Brendan Shanahan Returning Is Everything Wrong With the Toronto Maple Leafs

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

On Friday morning the Maple Leafs held a press conference where reporters asked MLSE CEO Keith Pelley, President of the Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan, and GM of the club Brad Treliving questions about the team's past season and the upcoming offseason.

It was confirmed Brendan Shanahan will be returning for his tenth season as the President of the Maple Leafs in the press conference.

Since the day he was hired on April 11th, 2014 the 'Shanaplan' turned the Leafs around from a horrible regular season team into a perennial playoff team.

That's about the only success this team has had in past decade.

The 'Shanaplan' Should Have Come to an End Long Ago


Seven is the number of first-round exits this team has had and Shanahan has overseen as the team president. In the Matthews era, they have gone through two general manager changes and two coaching changes. Changes to player personnel have occurred aside from the current core four which looks like is coming to an end as well.

Shanahan has always been adamant, along with Kyle Dubas, that the core of this team can win together. Last offseason it looked as though Dubas began to waiver from that belief and was ultimately let go while having a huge offer from Pittsburgh in his back pocket.

It has also been no secret that Shanahan had the final say on hockey decisions in the Dubas era. This was ultimately one of the reasons why the offer from Pittsburgh was so attractive for Dubas because while he is the general manager he is also the president of hockey operations for the Penguins. This cuts out a guy like Shanahan and allows Dubas to communicate directly with the board.

Since the game seven loss and through the firing of Sheldon Keefe "It's a results-based business" has been a prominent quote coming from the Leafs along with the media. If it is a results-based business then how has Brandon Shanahan kept his job through every single failure this era has had?

It is hard to ignore the fact the Leafs print money for MLSE and while no fan wants to hear that, at the end of the day it is a business. The thing with that logic is the Leafs could make so much more if they went on one run.

During the press conference, the CEO of MLSE Keith Pelley said, "Good is simply not good enough." which is funny to hear when this organization from top to bottom has settled for just good in this era. There have only been five guys who have survived each failure. Morgan Rielly, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Brendan Shanahan.

Now while I'm not suggesting moving off of Auston Matthews or William Nylander, my point is there are not many organizations in sports that are content with keeping people after going through so many failures.


That's the problem with this organization. They have been content with the extra three or four home games a year and have refused to make hard decisions with the core and Shanahan has had his hands in all of it.