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Former player says Wilson to blame for Leafs' struggles

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TSN.ca Staff
10/24/2009 12:13:00 PM
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While there has been a lot of talk in the media, and hand wringing in Leafs Nation about the miserable start to the club's season, one former NHL'er believes that most of the blame for the struggles can be placed at the feet of head coach Ron Wilson.

Off The Record guest Jim Thomson, who played for Wilson with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks during the 1993-94 season, lashed out at his former coach on Thursday, saying that while Leafs general manager Brian Burke is a "good hockey man", Wilson was lacking.

"Ron Wilson is not a good coach," Thomson told OTR. "Where it breaks down is he can't motivate players, he doesn't know what to do with players when there's controversy and they are losing."

The Leafs have opened this season with an 0-6-1 record, and are the only team in the National Hockey League yet to record a win.

Thomson also took Wilson to task for his handling of young blueliner Luke Schenn, who struggled during the Leafs 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on October 6.

"When he calls out Luke Schenn three games into the season, a young player who's their future, and starts beating the hell out of him...You don't call a player out in the media, you go behind closed doors," Thomson stated.   "I watched him do it to Oleg Tverdovsky in Anaheim, and he ruined the kid's career."

In Tverdovsky's first two seasons in Anaheim under Wilson, the defenceman played a total of 87 games, recording 34 points, but he flourished in his first full season with the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996-97, when he recorded 10 goals and 45 assists in 82 games.

For his career, Tverdovsky played in 713 games, scoring 77 goals with 240 assists. 

Click here to watch Thursday's entire OTR episode.

Ron Wilson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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