Toronto Maple Leafs: John Ferguson Jr, the Biggest Mistake in Franchise History

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IApril 13, 2008

John Ferguson Jr. was the worst thing to happen to the Leafs.

Now, you may be thinking that that is a pretty bold statement, but think about it. The Maple Leafs gave up prospect goalie Tuukka Rask and there first round draft pick for Andrew Raycroft. Wow. Now, I am not a leaf fan, but out of all you people that are, who would be happy right now if the Leafs were to trade Raycroft for only Tuukka Rask and not even get the 1st round pick back? Exactly. The few games Rask played this year he looked pretty darn good considering how young he is. More then we can say about Raycroft.

For a team that hasn't won a championship, they have sure given away a lot of draft picks. In the four year span Ferguson was there, they have given up their 1st round 2004 1st round 2005(Tuukka Rask), 1st round 2007, 2nd round 2005, 2nd round 2007, 2nd round 2008, 4th round 2005, 4th round 2006, 4th round 2009 and 5th round 2006 picks. Wow, seems like a lot for just a span of 4 years doesn't it?

Ok, now what about some of their bad signings? Pavel Kubina? A 4 year 5 million dollar deal? Are you joking? He has done virtually nothing since he has joined the Maple Leafs. He is taking up so much of are cap space so he can be lazy and let the other team score goals. Well it's not that big of a deal, they could just trade him away right? WRONG! JF2 left Cliff Fletcher absolutely nothing to help improve this team because he gave so many players no trade clauses!! But i will get to that later.

Why was he signing all of these old players anways? Peca, Nieumendiek, Francis and probably worst of all Eric Lindros. How did all of them work out for them? Did they deliver a Stanley Cup? Nope. I mean, I know I am forgetting so many players that can be put in those same categories but I mean, there are just to many to remember!

Now, jeeze Cliff Fletcher hasn't done much better, I mean, we were all expecting so many trades from him and we barely got any! He hasn't been any better right? WRONG!!!! Ferguson left Fletcher with all of these no trade clauses! We want to rebuild here, but how can he when you have Kaberle, Sundin, McCabe, Kubina and Tucker all with no trade clauses? (Bolded are players who definitely didn't deserve one)

I am not a Leafs fan so I am sure I am missing many things that JFJ has done to completely ruin this franchise. So if I am missing some, please let me know so i can edit.

Cliff Fletcher will have a very difficult off-season this summer. I think he can help deliver the Leafs to the playoffs once more. Let's look at the things he has already done. They received a 2nd round pick and a 5th round pick for Hal Gill. In my mind, fantastic trade. I would think that he is worth about a 3rd rounder and that's it. Also, Wade Belak was traded for a fifth rounder. Now, people make think, well, who could they draft that's any good in the 5th round? Don't forget, there have been many good players such as Pavel Datsyuk that have gone in the 5th.

Fletcher is only a interim GM so he might not be here for very long, leaf fans better hope that they get a really good GM to replace him and to help repair this team.