Before proceeding any further it’s important that we first agree on one undeniable and inarguable fact: Toronto is the Center of the Hockey Universe. That is, whatever happens in the hockey world has its core – its very center – in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
It’s important at this point to remember a center is also known as a pivot and a pivot is often know as an axis and an axis is often called a vortex. So, in this case, you might say Toronto sucks – in the cosmic sense, at least.
If you still aren’t sold on this contentious hypothesis, think of the league as a bathroom and Toronto as the toilet. One would be totally useless without the other. There. We have a consensus.
So yes, while there are indeed other news items in the NHL – Sidney has really puffy ankles to name one – nothing will reverberate throughout the league like Tuesday’s declaration that the Leafs had fired their GM, hired Cliff Fletcher as his temporary replacement and were now looking in earnest for The New Hockey Man.
The position of GM in Toronto is thought to be the most prominent and sought-after role in the league – it says so in the Maple Leafs media guide – and a three-man committee has been assembled for the daunting task at hand. The men in question are (a) the 72-year-old newly-hired interim GM Cliff Fletcher (b) local lawyer Gordon Kirke and (c) current team president Richard Peddie. Thus, the people responsible for finding the next GM of the Maple Leafs, are a septuagenarian, a legal fatcat and a man slightly less popular than eczema.
The team has unequivocally stated the new man will have impeccable qualifications, a successful track record and the ability to brew a mean pot of coffee should the board meetings run long on Estelle’s day off.
The new GM will also be given full autonomy over all aspects of the hockey operations. He will not have to report to the team’s board of directors unless the proposal (a) involves capital expenditures of over $30 million or (b) contains a vowel and the letters R, L, T or N.
As expected, the news spread quickly through the league. Teams are genuinely concerned about losing their own GM to Toronto, which is akin to having your prom date leave with the janitor.
Still, the prominence of the job is enough to draw intense interest from those individuals who possess that rare combination of a great resume and low self-esteem. Some names being tossed about are Anaheim’s Brian Burke, Carolina’s Jim Rutherford and Detroit’s Ken Holland. None are seriously considering the job, but tossing names is third only to tossing salad and tossing cookies as far as tossing is concerned. And, contrary to popular opinion, Jesus is not in the running for the job. He is under a lifetime contract and his employer has a very rigid termination policy.
Where the New Hockey Man can be found and how long the process will take is anyone’s guess. One thing is certain, Cliff Fletcher has until the end of next season to find his successor, which means for you Habs fans out there, at minimum another nineteen more stress-free months of Leaf jokes.
See how everything’s cyclical?
The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on thehockeynews.com. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.
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