SINCERE THANKS, TORONTO

Toronto takes a beating from the rest of Canada, and let’s be honest they’re full measure for it. However, there are wonderful things from and about Toronto. On this historic day–when Toronto sends us their best coach (thanks!)–it’s time to pay homage to the city money that built.

NUMBER TEN–KEN DRYDEN

Not just for his warm and short speeches while with the Leafs organization–those should be sold on every street corner (I’d say 200 CD’s should hold them) but also for the absolutely perfect description of Toronto the city.

 

NUMBER NINE–ROGER NEILSON

Despite having possibly the worst NHL owner in history at the time (I’d like to say it’s a small group in contention but there’s miles of candidates) the 70s Leafs hired a wonderful man and a brilliant coach–Roger Neilson. AND the fanbase was instrumental in having Neilson reinserted into the coaching lineup after the owner went off his nut. I choose to believe ‘Toronto the good’ comes from this event.

NUMBER EIGHT–TORONTO ZOO

If you’re going to do a zoo-do a zoo! There are few in Canada that are top drawer, Toronto is one.

NUMBER SEVEN–TORONTO CITY HALL

Unique, visually attractive and famous. Just like their mayor!

NUMBER SIX–DAVE KEON

The perfect hockey player, beloved and revered. Hockey’s DiMaggio, he remains perfect in black and white.

NUMBER FIVE–TORONTO!

The skyline. In a country with exactly two worthy of awe, Toronto’s is lovely.

NUMBER FOUR–SAM THE RECORD MAN

Long forgotten, but well remembered.

NUMBER THREE–TRUDY YOUNG

A generation of young Canadian men would have given a lot of money to be Kermit the Frog at least one time.

NUMBER TWO–THE LEAFS

All across the nation, the Leafs hold sway, even in–especially in small towns on the prairies and taverns in Hogtown. The Leafs give Canada a lightning rod conversation for any occasion. You can argue about the Leafs at a wedding and a funeral. No one is meh about the Maple Leafs.

NUMBER ONE–NEIL YOUNG

Brilliant and talented for 40 years and running. A national treasure.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Toronto won their last Stanley before most of you were born. Before the internet, before computers were smaller than a building, before crack, before CD’s, before PVR, before the Edmonton Oilers.

There is no copy of the Stanley winning game available in color, and so Leafs fans have had to endure ‘since black and white’ jokes for decades. One day, Stanley will once again return to Toronto. It is my sincere hope that they moved that day back by a decade with today’s decision to allow Dallas Eakins to escape to another hockey city and an enormous opportunity.

In our town. Edmonton, Alberta.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Say what you will, MACT is going to be a man of his word and
    go down fighting to get this club back to the top. He is not finished,and proved he has balls. I would be very nervous if i were a few players,more than a few and a few coaches. Please Dallas, if you have control
    bring in Maurice if he is interested and get rid of Bucky. Smith i would retain as he ran a good penalty kill, at least for now.
    And what about Todd Nelson ? Perhaps and as i heard on team 1260
    tpday the mans resume is as good as Eakins. Does he deserve a chance
    as an assistant ? Send Kelly to OKC to hone his skills perhaps.

    Just sayin….

    Todd Nelson is a good coach.

    • RexLibris

      Wow, I forgot about the Gilmour trade to go with their continuation of the Oiler Dynasty’s phlebotomy.

      No wonder they (almost) made the finals 20 years ago.

  • The Worrier

    Where does the Domino effect end ? First Tams ,now Kreuger whom they seemed to like ,only now to be another coaching fall guy ? Hartekainen leaves and Horcoff and Hemsky undermined ? Maybe Kreuger was just to tall ?

    Hope Kreuger lands up in Vancouver and does them proud .

      • The Soup Fascist

        Really? I remember a fair bit of apprehension about Ralph’s hire from the media and the public in general. If I recall the lack of NHL experience was a factor, but not as much as the fact his head coaching experience with the Swiss team produced a very boring “lock down” style that many thought would stifle the Oilers offence.

        I am sure the personnel was as much to blame as anything but Ralph lost me the exact second he started an OT with Horcoff and Smyth and – after the inevitable loss – justifying the action by saying the Oilers are a shoot out team.

        It was “peace out” for me after that. Nice guy, great speaker, timid coach.

        • DSF

          Most were lauding him for his “intelligence” and communication skills.

          While I don’t doubt he possesses both winning record in the NHL is more important IMO.

          There have been a few coaches who made a successful jump from the AHL to the NHL but there are also a very large number of casualties.

          Remember when Guy Boucher was the great while hope and was being pursued by many teams?

          Oops.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Not sure if I am crazy about a rookie either but Ralph didn’t do it for me. I heard him speak a couple of times and he is a very good communicator, but he did not seem to hold players accountable, at least from outside appearances.

            Boucher seemed to have a meteoric rise and a goofy system that worked in the junior ranks. Time will tell with Eakins. His path was a little different than Bouchers.

            Oilers have tried old school guys (Pat “Hind Banana” Quinn). A Veteran teacher (Renney) and a Euro-trained, newbie communicator in Krueger. I think coaching is over rated sometimes. Some pretty crappy coaches have won the cup and some bright coaches have not.

            Honestly, I think good assistants and good players make for good head coaches, which is why I think a solid “associate” and a hard look at Smith and Bucky are as important action items as hiring Eakins.

            If MacTavish increases the talent and level of compete on the roster Eakins should have success.

          • DSF

            Yeah, more than anything it’s about the players on the ice.

            From what I’ve been reading today, Eakins is almost a clone of MacT the coach.

            We should find out very soon about MacT the GM.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            1st DSF pens this…>

            “If it takes 2-3 years to find out it’s a failure, (MacT will have to give Eakins that much time)”

            Then he completely contradicts himself just a few posts later with this reply to how the Knucks can rebuild themselves in the same time span…>

            “Things can change considerably in 2-3 years.”

            Then he goes on to say…>

            “Vancouver is a veteran team looking for a veteran coach.
            Kreuger wouldn’t even get an interview.”

            & this is AFTER everyone on the hockey planet KNOWS that the Knucks have already interviewed Eakins TWICE..!

            & that adding a rookie NHL Bench Boss is this… > “But I think it’s a HUGE risk.”

            Then last but not least… He gives us all this gem from that great hockey mind of his…

            “From what I’ve been reading today, Eakins is almost a clone of MacT the coach.”

            1st off… reading about someone & knowing them are 2 completely different animals at the end of the day…
            But most of all, while Eakins & MacT may have some of the same type of X & O hockey brains & mentality…
            I for 1 have NEVER heard MacT speak about motivating players via triggers, meeting them 1 on 1 for lunches or coffee, talking to past employers & families, even meeting with players 1 on 1 tol earn about them off the sheet & treating each & every individual differently from other players while keeping the discipline & work ethic ALL on the same level for each & every player.

            While it’s only MY opinion, he may be like MacT in front of a chalk board, but his personal persona & way of treating players is VERY Anti-MacT & his team 1st approach.

            But the BEST part about that difference, is that the new G.M. sees that in his new Bench Boss & realizes that it’s a new NHL & new player NHL now, & that kind of 1 on 1 commitment (especially) with young players, is what is required in this league, this Hockey Club & for the entire organization moving forward.

            As for DSF… He is nothing but pedantic just for the sake of it…

            Sad state of affairs for a person, but as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity, so no wonder he is a staple on this site.
            Who is more infatuated with the Oilers than him… 😉

            x6

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            one of my personal favorites that goes with the “things change considerably in 2-3 years” theme is the 10 year 60 home playoff date guarantee he tossed out for the conference championship contending Minnesota Wild.. you know, the Wild team that stumbled to 8th place and got obliterated in the 1st round..

          • Clyde Frog

            Or how he “booked” Eakin to the ‘nucks already…

            That and his amazing prediction skills at work:
            I do believe he predicted Anaheim would be in 15th place with Minny in 1st AND that Chicago would be 5thish….

            Not to mention the fact that Minny was going to dominate in the playoffs this year as they are built for it!

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            ~but he just said vancouver was looking for a veteran coach for a veteran team. why on earth would he give it the dsf book it to a coach who is nowhere near considered a veteran coach.~

            it is almost as if he cant even keep up with the BS he throws. He is like the oilersnation version of Eklund.

        • DSF

          Nope.

          But I think it’s a HUGE risk.

          I don’t think the Oilers are in a position to take that risk.

          If it takes 2-3 years to find out it’s a failure, (MacT will have to give Eakins that much time) you’ll have run through everyone’s ELC with no return.

          • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

            2 to 3 years…..wow…..that would be how many first round exits for the Canucks?……oh yeah…that’s right….about 2 to 3….

    • Bucknuck

      I didn’t read that he said “born in Toronto” anywhere in his piece. So where did the “poor research” come into play? I am FROM Vancouver Island but I was not born here.

      Lowetide, people must be looking up to you an awful lot, otherwise why would the masses feel this desire to tear you down!? Seems a lot of folk want to find you are wrong about something.

      EDIT – I see you beat me to it.

  • Lowetide

    At the top of the article, I wrote “Toronto takes a beating from the rest of Canada, and let’s be honest they’re full measure for it. However, there are wonderful things from and about Toronto.”

    Toronto is connected to Neil Young and Dave Keon. That’s a fact.

  • justDOit

    I enjoyed Eakins’ presser immensely, but talk is cheap for the 4th coach in 5 years. I especially admired how he handled the media, and put them on guard slightly by stating that he reads everything written about his teams. Usually for a new coach in a hockey-crazy market, it’s the other way around.

    Oops – meant to post this in the Eakins article and got my tabs mixed up. Oh well.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I would have said Winnipeg if you asked me to tie Neil Young to Canada. In fact, I’d put the 92 Jays on that list since the whole country watched that one. But you’re a dirty Expos fan so I guess I’m not surprised they didn’t make your list.

  • The Soup Fascist

    @ Lowetide

    The chick in the miniskirt in the truly horrible Canadian “sitcom” called “The Trouble with Tracy” was waaaay hotter than Trudy Young, IMO. Of course I was like 10 when that show was in reruns.

    I imagine both those Canadian “hotties” must be a little long in the tooth by now.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Eakins will have to go some to outdo what Kreuger and his group did to make us upper eschillon in PP and PK . They also had the team playing more as a team except for the end losing streak. Kreuger did well with what he had to work with – a core of diminishing talents and Ahl’ers. Hopefully Eakins is up to the task , as it’s a tall order to fill .

    • DSF

      You are on crack if you think Vancouver hires Kreuger unless of course they need someone to write motivational speeches for Mike Gillis to use at his press conferences…Get a grip. Kreuger was out of his class and just another screwed up decision by Tambo man.

        • Reg Dunlop

          Vancouver is a team on a slow decline. A man as astute as Ralph would steer clear of junkie central.

          As for Trudy Young, she sizzled in the hockey flick ‘Face Off’ and broke hearts in that TV show about the St. Bernard, hubba-hubba.

          • DSF

            Yeah…lots of teams in slow decline…unless they do something about it.

            I’d wager declining teams like Vancouver, San jose, Anaheim and Detroit have a better record than the Oilers in the foreseeable future.

          • Reg Dunlop

            You may be correct but the foreseeable future is no more than a season or two. The whole point is that the potential exists for the oil to win championships. It may or may not come to pass but it is a CERTAINTY that the canucks will not win Stanley with the veteran group they now have.

          • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

            Unfortunately for you, you make to many bets your ass can’t cash…..which in my neighbourhood would get your ass kicked….so lay off off the wagering will ya…leave the wagering to people who pay their debts…

        • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

          In regards to comment #32 from the self-appointed genius, DSF-please explain to all of us why Eakins would get an interview from Vancouver when they are a declining club looking for a veteran coach?

          I’m so GD sick and tired of you thinking you know so much more than everyone else. If it is your perception that the Oil are no good, and are not going to show any signs of improvement, and all decisions they make are inferior to your liking, then why do you bother to troll on this site?

          You are coming across as a jackass and are ridiculed daily. Do us all a favour and shut your big ol’ pie-hole.

          Get off the computer and go feed the cat.

      • Reg Dunlop

        I doubt it was just a Tambo decision . Eakins was a joint decision by the same group that lauded Kreuger . Kreuger not out of his class . Not satisfied they are both gone – you want their blood and bad mouth them to boot ?

  • book¡e

    I can’t believe you have a picture of Iringa the Elephant in a ‘Thank you Toronto’ article.

    Iringa wasn’t born in Toronto, She was born in Zambia. Unless this article is ‘Thank you South Luonga’, you are way off base here.

    Pathetic!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Hopefully Eakins brings Rob Ford with him. Honestly, I would vote for that tweaked-up a$$ clown before I voted for Kerry “What Conflict of Interest??” Diotte. At least Ford can blame the rock for his idiocy (allegedly).

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Not sure if Neil ever lived in Toronto. I know he went to my alma mater – Guelph – he was enrolled to get an AG degree in poultry science if I recall before he took off for LA.

    If find TOs skyline Ho hum and the pics you see are taken from a vantage point rarely seen by any one in real life. Take out the tower and you have a very blah look – no good second fiddles. Give me Montreal from the top of the mountain any day.

    The zoo is vast which makes it a miserabl place to walk in mid-summer and many of the displays are so natural you never see the animals in them. Five stars for being one of the most creative uses for an old land fill however.

    City hall? Really? How old are you? It’s a miserable building to work in so I’m told.

    As substitutes:

    Glenn Gould
    George chuvalo
    The danforth
    Pizza Gigi

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    As a collective, I think we can agree that the primary issue with the current Oilers is the ‘cast’ and not the coach. As Lowetide points out weekly, we haven’t had a balanced line-up since 2006. There isn’t a coach alive that could have done anything different last year. We may have squeezed a few more percentage points out of our PP, and gained a few more Bettman points, but we still would have finished in the bottom of the table. The real measure of this team over the next few years will be from the GM – not the coach. That said, having a coach and GM in alignment in terms of what personnel to employ and how to employ them is a tremendous advantage. I think this union bodes well. Although it is only June…

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Well now you’ve drank the “kool aid ” Eakins hype , what has MacT. done in way of personnel to give Dallas a shot at having success . I don’t see him fairing any better than other good coaches we have had with personnel we currently are embracing . The one constant thru all the coaches woes has been lack of quality personnel and managerial forsight !

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Management has misassessed the so called talent they bought in and blamed others for them not performing well . They also blame the marketplace , etc.. The one constant is they don’t blame themselves , because their not the problem , right ?