The rumours of Brendan Shanahan’s hiring as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs became a reality last night. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke went after Shanahan – the Hall-of-Fame player and former director of player safety with the NHL – and got his man, just like he did with the Toronto Raptors and general manager Masai Ujiri.
The difference between the Shanahan and Ujiri hires, however, is Shanahan won’t be in charge of the daily hockey decisions with the team. Dave Nonis will stay on as general manager, at least for now. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet has the details of Shanahan’s role with the club.
Shanahan has held a variety of roles with the NHL’s head office since he’s retired, showing that he’s at least willing to learn and be in positions of scrutiny rather than simply enjoying some cushy “team ambassador” role. He’s definitely got his work cut out for him with the Leafs. Michael Grange of Sportsnet writes that Shanahan can improve the Leafs just by embracing analytics and using MLSE’s wide range of resources in creative ways.
Bringing in smart hockey people to run the front office and coach the team would be a good start. PPP of Pension Plan Puppets is a big fan of the “blow it up” approach to the management team. The question is, how long will it be until Shanahan feels comfortable bringing in “his guys” to run the show?
Sean McIndoe of Grantland shares his thoughts on the hiring. At least it means Leiweke isn’t satisfied with the status quo, which is a good start.
Oh yeah, the Leafs lost again last night. They were also dominated in zone entries, as @13_Leafs of Blue and White Brotherhood found. Troy Bodie actually did surprisingly well, tying for second on the Leafs with three controlled entries.