Toronto Maple Leafs – The complacent center of the hockey universe

03 Jul, 2014

Toronto has been referred to as the center of the hockey universe. Perhaps there’s some truth to that.

If by center of the universe you mean barely revolving and sitting still while everything else is moving.

Don’t get me wrong, when July 1st hit I was relieved that the Leafs didn’t do too much. GMs bring in players at airport sandwich prices. And that’s a lot.

Thankfully Nonis stood relatively still.

Photo from theleafsnation.com

Photo from theleafsnation.com

Except if you look closely the Leafs lost players like Bolland, Raymond, Kulemin, and McClement. That’s practically the entire complement of hard-working Leafs right there. What’s worse is they were willing to sign in other cities for fair deals (except Bolland… holy smokes!)

Why didn’t they stay here? As a fan I can only presume either the Leafs made them no offer or they see the direction the team is headed and they’re going to disembark while the ship is docked. Either way, it’s bad.

And that’s not to mention the Leafs buy-out their only shot blocker in Tim Gleason and lose Brenner and MacIntyre for next to nothing!

Let’s go back a few years decades.

The Leafs win a cup and then for decades they fluctuate through good times and bad. Now they hold the title for the longest cup drought in the NHL. From a macro standpoint this is the first sign of complacency.

Let’s skip to two seasons ago. They make the playoffs for the first time in a decade, somehow still remaining one of the most beloved teams in the hockey world. They get eliminated in game seven against one of their rivals in an exhilarating series. It ended with the Leafs losing a gapping 3 goal lead in the third period of game seven – the fastest collapse in NHL playoff history – due to complacency, in a manner of speaking.

The next season they decide to tinker. The old adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” might actually apply.

However it was broke. From the beginning of the season last year the Leafs suffered from terrible stats. Their shots against and turnovers were abominable.

And the team did nothing to change it, probably because they were luckily winning.

Then the arse gave right out of ‘er as we say back home. They Leafs started losing, consistent with their stats. They did nothing to fix it.

At the end of the season Carlyle was bold enough to say “We believe that those are easily correctable issues with our team.”

That’s right. They were correctable when the Leafs were winning. Thanks for pointing it out when they’re practically eliminated from the playoffs. Also thanks for doing nothing.

After this past season they bring in Brendan Shanahan. I was incredibly excited about him coming in and shaking things up. So for his first move, he fired the assistant coaches.

That means the men responsible for not properly motivating their staff and players, namely Nonis and Carlyle, got their keep their jobs once again proving that this team is complacent.

I am not particularly excited about this upcoming season. I hope I’m wrong, but I expect to be embarrassed. But I guess that’s my fault because as a fan, I’ve become complacent.

About the author

Gregory

I am an ex-pat Newfoundlander who has uprooted and moved to the big city of Toronto. I develop web applications for work and for fun. I play ultimate and ice hockey year-round and camp every chance my girlfriend will let me.

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