Raking Leafs

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


Rattling Quinn

I didn't really have much to say about Quinn's canning. It was seen in all the tea leaves. He just didn't fit into what GM JFJ was trying to do. Whatever your opinion of JFJ, he is the GM, and with that title comes the chance to enact a plan. And that usually includes putting a stamp of ownership on all facets of the operation.(at least, from what I know of a specific team of a different sport's management team, it took a couple of years to get their "system" (read: master plan) up and running, and until then the team wasn't "theirs" yet.) This was the last piece to his plan for the duration of his contract. All that stands between JFJ and a contract extension is this summer's acquisition of talent and a playoff appearance in 06-07.

If JFJ gets his way, I would assume Maurice moves up the food chain. We'll have to wait and see if MLSE board gets their non-rookie bench boss. Is Maurice still a rookie? I don't know. JFJ doesn't seem to think so.

But what prompted this post was reading Sabre Rattling and Tom L's characterization of Quinn's legacy with the Leafs as marked by "goonery". Tom L, I love your blog. Good stuff. But this is a preposterous claim. I know we are divisional rivals, so there is an expected degree of bias here, but I've got two names for you to ponder; Peca and Varada. I could go on, but I think those two names make my point abundantly clear.

And since I'm pit-nicking, you also make another mistake;
Knowing that the best players from the Leafs this season (except Sundin, of course) grew up under his tutelage this move makes perfect sense.
Actually, Maurice did very little with the rookies that stuck with the team all season. True, he did instruct the many blue-liners that made an appearance, and has received nothing but glowing praise from his team this year, but Maurice had little to nothing to do with the development of the three young forward main-stays on the roster. Ondrus came up late in the season, so he is an exception and did play under Maurice for longer, but I don't think that is who you were referring to in your above quote. And I'd be remiss not to mention the contributions of Kaberle, McCabe, Tucker, Kilger, Poni, and Allison.

And on a side note, I find the myriad of opinions from other team's fans on the state of Leaf Nation quite amusing. I suppose it is to be expected given the team's media exposure. But with all this information about the team readily available, you'd think these opinions of the Leafs would be more informed. And Tom L, you have by far one of the better non-fan opinions of the team.


  • At 11:53 PM, Blogger Taylor said…

    Just wondering, Ninja, what makes you think Maurice might be a rookie head coach? He may be young, but he's already got experience in taking the Hurricanes to the finals a few years back. I'm also hoping that Maurice's relationship with Jeff O'Neill will get him going.

    I can't say I'm as surprised as you are about the uninformed opinions of other fans on the Leafs...living in Ottawa, I hear a lot of comments about Toronto from people who obviously have no idea what they're talking about, but feel the need to rip on them because hey, they're the Leafs, and you can't like anything about the bad guys.

  • At 2:33 AM, Blogger Tom L said…


    Just stopped by to say that I stand by my assessment of the Leafs, under Quinn, as erring on the side of goonery over the years. True we had both Peca and Varada sporting the AGH for a long time and there's no denying their questionable behaviour. But, in return I give you Domi, Tucker, Roberts , Belak, Marchment, McCabe. this year, even the soft Jeff O'Neill was trying to goon it up against Buffalo on Easter Sunday. We may have different definitions of the word, certainly, and I probably have a lower tolerance of such stuff than you which is where the difference lies.

    To me and a lot of other Buffalo fans, there was a lot of it in the Quinn-era of the Leafs and that edge they played with strayed over into 'win at all costs, hurt 'em if necessary' territory that I have literally zero respect for.

    When i chose the Sabres as my new team I had nothing against the Leafs, I've grown to hate them because of what I've seen from them over the past few years. You may disagree, and you probably do, but that's how I see it.

    We're division rivals with the Sens and I don't hate them (yet). My hatred of The Habs and Boston goes back to a childhood spent rooting for the Isles.


  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Taylor, I was just conveying something I read in the papers, implying that Maurice isn't up to the task because has a losing NHL record, was really young when he got the Carolina job, and is still too young the rigors of coaching the Leafs.

    Tom L, thanks for stopping by. Perhaps I am biased, as I failed to see the goonery the Knicks were once famous for. Though I try to see it as it is. Domi's elbow on Niedermayer remains inexcusable.

    So, I see your 'Domi, and Tucker(of years past)', and raise you 'Marchment was only here for one year. Please don't blame Quinn for him.' I'm also surprised by you including Roberts. I think he is highly respected around the league.

    I can see where your distaste for the Leafs come from. Heated rivalries foster such views. And personally, it is the most under-rated rivalry in the league, especially given the past ten years. The Sabres have been among the top 4 teams I've followed all year.

    We're division rivals with the Sens and I don't hate them (yet). I don't hate them either. It is more a strange combination of envy and pity.

    So, I have two additional questions I'd like you to ponder. First, do you consider all Quinn-coached teams to be goonish? Second, how much creedence do you lend to the rumors surrounding the Sabres and diving?

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger Tom L said…


    I can't answer the first question, b/c I've only seen/remember Quinn coaching in Toronto.

    The second question? Well, some people seem to think it's truth, I happen to think that the sabres skate hard and fast and simple physics means that it's easier to knock something going fast out of control than something going slow. the league has certainly taken the complaints to heart even though I think it's unwarrented.

    And, regardless of how well he's respected Gary "Flying Elbow" Roberts, I think he's one of those guys that gets a pass for his bad behaviour simply because he's gary Roberts. I feel the same way about Joe Nieuwendyk, btw. Don't like him much either, anymore. Wasn't a slasher when he was in Dallas, but the stick flew all over the place during his years with the Buds. He's someone I used to resepct, but no longer.

    Ultimatley, though, I think we should just agree to disagree on this stuff. Some of it may be homerism, surely, so I'll just leave it there.


  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Me neither. I was hoping some insight into his previous teams would help fill-in the picture.

    Yeah, I don't think your team dives either. I think the Bruins complaining was a bunch of poppy-cock.

    And I can see where you are coming from, and I'll settle on agreeing to disagree. Having first experienced hockey as a kid in Calgary in the years immediately preceding their Cup win, Gary and Joe are indelibly etched in my 'good guy' category.

    And Tom, thanks for taking the time to respond to my ramblings.

  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger Tom L said…


    No problem... that's what blogging's all about. BTW, agreeing to disagree is the best way to handle potentially volatile situations and also, it's really rude to wlak into someone's home (site) and be a loud-mouthed, rude jerk, even though I am. :)

    It's all good and FWIW I think JFJ made the right decision. The league is a young man's game now, and guys like Quinn, Keenan and Hitchcock are either goin to have to get used to it or get out of the game.



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