Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A New Beginning But Without Much Hope

As a member of Leafs Nation, that worldwide fraternity of fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I seem to be a glutton for punishment. Today Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Limited announced the firing of GM John Ferguson, and the hiring of Cliff Fletcher as interim GM. Fletcher, on a 19-month contract, will be in charge of both player personnel and the search for a new permanent GM. This was announced by Richard Peddie, President & CEO of MLSEL.

In my inbox today was a letter from Mr. Peddie with the official announcement of the change in personnel. All I can say is that I am so frustrated with Peddie that I could spit. Here is my open letter to you, Mr. Peddie, which I will also try to post on firerichardpeddie.ca

Mr. Peddie,

I forgive you for the one incomprehensible (non-) sentence in this letter; I attribute it to poor proofreading by the PR department. That's not understandable for what is supposed to be the top hockey organization in the world, but still I will let it pass.

What I cannot forgive is the fact that you have not resigned your own position. I am sure there are other board members who share culpability for the current failure of the Leafs to be a top performing hockey team. But you, as President & CEO, are the person who holds the buck when it stops. Or should.

Please, sir, resign your position effective immediately and let someone who knows more about hiring and managing talented hockey people run this team. Stick to real estate and merchandising, but please do it with some other unfortunate organization.

It is the fans, the people who literally built Maple Leaf Gardens and supported this team, who are the real shareholders. You may have a responsibility to Teachers and other financial shareholders, but the true moral and ethical responsibility is the Leafs Nation. Our blood is blue right now because we must have ice in our veins to withstand the savage way in which you have run this organization.

A proud Leafs fan, but a sad observer,


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