Why The Leafs Suck And How They Can Be Fixed

Paperback | September 29, 2009

byAl Strachan

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Every year since 1968, Leafs fans have hoped the new season will be the one to break the Stanley Cup drought. Sadly, those hopes are usually dashed mid-season. In the biggest hockey market in North America, with such a huge and loyal fan base, how has the team missed it for so long?

Al Strachan has been covering the NHL for decades and has the behind-thescenes access to know what’s gone wrong and why. spanning 40 years of fascinating Leafs personalities and stories, Al discusses

• how the downfall started and Harold Ballard perpetuated it
• why fans were ill-served in the battle for club ownership after Ballard’s death
• the first and second Cliff Fletcher years
• the ineptitude of Ken Dryden, Mike Smith and Pat Quinn
• how other teams, such as Detroit, have had success and how Leafs management can thrive in the salary-cap era
• why Brian Burke may not be the saviour Leafs fans are hoping for and—most important—what can be done to make the Leafs suck less

For fans who love the Leafs (and those who love to hate them), Why the Leafs Suck is a revealing and sometimes shocking inside look at professional hockey.

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From the Publisher

Every year since 1968, Leafs fans have hoped the new season will be the one to break the Stanley Cup drought. Sadly, those hopes are usually dashed mid-season. In the biggest hockey market in North America, with such a huge and loyal fan base, how has the team missed it for so long?Al Strachan has been covering the NHL for decades and ...

AL STRACHAN is the author ofI’m Not Making This UpandGo to the Net, and the co-author ofDon Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff. He has appeared regularly onHockey Night in Canada, Sirius Radio and FoxSports.com, and he has been writing about the NHL for more than thirty-five years.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:September 29, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:155468546X

ISBN - 13:9781554685462

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Customer Reviews of Why The Leafs Suck And How They Can Be Fixed

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from The book spends a lot of time on why they "suck" and substantially less time on how to fix. Al Strachan has produced a biting analysis of the last 40 years of mostly dreadful results with his usual wit and wisdom and nothing is held back. Some of the main issues that occurred in the Ballard years are mentioned but the focus definitely is placed on more recent developments. Other than the brief excitement in 1993-1994 and in a few Pat Quinn seasons the truly awful years of Gerry McNamara, the Ken Dryden/Mike Smith disaster from 1997-1999 and the years of John Ferguson lead very well to the present and Brian Burke. Although I am a lifelong Leafs fan, I was not and am not totally sold on the Burke approach nor do I believe all the hype that was created to launch his time in Toronto. Strachan points out various mistakes and missteps that Burke has made in his previous stops. In addition to Burke, it is clear that Strachan has no confidence in Peddie and Tannenbaum or the overall management structure currently in place. Over the years many books have been written that cover parts of the same material presented in this book. William Houston wrote material on the Ballard years. Damien Cox and Gord Stellick produced a book about 1967 and beyond. Theresa Tedesco wrote a book about the battles for MLG that ensued after Ballard died. Jack Batten has written "The Leafs" and Andrew Podnieks produced a book "Return to Glory" after success in the early Cliff Fletcher years. Most recently the book "Leafs Abomination" appeared. Based on my knowledge of the subject, I would have to say that Strachan's book is the clearest and most factually complete that I have seen. However, perhaps out of necessity, while the factual information from the past is very precise, based on the title, I did find that the prescribed recipe for fixing the problems was a bit vague and generic and could be applied just as much to lots of other teams. Maybe the title would have been better left just as "Why the Leafs Suck." Strachan's book should appeal to all the Leaf bashers in Ottawa and Montreal and elsewhere but also very definitely to the many thousands of very exhausted Leaf fans that have endured mostly frustration for so many years.
Date published: 2009-10-05