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 Shoalts defends Bowman story, says speculation about Bowman 
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Post Shoalts defends Bowman story, says speculation about Bowman
MLive.com wrote:
Shoalts defends Bowman story, says speculation about Bowman and Yzerman are warranted
Posted by George James Malik August 07, 2007 02:42AM

The Globe and Mail's David Shoalts appeared on Toronto radio station "The Fan" 590's Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown to defend his Saturday-afternoon story claiming that Detroit Red Wings consultant Scotty Bowman is on the precipice of becoming the Maple Leafs' president.

He then, however, dove into the rampant speculation, and by the end of the conversation, he was dragging Red Wings VP Steve Yzerman to Toronto as their supposed next GM under Bowman...

August 6, Sportsnet video: David Shoalts:I had it, from, you know, not from Joe Blow, somebody quite credible that Scotty had been offered the job as president, and this time, he was leaning towards accepting it. And, of course, this comes up in the middle of [August] long weekend when nobody's around, so you sit there reading the tea leaves, talking to whoever you can find, and it sounded like a good, a good...a good story, so we went with it, and then, of course, Scotty denied everything, and he phoned me [Sunday] and denied everything.

However, the interesting thing about this is that there's always deniability built into these things whether it's contact through a third party, or, you know, just who is talking to whom, and yet, uh, I know that we had talked about this during the break, and I forgot to mention it; I did speak to one of Scotty's close friends yesterday, who said, basically, "I really can't say that this is completely hogwash," you know, so even his friends are sort of on the fence about this, and I think the signs all point to, that, definitely they're still interested in him, if he is still interested. Whether or not they've sat down and discussed something, I don't know.

Gord Kirke: Why wouldn't they be interested in him? I mean, you know, he is certainly not over the hill from a mental agility point of view, he, he...Nobody knows the game better than Scotty, and, and, you know, you would think that, as they described the role, uh, as being the senior mentor to come in and help John Ferguson, Jr., out, and help the organization, and, and, buy them some time and learning experience, etc., he would be perfect.

The only question I have is, whether it's Scotty Bowman or John Muckler, or any of the other elder statesmen that might be considered for this role, if they're strong enough to do the job, I think almost all of them would want carte blanche to clean house, or build the organization as they see fit, and I'm not sure that the Leafs would be willing to do that.

Mike Toth: Let's say that this happens, Dave, and Scotty Bowman is the guy. What does that mean, ultimately, for John Ferguson, and, for even Paul Maurice. Do you have any feel on that yet?

Shoalts: Uh, well, everything I've been told would indicate that Scotty would either have the decks cleared when he came in, or would do so himself soon thereafter. Now, this was back, when he, this kind of talk was back when he was offered the post in, I believe, June, and there were...People who know Scotty quite well would tell you there were all kinds of plans afoot, and they didn't really include John Ferguson or Paul Maurice.

Toth: Did any names come up?

Shoalts: Well, they talked about having, as assistant coaches, coming in, people like Craig Ramsay [who has since been hired by the Boston Bruins] and Igor Larionov, um...As a head coach, it was pretty vague, it was funny, but, you know...He's also close to, he had a really good relationship with Steve Yzerman, when Yzerman played for him in Detroit. Yzerman would like to be a GM, but he's always said, you know, he's not interested in pushing aside Ken Holland, who's not going anywhere, I don't think, in Detroit, and Ken has a natural successor behind him in Jim Nill, who's a very good hockey man...

So, this would seem, to me, pretty intriguing for a lot of people, and there are a lot of people around the league who would be dying to work for Scotty Bowman, in fact, one guy I talked to the weekend specifically said, "I hope he gets the job, I hope it happens, because I'd love to work for him."

Rampant speculation drives most sports talk radio in August, and that is, most likely, what this business is about. Back in the land of reality, the Detroit Free Press reiterated the comments Scotty Bowman made to Helene St. James about the Leafs' initial inquiry:

August 7, Detroit Free Press: He told the Free Press last month that Toronto offered him "a consultant job earlier in the summer.

"They really didn't define it - I didn't get into a lot," Bowman said. "They asked for permission - they didn't need it, but the Wings granted it. I think they're just trying to solidify their hockey department. ... I only had one small interview, and I decided I'm pretty set in my ways.

Bowman is a consultant to the Wings, a position that embedded him in the inner circle with vice president Jimmy Devellano, general manager Ken Holland, head coach Mike Babcock and, as of last year, the newest vice president, Steve Yzerman. It's a job that has kept Bowman busier than expected. He travels a great deal - he has already been to Russia twice in the past year, though he also has been able to spend much more time visiting his family.

Bowman turns 74 in September.

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August 7th, 2007, 4:34 pm
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Personally I think it's great if it comes true... I'd rather see them leave and shine than stay here and rot... If they can go somewhere else and get promotions, so be it!... I'm happy for them, not angry they're considering leaving, if it is in fact true...


August 7th, 2007, 6:12 pm
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I just can't see Yzerman leaving the Wings' front office any time soon. In a few years, after he's learned the ropes, maybe. But until then, I think he'll be content just learning from Holland and Nill in the city that he played for.

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August 7th, 2007, 7:40 pm
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