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Toronto Maple Leafs clean house
The Toronto Maple Leafs notoriously underachieved this year and finished their season out of the playoffs. In what is considered the toughest hockey market in the world, this has not gone over too well with the fans and media. Pat Quinn and his assistant Rick Ley became the first casualties as the Leafs fired the 19-year coaching veteran who still had one year remaining on his contract. Quinn led Toronto to a 41-33-8 record this season and finished out of the postseason for only the fourth season in his coaching career. Quinn went 300-222-52 with 26 shootout and overtime losses as the Leafs coach, twice leading Toronto to the Eastern Conference final with losses to Buffalo in 1998-99 and Carolina in 2001-02.
This move means that Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. has atleast one more year to turn things around. Though Pat's act was running thin, Ferguson hasn't shown much since he's been hired. With Quinn now out of the picture, we will have to see what type of moves the GM makes. Were the recent signings of Ed Belfour, Eric Lindros, Tie Domi, Mariusz Czerkawski and Jason Allison Quinn's idea or Fergie's? Did the GM have the freedom to make moves he wanted or was he always hampered by Quinn? These and other questions should be answered shortly as the Leafs look to make some major changes for next year. In terms of replacements for Pat Quinn, coach of their minor league affiliate the Marlies, Paul Maurice seems to be a prime candidate.