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SBD/April 11, 2014/Franchises
Brendan Shanahan Named Maple Leafs' Top Exec As Leiweke Continues MLSE Moves
Published April 11, 2014
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LEIWEKE LEAVING HIS MARK: In Toronto, Damien Cox writes Shanahan's hiring is Leiweke's "latest eye-popping maneuver." Shanahan will have "an even more senior role that will extend beyond over-seeing" GM Dave Nonis. Shanahan may even "be groomed to become the heir apparent to Leiweke." It is a "gamble by Leiweke, given Shanahan's absence of NHL executive experience" (TORONTO STAR, 4/11). SPORTSNET's Chris Johnston wrote this is the "first of many significant changes that will be made to the organization in the coming months." Shanahan brings "a winning pedigree" to the Leafs' front office. His duties are "expected to be wide-ranging and include involvement in business, marketing and other league-related matters." In other words, he "won't be negotiating contracts or helping manage the salary cap." Those duties "will continue to be performed by Nonis" (SPORTSNET.ca, 4/10). The NATIONAL POST's Bruce Arthur notes Leiweke has "apparently been courting Shanahan for a while, surely with [NHL Commissioner Gary] Bettman's blessing and perhaps urging." There are "huge hockey decisions ahead for this franchise." Leiweke has "cleared out two of his three franchises already; this is his first crack at fixing the Leafs" (NATIONAL POST, 4/11).
IN SUPPORT OF SHANAHAN: YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika wrote Shanahan has "never been a team executive," but he knows "how to bring people together and effect change, and he knows how to build and run a department -- have a vision, create a plan, manage people." He has "dealt with people throughout the hockey world" and has "handled scrutiny and criticism" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/10). In Toronto, Terry Koshan writes it is "hard to find a good reason to argue against" Leiweke's hiring of Shanahan (TORONTO SUN, 4/11). Also in Toronto, Curtis Rush writes under the header, "The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Brendan Shanahan" (TORONTO STAR, 4/11).