I was in the halls of Corus Entertainment Toronto today when word broke of the firing of Paul Maurice sometime around 11 am.
People were scurrying up and down the halls.
Young Steve Dankoff, who hosts Leafs Lunch Weekends was there, News Director Stephanie Smyth was there, and Program Director Gord Harris was there.
When a story like this breaks, and you're the voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs, decisions have to be made about how you're going to handle the story and it was fun to watch the team go into action.
On air at the time was the marvelous Mike Stafford and no surprisingly, Mike morphed from newsman to sports analyst in a matter of seconds.
Within minutes Mike had Bill Watters on the phone, and the he spent the rest of the hour taking calls from passionate Leaf fans.
I so desperately wanted to bust through the studio doors and sit with Mike and take calls, but it wasn't may place.
It used to be, but not no more.
What do I think of the Maurice firing?
I'm not surprised. As screwed up as the organization is, there were too many nights over the past couple of years that the Leafs appeared "not ready to play."
I realize that motivation for players who make millions of dollars a year shouldn't be an issue, but that's not reality.
If a professional coach has any angle to his job that shouldn't be necessary, it's motivation, but pro athletes are nothing more than big dumb kids and quite often they do need to have a fire lighted under their ass, and Maurice simply didn't deliver on that front.
Will anything change? Probably not.
This organization has a woeful history of plowing through players and coaches and not having much of anything change.
You know the story. Until the top changes, the bottom will be a familiar place.
Category: Radio | Sports