TORONTO (JP) – Sources familiar with the inner workings of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment today confirmed that Alvin Fitzgibbons, 28, has been hired to replace recently fired Paul Maurice and interim G.M. Cliff Fletcher as Coach and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Fitzgibbons – until recently the Assistant Manager of a McDonald’s Restaurant at 2936 Finch Ave. E. in Toronto – was widely regarded by experts as an unlikely candidate for either post as he has no prior coaching experience of any kind whatsoever and has learned everything he knows about the NHL by playing EA Sports’ NHL’04 on his Playstation 2. Prior to working with McDonald’s, Fitzgibbons (pictured at right) was employed by Eaton’s Canada on a “seasonal basis”.
According to a source close to the team, Fitzgibbons had submitted an application seeking a position in the concessions and guest services division of the hockey/basketball/condo building conglomerate; through administrative inadvertence, the Fitzgibbons application was mis-filed along with the credentials of some more conventional candidates for the Leafs coaching job, and an interview was scheduled as a result. Fitzgibbons was evidently initially hired as coach only, but impressed the MLSE board so much that they have bestowed upon him both portfolios effective immediately. The source notes that prior to being hired as the new coach of the Leafs, Fitzgibbons’ application for the position of Part-Time Deputy Assistant Popcorn Concession Manager had been rejected, as it was felt that Fitzgibbons lacked sufficient experience and a proven track record of successful results in the food service industry.
Asked why Fitzgibbons – who has never attended a National Hockey League game – would be hired as coach of the Maple Leafs, one source pointed to the urgency to do something to keep the media wolves at bay on Bay. “Alvin is available immediately,” said the source “except that he has to cover the Saturday night midnight to 8 a.m. shift on the drive-thru for the next 16 weeks. We think that works out well for us.” In addition to the convenience factor, Fitzgibbons is said to have wowed the Board during the interview process as a fresh thinker unburdened by preconceptions about his role and imbued with a novel perspective on the job. One board member who participated in the interview but who has asked to remain anonymous said, “Alvin had these mind-blowing ideas – for example, he’ll be instituting a system where every month he’s going to identify the one member of his team who has performed the best, and put that guy’s name and picture up on a plaque on the wall. Talk about accountability on the bench!” MLSE directors felt that Fitzgibbons’ coaching record was comparable to that of other rumoured candidates; for example, both Fitzgibbons and soon-to-be ex-San Jose Sharks’ coach Ron Wilson have each won zero Stanley Cups.
Board members were also reportedly so excited by Fitzgibbons’ plan to offer “smiles” for free to all patrons that they conferred the G.M. portfolio upon him, though jit should be noted that the MLSE Board, while stressing that Fitzgibbons will have complete autonomy over the team’s operations, has nevertheless slightly modified his plan – smiles will now be offered free at Air Canada Centre to fans who have paid the applicable yearly up-front licensing fee of $6000.
MLSE Board members also reportedly found that they were personally more compatible with Fitzgibbons than they were with many of the other potential candidates. They attributed this easy camaraderie to Fitzgibbons’ non-traditional background. “So many of the other candidates we interiewed reminded us of the problems we’ve had in the past with some of our hires,” said the source, “talking about ‘forechecking scheme this’, ‘defensive system that’ and things like ‘salary cap room’ or ‘no movement clauses’- all this technical hockey mumbo jumbo that, frankly, the Board finds boring and confusing. That’s why we hired John Ferguson Jr. – he didn’t know fuck all about any of those things either, but I guess he went off track and tried to walk the walk and talk the talk of other hockey executives. We all know how that worked out. Fitz assures us that he couldn’t care less about any of that stuff and that he feels he isn’t capable of learning; we understand him and he is able to take very clear direction from above, so we’re pretty convinced we’ve found our man.”
Reached at his Etobicoke home, Fitzgibbons was unable to discuss his plans for the NHL club at length, as he had promised his mother he would wash the dishes following dinner and was hoping to take in the new episode of “Lost” airing on ABC before turning in for the evening. Asked whether he was concerned about the pressure associated with the job, Fitzgibbons indicated that he was used to working in a high-stress environment. “Trying to do a cash reconciliation, doing prep for the morning menu and keeping an eye out for the occasional shotgun-toting armed robber, that’s pressure,” Fitzgibbons quipped. As to how he proposes to deal with the so-called “Muskoka Five” players with no-movement contracts, Fitzgibbons indicated that in the past, he had enjoyed a certain amount of success by simply promising to deliver a toy train and handing out a couple of candy canes.
Fitzgibbons is expected to commence work with the Maple Leafs as soon as he can make arrangments to borrow his brother-in-law’s car.
You unfairly minimize the skills needed to run/mop a McDonald’s, which, depending on location, may contain the same number of crybabies and immature adults as a typical professional sports team. And as a Santa, he’s probably personally experienced more body excretions than … yeah, I’d better not go there. So long as the nomination process is not derailed by skeletons in the closet (poor choices of Halloween costumes, E.Coli vectors, etc.) I believe Mr. Fitzgibbons should have the inside track.
Brilliant. I love it. And considering the incestuous nature of hockey coach resumes, the product on-ice can only improve with an outsider’s point of view. Next, I hear Patrick “Sensei Crease” (okay, I know it’s Kreese, but the pun works better this way) Roy’s name up for a slot with the Avs from the recently vacated Quenneville: boxing gloves to be provided on top of every net, along with water bottles.
Hopefully, the Avs would supply Monsieur Roy with a rattle and logo-inscribed diapers too!
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