Brendan Shanahan Is the Toronto Maple Leafs Biggest Problem

Dec 20, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan watched the game Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan watched the game Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last week, Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan announced that the team is cutting ties with general manager Kyle Dubas.

According to James Mirtle from the Athletic, the two Toronto Maple Leafs managers were at odds with each other.

Shanahan allegedly prevented a few trades from happening during Dubas’ time with the Leafs. While discussing a new contract between the team and Dubas, Dubas was apparently seeking more control. Shanahan then decided it was time to let Dubas go and hire a new GM. The search for a new GM is underway.

Immediately after Shanahan announced that Dubas would not be returning, many wondered how this decision would affect the core four. According to hockey insider Chris Johnston, Shanahan spoke with each of the core four and explained that the team fully intends to keep them all in Toronto. Does this mean that Shanahan is informing GM candidates that the core four of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner are untouchable?

One would assume that this could be a deal breaker for some. What if the new GM believes that trading a member of the core four is the best move for the entire team? Will Shanahan step in and block the potential trade? If so, how long until the new GM is frustrated with Shanahan like Dubas was? This situation gets messier and messier the more you look at it.

Can the Toronto Maple Leafs Survive Two More Years Under Shanahan?

Shanahan’s current contract runs through until the end of the 2024-25 season. He will be president for two more seasons and the main guy calling the shots. How does this affect the team? Will his overreach cause more harm than good? Any new GM coming into Toronto should be wondering the same thing.

I’m sure some of the deals Shanahan blocked Dubas from doing were the right decision, but how many blocked deals could have helped the Toronto Maple Leafs have better playoff success? We might never find out. One supposed trade that Shanahan stopped was at the 2022 NHL trade deadline. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Dubas wanted to trade goaltender Petr Mrazek, prospect Matthew Knies, and two first-round picks to the Chicago Blackhawks for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forward Brandon Hagel.

Next. 5 Candidates to Replace kyle Dubas as Leafs GM. dark

There’s no telling how Toronto would have done in the 2022 NHL playoffs with Fleury and Hagel. In Toronto, Shanahan is in charge, and all transactions go through him first. Anyone upset with Dubas for moves he did or did not make can now be upset with Shanahan for getting in the way. It will be interesting to see if this is a hindrance to any of the potential GM candidates.