5 Questions: Wilson sowed seeds of his demise | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in Canada5 Questions: Wilson sowed seeds of his demise

Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 | 10:35 AM

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Ron Wilson in his days as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Glenn is asked why the Leafs didn't do so well with Wilson as the coach. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) Ron Wilson in his days as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Glenn is asked why the Leafs didn't do so well with Wilson as the coach. (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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Glenn Healy says that Ron Wilson didn't adequately tailor the team's system based on the talent he had at hand, while also answering questions on the Habs, the length of the NHL schedule, and scouting players already in the NHL.

Twice a month Glenn will take the time to answer your questions about the game. All you have to do is send them to cbchockeyonline@cbc.ca

1. Will there be any talks of reducing the regular season schedule in the next the CBA? I believe a 60-game schedule would benefit the struggling franchises and help two of the original four American teams.
From Jeff Solomon
Jeff, there is zero chance of the NHL reducing its schedule to 60 games. There are teams in the NHL that need the maximum preseason games to break even so to take out 27 per cent of a team's revenue would be financial suicide. I don't think you would find too many players willing to take a 27 per cent pay cut to prop up the struggling franchises. The games would be a lot better as playoff races would begin game one of the regular season but the financial model of our game and a $68 million US cap will negate the appeal of the idea.
2. Do you feel that having  NHL teams in sun belt states in place of Canadian franchises such as Quebec City, Hamilton (and in the past-Winnipeg), hurt participation in hockey in those areas?
From Robert Shmigelsky

Robert, I don't think that hockey was hurt in Canadian cities when their NHL team left town.  It was and still is a fabric of what we are as Canadians. A difficulty the sport has in participation is not an NHL issue, but a sport issue. Growth in hockey has flatlined only because of huge expansion in the sport at the girls level. In other words, boy's hockey is on the decline and girl's hockey is expanding, so the overall numbers makes it appear as if hockey growth is OK. That can be attributed to many factors, ranging from cost to how we introduce the sport to new participants. Even if cities like Quebec City get their NHL team back we will still have issues that will affect the growth of hockey.   
3. Do you believe that Ron Wilson was really the problem with the Leafs?
From Georgia Bonnell

Georgia. At the start of the NHL season I had three questions about the Toronto Maple Leafs. Goaltending, penalty killing and depth at centre were my concerns. I believe in playing a system that hides your weaknesses and does not expose them. Insulate your goalies from quality scoring chances. Insulate your centres in the defensive zone because of their lack of size and experience. You hide your inadequacies and you do not expose them. Playing loose at mid-ice results in a track meet that brings you losses with the players who make up the Leafs. The team's system play and how easy the Leafs became to play against falls on shoulders of the bench boss.  

4. While looking for players to trade for, how do GM's get the information about how a guy is "in the room" for instance? Does this information come from the scouts, other players who have played with the individuals internationally; do they ask players on their own team about other players?
From Frank Smith
Frank, you are bang on with your assessment of how trades are made or in a greater majority of circumstances not made. You gather information from anyone you trust who knows the player. Some players change in a new environment but if there is a glaring issue that makes you doubt the player's character and how it will fit your team, you run away. Many a GM has thought, 'Why is this guy available? Is there something I am missing?' In the NHL your product is your players so you have to do your homework.

5.  What do you see in the future for the Habs organization?  Will they drown, or will they be able to become a legendary team as before?
From Raphaël Guérin

The Montreal organization has high standards and expectations  from its fanbase. They are in a rebuild mode. Legendary teams in the cap world do not exist any longer. Once you get real good you can't afford to keep the team together. Simple hockey economics will not give us the dynasty teams that have been responsible for great tradition in certain organizations like the Habs. Honour the past and hope for the future.  

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