Make no mistake about it.
The recent goings-on at Bay & Lakeshore (where the headquarters for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment [MLSE] are located, at the Air Canada Centre [ACC]), are rotten to the core, involving both of the professional sports franchises operated by this organization, i.e. the Maple Leafs and the Raptors.
re: Maple Leafs
There’s no Wing-ing it with Leafs’ new strategy
If you were to ask Ken Holland, GM of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, to identify the quality his scouts look for when it comes to the annual entry draft, his answer would be succinct.
“Skill,” he’d say, just as he’s said it many times before.
Nine teams followed that mantra when it came to making selections with the top 10 picks of the NHL entry draft on Friday night.
One did not.
That team would be your Maple Leafs.
Peddie era continues to linger like a bad smell
Like a bad odour, you just can’t make this guy go away.
From the day Peddie ascended to the power position of having both the Raptors and Leafs report to him in 2003, the hockey club has gone straight downhill. You’d think his bosses might wonder why there hasn’t been a Stanley Cup playoff game at the ACC since 2004.
Instead, he’s managed to survive. Again.
Wilson hire raises red flags
Of more concern, however, is that this might be an indication that Fletcher has grown fond of grasping the levers of power again and intends to keep the job permanently. He denies this, but also said recently that he would not be the one to hire the next Leaf coach.
So the story keeps changing. Hiring an expensive, big-name coach like Wilson certainly isn’t evidence of a caretaker administration, that’s for sure.
If Fletcher wanted the president’s job and would hire a GM, well, that might work. But the original plan, to hire a new president and GM, remains the most sensible plan with the greatest chance of success.
O’Neal deal a step backwards
Colangelo built the seven-seconds-or-less Suns, but so much for sticking to the vision. The bog-it-down Celtics are the NBA champs. The Suns are ripping to shreds what Colangelo wrought. And Colangelo, in acquiring a hobbled O’Neal à la Phoenix’s Shaq, has chucked the dream, too.
Perhaps even worse, another of Toronto’s perceived advantages – the in-house knowledge of European talent – is moot. Talented Euros aren’t yearning for the lagging U.S. greenback.
“They’re fighting back a little bit,” said Colangelo of the European sides.
The Raptors, by contrast, are doubling back in the direction of the Babcock era, without cap room to yield more talent. Not that Colangelo is about to show up in Dockers, not that they’re a laughingstock. But a year ago the GM was billing his team as more carefully constructed than some disposable fashion. Suddenly his killer wardrobe is looking far more thoughtfully put together than his roster.
Jorge Garbajosa gone from Raptors
“After a long, difficult and sometimes emotional process stemming from a traumatic injury to a key player, it was concluded that parting ways was the best thing for both Jorge and the Raptors organization,” GM Bryan Colangelo said yesterday.
The move ends the lengthy, contentious negotiations between Colangelo, Garbajosa, the Spanish Basketball Federation and its insurance company.
Draft’s just like pant-leg debate for the Raptors
Colangelo, to illustrate the difference, bent over and grabbed the cuff of his skinny-cut trousers and held it next to Mitchell’s ankle. The contrast in the silhouettes was cigarette to fat cigar, and Colangelo made a joke at the expense of the coach’s choice, quadruple-pleated and roomy. Mitchell, meanwhile, was not shy about defending his haberdasher’s handiwork.
“Dude, I’m a big guy. I’ve gotta have some room to let my (self) flow. All my pants fit like this,” said Mitchell. “Those pants Bryan had on, I told him he looks like a maintenance man …”
This is an organization that …
* Lies through its teeth … habitually
* Is riddled with internal cross-wiring
* Has no legitimate plan in place to ever win a League Championship
* Is primarily concerned with making oodles of money for its ownership group.