Watters and Brady on Yzerman, What a Joke

Let me make this perfectly clear, there is no one player who I have more respect for then Steve Yzerman. I lived in Detroit before the Wings went on their run. I saw what the guy went through. I remember when their was a rumor that Scotty was going to trade him to Ottawa. He was a phenomenal leader and an amazing captain.

He also has done an admiral job learning the ropes in management. The reviews have been without exception very good. The job he has done on the international stage has been superb. He will be an NHL GM one day. By the sounds of it, he even knows that to do so he may have to leave the one NHL franchise he has been with his entire life. I can tell you that when the happens, I will root for him. I like him that much.

Now, to the news of the day. If the Leafs management team had announced last spring, tomorrow or next spring that Steve Yzerman was the next GM of the Leafs, MLSE would be absolutely roasted for the choice. Newsflash here folks, the critics would be right. This franchise is not in the position to hire a guy with NO experience running an NHL franchise. Hello?????? we just went through this mess. The Leafs don’t have the ability for someone to learn on the job. They current ownership group blew that with JFJ. You know it, I know it and media knows it too.

Does that mean that Yzerman won’t be the next coming of Lou Lamoerello? Of course not. He may be the next best GM ever to walk the face of the earth. The Leafs can’t appoint him as GM in the same way they can’t hire Joe Nieundyk as the next GM, or Doug Gilmour as the new coach. That ship has sailed for now. So word that MLSE chairman said the Leafs wont hire Yzerman as the next GM is not a shock nor is it insulting. Oh and by the way, someone new at a job in sports is by definition a rookie. When Yzerman gets his first gig as a GM, he will be rookie GM Steve Yzerman. He will be allowed to and expected to make Rookie GM mistakes. It is no slight in calling him a rookie with respect to a GM role. He has never had a GM position, so his first one will be his rookie season.

Listening to Watters and Brady today was insulting to those of us with an IQ over 10. Wilbur can’t even describe his current status properly. He keeps calling himself a disgruntled employee. Hey Wilus, they fired your ass. You aren’t an employee and you were never disgruntled. You are a bitter former employee, with an axe to grind. No more, no less. It’s funny, down the dial Gord Stellick is also a former employee who was fired, his brother was also once a Maple Leaf employee. It’s funny how different his tone is. He is balanced, he criticizes when required but always balanced.

Brady is a shocker. The guy just came from Detroit. He was on the morning show on their own version of the Fan (WDFN). He had no problems only yesterday rejoicing in the firing of Matt Millen. Arguably the worst GM in recent sports history. Millen for those of you who don’t know was hired by the Detroit Lions seven years ago to serve as president and gm. Millen was a phenomenal player. After a storied career, he became a very good broadcaster, arguably one of the best in the business. As a GM, he was a total disaster. He made rookie mistake from the minute he took control until the time he was fired. Seriously, no joke. How Brady, who spent hours bashing the hell out of Millen can turn around and bash Tanenbaum for not wanting to hire a rookie GM is astonishing. Damien Cox was forced off primetime sports because his negativity combined with McCowan’s created an “unlistenable” product. The powers that be should learn from that. When he started Brady was a hell of a lot more balanced then Wilbur. He should go back to that form. I had some respect for him then, but very little now.

When the Leafs hired JFJ, the media bashed this shit out of them:

“When he took the job after the axing of Gerry McNamara in February, 1988, [Gord Stellick] was no more or less qualified to run an NHL club than John Ferguson Jr. is today.”

That was what Damien Cox wrote the day before JFJ was hired. At least JFJ had been the GM of an AHL team. Yzerman hasn’t, to the best of my knowledge done that. All the usual suspects bashed them for not taking Neil Smith, a more experienced GM. Do you think hiring a rookie GM this time around would be received any better especially given the JFJ fiasco?

Gotta love some of the meathead comments on this story in the Globe:

” D Man from Canada writes: You have to be kidding me. He doesn’t want a “rookie” . Stevie Y is in the top 5 most knowledgeable hockey people out there, and get so much respect around the league. If the next hire will be in place for 5-10 years, he would seem to be the perfect fit – a guy with instant credibility in the game that can grow stronger with the organization. Another indication that the leafs are going no-where with the upper level guys they have in place.”

The top 5 most knowledgeable hockey people out there…sorry, can’t stop laughing

“Dave The Rave from Ottawa, Canada writes: This is the kind of supercilious statement one can expect from the suits at MLSE. Enough said.”

What the hell does that mean?? Anyone impressed by the 10 cent word?

I think these are the same Einsteins who call in after games!

Question of the day for all of you out there….

Yankee stadium is perhaps one of the greatest historical buildings in sports history correct? How is it that the building will be demolished in less then a month without much fuss and the old Maple Leaf Gardens remains vacant, 10 years after the Leafs moved? Is Yankee stadium at the very least not equal to the Gardens in terms of historical significance or are our priorities just a tad bit screwed up????

I thought so….

About the Author
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
September 25, 2008 11:22 pm

What you describe sounds so ridiculous that I think I need to hear it for myself LOL….What a joke…this post is bang on….If we didn’t hire Niewendyk, Stevie Y would have been the guy I’d want to hire…as ASSISTANT GM to Burke (I mean the guy will be hired once the search committee finds him).

September 25, 2008 11:23 pm


September 25, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Yankee Stadium / MLG comment….I think the Air Canada Centre actually got it right…Preserve/integrate a piece of the old into the new…..The ACC maintained 1 exterior wall from an old Canada Post building….looks great. Why not do that with Yankee Stadium or the Gardens for that matter?

September 25, 2008 11:39 pm

Why, in this city do have to preserve everything???? Yankee stadium is every part the historical building that Maple Leaf Gardens is, and it is being torn down. Let the wrecking ball bring down the Gardens, or more importantly, let the owners do with it what they choose!

September 25, 2008 11:43 pm

I agree…just think it’s cool to preserve the history like the ACC did….Not a must do, a nice to do.

The Meatriarchy
September 26, 2008 7:41 am

Totally agree on the Yzerman thing. There is this bizarre media thing going on in Toronto now where certain (well almost all) of those covering the Leafs seem to want the NHL equivalent of Buck Martinez running the team.

For some reason or other our moral and intellectual betters who cover this team are so convinced of their own brilliance that they think someone who was a good player and spent half a year or half a minute doing any sort of broadcasting must be double plus brilliant.

Leaving Yzerman aside (I don’t think he did any broadcasting did he?). Remember last year when the knives were out for JFJ there was a concerted and overt campaign in the media to get Glen Healey hired as the GM.

Heck Healey himself was openly stumping for the job during his nightly bray fest standing between the team benches.

A variation was the “triumvirate” option that some newsies were actually pushing with a straight face namely healy-domi-yzerman.

As far as I’m concerned any media person that stumped for Healey or the three player junta shouldn’t even be allowed to blog let alone write for a national newspaper.

Greg Brady
Greg Brady
September 26, 2008 7:56 am

Wow. When someone misinterprets me this badly, I feel need to chime in.

Hi – Brady from 640 here. Let me first say, I really do enjoy this blog. I think the Toronto media market has some “softness” to it, despite some real talented writers and broadcasters, so it’s nice to see you try and keep them in check. But this blog attracted my attention, so congratulations. So sorry, you’ve lost so much respect for me personally based on one show, regarding the Tannenbaum/Yzerman comments.

I can only assume you had the show on as background, and maybe didn’t catch the substance of our discussion. It’s nice that you listen as often as you do. Given how much you seem to despise Bill, it’s suprising. I guess we’re not very entertaining, informative, or knowledgable, otherwise you clearly wouldn’t be wasting your time on us.

Maybe you feel it’s your duty. It can’t be easy to wave the flag for the Toronto sports fan and tolerate us. But I’m glad you listen to us instead of McCown. In the last year, we’ve got up three ratings books, and his show has gone down — drastically. We may never catch McCown, he has had a 15 year headstart after all, but we’ve sliced drastically into his listenership, so maybe we are as awful as you suggest. It’s amazing you didn’t turn the dial yesterday, given how off-base we were. That’s what I usually do.

First off, you couldn’t possibly define me as anti-Leaf, could you? Negative powers on our show? Really? I’m as objective as they come. The best part that I try and bring is I know this team’s history but am completely objective about them. I, like you, thought Monday’s game with Coke Zero was a huge success, and they did everything right. Fans went home happy. It was a win for everybody.

I stand by calling out Damien Cox on Leafs Lunch the other day. I think his comments that the Leafs may have the worst defence core in hockey is laughable. Absurd. An insult just to be insulting. It’s shallow nature shows through by not listing other teams at all he thinks the Leafs are better than.

But your blog, I would swear was written by Tannenbaum himself, if you don’t think he needed as 95 percent of our callers and probably 98 percent of our emailers determined.

He MEANT to insult Yzerman. That’s plain and simple. And you don’t and won’t hear me screaming from the pulpit for the Leafs to hire Yzerman. But to dismiss him so cavalierly, so condescendingly, is insulting to every Leafs fans that deserves better.

“Rookie” is a derogatory term in hockey, especially when coming from management or a veteran player. I mean, you can’t seriously not know that, right? It was a flippant and condescending statement about a guy who’s probably too classy to respond.

And talk about credibility, did you really infer Matt Millen and Steve Yzerman are in similar circumstances? Wow. OK – I’ll play. Millen had NO front office experience. Not for one second. He went from the field, into the broadcast booth. He learned from NO ONE. He watched NO ONE. His mentor in management? NO ONE. His scouting experience? ZIP. His time in an NFL “war room”. NADA.

Is that Steve Yzerman? Strong take. Believe me, after that one, I’d rather listen to you three hours a day, than you to me. I’m not kidding. You and Doug Farraway should share notes sometime. I’d go pay-per-view to listen to that show. $9.95/hour?

Steve Yzerman HAS managed Canada’s World Championship entry. Steve Yzerman has spent, not one, not two, but THREE years in the best (everyone seems to agree) management structure in hockey. He has scouted. He has spent numerous hours talking to other general managers. I’m not name-dropping, but I know him well enough to have a 20 minute phone conversation with him. He’s no Matt Millen.

And please observe in the next three years, when some NHL team, perhaps an “elite” organization (far more elite than the Toronto Maple Leafs) hires him as their general manager. I can already tell you from a well-placed source (consider it an E4, similar to this Hanky fellow you reference…), that Ottawa and Mr. Melnyk sees Yzerman as an ideal fit to come home and run the Senators, if/when Bryan Murray outlives his usefulness, not that that’s ever happened.

So, yep. An NFL GM who won 31 out of 115 games. And Yzerman is Millen in waiting. Gotcha. Tell you what, everytime I use the Yzerman-is-Millen analogy, I’ll donate $100 to the Special Olympics. I may make the donation anyway, because I don’t see the analogy happening.

And as for “rookie” GMs. Look, I think Brian Burke is coming here. But if he wasn’t. I don’t care if someone’s been a GM before. This job is no more or less special than many other GM posts in the NHL. Wait, check that, it’s LESS special. There’s LESS of a winning tradition here. There’s MORE ownership involvement. There’s MORE pesky media types to deal with. Do you realize that most GMs if they had a choice between being the Leafs GM and (insert NHL team here) …….. — they’d choose the latter, not the former. I mean, you are being objective, right?

There have been many strong “rookies” hired as GM recently. For me, if they’re better than a retread, than actually having had the title before bothers me not.

Jim Nill? You know him. Rookie? WHAT? HE IS??? Cancel the interview. He’d be awful running the Leafs. He’s only spent ELEVEN years in the DRW front office. Recent “rookies” like Peter Chiarelli (BOS), Dale Tallon (CHI), Ray Shero (PIT), Brett Hull/Les Jackson (DAL) have done great things QUICKLY.

But you wouldn’t want that for your Maple Leafs, would you? Well good! Neither would Mr. T.

Can you believe Kevin Lowe hired that “rookie” Steve Tambellini in Edmonton? Boy, are they on the wrong track.

Columbus bringing in Scott Howson? Going nowhere.

The two exceptions in my mind. Garth Snow on the Island, and John Davidson, in St. Louis. Neither had front office experience of any kind. And if you ask me, both are in trouble. Davidson might be the NHL’s Matt Millen. Anything’s possible.

Anyway – sorry to take up so much space. I’ll still keep reading the blog. I’m sure Bill sends his regards. I don’t pretend to speak for him, but he seems to be entertaining you. When he doesn’t anymore, feel free not to listen. But I thank you for the time spent reading this. And anytime you’d like to interact, I’m fine with that.

That’s the great thing about the internet. Anybody can write anything about anybody at anytime, and there’s very little rebuttal or accountability. Just wanted to throw a curve in that philosophy.

Millen = Yzerman. This’ll be a good story when I head back to Detroit for the season opener. People will love that take. Maybe I can get some tips from Wilbur for the agent business.

Does 8 percent seem fair?

All the best,


The Meatriarchy
September 26, 2008 11:02 am

That was cool.

September 26, 2008 5:00 pm

Wow. That was beyond awesome. Who knew that the media was so sensitive, passive-aggressive, and snarky! At least he hates Damien Cox too.

Greg – You should think about starting your own blog.

September 26, 2008 6:24 pm



[…] and if you haven’t already check out the celebrity commenter in this posting over at Toronto Sports Media. Greg Brady is already more of a man than any of the local beat […]

koopa kid
September 28, 2008 3:39 pm

Nice of Mr. Brady to come here and give us his thoughts, too bad he missed TSM’s point entirely. The meat of this post wasn’t that Yzerman is ultimately unqualified for this job, it would be hard to argue that he couldn’t be an NHL GM right now, it’s that past mistakes on MLSE’s part make the entire environment untenable for a first time GM, from both the viewpoint of the fans and ownership group. Also hard to argue with.

July 8, 2021 11:20 am

This topic did not age well. Maybe Yzerman would have been a good fit as the Leafs GM. Hahaha!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x