Good News, The Maple Leafs Learned A Lot From Their Failed Pursuit Of Steven Stamkos And They Are Applying It To Their Pursuit Of John Tavares!
Whew. I, for one, am relieved. I was on pins and needles wondering whether or not a prestigious franchise in a historic hockey market whose mere existence sells itself was going to sabotage their chances of adding a superstar by once again trying too hard to impress. Good to know that if they do happen to miss out on John Tavares then at least they'll receive the consolation prize of yet another illustrious lesson in the art of pitch meeting persuasion! It would suck to come so close yet so far from solidifying themselves at the center position for the better part of the next decade, but not as much as knowing they made the same mistake twice!
Just a quick question, are we assuming that all hockey players have the exact same mindset? While that's actually probably more true than it is false, the idea that the Maple Leafs think they are slowly but surely creating a foolproof blueprint for enticing talent as if said "talent" has a uniform set of interests, beliefs, and priorities is a little strange. Tinkering with the acuteness of their angle is probably smart, but acting like they have a cheatsheet to the 77(!) page handbook that John Tavares is personally judging prospective employers off of? Eh, not so much.
Again, I'm glad they learned from the unbelievably stupid miscalculation that a hockey player would be swayed by the presence of a political figure. I'm just not so sure that gives them a leg up in the Tavares' sweepstakes as much as it puts them on an even playing field with all the other organizations that weren't laughably out-of-touch with the prevailing personalities of players. If there is an NHL team that can just be itself in a "love me or leave me" sort of the way then it's the Toronto Maple Leafs, as a regionally famous CEO was never needed to convey that their future is only surpassed in brightness by their spotlight. I just can't believe they had to smoke a superstar out of a room that's reputable in its own right by stinking of Sabres-esque desperation to figure it out in the first place.