What's up, Coach? Back in good old Raleigh, I see. It's always nice to see a bromance the likes of yours and Jimmy Rutherford's be rekindled.
Seriously, though, I wish you nothing but success your second time around down there. Shock the world and take that Hurricanes team to the Stanley Cup final once again. Just make sure you don't go through the Leafs to make it happen, asshole.
Wait. My apologies. I didn't mean to call you an asshole. It just happens to be a very sensitive subject for me. I mean, the Leafs lost the 2002 Eastern Conference final to Arturs Irbe.
Arturs. Mother. Fucking. Irbe.
And Jeff O'Neill. Ugh. Let me get back on track here, before I start sobbing uncontrollably.
Look, Paul, I owe you an apology. I threw a lot of dirt on your name over the course of the last two years. I blamed you for a lot of what ailed the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially their issues in the defensive zone, and their penalty killing (I use the word "killing" lightly).
I'm sorry. It obviously wasn't your fault. Ron Wilson's Leafs have proven that you were, in fact, a penalty killing specialist. I'm sure Wilson would love for his team to be killing penalties at a 78% clip, like your Leafs did, instead of the disgraceful 73% he's got them coming in at.
Without you, Wilson's Leafs are allowing a frightening 3.44 goals a game. Good for 28th in the league, and substantially worse than your Leafs' 3.08 GAA last season, and 3.15 GAA in 06/07.
Jesus, Paul, I think I might actually miss you.
I now know that the Leafs' struggles during your two seasons at the helm weren't your fault. You just happened to be the scapegoat. And, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that you probably hate Andrew Raycroft as much as I do. I sincerely hope you're enjoying The Raycrap Report, as much as I'm enjoying writing it.
I like you, Paul, even to this day. You're a great quote and, by all accounts, an amiable cat. I don't think you're a very good coach, but that's besides the point. You're back in Carolina now and who, other than Schultzy, really gives a shit about the Hurricanes? It's where you belong.
Good luck tonight, Coach. You and your boys probably won't need too much of it.
I hope there's no hard feelings. We, Leafs Nation, don't blame you. Not anymore. We blame John Ferguson Jr. And we always will.