Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wilson hire raises red flags

DETROIT–On the surface, the Maple Leafs' courtship of Ron Wilson seems evidence of yet more dysfunction within the troubled organization.

And that may be true.

After all, the more orderly way to proceed would be to hire a new president, then a general manager, then a coach.

Is common sense too much to ask?

But there are at least two good reasons why having interim GM Cliff Fletcher try to hire the 53-year-old veteran coach now makes some sense.

First, Wilson's a strong, experienced coach with 518 career wins, third among active coaches behind Mike Keenan and Bryan Murray. He has enjoyed success with all three NHL clubs he has coached – Anaheim, Washington and San Jose – and led the United States to victory in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

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