As Shanahan searches for the Maple Leafs GM, let’s take a look at the alleged candidates

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As Brendan Shanahan’s search for a Maple Leafs general manager enters its second week, one detail seems clear.

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Back on May 19 — though it seems like a long time ago — Leafs president Shanahan said it would be an “attractive trait” to have an experienced GM while the club moved on after Kyle Dubas was fired.

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As speculation continues about the new GM, one commonality among the names reportedly being considered is the experience each man in the National Hockey League has had, whether as a GM or as an executive.

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A look at some of the potential candidates as Shanahan continues to do his due diligence in the interview process:

Brad Treliving

Many in the hockey world believe that 53-year-old Treliving remains the favorite to be named the 18th GM in Leafs history.

It has been barely a month since Treliving and the Calgary Flames agreed to part ways after he had been the Flames’ GM for the past nine seasons. Treliving, as the saying goes, would hit the ground running within hours of being hired.

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“Really smart guy,” said an NHL players’ agent who has done business with Treliving. “He’s a tough guy and not afraid to tell you everything you know. No problem if he’s the guy the Leafs are hiring.”

If the Leafs reach a point where Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner or William Nylander need to be traded, nobody we spoke to thinks Treliving couldn’t do it for Toronto.

Marc Bergevin

In six of the nine seasons during Bergevin’s 2012-2021 tenure as GM, the Montreal Canadiens made the playoffs six times and made it past the first round in three years.

Under Bergevin, 57, the Canadiens peaked towards the end of his reign, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.

During his time in Montreal, Bergevin twice placed second in the GM of the Year poll. Less than two months after Bergevin was released by the Canadiens in November 2021, he was named senior advisor to the Los Angeles Kings.

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Jason Botterill

Botterill, 47, is now an assistant GM for the Seattle Kraken and has held numerous NHL front office roles since retiring from a mostly minor-league playing career following the 2004-05 season.

Before being hired by Seattle in January 2021, Botterill, the brother of Sportsnet hockey analyst Jennifer Botterill, was the GM of the Buffalo Sabers from 2017 to 2020. The Sabers never made the playoffs during that time, and Botterill’s 2019 signing of coach Ralph Krueger backfired.

Botterill was an assistant GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins before taking on his role at Buffalo.

Peter Chiarelli

Though he hasn’t been an NHL GM since January 2019, when he was released by the Edmonton Oilers, Chiarelli’s resume is extensive.

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The 58-year-old has been a member of the St. Louis Blues’ front office since September 2021 and serves as the team’s vice president of hockey operations.

In 2011, Chiarelli was GM of the Boston Bruins when the club last won the cup. Questionable management of salary caps contributed to Chiarelli being fired in 2015, although he was hired as a GM in Edmonton a few days later.

Former Edmonton Oilers hockey boss and GM Peter Chiarelli speaks.
Former Edmonton Oilers hockey president and GM Peter Chiarelli speaks to the media in 2018. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia Network

Doug Wilson

When Wilson stepped down as GM of the San Jose Sharks last April, he was on vacation due to ill health, ending a 19-year tenure in that role during which Wilson built a strong, annually competitive team in San Jose.

Under Wilson’s leadership, the Sharks made the playoffs 14 times but made it to the finals only once, losing to the Penguins in six games in 2016.

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At 65, Wilson, who is interested in returning to the NHL, is the oldest of the group listed here and has the most experience.

Wilson was a prolific defender as a player and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

Scott Mellanby

Since retiring from the NHL following the 2006-07 season, a career spanning 1,431 games, Mellanby, 56, has held various jobs in the NHL.

Mellanby was not the GM of an NHL club, most recently serving as the Canadiens’ assistant GM until his retirement in November 2021. While at Montreal, Mellanby was promoted from his role as director of player staff by Bergevin in 2014.



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