The big news around Leafs Nation yesterday was Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Lieweke’s pursuit of NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan to hire him as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Apparently, Shanahan also shares interest in joining the Leafs’ front office. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet first reported the news and Jeff Simmons has the story.
Shanahan has never held a team front office job before, so it’s unclear what kind of job he’ll do if he’s hired as president. I think the more pressing need for the Leafs right now is to clean out a front office that has made many questionable and failed decisions in the past, and not simply add another high-profile member for the sake of appeasing an angry fan base.
If Shanahan comes and cleans house and brings in his own people, I could get behind this move. If he doesn’t do anything, I don’t see how this helps the situation at all.
Goaltender Drew MacIntyre will get his first career NHL start In the Toronto Maple Leafs’ game against the Florida Panthers tonight. The 30-year-old has been stellar for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies with a .918 save percentage this season. He also stopped all 14 shots he faced when he came in relief of James Reimer in a game against the New Jersey Devils on March 23. As Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press writes, it’s been a bumpy career path for MacIntyre, but he’s finally getting an opportunity to prove he belongs in this league.
As the Leafs head into the offseason without making the playoffs, the temptation is to blow everything up and make significant changes to the roster. But, as Michael Traikos of the National Post writes, with the amount of money the Leafs have tied up in long-term deals, there’s only so much they can do.
With the NHL season wrapping up this week, Sean McIndoe of Grantland takes a look back and hands out hardware for the best and worst of the 2013-14 campaign. Remember Leafs fans, it could always be worse. You could be an Islanders fan.
The only thing left for Leafs fans to look forward to before the offseason is the entry draft. Kelly Friesen of Yahoo Sports talked to various draft experts and found the consensus top pick is Aaron Ekblad, a defenseman for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The Leafs are expected to pick somewhere around 11th in the first round.