Tag: Brendan Shanahan

Rob Blake Peter Forsberg; Dominik Hasek; Mike Modano; Pat Burns; Lynn Burns; Bill McCreary

Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis


In a perfect world, Brendan Shanahan would get permission from the L.A. Kings and hire Rob Blake as the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

According to hockey insider Bob McKenzie, Mark Hunter, who was hired as the Leafs’ Director of Player Personnel earlier this season, is another rumored replacement for Dave Nonis.

However, if possible, Shanahan would like Blake to be the guy. McKenzie was on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto Friday afternoon and had this to say on the matter:

There’s always been speculation about the future of Nonis and whether he’s Shanahan’s guy and what he’s going to do here.

When Mark Hunter got hired, I think there was a widespread presumption that he could be a general manager in waiting if and when Brendan Shanahan makes a move to terminate or put Dave Nonis out to pasture – whatever the case may be.

I’ve also heard, over the course of time, that Brendan Shanahan’s first choice, if he were to hire a general manager other than Dave Nonis, would be Rob Blake, who worked with Shanahan at player safety and now of course works for the Los Angeles Kings under the Dean Lombardi regime.

I personally don’t think Rob Blake has any interest in leaving Southern California. He’s a surfer, he likes working with the Kings, and as much as he one day maybe wants to be a general manager, I’d be absolutely shocked if he wanted to do it in Toronto.

For now, Nonis remains the general manager of the club, which is in the middle of an eight-game losing streak. According to reports, Nonis was in Manchester, NH Friday night scouting Kings’ property Mike Richards. Nonis will likely be the general manager till the end of the season, but it appears his days are numbered.

Maple Leafs fire Randy Carlyle

Randy Carlyle, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Randy Carlyle era is suddenly – some might argue, mercifully – over in Toronto, as the Maple Leafs announced his firing on Tuesday morning.

The team’s exact phrase is “head coach Randy Carlyle has been relieved of his duties.” While that’s soaking with corporate speak, it almost feels right in this case, as coaching in the pressure cooker that is Toronto must generate a massive helping of stress.

The Leafs noted that assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will guide the ship for Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals, but didn’t announce plans beyond that contest.

“I want to thank Randy for all of his hard work and dedication,” GM Dave Nonis said. “It’s never an easy decision to make when changing your leadership but our team was not trending in the right direction and we felt an immediate change was necessary.”

The Maple Leafs generated a 91-78-19 record during parts of four seasons with Carlyle at the helm. He helped Toronto break a six-season playoff drought, although the 2013 postseason run memorably ended in a disastrous fashion against the Boston Bruins.

Toronto is currently on a two-game losing streak and has dropped seven of nine games. Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets seemed like a microcosm of critics’ biggest beefs with Carlyle: the Jets generated a 40-21 shot edge and prompted a fan to chuck a Leafs jersey on the ice (in Winnipeg).

This stretch seemed like the last straw, although one cannot help but wonder if the writing was on the wall once exec Brendan Shanahan began transitioning the franchise toward a more stats-leaning path. Even a contract extension did little to stop calls for Carlyle’s head, and as we’ve now found out, such speculation was justified.

One interesting thought on the timing of this firing:

Naturally, the replacement rumors will only rev up now that the inevitable happened …

An abbreviated look at the unraveling of the Carlyle era

Nonis puts onus on players back in November

Why he was failing at his job

Cody Franson said players weren’t trying to get him fired

Leafs hand Carlyle a contract extension

A lot of jerseys were lost in the making of this firing

Numbers game: Leafs hire assistant to GM, analytics team

Brendan Shanahan; Tim Leiweke; Dave Nonis

Fans in Toronto have been waiting for Brendan Shanahan to leave his footprint on the team since taking over as the president of hockey operations. Today may have been what they’ve been waiting for.

The Leafs announced they’ve hired Brandon Pridham as assistant to GM Dave Nonis. According to the team, Pridham will assist in salary cap analysis, contract negotiations and collective bargaining agreement interpretation for the team.

Being the team’s capologist means Pridham will never have a boring day at work in the Big Smoke and, as James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail shares, his reputation around the league is good one and he helped create the NHL’s salary cap system following the 2004-05 lockout.

The Leafs weren’t done there though.

According to Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy, the Leafs have hired a full analytics department highlighted by Darryl Metcalf (whom you may know best for his work at Extra Skater) as well as former Yahoo! writers Cam Charron and Rob Pettapiece.

All are well known for their work in statistics work, especially Metcalf whose website, extraskater.com, had become a popular visit for those interested in that side of analyzing hockey. Those hires along with the addition of Kyle Dubas as assistant GM have made the Leafs suddenly into one of the most modern-thinking teams in the league.

Report: Loiselle to replace Shanahan as VP of Player Safety

NHL logo

It looks like Brendan Shanahan may be responsible for helping find his replacement at the NHL in a roundabout kind of way.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Claude Loiselle, recently fired former assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is in line to replace Shanahan as the NHL Vice President of Player Safety. Shanahan left that position to become the President of Hockey Operations with the Maple Leafs.

Loiselle had been with the Leafs since May 2010 joining Brian Burke’s staff in Toronto. He was fired on July 22 to make way for 28-year-old former GM of the Soo Greyhounds, Kyle Dubas.

Should Loiselle take over, he’ll be the man front and center on those suspension videos we’ve come to enjoy. He’d also be the guy responsible for deciding how severely (or not) to punish those who have run afoul of the law on the ice. Perhaps he can try resetting the standard Shanahan initially tried to set when he took over for Colin Campbell.

Video: Questioning Toronto’s offseason moves

Brendan Shanahan;

It’s never dull in Toronto and already this offseason for the Maple Leafs has proved that.

With Brendan Shanahan being brought in as the President of Hockey Operations to work with General Manager Dave Nonis, many fans thought this was a move that would lead to coach Randy Carlyle being sent packing.

Instead, Carlyle is sticking around and earned a two-year contract extension out of it and his assistant coaches were fired. Was that the right move? Anson Carter and Don LaGreca discuss it.