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The Vicious Cycle
31 Jan, 2011

It looks the Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to develop a bit of a bad reputation. As it turns out, quarter of NHL players do not wish to work with the head coach of the team. The poll released on Sunday by NHLPA does not show the organization in good light.

A similar case was Scotty Bowman.
The question that popped up was this: What team would you least like to play on?
The Leafs had not had such a negative impression on players before. Any team that has a history as to Toronto Maple Leafs should be able to avoid such downplay easily. Still somehow the Leafs ended up on the fourth on the list of shame, that was released in Raleigh.

"I know why," said retired Carolina Hurricane warrior Rod Brind’Amour, "Guys who play there, there is tremendous pressure."
Although such pressure exists in Vancouver as well, the Canucks have to the second most favoured franchise in the league behind Detroit.
The winner of the unwanted prize is the New York Islanders, being first at 27 per cent. They're likely there because of the physical state of their arena and the way the organization is run.
Edmonton was next, getting 20 per cent of the players’ votes.
The team rebuilding process and the coldest winter amongst all the franchises does not do well, doed not do well in the topic of favour.
After Atlanta at seven per cent, Toronto with five per cent is the 27th most desirable destination among NHL players.
Why and how?
"Maybe it’s because Toronto hasn’t won in forever," Brind’Amour said. "You can’t go anywhere in that town when you’re losing. You don’t have a life. When you don’t win, it’s real tough there."
"Win for a while and do that poll the next year. I bet it comes out different."
The words of a veteran.
As great a town as Toronto would be to win in, it’s every bit that miserable when you’re missing the playoffs for the sixth season, with no end in sight. What happened to that big group of Ontario-born NHLers who wanted to come home and play for the team they grew up watching?
And didn’t the lure of hockey’s most vibrant market always make Toronto a special place, no matter what year the playoff drought was at?
It's likely the fact that Wilson was voted to be the most unpopular coach might have something to do with it. The only helping factor might be Brian Burke being the most player friendly GM out there.
"You know," said Brind’Amour, who never played for Wilson, "you sign a deal with your GM, and then you don’t see him much. I don’t know if there’s a correlation there. The coach? You’re with him every day."
What could result from all this?
We know for sure that the other teams on the list — Edmonton, the Islanders, Atlanta, a team like Columbus — have to pay more to get free agents to join them. No UFA wants to walk in to a rebuild like Edmonton or a constant loser like Columbus — it’s the one chance they have to select a team that might put a ring on their finger one day soon.
Does this mean Burke will have a harder time getting a Jonas Gustavsson or a Tyler Bozak, two un drafted free agents won over by Burke?
We know for certain that Burke’s blueprints include landing free agent players and if that is getting harder, the Leafs could be caught in a vicious cycle. A cycle that is the nighmare of all professional leagues You’re counting on free agents to help turn around a losing program, but you can’t get any of them because you’re a losing program. Getting free agent players seems to take more that just sports connections
And you can’t turn into a winning program, because you can’t get any free agents.
Then again, maybe it’s just a stupid poll and perhaps it means nothing.
Somehow it meant nothing a little bit more when there were other teams on that list and not Toronto.