TORONTO (AP) -The Toronto Maple Leafs fired general manager John Ferguson on Tuesday and replaced him with Cliff Fletcher on an interim basis.
The Maple Leafs, who have missed the playoffs the past two years, are 14th in the Eastern Conference standings with a 19-22-5-3 record.
``After full consideration of the Leafs' situation, it has become clear that change and a new direction is needed,'' Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement.
The MLSE board of directors met on Monday and decided to make the change. Ferguson, hired as GM in 2003, was informed on Tuesday.
Fletcher first served as GM of the Maple Leafs from 1991 to 1997, twice leading the team to the Western Conference finals. The 72-year-old is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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