The Leafs Should Have Just Asked Us

I was listening the other day to a sports talk show based out of Toronto and the reporters were going on about Mike Komisarek and how he’s been a disappointment so far. They suggested he’s probably trying to do too much, and hasn’t been everything Leaf supporters thought he would be.

All they had to do was ask Habs fans. We watched on a regular basis the mishaps, miscues, and misfires from this guy. Somehow, the Toronto brass must have missed every single Montreal game played in the past when this guy wore the CH.

This reminds me of the scouting job done by Toronto people in 1972. Leaf head coach John McLellan and head scout Bob Davidson travelled to Russia to check out the Soviet squad before the big Summit Series was about to take place, and came back with this report: The Russians pass the puck too much, don’t shoot enough, and are too small. And their biggest weakness is in goal.

We know what happened later when we saw this team for the first time, and we definitely got to know their goalie, Vladisalv Tretiak, who not only stood on his head in 1972, but proceeded to do so for many years to come. (the 1975 Montreal Canadiens-Red Army game is a perfect example of seeing this guy perform miracles).

So the scouting report by McLellan and Davidson was as wrong as wrong can be.

All Toronto saw about Komisarek was that he was a big hitter, mean sometimes, and would drop the gloves from time to time. He was to be the poster boy for the new, tough Leafs. But somehow they didn’t see the rest of Komisarek – the guy who takes terrible, ill-timed penalties, and who makes such bad decisions with the puck. He should get Christmas cards with a thank-you note from every player on other teams whom he handed the puck to which led to a goal or good scoring chance.

The Leafs couldn’t get it right about the Russians, but maybe Davidson and McLellan were tired after the long plane ride and then a train to Leningrad, and weren’t thinking straight. And Tretiak was getting married the next day so his mind wasn’t on the game when he let in eight goals.

But this is 2009, with new scouts and no overseas travel involved in this decision. Why was Komisarek rated so highly by Toronto brass?

15 thoughts on “The Leafs Should Have Just Asked Us”

  1. It’s funny Dennis, I was having this exact conversation with a leaf fan this morning, about how their scouting sucks. Another important thing that’s missing is Markov, he carried Komisarek and made him look good, now Komi is totally exposed with no one to cover up for him.

  2. Moey, it’s funny the Leafs rated him so high. It’s hard to figure. He’s tough, but not much more. And then Lucic beat him to a pulp. They should have just asked us.

  3. In Komisarek, Burke received a gifted and truculent player. If by “truculent” you mean an expert at head-butting the puck into your own net…


    Best angle is at around 0:54 seconds.

  4. Komisarek does not look that good Habbies , he seems like a 5 yr old in romper room without his ritalin. We had a pretty good defenseman in Kubina last year . Komisarek was going to be the big answer (also paid him a fortune)… Woo is the Leaf Fan.

    I am scared stiff what Burke is going to get for Kaberle… could the Habs use him as a fill in for Markov….Help me out Habbies ??

  5. I wouldn’t mind Kaberle in Montreal. We need a good skating D man. C’mon Burke. Kill your team just a little bit more.

  6. Great article Dennis.

    I was disappointed that Komisarek walked away…. and/or we got nothing in return.

    But….. seeing the familiar bad pinch… bad penalty…. bad pass….

    Brings back memories.

    And if O’Byrne manages to play like he was in pre-season when he returns from his injury… I don’t believe that I’ll be missing Komi at all.

    I don’t really miss him now actually.

  7. Moey that clip was terrific. Now I have enjoyed some of the Komisarek bashing that has gone on but really people we’re stating to sound like the jilted lover. All the flaws we were so willing to overlook before he left we now loudly parade out to make us feel better. Can we move on? The poor guy made his decision and now has to live with the fact that he chose Toronto. Isn’t that punishment enough?

  8. dishonest john,

    I can’t take the credit for finding it, it was posted on the comments section of the Four Habs Fans site. I’m just the messenger.

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