Toronto Sports Media Weekend

By TSM

Man oh man it’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the whacky world we discuss here hasn’t it?

Here I thought it would be dead around here with nothing to talk about after the Fan re-did it’s lineup & the nhl trade deadline passed. I’ll admit it. I was wrong.

The Maple Leafs threw gas on the fire not so much with the benching of Nazem Kadri but the manner in which they handled it publicly.

I loved hearing the comments on the fan morning show that Shanahan should be fired for benching Kadri.

There was a lot of ranting and raving about the different ways Shanahan should have dealt with Kadri.

The most common thinking was that Shanahan really shouldn’t have said anything and that just should have said that Nazem Kadri was out for a few games with some sort of injury or that he was sidelined for personal reasons.

From my seat Shanahan was in a no win situation.

I don’t believe for 1 second the media would have responded differently if all the Leafs said was Kadri is being sat for an issue that the team was handling privately. The sharks would have smelled blood and circled… So, honestly, the only thing that would have worked with the media was to lie and claim Kadri was injured. Given that this wasn’t the route chosen by Shanahan I can only assume that part of the lesson was the “public stoning” that Nazem Kadri received. Put another way, I personally don’t think Shanahan is as dumb as many are making him out to be.

Onward.

Best take of the week?

“If anything, Shanahan has been too methodical in his first year in office. You could argue he waited to disassemble the coaching staff, and didn’t pursue the logical end of a rebuild sooner. Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press noted that in their last 36 games before they met Wednesday night, the Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres were both 7-26-3, and had been outscored by 51 and 52 goals, respectively. Buffalo is closing in on a 100 per cent chance to draft either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Toronto is going to be throwing up prayers.”

BINGO…Shanahan wears this if the Leafs dont’ get either of the top 2 picks. The quote from Bruce Arthur.

Speaking of sharks and Shanahan.. Did you see the Sharks Doug (I’m the president of the Joe Thornton fan club) Wilson met with seasons ticket holders this week? The issue of the teams’ performance and plan came. The session was described:

“Our commitment to what we were going to do was going to come with pain,” Wilson responded. “What I did last summer, I told you exactly what we were going to do — that we were going to rebuild, that we were going to rebuild the culture and that young people were going to play.”

Wilson talked about his ability to both accumulate draft picks and clear space under the salary cap by moving veterans over the past two years.

He stressed that transition periods take time, pointing to elite NHL teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks, who missed the playoffs 10 of 11 seasons before becoming the powerhouse they are today. Not that his plan called for that, of course.

You can read more about the session here.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Shanahan were as transparent about the Leafs as Wilson is/was about the Sharks? Do you think that not being this candid has hurt Shanahan’s reputation with fans and media?

I think you can be honest about what it is going to take to improve while not suggesting you lose on purpose.

Speaking of Ron Wilson:

“My experience was basically difficult, because I never felt that Nazem ever listened to me”

Can someone who is close to Wilson tell him that he is damaging his reputation with each and every media appearance. While fans love hearing the gossip and innuendo that goes on in locker-romms it really should stay there and a former coach shouldn’t be the one spewing the type of things Wilson has been sharing especially in Toronto. I don’t care if everything he has said about Kessel, the Leafs or Kadri is true or right, Wilson knows better. Maybe Wilson just doesn’t care anymore. Or maybe Wilson has realized that the odds of him ever coaching again is zero so it doesn’t matter what he has to say. Well, from my cheap-seat, it’s this stuff that people will remember him for; throwing his former players under the public bus. What a great coach.

What will it take to settle things between those that love the analytical side of hockey and those who don’t?:

“the biggest problem facing hockey analytics is their presentation. And the fault for that lies not with the fans but with the presenters.”

That from The Hockey News.

I happen to disagree with article. I don’t think all fans want as much information as others do. I think there is a strong group of fans who are really interested in the #’s side of things. I think it’s great. However, I think there are many fans who simply like to go to the games or watch them on tv. There are fans who really only care about the simple stats, wins, losses, goals and assists. There’s nothing wrong with that. They have as much right to be fans as anyone who is well versed in the new world of hockey math. I’m not sure any clearer presentation is going to change that. It hasn’t in the other major sports and they seem to get along okay.

Lastly, It’s been a very good run here on this site for me and others who write here. I haven’t blocked any comments nor have things gone to the depths where other websites have. This past week things got out of hand, personal and hateful. The worst part it all started on information that was flat out wrong. It’s the type of content I don’t believe in and won’t allow.

Happy Monday

TSM

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