That Bobby Clarke, what a piece of work he is.
GM Clarke slams Leafs for Quinn firing
4/26/2006 7:09:37 AM
Philadelphia Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcork isn't the only one on his team who can go on an animated tirade.
The Flyers may be down 2-0 in their first-round playoff series with the Buffalo Sabres, but it hasn't stopped colourful general manager Bob Clarke from voicing his opinion on hockey matters, notably the state of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In an interview Tuesday with the Toronto Sun, Clarke said he spoke to recently-fired Maple Leafs head coach Pat Quinn and did not hide his displeasure at the way the two-time Jack Adams Award winner was treated in his final days with the club.
"He got (expletive) in Toronto," Clarke told the Sun. "That was really wrong."
"He is a lot more classy than I am. His goalie (Ed Belfour) was hurt. His centre (Mats Sundin) was hurt. Even with that, his team just missed the playoffs."
Quinn, who coached Clarke for four NHL seasons in Philadelphia, had a winning record in each of his seven years behind the bench in Toronto and only missed the playoffs twice in his 19 years as a head coach.
"Look at the tradition he had built there, and this is how he gets treated?" Clarke told the Sun. "There has got to be some kind of loyalty out there.
"You look at what (expletive) happened there and you have to wonder: Who would want to work in Toronto? What's going to happen next year? Are they going to fire the new coach if he doesn't make the playoffs?
"What the (expletive) is going on in our business with all these coaches and GMs being fired? A lot of good teams didn't make the playoffs this year. And by next week, a lot more good teams will be out, too."
Clarke then compared Quinn's firing to putting the family pet down.
"It's like taking the dog down to the vet. (Say) goodbye," Clarke told the Sun.
"Listen, even if they thought Pat needed to change his coaching style or something, they could have offered to make him the team president or something. Look at his track record there. Look at the (expletive) success he had there."
Clarke also told the Sun he did not place the brunt of the blame on Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson, all but indicating that he was pointing further up the front office ladder.