Brendan Shanahan

Report: Shanahan finalizing agreement to join Leafs management


Brendan Shanahan is on the verge of leaving his position as the NHL’s director of player safety to claim an executive title with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox reports and multiple outlets confirm.

Shanahan will leave this post (which means we might have to retire “Shanaban,” unless we just consider that a scientific term) on Friday and could join the Maple Leafs’ management team as early as this weekend, Cox reports. The exact title isn’t clear yet, but it could include the word “president” in it:

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.

(The Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley reports that the position will be team president.)

Naturally, Shanahan reportedly leaving his post right before the postseason makes it important to appoint at least a temporary replacement. Cox lists Kris King and Mike Murphy as possible replacements while Sportsnet’s John Shannon points to King specifically.

(At least there’s room for cheesy Shanaban-ish nicknames for the punishments/processes for both; one could roll out Murphy’s Law or a wide variety of royal puns for either potential replacement. So maybe humorists can breathe a sigh of relief, after all.)

TSN’s Bob McKenzie indicates there might be other options, though:

Anyway, Cox indicates that an official announcement could come as early as Monday, so it sounds like we’ll get an idea of Shanahan’s precise role very soon. The questions are already starting about what kind of ripple effect may take place as the former power forward comes on board.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.