Over the last few weeks, I have been captivated by some intriguing developments in the world of sports media:
Before Kyle Dubas made a significant trade, Damien Cox sparked controversy on Twitter by proposing that Dubas should follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Lou Lamorello, by firing the coach of his first-place team. He suggested replacing Keefe with Bruce Boudreau, a one-time Toronto Maple Leaf player, or another available coach.
During his appearance on the McCown/Shannon Pod, Damien discussed or defended his article, which is worth listening to, particularly if you were deeply offended by it.
Similarly, after the trade, Cathal Kelly penned an article that essentially explains why this veteran leader will be different from the other veteran leaders who have been added.
“If professionals the calibre of Patrick Marleau, Wayne Simmonds and Joe Thornton couldn’t shift the Leafs culture, I’m not sure if it’s fair to ask O’Reilly to do it. You look over at the teams the Leafs will have to get past in the playoffs. They all have problems, but self-confidence isn’t one of them. They are proven winners who act like it. The Leafs’ only relationship with winning is that it’s a word they say a lot.
Expecting O’Reilly to convince a bunch of guys who haven’t won anything that they’re winners is a big ask. Expecting him to do it in less than two months is on a whole different level.”
According to a wise saying, a sports team is never as good as their last win or as bad as their last loss. Therefore, it is best to take things in stride. Kelly wrote an article after the devastating loss to Patrick Kane but before the O’Riey Hat Trick, so there might be some changes in perspective.
A few weeks ago, Nick Kypreos, on his radio show with Bourne, “leaked” information that his sources informed him that the Leafs were very interested in Jakob Chychrun. Although the deal did not materialize, it was refreshing to hear a member of the mainstream media put forth a rumor with conviction. Usually, it’s just innuendo like “I hear they are kicking the tires.” Although Nick’s prediction did not come true (yet?), I appreciate him for putting it out there.
Best quote on the Dubas deal? Jonas’s minion James Mirtle “If Dubas is going down, it’s at least going to be while swinging.”
While on Mirtle, it is interesting that his take on Duabas saying he wouldn’t deal prospects or picks for rentals was “I don’t think he’s bluffing. In fact, my guess is it’s coming from the president’s desk or ownership that they can’t burn first-rounders for rentals.”
“An added year to Dubas’ contract would in all likelihood have flown under the radar, too. For the most part, teams rarely draw attention to executive extensions. A one-year deal could have easily gone unnoticed.
Even if his job cannot be saved unless the Leafs get past the first round, I firmly believe the Leafs GM should have been granted a one-year extension last summer to take some pressure off.
So, why didn’t the Leafs feel the same way?
Despite the Game 7 loss to Tampa Bay last spring, Dubas didn’t deserve a year as a lame duck general manager. This really is no different than watching what Bruce Boudreau just went through with the Vancouver Canucks. Outside of the circus atmosphere that has thankfully been avoided in Toronto, the underlying message is exactly the same: We have lost faith in your ability to do your job and salvage this team beyond this season, unless you prove otherwise.”
In an article critical of MLSE, Kypreos stated that they should have extended Dubas for at least one year, this year. On the one hand, it’s only MLSE’s money, so it wouldn’t matter if they fired Dubas and paid him not to work for them next season if he were eventually let go. However, many Leafs fans (not that it should matter) were ready to fire Dubas when they were eliminated from the playoffs, even though it was just one round last year. I can’t imagine the public outcry if they announced an extension or that he had been extended after exiting early once again. It’s easy to say now that he has made the big deal, but it does not seem that Dubas was hindered in any way by not having the extra deal.
What interests me more are Elliotte Friedman’s comments on Dubas during a recent episode of the Marek radio show.:
“if this year goes bad, the people that pay our salaries, they make 37.5% of the decisions at at MLSE and I have a real suspicion of what their opinions going to be like. Like our guys don’t answer these questions when I asked them. they like to keep a bit of a separation between church and state. But I heard this the owners made it very clear early in this year when things were going not too good in October, that they weren’t going to have a lot of patience. and a first round playoff exit Jeff, you know, I, I don’t think that’s going to be very well received.”
First, whether you love him or hate him (and I know there are people in both camps), Elliotte is one of the most trusted voices in the game. Second, it is rare for anyone at Rogers to give ANY insight into what Rogers executives think, let alone how they operate at the board level of MLSE. This is a very rare insight into what Elliotte has been told, comfortably enough for him to report on their own radio station, that if the Leafs don’t make it past the first round, it will be ugly.
One has to wonder who “the people who pay our salaries” specifically are. Is it the very top? We know Jr. tried to block Masai’s deal from happening. Is that who Elliotte is referring to? Are there other voices at the top of Rogers who aren’t happy with the job Dubas has done? I think Elliotte is pretty careful with his words, so when he says the 37.5%, he is specifically referring to Rogers executives and not any of the other shareholders.
Hopefully, the Leafs will go beyond the first round, and it will be moot. If not, it will be fascinating to watch.
At one point, Tony Romo was the darling voice of the NFL, but now he’s the punching bag whenever he calls a game. Did you catch Dan Patrick discussing Tony Romo on OverDrive?
“This is where Tony Romo gets Jim Nance in trouble sometimes because Tony just blurts out things. And while we sort of liked it, We liked it when he was correct. Now we’re like, Tony, what’s going on? you get too much candy that you’ve been eating here or too much caffeine, and then you have to get your play-by-play guy to get back to the action here.”
At least we know it’s not just us fans…
I still can’t understand why someone in charge decided to prevent Ben Wagner from calling away games before the most anticipated Jays season in years. Congratulations to that person for actively damaging two brands and demonstrating to fans that neither they nor the owner matter. I can guarantee that one sponsor would easily cover the additional travel cost to become the official sponsor of Jays games on the road. This decision shows an admission of an inability to generate an audience for a media company and an unwillingness to spend a nominal amount to provide a quality product.
If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, Jeff Marek and Elliotte player interviews are spectacular. Way better than any panel I’ve seen all year. Exhibit A, Mark Giordano, Exhibit B Jake Allen.
If You haven’t heard Tripp Tracy and Justin Bourne on alcoholism and hockey culture with McCown and Shannon, you really should.
If you haven’t heard Kevin Donovan’s The Billionaire Murders: The hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman you really should.
Matt Sekeres and Blake Price used to host a show on TSN 1040. After their tenure at the radio station ended, they made the decision to shift their program to a daily podcast, airing from 3 to 6 p.m. Seven months later, they achieved a significant milestone when their podcast garnered one million downloads. Additionally, they established a physical location for their podcast recordings, which allows fans to observe the production. Despite the change in format, they remain committed to discussing the Vancouver Canucks and other local sports teams.
In this episode of The Press Row, Jonah talks with Matt and Blake about:
How TSN 1040 changed
Is Radio Dead?
Younger listeners are key
Kraken Vs Canucks Rivalry?
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