Ron Wilson needs a communications coach.
Between himself and Brian Burke, they have assembled an amazing coaching and front office staff. They are all wonderful. But somewhere along the path, they have forgotten we are out here listening, digesting and following every word.
Wilson needs some help understanding that he lives in hockey central; home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Wayne Gretzky and the mighty Leafs Nation.
The average middle age person has seen more than 1,500 hockey games and probably has been watching hockey since they were in diapers. My mother in heaven, my wife and my daughter are all hockey Fans. Last year I got high fives from strangers in Pearson International for just wearing my Reimer No. 34 shirt.
Damien Cox, of the Toronto Star, describes Wilson's lack of understanding media.
But it goes much deeper than just lacking media savvy, it seems he lacks Leaf Nation savvy.
What Wilson is missing is that we don't watch 60 minute hockey games as pastime. We study, live, breath, walk, talk, play and understand hockey over here, 24 hours a day.
Paul Henderson and Sidney Crosby both scored "The Goal" and every Canadian knows were they were during both events. If you can't think of another way to start a conversation with your date, "The Goal" is a good ice breaker, and has been for 40 years.
If you watch Ron Wilson on the Leafs on TV he will often say things like, "we the coaching staff see this little thing about a player" that "you the media or fan base do not."
What Wilson doesn't seem to know is that we have all been trained by Peter Puck, Don Cherry and Howie Meeker about what to watch in a hockey game, and to listen to the coach. A huge percentage of the fan base have actually played or have immediate family that played hockey. We are listening.
As far as hockey player training, it seems like there are more hockey schools than doughnut shops and by the way, our number one doughnut shop was founded and named after a hockey player.
Wilson has moved to Leafs Nation.
He is coaching the biggest market team in the NHL, we get it. He is a professional hockey coach and should have a deeper knowledge of the game than the the fan base. We would all love his job of watching the Leafs deciding what to do and then talking about it.
We wish he enjoyed communicating with us—the fans more. This is where a communications coach would help him understand what the fan base is interested in and let him enjoy talking about it to us.
He isn't in San Jose. Getting the word out to the fans is an important part of the job here and maybe he needs to hire a professional communications director that does the speaking. A person who doesn't find communicating to the fans and the media to be an annoyance.
This is Leafs Nation. It can be summed up with one of the best places to get local wisdom from, T-Shirts.
Canada is Hockey – Hockey is Canada.