Kessel Ripped by Ghost of Maple Leafs Past
That's not exactly unique to Leafness. Happens to almost every coach in all sports.
But there was a hint of Leafness in his parting shots.
And it didn't hurt that most media outlets were paving the way for them:
It's hard to maintain diplomatic decorum whilst cleaning out one's office at the Center of the Hockey World, but give credit where credit is due to the dude who coached the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup in 2007. His aspersions were only general:
|I’ve got a lot of fire burning in me to go after some people. But I won’t criticize the players. I’ll never do that. The things that happened in the dressing room are between the team and me. I don’t think it should be exposed.|
Former Leaf coach Ron Wilson thinks it should:
|These guys, some of the core players, have failed under two or three different coaches, so it’s gotta be the players’ fault.|
And then he sharpened his point:
|Phil’s problem, and I think it’s pretty much the way Phil’s been his whole career, he’s two weeks on and two weeks off. … You can’t rely on Phil. It’s just the way it is.|
Well, it definitely sounded like he had an answer for it, as his quotes indicated.
As if Phil Kessell would be surprised. He and Wilson didn't exactly get along when they were associated:
So Kessel shouldn't have been shocked when he heard from a reporter that another crusty veteran of NHL management, outspoken former defenseman Mike Milbury, decided to pile on, callin him a pain in the ass on live TV.
All this for the dude who signed the richest deal in Toronto history. Kessel may be the only player in the league who's got more blades in his back than on his feet. Not that some aren't deserved, but he's had his moments ...
... to go with his moments: