I continue to be fascinated by the Leafs slow-motion renovation project. This morning the Star provides the latest: Gretzky’s not coming. So cross another name off the list in this long process of elimination. Other names to forget about: Ken Holland, Scotty Bowman,
Bob (Don’t call me Bobby) Clarke, has reportedly expressed interest. So has Criag Patrick. They would both plausibly satisfy Richard Peddie’s promise to appoint “a proven winner.” Dave Nonis, does not. Nonis may be a very capable guy, but he has no track record of building a winning team.
I find the Craig Patrick thing most intriguing. He built the champion Penguins teams of the early 1990s, and did most of the drafting that assembled the current Pens team, that has all the earmarks of a potential mini-dynasty. But he’s rarely mentioned among the elite executives in the league. Would he satisfy the Toronto scribes who expect to see a big name get the job? Well, let’s see: 2 cups, 5 division chapionships and 11 playoff births in 16 seasons as GM, all working for a team that had severe financial troubles. Stack that up against Brian Burke’s record as a GM in Hartford, Vancouver and Anaheim…I’d give the edge to Patrick.