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Wilson offered Leafs job, needs time to think it over

TSN.ca Staff

6/3/2008 5:00:12 PM

Ron Wilson may become the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he hasn't accepted the job yet.

Sources tell TSN Wilson was offered the position after meeting with the team on Tuesday.

He is returning home to contemplate the offer and the Leafs intend on talking with him again on the weekend.

If hired, Ron Wilson will become the 36th head coach in team history.

Wilson, 53, has spent the last two decades behind the bench, compiling a record of 518-446-127 over his 1,091 games with the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His career win totals rank third among active coaches, behind Bryan Murray and Mike Keenan. He was also an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks in 1991 and 1992 under head coach Pat Quinn.

Wilson enjoyed a career season in 1997-98 as head coach of the U.S. National Team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and also led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings. In 1996, he coached the U.S. to victory at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey.

Wilson, who was fired last month after the Sharks was eliminated from the playoffs by the Dallas Stars, spent five years in San Jose as head coach, leading them to four straight postseason berths and the Western Conference Final in 2004. He holds club coaching records for wins (206), winning percentage (.535) and postseason games coached (52), and the Sharks put together a 206-134-45 record in the regular season and a 28-24 playoff record.

The Maple Leafs are still in search for a general manager to eventually replace Fletcher, with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie and lawyer Gordon Kirke continuing to work to that end.

Wilson's relationship with Anaheim Ducks' GM Brian Burke adds intrigue to the speculation that the team may wait for Burke in an effort to hire him as general manager next summer.

The former college teammates in Providence worked together in Vancouver when Burke was the assistant GM, and Burke is the also the godfather of Wilson's daughter.