Toronto Maple Leafs: Brendan Shanahan Press Conference Quotes


Toronto Maple Leafs top dog Brendan Shanahan addressed a slew of questions during his press conference today following the dismissal of almost everyone involved with the Leafs yesterday. Here is some of what Shanahan said during the 25 minutes of chatter.

On what he’s looking for in the makeup of the next GM and whether Dubas/Hunter are candidates:

“One thing I don’t want to do this early in the process is eliminate anyone from the process. We have time, there are people available now, more available as summer goes along. We want someone that shares our vision. We need to have a team with greater character, people that represent this city – and this team – as it deserves.”

On commitment, and if the current leadership made the commitment they need to make as well as are changes coming?

“The obvious answer to that is as a group – no. Yesterday was just the beginning, there will be changes. We have some good pieces here.”

On scouting fires and the draft approach:

“Not a different approach. This was something Mark [Hunter] was evaluating all season long. Mark knows scouting, Mark knows talent and this had to be his group. He has the people he trusts, that he likes.”

Will he take over as GM, even in short term?

“That’s not my intention,” and later in the press conference… “That’s not where my goal is today. My focus is on finding a GM.”

On patience and the Toronto Marlies:

“It’s important when people ask me about the plan I’ve often said the plan is not some unique plan. The challenge in Toronto is not to come up with the plan. The challenge is to stick to it. That’s the hard part. Our vision is, indeed, to draft and develop our own players. If a player is ready to come up he’ll come up.”

On the mix of players and if Kessel and Phaneuf are included in players that could be going:

“After what’s happened here over the last several years I think it has to include everybody.”

“That’s not my intention” – Brendan Shanahan on if he will be the next GM of the Maple Leafs

On rebuild timeframe, how important is this draft and does he see himself as a cap ceiling team anytime soon?

“I can’t predict where we’re going to be with the cap in a few years but of course its an important draft. They all are important, that’s why we went out and got a guy like Mark Hunter. The truth of the matter is in the reality and the truest answer I can give you is it takes as long as it takes. You don’t deviate from the vision. In our mind we would like to see next year just an improvement in the attitude and the way we play.”

On McDavid-  if you get him how would it affect the timing on this build?

“It would certainly speed things up.” This was met with laughter from everyone.

Would you be adverse to any kind of structure like the Avs where coach as VP title?

“We will have an open mind in order to get the best people here.” Shanahan did say this wasn’t an avenue he wanted to travel down today.

On character in the room:

“Character has to come from a group. It’s not good enough, they understand that. I haven’t been satisfied with it.”

On having a GM in place at draft/ free agency:

“That’s the hope but we’re not going to be bound by deadlines, we’re looking for the right person. I would certainly hope that would be the case.”


Shanahan gave honest answers and made it clear they have a vision and they’re moving forward to action that vision. It’s pretty clear Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter and major pieces moving forward and will be involved significantly moving forward – especially at this years draft.

It’s also pretty clear the new GM will be part of a team – and not have the traditional freedom to do whatever he pleases during his tenure. The Maple Leafs are taking a management by committee approach and I like it more and more. Here are two last random quotes from Shanahan’s conference:

“I believe we’re building a very capable and decdicated staff of people.”

On firing everyone now rather than a year ago:

“I had to come in here and see some thing for myself.”

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