The Maple Leafs should get their house in order for the next GM

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Brad Treliving, or anyone else joining the current Toronto storm, will want a defined chain of command where he would presumably have autonomy over key personnel decisions.

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There are conflicting reports that Kyle Dubas wanted to clear that up with Brendan Shanahan and the MLSE board, seeking more power to “streamline” hockey decisions in his contract renewal talks ahead of Friday’s abrupt layoff.

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Counter-arguments suggest that Dubas already held much of that authority and that, apart from the fact that his steps were sanctioned, the blame should lie with him should anything go wrong.

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This dispute is part of a unsurprising split that developed in the Leafs’ front office after Dubas’ sudden departure, pitting his cronies against “Team Shanahan.” Note that Dubas has yet to receive a rebuttal to Shanahan’s version of how the sacking process worked, when he suggested that a late change in the terms of Dubas’ extension by agent Chris Armstrong was the deciding factor.

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It’s understandable that overly impatient Leafs fans don’t need to hear about other potential obstacles to the team’s success, whether the board has every right to approve costly decisions, or whether they should shut up and let their chosen GM do their job .

Shanahan is being questioned for the way he originally structured the Leafs’ hockey office in 2014, which was hiring Dubas, Brandon Pridham, Mike Babcock and eventually Lou Lamoriello as GM. But in the case of Dubas and Pridham, there was a firm belief that unless Toronto acted quickly they would be taken over by other teams in the summer.

Your turn, BRENDAN

Shanahan is torn with the urge to find someone proven in trades and contract negotiations as soon as possible to resolve any major issues with the roster starting July 1st. Leading the way is Auston Matthews with his no-move clause taking effect in his final year deal in five weeks, the same goes for a no-move clause on Mitch Marner’s final two seasons and William Nylander’s no-trade Clause for 10 teams in his push last year.

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Or is the boss actually waiting to see who else might break into the league now that the high-paying Toronto job is on the table?

While Shanahan is believed to be wasting his time hoping an established manager like St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong would ever leave his team, the long after June 30, when contracts expire, could be change this. At this point, GM Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville could also be allowed back after an extended league hiatus as punishment for their inaction on the Kyle Beach case while they were with the Chicago Blackhawks a few years ago.

Treliving offers the best immediate option and is commended for nine years of hard work that has paid off in almost everything but playoff runs and draft wins.

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Treliving is 53, born in Penticton, BC and unlikely to be intimidated in a large Canadian market. He had extensive managerial responsibilities in all areas in the minor league.

But when he joins the Leafs, he may have to sit idle as far as the June draft is concerned since he’s privy to Calgary’s junior reports. That was a requirement if he had been interviewed in Pittsburgh.


It’s official that the Penguins have been given permission to interview Dubas, which almost certainly puts him at the top of a Steeltown-reported list that includes Devils senior vice president Dan MacKinnon and Buffalo associate GM Jason Karmanos belong, both with the Penguins. ties. Also doing well in the first round of interviews were Hurricanes associate GM Eric Tulsky, Dallas director of scouting and hockey strategy Steve Greeley, and Tampa Bay Lightning director of hockey operations Mathieu Darche.

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Since the Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Penguins, could separate the team president’s job from the GM, Dubas could get the higher title and one of the already considered candidates could become GM.

Longtime Flames star Craig Conroy is set to be named Treliving’s successor as early as Tuesday.


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Yes, the first four games of the two NHL conference finals, all of which went into overtime, were a first in league history… Peterborough defeated London on Sunday, winning that series 4-2 and completing the 2023 Memorial Cup dance card. Joining OHL Champion Petes in Kamloops, BC will be the Quebec Remparts, the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds and the hosting Blazers… In addition to hotspot cities of Vegas and Florida vying for their first Stanley Cup are the Coachella Valley Firebirds , the Seattle Kraken farm team face Milwaukee in the AHL Western Conference Finals. The recently formed Firebirds play in Thousand Palms, California. Shane Wright, the fourth overall pick in the 2022 draft, has four points in 11 playoff games… In Canada’s 3-2 shootout loss to Norway on Monday in the preliminary round of the World Cup Riga, Latvia, one of Norway’s overtime goals came from Sondre Olden , a 2010 Leafs draft pick. It was only the second time Norway had beaten Canada at the World Cup, a Lawson Crouse goal leveling the game with 11.1 seconds remaining in regulation time.


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