John Muckler would like to get even with the Ottawa Senators by joining their arch-rivals.
Metro has learned that super-agent Gil Scott contacted top-ranking executives of the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday in an effort to persuade them to involve his 73-year-old client in their operation.
Scott, who recently added Leafs’ general manager John Ferguson Jr. to his list of clients, pitched the idea of a Ferguson-Muckler, front-office tandem to the Leafs. And I’m told the Leafs do indeed have interest in Muckler, perhaps even as a replacement for Ferguson rather than as an aide.
Muckler was fired on the weekend as the GM of the Senators, despite guiding them to the Stanley Cup final. Sources say he lost a power struggle with his coach, Bryan Murray.
“Murray started knifing John in the back months ago,” a source said. “Ownership fell for it and Murray got what he wanted — John’s job.”
• This hasn’t been a particularly pleasant period for Scott.
Not only was Muckler canned but two of his other clients — Dave Lewis and Marc Habscheid — were axed the other day as head coach and associate coach of the Boston Bruins.
Scott, by the way, didn’t return calls yesterday.
• Don’t look now, but B.C. native Justin Morneau is on the same pace he was last year, when he was chosen the American League’s MVP.
After 67 games last year, the Minnesota Twins’ first baseman was hitting .282 with 13 doubles, 19 home runs and 61 runs batted in. After the same number of games this season, his numbers were .280, 12 doubles, 20 homers and 54 RBIs.
Morneau, incidentally, received a Canadian flag the other day from an ambassador and is displaying it at his Minneapolis home alongside autographed pictures of former NHL superstars Gordie Howe, Patrick Roy and Bobby Orr.
•OK, it’s official now — the Blue Jays’ A.J. Burnett is injury-prone … The New York Yankees are trying to complete a trade with Los Angeles for ex-Jay Shea Hillenbrand, who is in the Angels’ doghouse … Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz is a scratch golfer and will join the senior tour after baseball. He’s already retained his ex-catcher, Greg Olson, to be his caddie … Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron is also quite the golfer, having sunk three holes-in-one … Bills president Marv Levy, by the way, is as classy as they come and has cheered up his ailing old pal, J.I. Albrecht, with a call. Albrecht and Levy ran the Montreal Alouettes together in the 1970s.