Dec 26, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT
Leafs general manager Brian Burke met with the media today to discuss the extension of coach Ron Wilson’s contract. As per usual, Burke provided reporters with some memorable sound bites. (There’s audio of the scrum here. Just cover your ears for the first two seconds. You’ll thank me).
So, why did Burke commit to Wilson past this season even though the team could still miss the playoffs?
“I think it’s important that the players know that the coach isn’t going anywhere,” Burke said. “When the coach goes into the cage, he needs the chair and the whip.”
And if the Leafs don’t make the playoffs?
“You can ask me that at the end of the season,” Burke replied. “I’m not interested in hypothetical questions.”
Can he clarify the term of Wilson’s extension?
“I can clarify term, but I won’t,” said Burke. (TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted earlier that it was a one-year deal.)
Burke heaped praise on Wilson, calling him a “Hall of Fame coach…if you can get into the Hall of Fame without a Cup.”
Burke also claimed, “If the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Ron Wilson, he’d be working again in about two weeks,”
For those that would question the decision to stick with a coach that’s missed the playoffs his first three season behind the bench, Burke made sure to shoulder most of the blame for the Leafs’ shortcoming under his watch, saying he’s only been expecting results out of Wilson since last season’s all-star break.
“Up until then I feel that I haven’t given (the Leafs) good enough players,” Burke said, adding later, “I’m disappointed in how long it’s taken me to do this.”
But the burden, Burke says, has now “shifted to the coach.”
- Risk Factors: St. Louis Blues edition 0
- Ryan agrees to seven-year, $50.75 million extension 11
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ 37
- Holland doesn’t see Babcock deal by start of season 10
- Risk Factors: Pittsburgh Penguins edition 4
- PHT Morning Skate: Flyers bringing back Ice Girls 15
- Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’ 7
- NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton 9
- NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale 6
- Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’ 15
- Julien thinks diving crackdown is ‘step in the right direction’ (37)
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Reinhart admits frustration; time running out to make Sabres? (25)
- Canucks waive Markstrom as Shinkaruk, Jensen continue to impress (23)
- Filip Forsberg has scored two thirds of the Preds’ preseason goals (21)