Toronto Maple Leafs: A Bleak Future Ahead

Bill McCormickContributor IMarch 31, 2008

The Toronto Maple Leafs now head toward season's end as one of the hottest teams to not make the playoffs...again. They continued their "too little too late" campaign Saturday night with a convincing 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Leafs' fans can take some pleasure in Vesa Toskala’s performance this season. However, while new to the team, it must be remembered he is already 30 years old. He is a here and now player who does not represent hope for the future.

Captain Mats Sundin is at the end of a long and stellar career. While he could prove invaluable to any strong, well-managed team, it is entirely possible we have seen the last of him.

Management remains the club's most glaring weakness. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO, Richard Peddie and lawyer, Gord Kirke, have teamed up to find a new general manager. Unfortunately, it is unlikely they will get the job done in time for the draft June 20 - 21.

The Leafs have 10 choices in the draft including eight in the first five rounds. Whoever lands the GM's position will probably be saddled with whatever choices Cliff Fletcher makes. Hopefully, this disadvantage will be offset by allowing the new GM to make a coaching change.

Remember,  John Ferguson  tried to fire Paul Maurice...has anyone out there seen or heard from Fergie lately?