Some might wonder why the Maple Leafs would hire a head coach before hiring a general manager. Two reasons:
* The Maple Leafs are owned and operated by morons. This is actually a pretty compelling reason.
* The Maple Leafs have a wink-nod agreement with Brian Burke to become the team's GM in 09-10 (maybe Cliff Fletcher would stay on in the interim), and thus Burke already gave his approval to Wilson's hiring.
The problem with the second scenario is that any sort of backdoor deal with Burke (who's still under contract to the Ducks) would be a clear tampering violation. So if this scenario is at all true and not just the idea of a ridiculous blogger, then the Leafs would be pretty severely punished by the NHL. It would cost them at minimum their first-round pick in next year's draft....my colleague Paul proposed a scenario where the Leafs win the draft lottery, but then are busted for tampering and thus lose the chance to draft John Tavares. That would probably cause me to put my fist through a wall, and yet it would be so, so, Leafs.
I couldn't be less fired up about this hiring. Sure, Wilson's a decent coach and all, but in six (or fewer) Cupless years, we're all going to be sitting here talking about how the Leafs' new coach and GM will turn things around for real. Then Toronto will end up hiring, I dunno, Craig Hartsburg and John Ferguson III.
RIP Keely Smith
36 minutes ago