June 02, 2008
Earlier today, we discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs' managerial openings and the fact that CBC Sports had indentified former San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson as the top candidate behind the Toronto bench. David Shoalts of the Globe & Mail reports that Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher has made an offer to a coach, and that since Wilson's the only coach they've spoken to he must be their guy. Oh, and Wilson is also a Brian Burke guy; the next best thing to having a general manager hire his own coach is hiring a coach that the general manager might have hired anyway. Or something like that. Wilson's actually a pretty good fit for a Leafs team that's going to go young for a while. He's a teacher, a player-friendly guy and an underrated tactician. And the Ron Wilson wit in the Toronto media circus could make the next day's game stories required reading, win or lose.
Meanwhile, Leafs scapegoat Paul Maurice will speak with the Florida Panthers about their vacant coaching position. Also, Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post doesn't exactly get a vote of confidence from GM Jacques Martin about Olli Jokinen: "I said at the end of the season my prime responsibility as general manager is to improve the hockey club. Whether Olli Jokinen will be in our lineup or not, I don't know." Yikes.