Saturday, November 03, 2007

John Ferguson Poll

So the poll question was: When will Maple Leaf GM John Ferguson get fired?

9 (39%) chose Gone by Christmas
11 (48%) chose End of season if they don't make the playoffs
2 (9%) chose His contract will be extended
1 (4%) chose He will be promoted to VP position

In the wacky world of MLSE any one of these scenarios is possible. If the team goes into an extended losing streak then the Christmas pink slip is possible. However, relative to other NHL teams, the Leafs have enough talent to prevent a long losing streak. In fact, they are hovering around .500 missing key players,. Wellwood, Tucker and Bell make up a decent 2nd line on most teams. McCabe and Colaiacovo are top 4 defensemen. But the main reason I don't see an early exit for JFJ is that there is no successor in the wings. There is no strong managerial candidate in the organization. The only people outside with the organization that is unemployed and qualified is Neil Smith and Craig Patrick. There may be more but the pickings are slim. If you search during the off season you can always get permission to talk to employed GMs who might be interested in a change of scenery. Brian Burke has been mentioned as possibly moving to Toronto though I'm not sure if there is any truth to this rumour.

Yes, it is possible that Ferguson's contract gets extended though not many blog readers believe that will happen. Obviously the Leafs would have to qualify for the playoffs for the scenario to play out. For that to happen, they would have to figure out how to win at home. On paper this team may not be as bad as they look, yet they are playing some awful hockey. Should Ferguson dump Maurice and the Leafs improve their play then again he could be extended. Finally, there was one person (who may not have been serious) that predicted he would be bounced upstairs to a VP job. Not likely to happen because he obviously doesn't have too much support on the board. If he did he wouldn't be playing under a series of one year contracts and their wouldn't have been a search for a mentor over the summer.

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