Tag: Brendan Shanahan

Dave Nonis

Leafs expected to be one of the busiest teams at the deadline


Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis is on a scouting tour looking for trade partners.

Nonis was in Nashville on Thursday night watching the Predators and Anaheim Ducks. He also took in Saturday’s Kings-Lightning game in Tampa Bay.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox (via Elliotte Friedman), the Leafs are nowhere close to contract extensions with Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli or Daniel Winnik. All three are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after this season and are available via trade.

Additionally, the Leafs are reportedly willing to part ways with center Tyler Bozak. Friedman said he’s hearing the 28-year-olds name in trade rumors. Bozak has three years remaining on his five-year, $21 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $4.2 million.

Despite rumors of Brendan Shanahan looking for Nonis’ replacement, the 48-year-old executive is expected to remain in his position through the trade deadline.

Toronto snapped its 11-game skid with a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. The Leafs play host to the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

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

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

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