Players publicly requesting trades in my mind is a bad sign that the emotional effects of a losing season is getting into the fabric of the dressing room. While only a few players have spoken out, we all know know that more players are thinking it. It's miserable out here as a fan watching this team with a noose around its neck. One can only assume it's worse in the room.
Nobody will argue that it's a rebuilding season and the team wasn't supposed to be great - but they weren't supposed to be this bad either. This kind of consistent losing could be creating an environment that will hurt this team for more than the duration of this particular season. It could be doing permanent and long term damage. The kind of taste that won't go away easily.
Wilson is a good coach. Or at least he was until two years ago. I can buy that he hasn't forgotten how to coach and that he's working with very little talent, but the reality is that any work Burke has done thus far and plans on doing this summer will be held back by the effects of such a negative vibe surrounding the team. Wilson, whether it was his fault or not, is the face behind two of the crappiest seasons in recent memory. This current trajectory could result in the worst finish in decades, and that will be attached to Wilson whether he likes it or not.
Unless things turn around and the Leafs can build some respect back in the dressing room, Ron Wilson has to be fired in the off-season. Whether Burke likes it or not.
Take the Sens as an example. After an incredible start in 2007/2008 Ottawa had a long stretch of horrible play which resulted in a dressing room meltdown. Before anybody could say "Afraidsson", the cup finalists were swept in four games and their personae as an elite team shattered - they haven't seen a playoff game since. Only after numerous management changes and multiple roster adjustments do the Sens seem to have rid themselves of the cancer created by that incredible fall from grace. The Sens are finally a different team. Eight wins will make anybody feel good, but they seem to me at least to have put the past behind them
Burke may also need to start fresh after the curtain falls on this season.
With this post, Muppet shows that the Leaf Nation sharks are beginning to circle!
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*Ron Wilson....sharks.... ha!