Leafs: Finally getting defensive?
The front office is finally settled, but is it too late to do something about the defense?
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL's longest-running reality TV series, a combination of Survivor, Big Brother and The Millionaire. They did nothing to disappoint those who take their pleasure from following the saga which annually grips the franchise its followers believe occupies the center of the hockey universe.
The Leafs, as they embark on the hunt for their first Stanley Cup since 1967, once again have more questions than answers.
Quinn has always been viewed as favoring the veterans, but a cynical Leafs observer might point out that's only because the Leafs' drafting record under Quinn has been so horrific no kids have emerged to seriously challenge any of the greying incumbents. It doesn't look like the Leafs will be any younger this season and Quinn's strategy of loading up with expensive veterans during the summer and again at the trade deadline has resulted in increasingly spectacular failures.
It remains to be seen if Quinn and Ferguson can create an environment which finally helps the Leafs renew themselves and improve or simply degenerate into the type of infighting which will only add to the off-ice drama.
The bottom line is the Leafs inability to play defense when needed has led to their annual demise in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see in training camp if Quinn attempts to strike out on a different path and and fall in line with the most successful postseason clubs in the league and adopt more of a trapping, defensive style. It remains to be seen if he has the personnel capable of playing that style or if Quinn has the ability to get his players to buy into it.
Bryan Marchment arrives on the scene, but he is not -- or shouldn't be -- a top-four guy. Top prospects Brendan Bell and Carlo Colaiacovo will get good looks. It will be interesting to see what Ferguson and Quinn can cobble together.
Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.xxxx
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