Columnists

Wilson to the Maple Leafs is not a done deal

Darren Dreger
6/3/2008 8:42:38 PM
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The meeting between the Maple Leafs' brass and former Sharks' head coach Ron Wilson did not go as well as the Leafs had hoped.

The Leafs brass no doubt wanted to get a deal, signed, sealed and delivered so they could announce Wilson as the team's next head coach.  Well, Wilson has jumped on a plane and returned home.  He will contemplate the offer made on Tuesday and it is believed that the two sides will not talk again until the weekend.

It appeared that the Maple Leafs were expecting that the veteran coach would come into Toronto, they would present the offer and he would sign on the dotted line almost immediately. That did not happen. That has some people wondering if the sides were ever close to a deal at all.

BOLTING FROM THE LIGHTNING

The two ownership groups in place in Tampa thought that the time was right to officially let John Tortorella go, thus ending the worst kept secret in hockey.

Tortorella has one year remaining on his contract, but the firing is something that the Lightning had been contemplating since the beginning of the season.

The official ownership transfer will take place, with the approval of the board on governors on June 18th, so the ownership groups wanted to give Tortorella an opportunity to explore some of the other options around the National Hockey League.  This gives him a bit of a head start on the market.

There is no question that there will be interest in the Stanley Cup winning coach, with the Ottawa Senators being mentioned as a potential destination.  Another possible option is Atlanta where he is friends with general manager Don Waddell.

Sources tell TSN the Sharks have asked for permission to speak to Tortorella. He joins Mike Milbury, Joel Quenneville, Kitchener Rangers coach and general manager, Peter DeBoer and Portland's Kevin Dineen among those believed to be in the running for job.

Darren Dreger

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