This is Norm Ullman, maybe 1975. It’s a game in Maple Leaf Gardens and it might be a HNIC game (I remember the Caps played a game early, maybe year one or two, certainly with Greg Joly as a member of the team).
That’s probably Paul Nicholson on D (the Caps turned over players like mad, there were at least two #24′s in 74-75, Larry Fullan who was a forward and Nicholson).
I’d like a better photo of the boards but they’re also interesting in this picture.
As we sit down to dinner tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs are barbequing John Ferguson Jr on a spit behind the ACC. It is a shameful event which has immediate dividends in that it further exposes a ridiculous ownership and therefore makes worthy candidates gunshy about sending their resume.
Why on earth would they fire him now? Many of the best candidates (Bob Murray, Jarmo Kekalainen, Marshall Johnston, Jim Nill, Wayne Thomas would be my list, I’m sure NHL teams know very well the best options and there’s probably a dozen more names that should be mentioned) are not going to be available until summer so you’re limiting your options by doing it now.
AND if you bring in an interim GM (Cliff Fletcher?) the first thing he’s going to want to do is make changes and why would you let an “interim” anybody do anything?
The problems with Toronto’s beloved hockey team are fairly obvious:
- Many of their best prospects were traded (Boyes, Rask), injured early (Colaiacovo, Cereda) or are being pushed (for God sakes send Tlusty down and let him find the range).
- Too many first round picks were traded for too many goaltenders.
- They are top heavy in $5M defensemen.
- They have mortgaged the future for so long there isn’t one.
- They have held onto Mats Sundin like they should have held on to Frank Mahovlich and now they are left with dealing a guy at the deadline for picks and parts.
- They have been terribly arrogant AND mistaken about their ability to build a successful team since about 1965.
- The Leafs have so many riches available to them and they treat it like trash.
- They have NEVER lacked talent and in fact their 2002 draft ranks among the best team drafts in recent memory. The trading of Steen is probably right around the corner.
- They are such snots and have been for so long that normal, right thinking people who basically believe in fair play say their rosary with a line reserved for the Leafs continued distress.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have graduated into status reserved only for things and moments so incredibly stupid that we can only watch in amazement. Like the time George Bush said “Brownie is doing a heckuva job”, or Richard Nixon said “I am not a crook”.
Richard Peddie once said it was a mistake to hire John Ferguson Jr. I say he’s making a mistake hanging Ferguson out right now at there will be a price. What price?
The Leafs are now asking well known hockey people if they’re interested in taking Ferguson Jr’s job on an interim basis. Based on Peddie’s class and track record, I hope no one takes the job.