Where else but Toronto could the departure of a goaltending coach cause such a controversy?
As you might expect, Leafs GM Brian Burke had a message for Francois Allaire after the latter ripped the club on his way out the door for interfering with his tutoring of Toronto’s young goalies.
“I regret that I have to deal with this matter publicly but I feel the need to respond,” Burke told Mike Ulmer, a blogger for MapleLeafs.com. “Was there interference from the staff as he said there was? Yes. But it was done reluctantly and it was done to change elements of our goaltending that was sub-par.”
Burke explained that Allaire forced the club’s hand by failing to adjust to the latest goaltending techniques.
“The position has evolved in the last three to five years,” Burke said. “Nobody plays the classic stand-up any more either. Everything advances.”
Monday, Leafs goalie James Reimer admitted “there was some stuff that went on behind the scenes last year,” as per the Globe and Mail.
“I think there was some confusion last year,” Reimer said. “A couple misunderstandings. I don’t know if everyone clicked last year. I mean, there was some trouble in some areas. I don’t know if I want to get into it too much or comment on it too much, but I know there was times he was frustrated we didn’t have more time to work on stuff.”
So not only did Reimer – a second-year goalie with no veteran to back him up – have to deal with the pressure that comes with playing in hockey’s biggest market on a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since before the last lockout, he also had a bunch of behind-the-scenes dysfunction heaped on his plate.
Shocking it didn’t work out.
Meanwhile, in Blue Jays news…