Leafs’ core expects Shanahan to make changes


After one of the worst statistical seasons in franchise history, which saw the Leafs finish 30-44-8 including a 9-28-5 record following a January coaching change, club President Brendan Shanahan vowed changes are coming to the team’s leadership group.

It likely means the end in Toronto for some combination of captain Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul.

All of the aforementioned players know they may have played their final game in a Leafs’ sweater.

“I signed here to be a Toronto Maple Leaf, that can change. I understand the business side, I’ve been around the business for long enough that I understand this business,” said Phaneuf. “If that (trade) does happen or if it comes up this summer, I’ll deal with that then.”

The 30-year-old had 29 points in 70 games while matching a career-worse minus-11 rating. Phaneuf was also sidelined for 12 games with a hand injury, which has not fully healed.

“This was, for me, the toughest year that I’ve had in my career. The main thing is that we did not play well enough and I take responsibility for me not playing well enough for our team,” said Phaneuf. “My numbers, I think, reflect that in the offensive side of the game. I didn’t produce where I expect to produce and that affected our team success.”

Kessel along with James van Riemsdyk and Bozak – the Leafs’ top line – combined for a minus-101 rating.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen the way the season went and things like that. I haven’t really thought about it too much,” said Bozak, who matched his point total (49) from last season while playing 24 more games. “Obviously I’d like to be here, it’s where I’ve been my whole career, but who knows what’s going to happen.

“I obviously think there’s probably going to be some changes. You never know what’s going to happen so I guess we’ll just wait and see.”

Kessel, who had multiple run-ins this season with the media, had his lowest goal total in an 82-game season (25) since his second year in the league (2007-08).

“I signed (for) eight years last year. I love Toronto. The fans have been great to me. I love the guys and I love playing here,” he said. “So hopefully I’ll be back.

“I’ll have to see if that (trade) time comes. You never know how things shake out, but I want to be here.”

Lupul, who was once again hampered by injuries and limited to just 55 games, acknowledged it might be time to move on.

“Sometimes, it’s time to move on and I don’t know if it’s that time yet,” said Lupul, who missed games due to a broken bone in his hand and multiple lower body injuries. “Nothing more that I would like than to get this team back into the playoffs and make a run and try and build something good here.

“I didn’t play well enough. I struggled with injuries. I should’ve played better and the team would’ve played better.”

Shanahan has had a year to review the organization from top to bottom on Sunday he fired his general manager, head coach and as many as 20 members of the scouting staff.

This summer multiple players, which made up the core of the Leafs for a number of years, will also find new homes.

“They understand that (Sunday) was just the beginning, there will be some changes,” Shanahan said. “They recognize it. They’ve been around. They understand changes are going to be made.”

Housecleaning continues as Toronto fires scouts


On the same day GM Dave Nonis and interim head coach Peter Horachek were relieved, the Toronto Maple Leafs have cleaned house in their scouting department.

The Leafs have fired Director of Pro Scouting Steve Kasper and Director of Player Development Jim Hughes.

The club has retained Director of Amateur Scouting, Dave Morrison.

Reports have as many as 18 scouts being fired.

Toronto has over 20 scouts currently listed on its website:


The Leafs will hold exit meetings with players on Monday.

The club’s President, Brendan Shanahan, is scheduled to meet the media at 2 p.m. ET.

PHT Morning Skate: Calgary’s AHL affiliate unveils logo and jerseys for next season


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Stockton Heat will be the Calgary Flames’ third different American Hockey League affiliate in three seasons when they begin play in 2015-16. On Wednesday night they unveiled their new name, logo and jerseys for next season.

An L.A. Kings’ fan recently recognized Tanner Pearson’s car and filled his meter as he was about to receive a ticket. (Bar Down)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 fantasy hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $3,000. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Enter Now!

Prospect Noah Hanifin is more than a consolation prize in the 2015 draft. (Puck Daddy)

Columnist Michael Grange says Toronto Maple Leafs’ president Brendan Shanahan is taking a risk by disciplining Nazem Kadri. (Sportsnet)

Artist creates eye-catching new Game of Thrones-style banners for former NHL teams. (The Hockey News)

Report: Leafs willing to move Bozak


Add Tyler Bozak to the list of players the Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to part with.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs are actively trying to move the center.

He has three years remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $4.2 million.

The Globe and Mail reported this week that team president Brendan Shanahan has received approval from ownership to put the club through a full rebuild. The move would mean building through the draft and long-term projects instead of short-term solutions through trades and established players.

Pending unrestricted free agents Daniel Winnik, Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson are also available according to previous reports.

Forward Phil Kessel seems resigned to the fact he could be dealt.

Following the Leafs’ 3-2 loss to the Islanders on Thursday night he said, “I go where they want me. I love Toronto. If it’s not here, it’s not here.”

Hockey insider Darren Dreger reported earlier this week that the Leafs would be prepared to part ways with captain Dion Phaneuf and Kessel, but added because of the term remaining on their respective deals a move at the trade deadline would be unlikely.

Phaneuf is expected to miss up to another week with his hand injury, which could also scare off teams at the deadline.

Dreger added both could be moved in the offseason when teams have more room to play with.

The Leafs have just one playoff appearance in nine seasons. If Shanahan is to do things his way, it could be at least a couple more years without postseason hockey in Toronto.

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.