In the wake of Toronto’s recent hiring of coach Ron Wilson, there was speculation about who would take over as general manager after Cliff Fletcher’s interim contract was up. The decision may come as welcome news to loyal Leafs fans who probably remember the Conference Finals teams of the early 1990s. In 1992-93 and 1993-94, Toronto was agonizingly close to returning to the Cup Finals and having a shot at ending one of the longest Cup droughts in the NHL. Fletcher was the GM responsible for putting together those teams.
Fletcher made some crucial moves at that juncture in Leafs’ history, bringing in fan favorite Doug Gilmour and coach Pat Burns, as well as discovering Felix Potvin. Fletcher also had great success in his previous tenure with the Calgary Flames, becoming the first GM to successfully acquire a player from the Soviet Union, and winning the franchise’s only Stanley Cup.
With the prospect of a fairly prosperous free agent market, Fletcher and the rest of the Toronto front office appear to be approaching the project of rebuilding the franchise with a whatever-it-takes mentality. With any luck, the Maple Leafs may be finally back on the road to continued success