Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
As tempting and knee-jerk as it is to blame the bench boss for the calamity that befell the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last month of the season — 2-12-0 — the fault lies with a group of players who could not rally from an ever-deepening hockey stupor, failing the test of character and fortitude, time and time again.
Oh, there were flashes of backbone, when least expected — beating Boston in the second last week of the schedule, especially. Yet those spurts of mettle were fleeting and ultimately misleading. This was more the team that lost to Winnipeg and Florida and New Jersey down the dismaying stretch; less the team that rose to the challenge of the Bruins.
And the core problem, I suggest, is that the players still don’t see themselves for what they are. They scratch their heads and wonder, how did this happen? The answer is staring them in the face, if only they looked hard in the mirror.
“He fought as a player, he fought for the union, he fought for the game and he (fought) for the integrity of the league. Now he comes here to fight for the Leafs. The one thing I know about Shanny is he’s going to fight for us every day.
“He may be analytical, he may be patient, he may not knee-jerk, but in that heart beats a man who is extremely committed to winning and doing whatever is necessary.”
-Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of MLSE on Brendan Shanahan, the new President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More on Shanahan from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
The introduction of Brendan Shanahan as the Toronto Maple Leafs president is scheduled to begin at 11:00am ET.
You wan watch the stream below...
update 11:43am, press conference is over.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
An overtime goal in a Stanley Cup final is itself deserving of historic permanence. Add that it was scored on a broken leg and the storyline shifts into myth-making. Such was the magnitude of that dramatic night in an arena that no longer stands, for a team that no longer wins, that it dwarfs the other 1,059 times Baun pulled on an NHL sweater, and remains seared in the memory of Torontonians of a certain age.
Visit Baun now at the modest south Ajax home he shares with his wife Sallie and he’ll willingly recreate that night in Detroit, April 23, 1964, supplying colour to the grainy black-and-white video that will undoubtedly be replayed frequently this anniversary month.
That the once hard-hitting defenceman has retold the tale thousands of times — the cracking fibula that “sounded like a cannon” firing, the freezing and doctor’s reassurances that he couldn’t inflict further damage, the “triple-flutter blast with a follow-up blooper” shot that somehow found mesh — doesn’t diminish the telling. A bemused grin and a twinkle in his eyes gives the impression that the 77-year-old enjoys the yarn as much as the listener.
Watch the Baun OT goal below and yes, I was there...
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The Toronto Maple Leafs need Brendan Shanahan the player, not Brendan Shanahan the president.
In his 21 years as a power forward with a scoring touch that took him to The Hockey Hall of Fame, Shanahan spent a lot of time pounding bodies in those areas Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said, in increasingly wistful terms as this lost season wound down, he would like his players to venture – along the boards and in front of the net. He really was a hard man to play against, something the current crop of Leafs like to talk about but rarely are.
The biggest problem with the Maple Leafs is they remind anyone of a certain age of the Maple Leafs from the Harold Ballard-Gerry McNamara era of the late 1980s. That team had some talented players such as Russ Courtnall, Gary Leeman and Wendel Clark. Gerry’s Kids, as they were called, since McNamara the general manager drafted most of them and insisted they were all terrific.
But Clark was one of the few with a competitive streak and that team was notorious for how quickly the players stopped working, much to the fury of head coach John Brophy.
"Whether it was behind the scenes or under the glare of hockey's harshest spotlight, Brendan was as much of an 'impact player' at the League as he was on the ice. Brendan brought commitment, clarity and impeccable credibility to his difficult and thankless duties here, and while we are sad to see him go, we knew his unique skill-set and body of work in the sport would make him a valued leader for any Club. Brendan has helped to change the culture of the game, has made it safer on a variety of levels, and his influence will be felt for years. We send him to his new role with our best wishes and our deep appreciation for his many contributions to the game."
It is officially official that Hockey Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan is going to be joining the management of the Toronto Maple Leafs as President and Alternate Governor for the Original Six franchise.
Check out the Press Release below for futher details.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The intriguing concept of Brendan Shanahan joining the Maple Leafs has been rattling around the restless mind of Tim Leiweke for months.
But after an explosion of speculation from a variety of media outlets in the past 48 hours forced the idea to be fast-tracked, that concept is about to turn into reality.
Shanahan, according to multiple sources, will resign his position as the NHL’s director of player safety as early as Friday and immediately join the Leafs this weekend as the team closes out a disappointing season.
While his precise job could not be confirmed, sources suggest the Hall of Fame winger will likely be named president of the Leafs hockey club, not only president of hockey operations.
from Curtis Rush of the Toronto Star,
If the reports are true, the Maple Leafs could be on the verge of hiring Brendan Shanahan to an unspecified high-ranking executive role. Is hiring the current director of NHL Player Safety a good idea?
Here are five reasons why it’s a good idea and five reasons why it’s a bad idea.
1. Shanahan is local (from Mimico), and he’s a Hall of Famer who won three Stanley Cups as a player with the Detroit Red Wings. His name screams “winner.” This city needs a hometown hero in their front office and a feel-good story. His link to a winning organization like the Red Wings, who have made the Stanley Cup playoffs for 23 straight seasons, makes MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke drool. He would also have cachet with the players because of his reputation as a character guy in the NHL.
1. Brendan Shanahan has no hockey ties to the Maple Leafs. He was a member of the Red Wings, who are an arch-enemy of the Maple Leafs. This would be akin to the Red Wings hiring Wendel Clark as president. This would not go down well with many fans.
from Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet,
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke is looking into the possibility of shake up the front office of his hockey team after the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent collapse.
Leiweke has interest in bringing in NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for a potential hockey role with the Leafs, sources told Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to a hometown great to boost their front office.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tim Leiweke has reached out to NHL Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan in regards to a "top hockey operations position" with the Maple Leafs.
Shanahan, a Mimico, Ont. native, has held various executive roles with the League since retiring from hockey in 2009.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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