized and wrote a check for $3,000. The players involved never quite admitted to anything. Nobody would rat out anybody. Even now, Wilson will acknowledge no responsibility for supervising players who trashed their rooms and hurled furniture from the window of the Olympic Village.

continued

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  Tags: ron+wilson, team+usa

Wilson Failing In Toronto

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

All season long, Brian Burke has remained steadfast in his support of head coach Ron Wilson – and that’s a good thing.

Few coaches have a fair shot at success – or survival – without the explicit backing of their GM.

Still, some have suggested repeatedly, and snidely, that only Wilson’s position as head coach of the U.S Olympic team, with Burke also his boss there, has protected him from dismissal.

The implied accusation is that Burke is putting the welfare of the American team ahead of the needs of the Leafs.

It certainly has created a peculiar dynamic and Wilson’s overt praise of various U.S. Olympians in recent days has made it even more uncomfortable as the fortunes of the Leafs have plummeted.

continued

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We Heard From Ron Wilson Yesterday

Now you can watch it.

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Evening Line

Funny, really, to hear Ron Wilson bleating today about how unfair it is that the media is allowed to watch his practices and report on them.

This is the very same coach, ladies and gentleman, who upon coming to Toronto last season ripped the very same media people for not taking the time to watch practice carefully and to ask questions specifically related to drills and practice techniques.

-Damien Cox of The Spin.  More on Wilson from Cox.

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  Tags: damien+cox, ron+wilson

Ron Wilson In A Criticizing Mode Today

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

He called out Phil Kessel for his lack of offence and then zeroed in on the meek response the Leafs gave after falling behind 4-0 to the Flyers and letting Philly enforcer Daniel Carcillo rub their noses in it. Kessel, who has just one goal the past 10 games, declined to talk to reporters afterwards.

“Ooh, he gets singled out in professional sports,” a caustic Wilson said of the stir his speech created. “He hasn’t played well the past 10 games. I could single out a lot of players, but he’s our best player and a lot of times that needs to be the message.

“We (criticize) it here (in public) because I’m ticked off. You do need a kick in the rump sometimes and then we’ll see how people respond.”

Wilson also ripped the team for its penchant for allowing early goals, lack of special teams’ success and their general compete level, after the Leafs teased everyone the night before with a come-from-behind win over Florida.

more

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Morning Line

“I’m trying personally to eliminate pre-game skates,.  For lack of a better word, they are retarded. They are from the dark ages. Physiologists will tell you, you can’t get that energy back if you waste it in a pre-game skate.”

-Leafs coach Ron Wilson.  More on this topic from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

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The Ron Wilson Watch

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

So if the water keeps rising, and it’s rising very quickly around the Leaf enterprise right now, Burke may ultimately get pushed into doing something he is dead set against.

The guess here is that Wilson has 10 more games to show some noticeably positive results.

The team is healthy, particularly the key players, Wilson was lucky enough to have a pure scorer in Phil Kessel added in early November and he’s working with a team that isn’t overly inexperienced.

The club, however, was dead last in defence and penalty killing last year. It still is. Youngsters like Luke Schenn, Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell are going backwards or sideways.

Whatever Wilson and his assistants are preaching either isn’t getting across to the players, or it’s a game plan they can’t execute.

more

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Ron Wilson Ripped

via the Sporting News,

Jim Thomson played for Ron Wilson in Anaheim, and the former Duck thinks Wilson is the reason for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ early-season struggles. He was a guest on Off The Record, and ripped his former coach.

“Ron Wilson is not a good coach,” Thomson told OTR in an interview picked up by TSN.ca. “Where it breaks down is he can’t motivate players, he doesn’t know what to do with players when there’s controversy and they are losing.”

Thomson was especially critical of Wilson’s handling of sophomore defenseman Luke Schenn who has struggled this season.

“When he calls out Luke Schenn three games into the season, a young player who’s their future, and starts beating the hell out of him ... You don’t call a player out in the media, you go behind closed doors,” Thomson said.

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Talking Ron Wilson

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Like the source of Taco Bell’s ground beef and the possibility of a “Lady In The Water” sequel, the potential for Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson losing his job at this point in the season is something I’ve refused to contemplate.

continued

added 12:27pm, from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Reeling from their worst start in almost 20 years, the 0-4-1 Leafs called up centre Tyler Bozak from the Marlies, apparently benching forwards Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman and sitting goalie Vesa Toskala out with a lower body injury.

”Why not?,” coach Ron Wilson said of the high-profile benchings. “We need more from everyone, we’re giving opportunities to younger guys.”

continued

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How Long Will Ron Wilson Last?

via Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts,

Is it me or does anybody else think that Ron Wilson won’t - or shouldn’t - last long as coach of the Maple Leafs.

He had a total, and complete, meltdown following the 2-1 loss to the Senators Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre.  It was awfully funny to hear.

Apparently his early-morning practice was moved to noon so he didn’t follow through on that threat.

I just don’t get the feeling he is going to be behind the Toronto bench forever - five year contract or not - if this team doesn’t pick it up.

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Morning Line

“We stunk. We had no offence at all.  I mean, that was almost embarrassing from seven or eight guys who we are counting heavily on. They only showed up when it was too late (a third-period Matt Stajan power-play goal).

“Playing on the perimeter, not wanting the puck, not willing to take a hit to make a play. Jittery when we do have the puck. We need a much better effort.”

-Toronto Coach Ron Wilson after losing to the Senators last night.  More on the game from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun.

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Wilson Keeps Talking

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

For a couple of days now, Internet message boards have been humming with amateur sleuths who have been trying to determine if the Toronto Maple Leafs should be investigated for tampering with the Sedin twins.

Even if most media have ignored this story, they are not alone.

Privately, team execs have been wondering the same thing. Did Leafs coach Ron Wilson breach NHL bylaws on a Toronto radio show when he suggested his team was targeting the Sedin twins a day before the start of free agency?

“I heard what he said and it seems to be a clear-cut case of tampering. He basically tells those two free agents: ‘Hey, we’re coming for you, wait for us,’” one NHL executive said. “There’s not a question in my mind. It could have left the Canucks high and dry. Look at what he said, then look at what (Leafs GM) Brian Burke did. He flew to Sweden.”

continued

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Ron Wilson Expected To Be Named Coach Of Team USA

from TSN,

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson will be busy during the 2010 Olympic Games.

According to sources, Wilson will be officially named the head coach for the U.S. Men’s Olympic team on Monday.

Wilson, who has a long-standing relationship with USA Hockey, led the team to a gold medal in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He was also coached the team again in 2004.

continued

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The Other Side Of Ron Wilson

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

This season was supposed to be all about losing, and maybe, for the future development of the Leafs that would have been best. The worse the team performed, the better draft position come June. But Wilson, like all coaches, worries only about today. How do you make your team better? From the beginning, he didn’t want to talk about wins and losses.

But in a rare humble moment, he stopped to consider just how far this team has come and confessed: “I admit, I’m pretty proud of our record.”

That Ron Wilson is easy to like. When he’s more human. When he’s relaxed. When he’s not picking fights that aren’t necessary. No one in hockey could have done what he has done with this Leafs team this season.

And on the nights when the chip on his shoulder is gone, and his inherent detest of the media is not so apparent, you can see what the players see in him, how they want to fight for him.

more

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Ron Wilson Tossed

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

“They want to take fighting out of the game,” growled the Toronto forward, “and all the stick work is going up.”

Ondrus was referring to Evgeny Artyukhin, the 6-foot-5 behemoth of the Bolts, whom Ondrus claimed was jabbing him liberally near the end of the game and getting away with no retribution.

“Maybe someone beats the crap out of him and he doesn’t do it again,” Ondrus said. “I was standing there and he put his stick between my legs and he tried to lift me up or something, I don’t know what he was doing. I don’t think he speaks a word of English so that was another problem.”

Ondrus wound up with a 10-minute misconduct, but enraged coach Ron Wilson went one better by berating referees Kevin Pollock and Chris Lee to the point they gave him a game misconduct rather than a bench minor. Loud applause followed Wilson through the exit tunnel.

more and watch a video of Wilson being tossed below…

Continue Reading »

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Ron Wilson Annoyed With Howard Berger

Ron Wilson ‘addresses’ Leafs beat-man Howard Berger after last night’s victory over the Islanders.

Howard Berger of Fan590 responds…

If there is one thing, among many, that I’ve learned in my first season around Ron Wilson, it’s that the coach of the Maple Leafs doesn’t react well to criticism. That’s not to suggest the other Leaf coaches I’ve had experience with in the past 20 years enjoyed being challenged, but Wilson takes it as a particular affront — mainly because of his heightened sensitivity to all things media.

continued

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Morning Line

“I don’t want Justin Pogge to be what Carey Price is today, a shell of himself…”

-Leafs coach Ron Wilson this morning.  Wilson did go on to say Price will get out of his slump.  You can listen to the whole Wilson interview at Fan590 in Toronto.  The Pogge talk starts around the 2:30 mark.

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Morning Line

“I try to tell our guys we’re making the equivalent of a 60-foot putt, which Tiger Woods can’t even make, instead of simplifying our game which in golf would be a three-foot putt and in hockey a 10-foot pass,”.”

“We continually try to look long. It looks pretty, but it’s totally ineffective.”

-Toronto coach Ron Wilson after losing to Carolina last night.  More on the game from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

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Only In Toronto

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The talent that surprised several opponents earlier this season is no longer getting the job done, according to head coach Ron Wilson. His team heads into its match against the Nashville Predators Tuesday night on a three-game slide and has dropped seven of nine outings.

“I know where our talent level is, and when you’re not blessed with a lot of talent there will be inconsistencies,” Wilson said.

read more and that story was in the morning edition of the Globe and Mail.

This afternoon, Don Cherry was on Fan590 and did not think much of Wilson’s words.

Listen here...

This feud has been going on since the moment Wilson was hired by the Leafs.  I wonder what the next chapter will bring?

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What Could Have Been For Ron Wilson

from Damien Cox at The Spin,

Although he’s been getting solid reviews for his coaching work this season with the severely undertalented Maple Leafs, Wilson has to be feeling the extraordinary success of the San Jose Sharks.

On one hand, many of the players that have powered the Sharks to the best record ever in the NHL history after 30 games were not only coached by Wilson and his assistants, Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler, but taught their first NHL lessons by that crew.

Wilson still has ties to that organization, still talks to Sharks players, still discusses hockey matters from time-to-time with GM Doug Wilson. On the other hand, of course, the way in which rookie coach Todd MacLellan has guided the Sharks to such a powerhouse, 52-point showing so far is, to some degree, an indictment of that which Wilson couldn’t do.

continued

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Mr. Grumpy

from Mike Milbury of Blogs and Colums at CBC,

Those of you who are old enough to remember the television comedy show, Dennis the Menace, are sure to recollect the grumpy old next door neighbour to the mischievous Dennis.

Somehow, someway, Dennis always found a way irritate the fastidious Mr. Wilson. Still, in the end, Dennis would somehow find his way back into his good graces.

The Toronto media can only hope for that ending with the Maple Leafs’ own grumpy head coach, Ron Wilson. It seems there is nothing the media can do that won’t ignite the man. Be it dumb questions, the inability to listen or perhaps thinking that they might know the game a little, the media always seem to get it wrong with Ron.

continued

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Ask a Stupid Question…

From Mike Ulmer of the Toronto Maple Leafs:

I was curious about the ramifications of the relationship between Ron Wilson and Brian Burke. They go back, as you may have heard, to their first week of school at Providence College in Rhode Island.

“There’s a reason best friends often don’t date,” I said. “You two have never run an NHL team together. Are you worried that the pressures of the job will affect the friendship?”

First, guys don’t like it when you refer to their business relationship as “a date.” Wilson let that one go, which was kind.

Second, this is a classic cart-before-the-horse question.

read on

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A Look At Ron Wilson

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

Wilson is a modernist, in the way he applies technology and statistical analysis to the game of hockey, and he is a traditionalist, in the way he believes his players ought to feel a special responsibility donning the uniform.

He does not suffer fools, he is expansive in conversation, he is confident of being the smartest guy in most rooms (or at very least, dressing rooms), he has won more than 500 games in a sport where anyone resembling an egghead is met with a degree of suspicion, he has taken one team to the Stanley Cup final and been fired three times.

And Wilson talks in a way the Toronto sports crowd is still trying to process.

more

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