Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.


I miss him already

"There have been a number of media requests for interviews over the past few days and I thought it best to respond in this way.

The team is moving in a new direction, and my departure should not distract in any way from the challenge facing the team and the organization, so a press gathering would not assist that process right now. It is also a time for personal privacy.

I will have tremendous memories of my 8 years in Toronto.

Throughout my coaching career, the goal at every training camp, every year, was to win the Stanley Cup. Despite two trips to the finals over the years, and other times making it to the 'final four', that goal, for me, has not yet been achieved.

That does not, though, diminish the feelings I have about my 7 seasons and 8 years overall here in Toronto. From the first season here in 1998-'99 to this past season, I was genuinely optimistic every year, and believed we had teams that could advance and go a long way.

I leave now remembering especially that first season in 1998-'99, also the spring of 2002 when we worked so hard to try and reach the finals, and the 2004 playoffs, when I felt in my heart we had something special here.

I believed in our group this past season, as well. While we did not achieve what we needed to, this group worked to deal with various obstacles, and I am proud of their efforts-especially their work in recent weeks when they overcame significant odds to almost attain a playoff berth after we dug a huge hole for ourselves.

It has been a wonderful time in Toronto, and I'd like to thank all those who worked with me over the years, from Steve Stavro and Larry Tanenbaum to Mike Smith Ken Dryden, John Ferguson, Mike Penny, Bill Watters and Barry Trapp, Rick Ley, Keith Acton, Paul Dennis and the many special and talented individuals, including outstanding support and training staff, who worked with me side-by-side in the dressing room, the Leaf offices and behind the bench.

I would particularly like to express my high regard for Steve Stavro, who passed away over the weekend. Steve was a generous, caring individual, a genuine family man who had a passion for sports and the Maple Leafs.

There are too many players to mention, of course, individuals who gave everything they had for me and for the team and its great fans over these years. Three players were here for my entire eight years. Mats was our great leader, Tie played with so much heart, and Thomas has developed into an outstanding all-around player.

There is no game without the players, and no victories for a team or its coach without loyal and talented individuals on the management, coaching and support staffs.

This is the best hockey city in the world. The fans are knowledgeable and passionate. The media follows the team so closely, and while a little overzealous for my liking at times, help make playing, coaching and working here a stimulating environment daily.

My passion for the game, for coaching, is as strong as ever. I will always appreciate the opportunity I've been given to work with Hockey Canada many times over the past decade. It was a particular privilege to be a part of the 2002 Olympic victory and the 2004 World Cup championship, as well as earlier World Championships Team Canada squads and the 2006 Olympic team in Turin.

There may be a time to talk about all this further, but for now I hope everyone understands that the focus should be on the team and the challenge that lies ahead.

Thank you."

No, Thank You!


  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Joe Pelletier said…

    Good post. Quinn is a good coach and a class guy, and your post is a classy refreshment from so many anti-Quinn internet postings. That being said, the Leafs made a good decision to part ways. I wish everyone all the best.

    Now hopefully Quinn will take some time to accomplish something I hope he will do, though I somehow doubt he will - write his autobiography!

    Joe Pelletier

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Jeff J said…

    He spelled "Tomas" wrong.

  • At 8:26 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    Joe, you might have to wait for the book, as general consensus is that he'll be behind a bench sooner rather than later.

    Jeff, I saw that. In the chopped-up version on TSN and elsewhere, they removed the 'h'. I left it in as a metaphor; though flawed, Quinn had the right idea. Actually, I didn't think of the metaphor until right now, but it kinda fits.

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Jeff, thanks for stopping in. SISU has been stellar lately. Great stuff. But I have one nagging question; what is with the green bud? Or is that a dumb question?

  • At 10:45 PM, Blogger Jeff J said…

    Glad you asked! That is a hop cone! Fuggles, to be exact. I dabble in homebrewing and have had a fixation on English-style ales and bitters all winter...

    Got thinking about the "Thomas" thing - I was wondering how Quinn could misspell a name he would have written ~80 times a year for eight years in his lineup cards. Then I remembered that he got Rick Ley to fill those out. And then I came to my senses and realized he would have dictated the prose to a personal assistant.


Post a Comment

<< Home