It’s official: the Toronto Maple Leafs will be Brendan Shanahan’s team.
The former NHL power forward and League disciplinarian took a stance the day after the 2014-15 regular season ended, firing general manager Dave Nonis and interim head coach Pete Horachek. It was two moves that most expected would happen sometime this summer. However, the swiftness to clean house surprised some.
It really shouldn’t have, though. Whether you want to judge him by his playing career or simply the man that he is, Shanahan is a man of action. He was hired as the team president because of his willingness to challenge the norm and make the right move (that case could be made for any NHL team president). Brought in during the 2014 postseason, Shanahan was called upon to make some changes to the ever-dysfunctional Maple Leafs. He’s doing just that and starting fresh, hopefully, in time for what is likely to be one of Toronto’s most important drafts to date.
Get his guys in there. Let his team sink or swim. Nonis, Horachek and even former coach Randy Carlyle were not his guys. Now, Shanahan will find who he deems worthy to lead one of the richest NHL franchises to hockey’s Promised Land. Now, if this new regime fails, blame can be pointed to Shanahan — and that’s exactly what he wants. He was not the one responsible for the demise of the 2014-15 season; that could technically still be pinned on former president and gm Brian Burke.
The 2015-16 Maple Leafs will be the true point in which Shanahan can be judged for his leadership. He seems ready for the big time after watching an abysmal product in 2014-15.
For more on Shanahan’s moves, check out today’s featured THW post: Leafs Fire Everyone, and Good Riddance!!!!
There was plenty of news around the NHL this weekend. Check out the top stories here:
Shanahan is rebuilding a broken organization. [National Post]
Will Shanahan be in hot pursuit of Mike Babcock? [Detroit Free Press]
The Sabres also fired their head coach, Ted Nolan. [TSN.ca]
The Panthers re-upped Jaromir Jagr for another season. [Puck Daddy]
The complete first-round series listing, complete with TV coverage. [CBS Sports]
The NHL Draft Lottery will take place on Saturday. [Edmonton Journal]
Preview the Capitals and Islanders first-round series. [Today’s Slapshot]
As opposed to past years, there are a lot of Canadian teams in the playoffs this postseason. [Deadspin]
The Lightning beat the Bruins on Saturday, achieving 50 wins. [Hockey Buzz]
Reports suggest that the Kings locked their head coach out of the locker room recently. [SB Nation]
Carey Price had a heck of a run in 2014-15. [The Globe & Mail]
Missing the playoffs may not have been a bad thing for the Bruins. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]