Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The Leafs won six games since the Olympic break. Six games. Six of 20 — that’s 53-point pace. That’s disgraceful.
Before the Olympics, demonstrating many of the flaws that have plagued them in the last quarter, they played at 95-point pace. The difference in results, the same team, same players, getting little out of anything, unable to find a way.
Now they limp towards the end of the schedule seeming so weak, so vulnerable, so lost. Up and down the roster. All the way to the bench and the coaching staff. They got by, as one NHL scout pointed out last night, with terrific goaltending. And when the goaltending was no longer terrific — they had no real response.
It isn’t just that. It can’t be just that. It’s not any one thing, even if the analytics zealots continue to beat the drum. More possession would not have changed everything, that’s just one element in a laundry list of woes that added up to total collapse.
“If you look at us, it really sucks because for 85% of the year, we were one of the top 10 teams in the league. I think that’s something to be proud of. But it also kind of hits you even lower when you fall out of that playoff spot. We definitely know we can be one of those teams to be reckoned with. It’s just a matter of keeping it together.”
-Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More on and from the Leafs by Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
It’s a shame, really. At this point in the season, we should be talking about how Phil Kessel is closing in on 40 goals and has thrown his name into the mix for the Hart Trophy. We should be debating whether Jonathan Bernier’s numbers are good enough for a Vezina Trophy nomination and how James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly are all taking steps towards stardom.
With three games left in the regular season, this should have been a time to celebrate individual achievements and start thinking about playoff matchups. Instead, after finally rinsing the bad taste of a Game 7 collapse from their mouths, the Toronto Maple Leafs are once again back at the sink and reaching for the mouthwash.
The Leafs, who can be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs as early as Tuesday night, wasted an 80-point season from Kessel, which is currently good for fourth in the league. The last Leafs player to finish in the top five in league scoring was Mats Sundin in 2001-02.
The 2013-14 NHL Regular Season wraps up this Sunday.
Remaining games left for teams in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race...
Detroit- at Buffalo on Tuesday, at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Carolina at Detroit on Friday and at St. Louis on Sunday.
Columbus- Phoenix at Columbus on Tuesday, at Dallas on Wednesday, at Tampa Bay on Friday and at Florida on Saturday.
New Jersey- Calgary at New Jersey tonight, at Ottawa on Thursday, NYI at New Jersey on Friday and Boston at New Jersey on Sunday.
Toronto- at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, at Florida on Thursday and at Ottawa on Saturday.
Washington- at St. Louis on Tuesday, at Carolina on Thursday, Chicago at Washington on Friday and Tampa Bay at Washington on Sunday.
At this point int time, do you care to make a prediction? What teams take the two wild card spots and in what order?
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org